The Finished Work

The Finished Work

The Finished Work

By Peter Youngren

Our love affair with religion is over.

From God’s point of view, all was finished before time.

AN ancient Greek king stands on a hilltop surveying a battlefield. He sees soldiers engaged in fierce battles, when suddenly words reach him that the king who leads the opposing army has surrendered. The battle has been won; there is no need for further bloodshed. In response the king cries out; Tetelestai (It is finished).

An accountant in ancient Greece has concluded a financial report; income and expenses, the balance sheet, all are in perfect order. There’s no further need to check the numbers, everything is completed. He closes the books and exclaims: Tetelestai (It is finished).

Christ’s dying declaration was Tetelestai. These three words – It is finished – is the foundation for what we call the finished work of Christ. This Greek word, Tetelestai, means more than just a task being concluded. Jesus did not merely say that death was at hand, his suffering was over, and that he had done all he could. Tetelestai means completion – total fulfillment. God’s love plan for the world had reached its zenith. The reconciliation of the world to God was fully accomplished. All that was left was for this message to be preached to everyone.

Head Fake

When we discover the enormity of what Christ has done, our love affair with religion is over. The human propensity towards fascination with rules and rituals, and with keeping score how we and others measure up against the demands of our religion become meaningless. All attempts to please a supposedly displeased deity are irrelevant. The dark view that God is vindictive, looking for retribution vanishes in the light Jesus Christ, who shows us the true nature of God. No longer is there a need to condemn ourselves or others – Christ has set us free.

In the light of Christ’s finished work we see religious observances, that we at one time thought would make us holy before God, in their true light – they are a head fake, playing with our minds. Like Saul of Tarsus, we discard what we once esteemed, and now we count it as “dung”, (Philippians 3:8).

Religion comes from the Latin word relegere -to bind up. There is a positive aspect; when we are bound together with God in a relationship of love through Jesus Christ. There’s also a negative; to be bound up in man-made traditions, ceremonies and rituals, which are of no effect. The essence of this negative type of religion is to strive to be approved by God. In contrast, the finished work means that God accepts us due to the effort of another – Jesus Christ. This makes the phrase “the Christian religion” an oxymoron; the gospel ends religion. To strive to be accepted by a holy God is null and void in the light of our acceptance through Christ.

Those who may relish the smug sense of prestige that comes from following the many traditions of religious systems find this message hard to swallow. No wonder, adherents to Christianity have tried to make it into a religion among the world’s religions, the right one, of course, but nevertheless just another religion. Unfortunately this camouflages the beautiful reality that God, because of his love, takes non-religious, sinful humans, and recognizes and accepts them in Christ.

Finished before time

The finished work of Christ was a done deal before time began. Christ is the eternal Lamb of God, slain from the creation of the world, Revelation 13:8. Before time, God purposed in Christ that we should be “holy and blameless before him in love,” (Ephesians 1:4). This is a good time to stop and read the last sentence one more time. Think about it; before all the sin and bad stuff happened to Adam and Eve, Noah, Samson and David, before Simon Peter ever denied Jesus, and before every sin and failure in your family – God purposed to present you holy and blameless, because he loves you.

Still it was necessary for this finished work to transpire in time and space. It was not a mere metaphor; Christ had to be born, crucified, resurrected, and returned to heaven at a specific time. Every event in the life of Christ was a part of the finished work played out in historical sequence.

– Christ had to descend into hell to defeat death and defeat hell. This is our guarantee of eternal victory.

– Christ had to rise again. And because he lives, we will live also. His resurrection ensures our resurrection.

– Christ had to ascend to the right hand of the Father, where he reigns until all enemies, including death, have been put under his feet.

– Christ had to pour out the Holy Spirit to empower believers to proclaim his victory, confirmed by signs, wonders and miracles.

What God had finished before time, needed to be played out “in the fullness of time,” (Galatians 4:4) .


The cross is central, because that’s where our sins, and the sins of the world, were put away. This poses the question: What about those who lived before the cross? Did God forgive their sins? And, if so, how could God forgive sins before Christ died? The answer lies in the meaning of a Hebrew word – hesed – loving kindness. This word describes God’s nature; God has always forgiven sins because His nature is love and mercy.

The story of Hosea powerfully demonstrates God’s nature (see Jakob Wendesten’s article on page 14). But there are many other examples; Scripture overflows with accounts of individuals who experienced God’s “hesed”.

Jesus showed God’s “hesed” by forgiving sins before his crucifixion. He told Zacchaeus; “today salvation is come to your house.” Not, hang in there till after I die on the cross and then salvation will come. When the lame man came through the roof, Jesus told him; “Son, your sins are forgiven!” He didn’t say; your sins will be forgiven after my crucifixion.

Still, the cross is the ultimate depiction of God’s love; the eternal guarantee that sins are forgiven. The essence of God’s love is shown at the cross where Jesus died for our sins, (1 John 4:10). And we do well to remember that His blood was not shed only for the forgiveness of our sins, but for the sins of the whole world, 1 John 2:2.

Should we ask for God's forgiveness?

If Jesus Christ took all sins – past, present and future sins – do we need to ask God to forgive our sins today? Some propose that we must ask God to forgive our sins every day, or even several times a day, just in case we did something wrong. This leads to sin consciousness, which the book of Hebrews strictly warns against. Instead we are encouraged to live in a consciousness of Christ’s righteousness, which is the essence of our new life in Christ. Sin consciousness only leads to more sin, while keeping our focus on Christ’s gift of righteousness will produce true holiness and strong Christian life.

On the other side of the spectrum are those, who suggest that we must not acknowledge any sin, because to do so is to deny Christ’s finished work. Some contend that to ask for God’s forgiveness is an insult, since Christ already forgave all of our sins on the cross.

To me such discussions are senseless. Some may mention their specific sins and others maybe not. An addict may find it helpful to mention the area of addiction and surrender it to the Lord. A gossiper may find it helpful to acknowledge the temptation to gossip. The same goes for covetousness, lying, or whatever sin. Others may simply come to God, recognizing their need, and thank God for the forgiveness provided through Christ. No one is able to list all their sins anyhow. What about sins of omission, what about things you have forgotten. Some people commit sins when they’re in a drunken stupor; how would they be able to acknowledge sins that they cannot remember?

Whether we mention a specific sin to God, or we generally receive the forgiveness provided through the cross of Christ, we come to God vulnerable and open because of His unconditional love. We do not cower in fear, but we come to God boldly, full of confidence.

Regardless of our approach, the end result must be the same, that we know that God’s love has washed us clean and that He has given us power to live a transformed life. The addict is not an addict any longer, and the gossiper is not a gossiper anymore, and so on.

And how did this forgiveness of sin happen? The entire matter of forgiveness of sins has been dealt with; it is a part of the finished work of Christ. The way we approach God does not cause the forgiveness of sin to happen; Christ did that once for all.

Temptation to take credit

Here is a temptation. When we do wrong, guilt and shame rise to the surface, and just like Adam and Eve, we want to hide. We feel condemned in our conscience. In response to this feeling of guilt people sometimes beg God for forgiveness. Then, as they realize that they have been forgiven, they may erroneously think that their confessions, tears and cries are what made them acceptable to God. No, we are saved by what Christ has done. His finished work is enough!

God's not finished with us yet

What effect does the finished work of Christ have in my life? It gives me security and boldness. My salvation has a firm foundation. It is not built on my ups and downs, but on what Christ has done.

We know that we have Christ’s righteousness and we are complete in him, but we still need to grow in the knowledge of Christ. Fears, anger outbursts, impatience and jealousy may still surface. We are perfect in Christ, but in the practical outworking of our life there is still room for changes. You know it, and if you don’t maybe your family members and friends may remind you from time to time. If you run into Taina, I give you permission to ask her how I’m doing.

Some who criticize the message of God’s grace and the finished work of Christ, suggest that those who believe in this take a careless approach to life; “ah well, Christ did it all, so I do whatever way I want.” Not at all!

We are in a process of being transformed into His image, from glory to glory. Yes, we are freed from “dead works” of religious self –improvement, but this doesn’t make us careless and lazy, but empowers us to step into the good works that God has prepared for us, Ephesians 2:10.

Our mission is clearer before us than ever before. We are not to police the world’s sins, but to bring good news of Him who conquered sin. We proclaim that people are acceptable to God through Christ, that death and hell are defeated, that religion is irrelevant, and that the whole world is welcome to receive what Christ has accomplished. It is finished, for you, for me and for everyone. Such good news must be told!

Peter Youngren

Peter Youngren

Heart for Canada!

Heart for Canada!

Heart for Canada!

By Peter Youngren

I’M privileged to know Canada more than most Canadians. For the first 16 years of ministry I crisscrossed the country, often by car, from Newfoundland to Vancouver Island. International campaigns have taken much of my time over the past few decades, but the vision for Canada burns as strong as ever.

Yet, like 22% of people in Canada, I was born outside of this country. As a child, I didn’t know much about Canada. My earliest recollection is watching the country of my birth, Sweden, play hockey against Canada.That was before players from the National Hockey League were allowed to participate in international tournaments. Canadian players had a reputation of playing with their heart (and sometimes with their fists), and that passion often resulted in a winning outcome.

After I received Christ, I had a powerful experience with the Holy Spirit. This changed everything; I became eager to share the gospel anywhere and everywhere.This newfound passion led me to read books by a Canadian pastor, Dr. Oswald J. Smith (I think I read all of them), founder of the People’s Church in Toronto. His writings profoundly affected my spiritual development.

Some of the titles like, The Challenge of Missions,The Passion for Souls,The Man God Uses and The Cry of The World, give an idea of the vision that permeated Dr. Smith’s ministry.Though I was only 15 years old, God was using these books to burrow deep into my soul. Billy Graham called Oswald J. Smith the foremost missionary statesmen of the 20th century, and I echo that statement.

The message of Christ will become front and center in the nation’s attention.

Repentance doesn’t lead people to Christ; the discovery of Christ leads people to repentance.

No nationwide awakening

After devouring Smith’s books, I read the authorized biography of his life, Not Made for Defeat, written by Douglas Hall. One short paragraph, only a sentence or two, made a great impression.

Oswald J. Smith’s life influenced me.

In trying to explain the spiritual situation in Canada at the time, the author mentioned that this nation has never experienced a nationwide spiritual awakening.This puzzled me. At the time, not being familiar with Canada, I assumed that with such close proximity to the United States, Canada would’ve experienced the same awakenings that affected our neighbour to the south.

Maybe you wonder why I was so impressed by these thoughts at such a young age. It goes back to my encounter with the Holy Spirit.The same passion that inspired me to share the gospel with people in my hometown also made me interested in God’s dealings with nations. That’s why I was familiar with “the Great Awakening,” and “the Second Great Awakening,” in the United States, and national awakenings in European nations like Germany, France, the Scandinavian countries and the U.K. Meanwhile, I never dreamed that in a few years, while still a teenager, I would become a Canadian.

While churches and denominations have experienced spiritual refreshing and revival, I’m speaking of a national spiritual awakening. This is more than a spiritual renewal for a group of churches or denominations. I’m not suggesting that every person in the country will receive Christ, but that the message of Christ will become front and center.

A daring pastor

After a year of attending Bible College in Rhode Island, USA, I found myself in Toronto and Pastor George Tunks invited me to speak to his church, Dixon Gospel Temple. There I was, 19 years old, on a hot and humid Tuesday night in the month of July. Before the service, Pastor Tunks asked me what I was doing, and I told him; “I’m an evangelist.” Gratefully, he didn’t ask any follow-up questions about my experience (it was slim at best). I preached, and when I finished Pastor Tunks, without forewarning, said to the congregation: “The Lord has spoken to me that we are to invite this evangelist, Peter Youngren, to come and hold three weeks of meetings here on Dixon Road. I will arrange for a 1000 seat tent to be put up. Do you agree? “ The congregation promptly responded; “Amen.” Then he looked at me, in front of the people, and said; “Are you willing?” I answered; “Yes.” And that was that.

Pastor Tunks didn’t know that it would be my first Gospel campaign, or he may not have invited me. Though he was a man of unusual faith and willingness to try new avenues, so he may have. I will never know for sure.

Later that night Pastor Tunks told me; “Please, send me your promotional package with pictures as soon as possible.” George Tunks was a man of action; he wanted the meetings to start six weeks later. The only problem was that I didn’t have any promotional package. In fact, I remember thinking; “what is a promotional package?” This was all very new. Unbeknownst to Pastor Tunks, I was to return to Sweden the very next day. For several summers before coming to Bible College, I had worked a summer job for the Parks and Recreation Department in my hometown.This was how I funded my Bible College training, and I was scheduled for six weeks of work, before I was to go back to college.

Flying back to Sweden, my concern was no longer about going back to college, but I was trying to imagine what a promotional package was.

Pastor George Tunks asked me to send a promotional package, I had no idea what he meant. This is the photo I sent him.

On the first day back I hurried to the town photographer. I put together a one-page resume of my life and what I had done (it wasn’t much) and a few pictures and rushed the material off to Pastor Tunks.

Six weeks later I landed back in Toronto, and was taken to Dixon Gospel Temple.There was the1000- seat brown tent, with a banner strung from pole to pole, Every night: Teenage evangelist from Sweden. PastorTunks had a flair for dramatic marketing. Suddenly, my life was changed. I was in Canada.This was to be my home, my country. After three weeks in the tent, invitations came in from churches in different parts of the country.And so for the next 16 years I conducted series of meetings lasting anywhere from one week to six weeks in churches, hockey arenas, tents, convention centers and just about every imaginable venue.

I became very familiar with Canada. After a few trips from the Atlantic to the Pacific, I didn’t need a map anymore. Canada had become my home. And moreover, God had given me a heart for Canada.

Interested in people

Why did pastors invite me to their area? Obviously, it wasn’t because of my age or wisdom. However, word spread that non-Christians would attend our meetings, and that church folks were glad to bring their friends to hear me preach. Most pastors want new people in their church, and that’s why I had a full schedule. People outside the four walls of the church have always been of interest to me.Today, with 36 million Canadians, this interest is more important than ever:

  • How can we present the gospel to those who have no church background?
  • Are national spiritual awakenings only something of the past? Can it happen today? In Canada?

The current situation, as of 2020, doesn’t look good. Many churches have reported a decline in attendance.What will happen after the lockdown? I am grateful that a large percentage of the Toronto Int’l Celebration Church is participating in Sunday in-person services, while others are joining online. Still, the situation is critical nation-wide.

Meanwhile, outside the church, many seem disinterested in God. Is a spiritual awakening possible in a country as diverse as Canada? What about immigrants with their religions and cultures?

Examples from Scripture and from history encourage me. Sometimes, a situation seemingly has to become hopeless, before God’s people will rise up. And, when an “impossible” situation becomes possible, everyone knows that it was a work of God.

Picture from one of my early Canadian tent campaigns.

A prophecy

Zechariah, the Hebrew prophet, spoke about a spiritual awakening in Israel. The seven principles found in his prophecy are applicable to every country. God loves the world. He set every nation within “times” and “boundaries,” and promised; “I will shake all nations,” (Haggai 2:6). That includes Canada!

1. God’s grace comes first. I will pour out …. the Spirit of grace, Zechariah 12:10.

Prayer is vital, but according to this prophecy a spiritual awakening begins with an outpouring of God’s grace. On the Day of Pentecost, in Ephesus, in Corinth and throughout the Book of Acts, the pattern from Zechariah’s prophecy is repeated; God’s grace comes first.

Isn’t the message of God’s grace well-known to church members?

No! The annual study about religion and culture, released this August, from the Cultural Research Center at Arizona Christian University, contains shocking facts. Here is one of the most notable; 46% of Pentecostals/Charismatics and 41% of Evangelicals believe that salvation and heaven are obtained by “being good” or “doing good.” Evidently, members in “born-again” churches do not know that we are saved by Christ’s righteousness. Sad!

After decades of Sunday sermons, often better described as motivational speeches, life lessons and self-help instructions; what did we expect? Sadly, it’s possible to attend church without discovering who Christ is and what He has done. A national awakening starts with an outpouring of God’s grace. Canada and the world need it!

2. Prayer. I will pour out… the Spirit of prayer, Zechariah 12:10.

When we know God’s grace, we learn to pray effectively. Not prayers from a beggarly position, where we see ourselves as “have- nots,” seeking to obtain something, but prayers from a position of victory. Since Christ has provided it, we know that we already have that which we ask for.

Jesus said; If you ask the Father for anything in my name, he will give it to you. Until now you have asked nothing in my name; ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be made full, John 16:23-24.

Grace filled prayers are in full assurance that everything that is included in the name of Jesus belongs to us.

3. Attention on Christ. They will look on Me whom they have pierced, Zechariah 12:10.

This refers to Jesus Christ, who was “pierced” for the sins of the world. Phillip, the evangelist, encountered witchcraft in Samaria.Yet, he never referenced that evil – he preached Christ, (see Acts chapter 8). In Corinth, the Las Vegas of ancient Rome, a city filled with idolatry, prostitution and debauchery, Paul did not preach about the sins of Corinth, but “Jesus Christ crucified.”

“Revivals” may be characterized by various teachings or phenomena; holiness, healing, speaking in tongues, weeping, laughing, etc.

That’s why I speak of an Awakening. It is something grander, more inclusive, national in scope, and the focal point is Jesus Christ.

4. Repentance. They will mourn for him… and they will weep over him, Zechariah 12:10.

Repentance, expressed in mourning and weeping, comes after people’s attention has turned to Christ. Repentance is the Greek word metanoia; “to think differently after,” or simply, “to change one’s mind.”

This is only possible when information about Christ has been provided. Since the goodness of God leads to repentance, God’s goodness must be discovered before we can repent – change our minds.

Ponder this: Repentance doesn’t lead people to Christ; the discovery of Christ leads people to repentance. We do not try to get people to repent; we present Christ, and once people see who Christ is – they will change their minds (repent).

5. The whole country affected. They will mourn, every family by itself; the family of the house of David by itself… the house of Nathan by itself… the House of Levi by itself… the family of the Shimei by itself…all the families that remain, every family, and their wives by themselves, Zechariah 13:1.

David represents the political leadership. Nathan (the prophet), Levi (the priest) and Shimei (the scribe) represent religious leadership. And then “all families”: a national spiritual awakening to every part of society.

6. Freedom from guilt, sin and shame. In that day, a fountain will be opened … for sin and for uncleanness, Zechariah 13:1.

People seek guilt relief through medication, religion, philosophy and psychology. In Canada today, suicide, opioid-related deaths and a host of other social ills are on the increase. Our nation doesn’t know that God ordained that the blood of Christ would provide cleansing from every sin, shame and guilt.

7. Light drives out darkness. I will cut off the names of the idols …. I will remove the prophets and the unclean spirit. Zechariah 13:2.

Idolatry, false prophets and unclean spirits represent the kingdom of darkness. Idolatry is a misdirected trust. More than ever, this pandemic has caused Canadians to put their trust in governments, unions, business and science.

These influences – idolatry, false prophets and uncleanness – are mere symptoms; the root cause of the problem is that Canadians do not know Christ.

In Zechariah’s prophecy the removal of dark influences comes last. A spiritual awakening is not about cursing the darkness. It’s about spreading the light of Jesus Christ, because this light drives out darkness.

46% of Pentecostals/ Charismatics and 41% of Evangelicals believe that salvation and heaven are obtained by “being good” or “doing good.”

What do you think of Christ?

What do you think of Christ?

What do you think of Christ?

By Peter Youngren

SOME think that Christ is Jesus’ surname. Others recognize that Christ is a Greek word that corresponds to the Hebrew Messiah –the anointed one. That’s good as far as it goes, but there is a lot more to discover.

Jesus, Christ and Lord; we often use these names and titles interchangeably, yet each has a distinct meaning. We read that God made Jesus “both Lord and Christ,”

Acts 2:36. Lord and Christ? What’s the difference and does it matter? Jesus inquired from the Pharisees: What do you think about the Christ?
Matthew 22:42. I pass the question on to you; who is Christ to you?

The expression – in Christ – appears 164 times in Scripture, but what does it mean? If the Christ vision is only about one person who lived 2,000 years ago, that’s great but of limited interest. The vision of Christ that I propose is much grander – it includes everyone. To discover Christ who came in Bethlehem is to discover the upholder of the universe – the One in whom we and every created thing have our existence.

Consider the following from the Bible:
• Christ is before all things.
• All things were made by Christ.
• In Christ all things consist.
• Everything is upheld by the word of Christ’s power.
• At the end of time, everything will be put under Christ.

The expression – in Christ – appears 164 times in Scripture, but what does it mean?

This leaves no room for devil phobia.

Christ permeates all

Scientists grapple with how atoms, electrons, protons and neutrons, quarks and sub-particles are held together. One scientist noted in Discovery Magazine, that “the further you study this, it becomes simply mystical”. In other words, the complexity of how nature consists is beyond the understanding of the greatest scientific minds.

Paul wrote, Christ is all and in all, Colossians 3:11.The statement is so enormous, that we need to pause and allow it to sink in:

Christ is all and in all!

If I made this statement without a reference to Scripture, some would accuse me of pantheism. Hinduism and Buddhism are pantheistic religions, which claim that god is everything and everything is god.The gospel teaches that God permeates everything, every plant and every bush is upheld by Christ, and in Him everything consists. Christ is the source of everything, life itself, every human, and every flower and blade of grass. Christ is at the center of all things.

The Gospel goes further – Christ is above all and transcends all.

When I preach to Buddhist and Hindu friends I tell them that the one who upholds everything
is Christ but He is also above all things – Lord of all. Jesus– LORD and CHRIST!

Paul told the Athenians, that in Him (Christ) we live and move and have our being. How big is the Christ? Based on Paul’s statement, we can say with certainty that no church, no religion, no denomination has monopoly on Christ; He transcends all.

Photo of the Earth taken from Voyager 1 about 6 billion kilometres away. This spaceship left our planet in 1977 at a speed of 17 kilometres per second. It took 16 years before it reached the outer limits of our solar system.

Christ - the light of the world

Science estimates the size of the known universe to be 94 billion light years from one end to the other. Of course, the universe has no end– that’s just the known universe. We think in terms of hundreds or maybe thousands of kilometers; billions of light-years is beyond
our comprehension.

Our solar system is only one among billions of solar systems. On the map of the observable universe, it is so small that you barely notice it.

The vastness of the universe helps to realize how great Christ is. From the minutest sub-particle of an atom to the ever-expanding universe- everything speaks of the grandeur of Christ.

At creation’s morning God said, let there be light, Jesus said, I am the light of the world, and told his followers; you are the light of the world. What is this light that according to the creation story existed before the sun and the moon were put into place?

In 2019 astronomers, using eight telescopes, took the first ever picture of a black hole in the far reaches of the universe (see picture). The enormity of this black hole defies comprehension; 40 billion kilometers across with a mass 3 million times greater than that of the earth. Referencing the bright light surrounding the black hole, the lead scientist, Professor Falcke stated; we don’t understand how this light is generated.

Interesting! The best scientific minds cannot explain the source of that light, yet it’s there.

To me, it is a reminder that Christ is the light of the world and He lights the path of every person, John 1:9.

First ever photo of a black hole (released April, 2019), taken with eight telescopes; scientist can explain where the light comes from.

Christ at the end

Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power… for He has put all things under his feet… now when all things are made subject to Him then the Son Himself will be subject to Him to put all things under Him that God may be all in all (1 Corinthians 15:24-28, selective).

What a beautiful, victorious end- time vision:

  • All things are put under Christ.
  • God will be all in all.

For those, who revel in speculations about Armageddon, 666, the false prophet and the Antichrist this may seem an unsatisfying description of the end time. But just for a moment; put aside speculative ideas and instead see Christ, the supreme, Lord of Lords and King of Kings. Picture Christ – Alpha (the first) and Omega (the last), eternally victorious – Savior of the world, with everything under His feet.

The universe known to science has a radius of approx, 47 billion light years. Our solar system is so small that it is barely visible on this map.

Christ above evil powers

The ChristVision removes fear of the devil and demons. Since all creatures, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers, were created by Christ [Col 1:15-17], there is no reason for fear. It is laughable for believers to be afraid of demons and the devil, since these are mere created beings. Should we who have Christ be afraid of beings that Christ created? [I’m not saying that Christ created the devil, He created Lucifer, the angel, who chose to become the devil]. Of course not!

This causes us to rethink “spiritual warfare”. A war is only ongoing as long as the outcome of the battle is unknown. In World War II the allied forces were prevailing towards the end of 1944 and early 1945, but victory was not sure because the Axis forces could have had a secret weapon that would’ve turned the tide.The war was not over until the enemy was totally defeated. That’s why I cringe when I hear people talk about spiritual warfare as if we (the believers) are fighting against the devil and the outcome is still uncertain. On the contrary, the outcome is certain – Jesus Christ has once and for all defeated evil powers. Our battle, the good fight of faith, is against the enemy’s lies; deceptions that make us think that our enemy is still strong and powerful. But, he’s a liar. Christ has fully triumphed!

This leaves no room for devil phobia. Do Christians need deliverance? Only if we have embraced mental deceptions, and the bondages and irrational behavior that follow. The means of deliverance is to believe the gospel: Christ has delivered us from the power of darkness. Past tense! Got it?

Christ in you

The ChristVision awakens us to our true identity. The knowledge of God is in every person, Ecclesiastes 3:11. Some call this inward awareness the soul, while others refer to it as consciousness. John wrote; It is not because you do not know the truth that I write to you, because you know it already, 1 John 2:21.There is an inward knowledge that God put in people.This makes it easy to share the message of Christ with Buddhists, Muslims and Hindus. Though some have never heard the name Jesus Christ, yet within every heart the truth rings true.

John continues; We know this, that when everything is revealed, all we will know is that we are like God, and we shall finally see God as He really is”, 1 John 3:2. The purpose of our spiritual journey is to discover more about our source, our identity and our destiny in Christ.

There are three dimensions in our relationship with Christ:

1. Christian or not a Christian– we are all upheld by Christ.

2. To become a Christian is to change our mind (repent) and acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, Savior and God.

3. Once we receive the gift of salvation, we have an opportunity to grow in the knowledge of Christ. Here are limitless opportunities for every believer.

Luther called humanity a “pile of manure”, and Calvin preached the “total depravity” doctrine. Paul told the pagan Athenians to receive Christ, in whom they already lived and had their existence. Learn from Paul!

"Pile of manure" or upheld by Christ

This Christ-focused message has too often been replaced by a negative and destructive message. Martin Luther, the 16th-century reformer, who I frequently quote in a positive way, unfortunately portrayed humans as a “pile of manure”. John Calvin, another reformer, articulated the doctrine of “total depravity” and 18th century revivalist, Jonathan Edwards,
spoke of “sinners in the hands of an angry God”. Such statements do not make people Christ conscious, but rather sin conscious and self-conscious.This promotes the kind of thinking that reduces Christianity to a religious system, administered by clergy, and designed to mitigate people’s sins in order to hopefully bring them to heaven.

The Christ message is much greater: God put the image of himself in every person, and in Him we live and move and have our being. And now we– all people– have the opportunity to personally know this Christ. When this message echoed across the Roman world 2,000 years ago it was radical.Two- thirds of Roman society were slaves, but whether slave or free all are created in God’s image, all are upheld by Christ. To see yourself created in the image of God is vastly different from a pile of manure, totally depraved, squirming in the hands of an angry God. Unfortunately the latter view has permeated much of modern day evangelical Christianity. We have much to learn from Paul’s sermon to the pagan Athenians. He articulated that they, and all people, are invited to receive the One, in whom they already live and have their being.

Put on Christ

We were crucified, buried and risen with Jesus Christ, and now; our life is hidden with Christ in God, Colossians 3:3.

We respond by putting “on the Lord Jesus Christ”, Romans 13:14. Years ago, I was out for a walk in western Canada, when I noticed a discarded snakeskin. Snakes shed their skin, as new skin develops. The old skin itches, somehow it doesn’t fit. This depicts what it means to put on Christ. When the new life of Christ awakens in us, we recognize that the old skin of lies, gossip, fornication, grudges and condemnation doesn’t fit anymore. Instead we put on love, joy, peace, gentleness, goodness, faith and patience. Anything that smells of non-love or condemnation has to go.

To put on Christ is to put on healing, wisdom, love and joy. You in Christ and Christ in you! Healing, blessing and joy are not from an external source. No, it is God’s life that flows within you.You are one with Christ, and Christ is one with you!


Christ is the source of everything, life itself, every human, and every flower and blade of grass.

God’s vision is the world

God’s vision is the world

God’s Vision is the World!

By Peter Youngren

Many have not in their wildest imagination seen what God sees.

God is interested in the world – the whole world! Jesus said: “Go into all the world and preach the gospel!” God loves every person. His view is not narrow, or merely a local vision – God thinks of all people. Jesus shed his blood, died and rose again, not for one religion, or for one people, but for all. His word is the seed, and the world is the field. 

God’s interest in nations is because of the people who live there. That’s why God is interested in Canada because 36 million people live here. If God cares about Canada, he also cares about France with 67 million, Nigeria with 191 million, Brazil, Pakistan and Indonesia, each one of those countries with between 200 and 300 million people. God is interested and thinks about the United States with 330 million, India with 1,370,000,000 precious individuals, and China with 1,434,000,000 people. One person is worth more than the wealth of the world. There’s nothing small or limited about God’s vision, it includes every one of the 7.8 billion people alive now.

 Some Christians have only a limited, introspective vision. When they pray they pray for themselves, “God bless my family, my work, my ministry.” Many have not in their wildest imagination seen what God sees. Others see a little further, and they may pray; “God bless my neighbour, my church and my city.” Some may see their nation or their culture, and when they pray they say; “God bless my country, bless my people.” Still they do not see as God sees.

Sadly, many pastors do not see God’s vision; they see their pulpit, their ministry and their congregation. To see with God’s eyes is to see the world. When I started in ministry, almost every church, even the small ones, had a foreign missions program. Today, many large churches of 10 and 20,000 members have no foreign missions programs; their concern is limited to the people who live in their own geographical area. They may sponsor a pancake breakfast in a low income neighbourhood, or the launch of a new church campus in another part of town, as their “missions program”. The fact that billions of people live in areas of the earth where there is virtually no chance that they will hear the gospel is of little concern.

Why have we put world evangelism outside the local church budget, as something extra?

The Money Issue

Some church leaders suggest that 10%, a tithe, of the member’s income belongs to the local church, but that this does not include world evangelism; world missions should only depend on extra offerings. This concept does not have a shred of evidence from Scripture. Maybe salaries for pastors and staff should only be paid by extra offerings? Or, building costs, since the church is not the building, should only be paid from extra offerings? Why have we put world evangelism outside the local church budget, as something extra? It is a devilish misconception! The reality is that the cause of missions is the supreme task of the local church.

Without Vision

Why it is important to see God’s vision? Because without a vision people perish and may never discover God’s unconditional love for them. Without a vision among believers, billions of non-believers are relegated to climb a religious ladder of good works in order to please a supposed angry deity, only to fall back, and then try to climb back up again. Without a vision, billions will continue to live in fear, rejection and condemnation, not having their eyes opened to the reality that their sin, shame and guilt have been put away by Christ.

False Predictions

Knowing the human tendency to procrastinate, Jesus said: Do you not say, ‘There are still four months and then comes the harvest?’

In the late 1980’s many said that by the year 2000 we would really have done something great for world missions. Then in 2000, I heard church leaders say that by 2020 we will have finished the Great Commission. Now 2020 is here, and some are talking about 2030 or 2040. Jesus’ words are more applicable than ever:

Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest!, John 4:35. God’s time is now!

God lays claim to the world, because the Earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof, and all the people that dwell in it.

The “Next Town”

Jesus had great success in Capernaum, everyone gathered to hear him, and many were healed. This was a great opportunity and Jesus could’ve stayed in Capernaum for a long time. However, early the next morning Jesus left the town, and the disciples searched for him, and when they found him, they said; Everyone is looking for You. Jesus responded, “Let us go into the next towns, that I may preach there also, because for this purpose I have come forth”, Mark 1:37- 38.
That’s Jesus, always thinking about the next person, the next town and the next people group. And Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, today and forever.

We Demand Justice

Twice we read about Jesus feeding the multitudes. The disciples distributed the bread, and on each occasion all the people were fed, every single one. Imagine if the disciples had only given the bread and the fish to those seated in the first row. After they had finished serving one row, they would come back to the first person to give a second portion, again and again. There would’ve been a cry for justice from the 2nd row, the 3rd, the 10th and the 50th row; “this is unrighteous, we do not have crumb of bread.”

Sunday after Sunday, tens of thousands of pastors and preachers prepare beautiful sermons, delivered with great oratorical skills. We give the bread of life to the front row church crowd, again and again, often never considering those who have nothing.

The Unreached on Our Doorstep

This temptation to not see as God sees is very real in the Western world – with large churches. Week after week the congregation enjoys praise and worship, and well prepared teachings. Yet in those same cities, there are large people groups, who have migrated during the last few decades, and they go about their own lives, and never hear the gospel.

There is spiritual impotence. It is as if we only have strength to look at our own needs. The thought of the world, and the Great Commission seems far from the minds of many. Even church planting has been reduced to a pursuit of market share of those already born again. What better way to start a church then to attract people, who are already trained to give offerings and attend Sunday services. Like the rich man, we often do not notice the spiritual beggar at our doorstep.

The Unreached We Never Meet

The temptation to ignore those who have never heard the gospel is even stronger when it comes to those who live beyond our geographical areas.
Jesus was moved with compassion, because the people were like sheep without a shepherd, wounded and bruised. He said to his disciples: The harvest is great, but the labourers are few. Pray therefore the Lord of the harvest that he will send labourers into his harvest, Matthew 9:35 – 38.

Here is the crux of the problem; the labourers are few.
Paul, the apostle, echoed the same sentiments: How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! Romans 10:14 – 15.


The baptism of the Holy Spirit empowers believers for God’s vision. Jesus said: You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me.
Every time Jesus spoke about the evangelization of the world, he also promised that the Holy Spirit would empower believers. The Greek word for “power” is dunamis, where we get the word dynamite.

Dynamite is dangerous, and the spiritual dynamite of the Holy Spirit is dangerous for religious institutionalism, for lethargy and indifference. This dynamite will blast you out of a boring, humdrum religious existence into fruitfulness. On the day of Pentecost, they spoke in tongues and magnified the Lord, but this was only the first sign that the Holy Spirit had come. The great sign was that their hearts had been filled with love, compelling them to take the gospel to the world.

Dead Sea vs Sea of Galilee

Unless we become involved with the gospel our experience of the Holy Spirit will soon stagnate.
In Israel, the Sea of Galilee is full of life while the Dead Sea is reduced year by year. What’s the difference? The Sea of Galilee has both the inflow and outflow, while the Dead Sea only has inflow. It loses its water through condensation, and becomes bitter and salty. That’s a picture of the Christian life when we only have inflow of God’s life, but no outflow of giving what we have to others; we become sidetracked, bitter and unhappy.

Take a moment to meditate on these statements:

• The baptism of the Holy Spirit, without the Great Commission, is at best self-focused, and at worst a ticket to membership in a bless me club.

• The Great Commission, without the baptism in the Spirit, is a cruel assignment, where believers are destined for failure.

• The baptism of the Holy Spirit with a vision to fulfill the Great Commission is the key to impacting the world.

A Call to Every Believer

In 2020 I call on believers to say “yes” to God’s vision.

Isaiah said; Lord, here am I, send me. Paul said; I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision.
If you’re retired or in the middle of life raising children, a young person, if you are single or married –everyone is needed in the Great Commission. I’m not suggesting that everyone should travel into a different culture. I am saying that every believer can make a difference. There are four key words: Look! Pray! Go! Send!

We can all lift our eyes and see the harvest. We can all pray. Many can go, and those who cannot go can send someone.

We have the greatest assignment, and it starts with seeing the world like God sees it.

We give the bread of life to the front row church crowd, again and again, often never considering those who have nothing.

The Old is Dead; Live the New and Better!

The Old is Dead; Live the New and Better!

The Old is Dead; Live the New and Better!

By Peter Youngren




The Old Covenant ended abruptly on August 4th. 70 A.D. On that day the Jewish temple in Jerusalem was burned and razed, as Roman forces defeated the Jewish rebels. This was the end of ancient Judaism. The Law of Moses drew its last breath. While the Jewish people still had the words of the Torah, their ability to live according to the Law vanished. Without a Temple, there would be no sacrifices, and without sacrifices there would be no forgiveness of sin, no relationship with God.

Six years earlier, 64 A.D., the writer of the book of Hebrews had predicted that the last vestiges of the Law will soon disappear.

By calling this covenant “new,” has has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and outdated will soon disappear, (Hebrews 8:13)

70 years before the destruction of the Jewish Temple, the angel in Bethlehem announced the birth of the Savior and a New Covenant for all people. Tribalism was over, and the promise that God had made to Abraham – to bless all nations – was about to be fulfilled. On the cross, Jesus confirmed that the end of the old era was at hand, and announced – it is finished!

Within Judaism, the sacrifices at the Temple continued after Jesus’ resurrection. The book of Hebrews was written to strengthening Jewish believers, who were under pressure to leave their new found faith and return to the Law. The author urges the readers to continue with Christ and to resist temptations to mix the Old and the New Covenants. He shows that Jesus is greater than Moses, greater than the High Priest, and his covenant is superior to the Torah. And Christ’s once and for all sacrifice has ended the need of daily temple sacrifices.

Sadly, today some still seek to blend the Old and the New Covenant, the very thing that Jesus, the Apostles, and the author of Hebrews warned against. We read:

If there had been nothing wrong with the first covenant, no place would have been sought for another. (Hebrews 8:7).

Take a moment to digest this! This is strong language – something was wrong with the covenant of Moses! To be exact, the part of the Bible where the Law of Moses is found contains something wrong.

Really? Does one part of the Bible (Hebrews) say that there’s something wrong in another part (Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy)? Yes apparently! Either I am wrong, or the verse I quoted from Hebrews is incorrect. We can’t have it both ways. I didn’t say that everything in the books of Moses is wrong. Not at all! I just stated, from the Bible that something is wrong.

Is this too much? You may want to quit reading, because our tendency is to discard evidence that contradicts what we have previously thought. When I received my first Bible, at the age of 10, no one warned me that the Law of Moses had faults, and that these wrongs would only come to light once my reading took me into the New Testament.

The writer of Hebrews introduces another strong word – obsolete (see Scripture quoted above). The Bible calls the Torah, the Law of Moses, obsolete, stating that the very existence of a new covenant makes the old obsolete, (Hebrews 8:13).

Obsolete means outdated.

Again, think! One part of the Bible, the Book of Hebrews, calls another part obsolete. Did your pastor warn you to not spend too much time in the obsolete parts of the Bible? Just because something is obsolete does not mean that it is evil. I don’t use cassettes anymore, but that doesn’t mean that I think cassettes are bad. No, they served their time, but now there are better means of communication. Similarly, a passport has a designated usefulness. Once the end date comes, the passport is obsolete, it’s time has been fulfilled. Again, it is not bad or evil, just outdated.

If you think that I discard the books of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy, think again. These are among my favorite parts of the Bible, because these books reveal Christ. In World Impact Bible Institute, I teach three courses, each 18 hours in length, from those very books. On the road to Emmaus, Jesus taught his disciples that the Law and all of Scripture contain vital information about Himself. The Church fathers incorporated the Jewish scriptures with the New Testament for Christological reasons. They preached Christ from the Jewish Scriptures. Note that Jesus never said: study Moses so that you can blend my gospel with the Law.

So, why did God give the Law in the first place, since it was destined to become outdated? Someone may add, “Aren’t God’s covenants eternal; why does the Law of Moses have an expiration date?” Paul, the Apostle, answers: Why then was the Law given at all? It was added because of transgressions until the Seed to whom the promised referred had come. (Galatians 3:19)

The answer is clear; the Law was intended to be temporary, “it was added,” it had an expiration date. It would end when God had fulfilled His promise to Abraham. Paul illustrates further that the Law was a guardian until Christ would come, and once Christ had come, there would be no need for a guardian. To summarize:

The Law of Moses was time-limited covenant for the nation of Israel, while God’s covenant through Abraham, which was fulfilled by Jesus, is eternal and for the whole world.

The religious leaders in Jesus’ day understood that Jesus had come to make the Law obsolete. That is why they crucified him.

On at least six occasions, Jesus said: the Law says… but I say to you. Jesus’ intentions were clear. Some of Jesus’ critics thought that he wanted to destroy the Law. Knowing their thoughts, Jesus explained: Do not think I have come to destroy the Law or the prophets; I have not come to destroy but to fulfill them, (Matthew 5:17).

Not destroy – but fulfill! What’s the difference?

Read the next verse: For truly I tell you until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of the pen will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.

Pay close attention here:


That means stoning rebellious children by the city gate, abstaining from shrimp, pork and bacon, and don’t mix your clothing (combining linen, wool and cotton is an abomination). Don’t cherry pick your favorite commandment. If the Law of Moses is for us today then you are responsible for every jot and tittle. No excuses!


Jesus’ listeners must’ve understood that He intended to fulfill “everything”. The Greek term translated “fulfill” is found in Matthew and in Luke, and it means to bring to a designated end. Jesus came to bring the Law to its end. The Law had been on a timer all along, until Christ’s finished work was fulfilled.


Once a debt is paid, it is brought to its end, the debt obligation is fulfilled. Jesus was the Seed that God promised Abraham, and once the Seed had come, the Law was fulfilled! God had no further obligation to bring salvation to the world; the promise that God had given to Abraham was now fulfilled in Jesus.

So what changed on August 4, 70 A.D.? That day the sacrifices in the Temple ceased. The consequences were enormous for the followers of Moses; no more forgiveness of sins, no more personal access to God.

Do you ever need forgiveness from sin? If you think that the Law is still for today, you better make an animal sacrifice. That could be problematic, especially if you live in an apartment, or in a city where animal slaughter is not allowed in the back yard. Better luck if you live on a farm. But you still have a problem, because in order for your sacrifice to be valid it must be slaughtered by an approved Levite. There are not too many of those around. So you are stuck with your sins. But you say, “Peter, I just call on God in the name of Jesus and my sins are forgiven.” Not so fast. That is not allowed in the Old Covenant. That is only in the New Covenant because of the finished work of Jesus. If you believe that the Law is for us today, you had better follow the prescriptions in the books of Moses, or you are doomed.

Here’s the big deal?

In contemporary Christianity, there is a tendency to blend the two covenants, which has allowed strange and weird practices to enter the Christian faith. Let me mention just a few.

Have you ever heard someone announce that God is about to judge our country because of its sins? That thinking is not from Jesus, who said that He has not come to condemn the world, but to save. The idea of judging nations is rooted in the Jewish Scriptures, not in the New Covenant, which proclaim that Jesus put away the sins of the world.

Another strange practice is to call certain buildings, places or days “holy”. That’s also from the obsolete covenant. In the New Covenant, believers are called holy.

A third strange idea is that too much of the grace of God encourages people to sin. That’s obsolete! The New Covenant teaches; sin shall not have dominion, because we are not under the law but under grace, (Romans 6:14).

Some may ask, “what about the 10 Commandments, are they not the foundation of Western society, what about their value?” Yes, the Commandments are, as the apostle Paul stated, holy, perfect and just. Yet, there is something wrong also with the 10 Commandments – they cannot make us holy, perfect or just.

Just like a mirror only shows the dirt on our face, and is incapable of cleansing, so the 10 Commandments are powerless to remove sin. While they cause an awareness of sin, they also, according to the apostle Paul, arouse us in desire to sin. Only the gospel of Jesus Christ gives the power to overcome sin, death and darkness. That’s the hope of our society! If we are interested in the power of sin being broken the answer is not to have the 10 Commandments in public places, but to make Jesus known. Instead of posting the 10 Commandments which arouse sin put John 3L16 on display, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life”.

Mixing the old and the new covenant hurts us, and it hurts our cause. One reason why early Christianity was so attractive, that the Roman Empire turned from paganism to Christ, was the early believers understood that the Law was obsolete – Jesus Christ was not the Redeemer for all. Jesus had torn down the enmity (the Law) between Jew and Gentile. Everyone was now on equal footing.

Unfortunately, after centuries of muddying the waters, many no longer find the Gospel attractive. Have we poisoned our message? To mix the life-giving New Covenant with the Law that kills (2nd Corinthians 3), is like putting poison in a healthy salad. If my words trouble you, please read 2nd Corinthians chapter 3; you may find the words of the apostle Paul even more upsetting.

Bottom line, the gospel is an attractive message, but we must get to know our message better, and then we will discover that the world is more ready to receive than we ever imagined.



BEFORE CHRIST: New Covenant foretold.

YEAR O: Angel announced the birth of Christ and the New Covenant.

33 A.D.: On the cross Jesus proclaimed: It is finished.

64 A.D.: The author of Hebrews states that the Old Covenant will soon disappear.

AUGUST 4, 70 A.D.: Temple destroyed. No more sacrifices. The Law of Moses draws its last breath.

TODAY: Salvation is available to all by Christ’s New Covenant.


With God in the age of disruption

With God in the age of disruption

With God in the age of disruption

Why this could be our finest hour if we seize the opportunity before us.

By Peter Youngren

CHANGE is constant, but to say that we are living in changing times is an understatement – this is the Age of Disruption. Ideas, traditions and systems, as we have known them, are dissolving. We are surrounded by smart phones and sensors; we shop online while retailers we have known all of our lives close shop. We talk about driverless cars and though none of us have ever owned one, we probably will someday. Values that have seemed unshakable for generations are questioned and many are changing rapidly.

If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?

Happy, clappy statements about an impending great revival will not do – we need the gospel.

Communication disruption.

During an average minute, just one minute, almost 1 million people log into Facebook, there are close to half a million tweets, 156 million emails and 15 million text messages. For the last decade, these numbers have been doubling on the average every two years.

Work disruption.

When machines do the work that humans previously did the obvious question is: what are humans to do? Truck drivers, factory workers and office clerks wonder if their jobs will be there in 10 years.

Artificial Intelligence [AI] is disrupting.

This is what enables computers and machines to do what humans used to do. As I prepare this article, there is news that China has announced its plan to lead the world in artificial intelligence in 10 years. Computers can see [facial recognition software], read [that’s how your social media messages are analyzed], and speak [the phone, car or Amazon’s Alexa talking to you]. Speaking of Alexa, one of the most popular gifts this past Christmas, this gadget demonstrates that AI also listens. If you say, “Alexa, wake up”, there is a response, which means you didn’t really wake up your gadget. It was awake the whole time, or how else could it have heard your command. AI will change healthcare. Why wait in a doctor’s office when you can have a smartphone tell your blood pressure and sugar levels. 3D printers, virtual personal assistants, hologram technology, implanted microchips, robotic medical assistants, what’s next? Robots leading worship? I hope not.

When machines do the work of humans, what are humans to do?

Migration disruption.

The world is on the move. During certain periods of history, humanity has migrated. One example is the second half of the 19th century when millions migrated from northern Europe to America to escape poverty and injustice. Migrants have always looked for a better life. History shows that when people become wealthy they have fewer children, while poorer societies have higher birth rates. Eventually the demographics catch up as people living in densely populated areas move to areas of more space and opportunity. Who can blame people for wanting a better life? Imagine yourself a 25-year-old believer, unemployed and living in West Africa. When you read 3rd John verse 2: God wants you to prosper and be in health as your soul prospers, it’s not hard to see how you might come to the conclusion that your success will come by boarding a ship to Europe or North America. Here is the fact: Africa is on the move towards Europe and Central America towards the United States and there is not much anyone can do about it. So, where is the Gospel, what is our response to migration?

Political disruption.

For 70 years, since World War II, Western civilization has mostly followed the idea of globalism. Whatever brings countries together, militarily or in trade, has been considered desirable; the more cooperation the better. While globalization has lifted hundreds of millions out of poverty, it has also brought about huge and unparalleled income inequalities. Today, populist political parties that emphasize national identities have arisen to challenge globalism. Already we have seen dramatic changes in countries like Poland, Hungary, Brazil, Bolivia, the Philippines and the United States.

Nature is in disruption.

Last fall in Indonesia, a country that I know well, where we’ve conducted 28 Gospel Campaigns, more than 7000 died on the island of Sulawesi, while there were more than 1000 fatalities in West Java, as a result of earthquakes and tsunamis. Wildfires in Europe and America and more than half of Puerto Rico’s population without electricity for 11 months remind us that life is fragile.

Values are disrupted.

This is big! Political correctness threatens freedom of speech? It was just announced that two Canadian universities, in response to the attacks of freedom of speech, have initiated new policies to ensure this human right. Freedom of speech was always for the purpose of guaranteeing the rights of the person with whom you disagree, but in some quarters a political correctness that calls opposing ideas hate speech has taken over. In Canada, organizations that do not agree with the government’s policies on gender theory are barred from seeking federal grants. Speaking of gender theory, who thought that we would question the basic idea of male and female? Today, there is debate whether or not to include a third gender [or fourth or fifth] definition in the Constitution. Canadian Christian activist, Laura Lynn Thompson, has caused quite a stir, especially in British Columbia, and she recently addressed one of the Sunday services at the Toronto Celebration Church. Her activism is concerning the educational system that encourages little boys to explore whether they are actually girls, and vice versa. Who saw this coming 20 years ago? The reality is that many are afraid to even talk about the value disruption we are living through, for fear of being called a fascist or a bigot. Not surprisingly, Laura Lynn’s activism has cost her a great deal, even among her evangelical friends.
Globalism has dominated the last 70 years.

The church is in disruption.

The church’s credibility is in question. This is not new, there have always been doubters and speakers. There are two issues that are having a profound effect on the general public’s view of the church. One is the pedophilia scandal within the Roman Catholic Church, and second; the merging of evangelical Christianity with politics particularly in United States. The psalmist queried, if the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do? To put it in current terminology: what should be our response in the age of disruption?

Face reality.

The proverbial ostrich needs to pull its head out of the sand. Times of great struggle are times of great opportunities, but not without facing reality. Happy, clappy statements about an impending great revival will not do. Creative speculations about blood moons and the end times are not helpful. Calls to prayer that do not result in action will disappoint. It’s time to assess our message [is it really the gospel?] and our prayers [are we waiting for God to move, or should we move with what God has already given to us?].

Recognize that Cultural Christianity is insufficient.

In our attempt to present our faith in the marketplace we have become skilled at using coded language, rather than “bearing Jesus’ name” before people. We try to win people by talking about Christian values, about our church, about our pastor, about our program rather than about Jesus Christ. To speak up for Christian morality is not the same as presenting the gospel. Good morals do not come from upholding good morals; good morals are the results of the gospel changing hearts. The gospel is not behavior modification; it’s heart transformation. And once the heart is changed, things will change also on the outside.

Rediscover the gospel.

The gospel is not a morality, self-help message, pull yourself up by the bootstraps and try harder. It is the story of the unlimited God who came into limited human flesh, to enlighten our darkened minds about who we are and who God is, to redeem us, to defeat death and hell and sin, and to win an everlasting victory for everyone, And then Christ lives and expresses Himself through us by the Holy Spirit. WOW, that’s good news!

You, with Christ, are the solution.

We are not consumers of ministry, worship and sermons; Jesus said we are the light of the world. We are not waiting for God to move; he already moved 2000 years ago by sending Jesus Christ. Too much pining, begging for God to bless, anoint and empower us! It’s time to see that you have something. You have the bread of life and you’ll never be hungry again. You have the fountain of living water and you’ll never thirst again. We are not longing and yearning for something out of our reach. The Scripture is clear; we have all [not just a few of us] received Christ fullness. Like Simon Peter we say, what we have we give you!

A strategy for migrants.

Migration is here to stay. Governments, churches and charitable organizations provide language courses, food, social assistance and more. However, without believers having a revelation of the gospel of Jesus Christ and a strategy to share it with others, Hindu, Muslim and Buddhist friends that are coming into our country will largely remin unreached. [One small but powerful way to share the gospel with people, including migrants, in your community, could be by distributing the pamphlet, Enlightenment – The Global Quest for God.]

Rediscover prayer.

The purpose of prayer was never to change God, who is unchangeably committed to love the world, but to change us. If you missed my article, Rediscover The Power of Prayer in the Winter 2019 Impact Magazine, check it out at peteryoungren.org.

Offer abundant life.

Christ offers first and foremost eternal life, but this new life involves everything, including finances. There are charlatans who preach a prosperity gospel for selfish gain, but don’t let them have monopoly on the subject. There is a healthy longing for prosperity and a good life that God put in the human heart. Teaching that God is our source for life, including wisdom for finances, is not a fad, it is reality. The wave of migration is driven by hunger for a better life. That better life, including a better financial life, is found in the wisdom of the indwelling Christ.
Moses encountered God in an age of disruption for the nation of Israel.

Take courage from the story of Moses.

Moses lived in an age of disruption. Israel had been a favored nation just a generation earlier, but by the time Moses was born there was political upheaval, and Israel had become slaves.

Moses tried to handle the problems of his time in this own strength. His well-intentioned attempt to deliver Israel only made him a laughingstock. That’s not untypical. The Bible is full of examples of people who tried in their own strength but failed.

Moses encountered God. The angel of the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire within a bush, Exodus 3:2. I suggest that Moses, an ordinary man, saw himself in that very ordinary desert bush. But he also saw God in the bush. A bush, by its nature, cannot contain fire, because fire consumes it. That’s what God does with ordinary people; he transforms them. To encounter God is much more than a feeling. Sometimes people talk about experiencing God’s presence, but it doesn’t seem to bring a lasting change. It’s just an emotion, a good feeling during a worship service. The God encounter I’m talking about is transformational; you are forever changed.

Moses made new choices. He refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, and chose instead to be mistreated along with the people of God. Life is a trade-off. When you refuse one thing you get to say “yes” to another.

The scripture explains the change in Moses’ behavior. It happened because he saw Him, who is invisible, and therefore he didn’t fear the king’s anger. There is fear of being rejected, fear of failure, fear of losing friends or having no money. Fear results in negative choices. Love conquers fear, and causes faith to flourish. Faith causes us to see ourselves as we really are in Christ. An encounter with God results in new choices.

When everything is shaken, Christ is not, His ultimate victory is certain. That motivates me to keep going in the age of disruption, because this is our finest hour, if we seize the opportunity for the Gospel.

Too much pining, begging for God to bless, anoint and empower us!

The kind of God encounter I’m talking about is transformational; you are forever changed.

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