Dear Friends of Holiness,
Writing in this week’s Wall Street Journal, Matt Salisbury noted:
“Two centuries before social media, America’s Founding Fathers understood the importance of effective messaging. A week after the Constitution was drafted, the Pennsylvania Legislature ordered 3,000 copies printed in English and another 1,500 in German, spoken by about a third of the state’s residents. A group of New Yorkers issued a Dutch version a year later. The purpose was to explain the proposed Constitution, and its newly articulated rights, to German and Dutch speakers in a context they could understand.
Today, two thirds of adults get their news from social media, and much of the political debate takes place online.” Salisbury lamented that those of his political party were lousy at connecting with this generation. He proved his points with scathing accuracy.
All of that has us wondering about our own messaging of our Lord’s plain teaching, “except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish,” (Luke 13:3), “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life,” (John 3:16), “I am the way, the truth, and the life, no man comes to the Father but by me.” (John 14:6).
As Christians our first concern is that the message we are messaging is Scriptural. We stand firmly convinced by reason and experience that the Word of God is wholly inspired, inerrant, and infallible.
In these uncertain times we must message the certainties of God’s Word without shading or concession to the generation. Tragically some of the modern so-called translations of the Bible have yielded to the demands of the market. They have sacrificed fidelity for financial gain. But let God be true and every man a liar. (Romans 3:4)
The Holy Word of God speaks of the necessity of a Holy Heart—so must we! …Without holiness no man shall see the Lord. (Hebrews 12:14). Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God. (Matthew 5:7). Blessed and holy is he that has part in the first resurrection. (Revelation 20:6).
The Holy Son of God urged His followers to establish Holy Homes—committed marriages that are between a man and a woman—so must we! Jesus said, “But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” (Mark 10:6-9)
The Holy Spirit of God guides the Sanctified to pursue holiness of heart and life—so must we!“put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.”(Ephesians 4:24) “what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.” (2 Corinthians 16:16-17). “as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.” (Romans 6:19).“Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” (2 Corinthians 7:1)
Not only must our messaging be Bible-based, it must be Spirit-driven.
Objectively, Truth wins every argument with error. But it is the Spirit that warms hearts to embrace Truth. Jesus said, “When he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth.” (John 16:13.) It is the Spirit that transforms “Objective Truth” into “Subjective Reality.”
Spirit-less messaging is impotent. But Spirit-driven messaging empowers witnesses, enlightens seekers, and emancipates sinners.
Over and over in “Acts” we read that the disciples prayed, were filled, and then they spoke the Word of God with boldness. The pattern of that First Church is more than descriptive it is prescriptive. Pentecost can be repeated whenever, wherever, for whoever will follow the example of the First Christians.
Finally our messaging must be striking. Jesus first invited his followers to “Come and see!” He knew that seeing would entice believing, and that believing would inspire seeing.
Our messaging should be joyful.
Our messaging should be optimistic.
Our messaging should be loving.
Our messaging should be welcoming.
Our messaging should be comprehensible.
Our messaging should be compassionate.
Our messaging should be thoughtful.
Our messaging should identify with our audience.
Our messaging should be ubiquitous.
There is nothing holy about messaging a “holier than thou” attitude. There is nothing helpful about messaging a “help yourself if you want to” perspective. There is nothing spiritual about messaging a “pass these requirements and we may act like we love you,” sentiment.
But there is something truly attractive and winsome about striking messaging that is inviting, and loving, and appealing. We please Christ when we prayerfully and thoughtfully use our talents and technology to plead with the lost, “be reconciled to God.” We repel the lost when we are cold, harsh, thoughtless, and are more fearful of displeasing our critics than pleasing our Christ.
We can, and we must rise to the challenge of messaging holiness to this generation. “With God, all things are possible.”
JOIN US AS WE GATHER FOR THE ST. LOUIS HOLINESS CONVENTION, TWO DAYS, THURSDAY AND FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 24-25, 2022.
ALL MEALS WILL BE SERVED FOR A FREE-WILL OFFERING.
WE’RE ANXIOUS TO SEE YOU!
Pastor John Poff
Pastor Rick Jones Cell/Text (314) 607-1424