Speaker: Matt Chandler
Text: Revelation 21 & 22
Title: The Fulfillment of the Gospel
I will say that I find Matt Chandler to be (on the outside at least) an extremely Godly, humble and passionate man for the gospel of the Lord Jesus. He oozes class. I think his appointment to Acts29 is a shrewd move and I wish him all the best in his recovery from health problems and his future in the movement.
I have to be honest and say this was the speaker I was looking forward to the most and yet, sadly, enjoyed the least. I have only ever heard him speak once before (in Chicago) where he spoke with passion (and extremely movingly) on the book of Ecclesiastes. From what I’ve heard online he’s never jumped out as an example of systematic, expository preaching and, in that sense, he didn’t disappoint (let me be clear that he is an extremely gifted communicator!). Sadly, he just didn’t deliver and that was a feeling pretty much unanimously shared by all those around me (and much of the feedback given afterward). Nevertheless, I will try to pick out a few gems.
Matt was clear that as believers we get front row seats to the “greatest gospel show on earth”. More than that, we are “spiritual first responders” to a world gone awry. We must have our hope anchored in the right place if we are to survive this as men of God battling in the ministry.
The first fruits of our hope are here and now. Jesus has paid the price when he came to rescue us and Matt reminded us (with a quote from Goldsworthy) that:
“Hope without a time of fulfillment is a delusion.”
We must accept the fact that we will look delusional to unbelievers in this world. He pointed out to us that Revelation 21 is actually a picture of a renewed earth (Is. 35v1; Am. 9v13). Perhaps his greatest single quote was,
“There will be a day when we are no longer looking forward to the day.”
In other words, our view of the future should drive us on to faithfulness in the present. Keep going and let’s be all in for Jesus.
It doesn’t take much to convince scheme workers that we are the “spiritual paramedics” (to contextualise) of our day. We live and work in areas where life is just an absolute mess on so many chaotic fronts. Because of that, we must keep our eyes focused in the right place. It is easy to get swamped and downhearted by the endless stream of troubles, suffering, pain and death that lands on our doorstep. That’s why we must be grounded in the gospel. We may not see massive fruit in our ministry on the ground (or we may) but, regardless, our hope is set on a day to come and our aim is to present the good news until that final day is ushered in. Any time spent serving Jesus is never wasted time however it appears to us (and others) on the ground. We press on.