How Can the Church Be an Unstoppable Power for the Gospel?

How can the church be an unstoppable power for the gospel?
 

Bryan Loritts     |     April 1, 2019     |    2 MIN READ     |    3 MIN Watch

Note from SOLA: This video was recorded during The SOLA Conference 2019. Below is a transcript of the video. It has been lightly edited for readability.


Of the many things that Jesus said, one of the closing things that he told his disciples in that upper room discourse in John 13 is, “By this will all people know that you are my disciples…,” not by the arguments you have on Facebook. not by the blogs that you write, but by the love that you have for one another.

Love is one of the key things, but love is not tolerance. Tolerance is such a low ethic. It’s this spineless, standardless thing. Love is much different. Love flies at a much higher altitude.

It was one homiletics professor, Robert Smith, Jr., who said that every New Testament point has an Old Testament picture. The seminal Old Testament picture for love is found Hosea 3, when God says to Hosea, in essence, I've got a problem. My people keep on cheating on me by going after other gods (by the way that happens every time we sin ). And God says, but in my holiness, my real problem is not that they've given me a right to divorce them, but in my holiness I'm not going to leave them. I can't leave them. I've got more mercy than they've got mess.

And so God says Hosea, I'm going to use you as a visual aid for my profound love for my people. I want you, the prophet, to marry a prostitute, and I know that’s strange but I think that's one of the properties of love.

Love in essence is strange. If it doesn't turn heads, it's probably not love. And I think the problem with the church today is that we've gotten far too tribal and our relationships are far too typical. There's no real sense of strangeness when it comes to love.

If I can go back to Jesus and the disciples, the fact that he puts a tax collector in the same group with the modern-day version of Isis or Al-Qaeda, which is Simon the Zealot, and he pretty much says, “I'm calling you to love one another.”

Or the fact that in Acts, Paul walks into town Into a town and he asks two questions. Question #1: Where’s the synagogue? I want to preach to Jews. Question #2: Where do the Gentiles hang out? And then when they come to Christ, he doesn't follow the homogeneous unit principle and start, in a very pragmatic way, two separate churches.

He says, “No, I’m going to start one church and call these two strange groups of people to come together in the theater of the local church. And I want you to love one another and pray for one another and forgive one another.”

So at the end of the day, we’ve got to be people who reach across all kinds of divides, not in the name of tolerance, but in the name of Jesus, and be people of love.

Pastor Bryan Loritts is the privileged husband of Korie and the graced father of three sons— Quentin, Myles and Jaden. He serves the Abundant Life Christian Fellowship of Silicon Valley, California as the Lead Pastor. An award winning author of five books, Pastor Bryan Loritts co-founded Fellowship Memphis in 2003 and later founded The Kainos Movement- an organization committed to seeing the multi-ethnic church become the new normal in our world. In addition to his responsibilities as a pastor, Bryan travels extensively throughout the world preaching the Good News of Jesus Christ at conferences and events, as well as serving on the board of trustees for Biola University and PineCove Christian Camps.