April 20, 2015
This Week’s Study
This coming Sunday, our text will be from Hebrews 12:18-27. Spend time reading and meditating on this text this week, and use the tools within The Compass to help guide your study. May the Lord richly bless you as you spend time in His Word and prayerfully consider what the Spirit is teaching you.
This Week’s R2R Distinctive | What Is This?
Eternity (John 14:1–4): We believe there is a heaven and a hell and that Jesus Christ is returning to judge the earth and to establish his kingdom. We believe in the resurrection of the dead: the believer to life everlasting and the unbeliever to the resurrection of judgment.
Looking Towards Mt. Zion
The church in America is never short of scandals or outrageous stories hand picked for the tabloid magazines. Take, for example, one of the latest church scams to hit the mainstream media–Creflo Dollar’s “Project G650.”
In mid-March the Atlanta-based tele-evangelist reached out to his supporters with a challenge–Dollar is seeking “200,000 people committed to sow $300 or more to help achieve our goal to purchase a G650 airplane.”
The plane Dollar is asking his supporters to purchase for him is a Gulfstream G650, which reportedly cost $65 million. Why does the evangelist need such a plane? According to his announcement, the luxury jet would “transport Pastors Creflo and Taffi Dollar and members of the Dollars’ church around the globe to help them spread the gospel.”
Take a look at the promotional description of the G650 provided by Gulfstream, and it is clear we need to underline and star the word “luxury” in describing this jet. “The G650 is the biggest, fastest, most luxurious, longest range and most technologically advanced jet–by far,” according Gulfstream.
Some see Creflo Dollar’s “Project G650” as an example of his faith; most see it as a scam and a shame upon the church.
This kind of shame has been cast upon the church from the beginning. The Apostle Paul called out Alexander the coppersmith for doing great harm to him (2 Timothy 4:14). Various Pope’s through the ages have brought intrigue and shame to the church through their worldly, evil actions. Members of the German clergy gave their blessing and support to Adolf Hitler and the Nazis. There appears to be no end to the crooks, thieves, and scam artists who masquerade as leaders within the church.
This is why the writer to the Hebrews begins this great passage of text with the simple admonition, “look to Jesus!” He is the founder and author of our faith. Don’t get distracted by the Creflo Dollars or the long list of men and women who have come before him in the name of self-serving pseudo-religion.
We stand as part of a called out assembly, looking towards Mt. Zion and the heavenly city. Jesus did not call his disciples to earthly power or glory, but to suffering and obedience to His word. Yes, the fields are ripe unto harvest, but we are called to pray for workers and to go and make disciples.
Don’t be discouraged when you read the next news story describing the next “Project G650” in order to hasten the spread of the gospel. Keep your eyes upon Jesus, for He is the author and finisher of our faith.–Chris Eller
The hill of Zion yields a thousand sacred sweets before we reach the heav’nly fields, or walk the golden streets.
Then let our songs abound and ev’ry tear be dry; we’re marching thru Immanuel’s ground to fairer worlds on high.