There has been a lot of ink, workshop time and bloviating about the state of the church and missions and the future etc. Leadership seminars usually have this slide somewhere so I don’t think I am breaking a copyright law. We have mission summits where we discuss theological implications of all kinds of things like demographics and how it effects the future.
I am trying to get to a point where instead of looking at how outside events effect the future we can think about how the future effects outside events.
Not wanting to be the caricature of the crazy Prophet standing on the street corner saying the end is near, we as Lutherans have a confident assurance of salvation anticipated here and now even though we believe it will be consummated in the future. With that comes the sober understanding that all of us will still have to stand before the judgment seat of Christ and give an account of how our life is been spent in the service of our Savior. This too is a mission emphasis. It’s also one of the safeguards we have against not preaching the Law or watering the Law down. Secure in the knowledge that God will accept us which is guaranteed by the cross and the resurrection and sealed upon us in baptism, we preach to those who should be determined to live in such a way that they will not be ashamed before our Lord on that great day of judgment. Paul preached this and practiced this and wept over this. When he spoke to the Ephesian elders he promised that he had the need to do his call. How did he do that? “I testify both to the Jews and to Greeks of repentance towards God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. I do not account my life of any value nor precious to myself if only I can accomplish my course and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the Gospel of the grace of God” (Acts 20).