The Briefing on Hillsong 2012

A brilliant article from The Briefing reflecting on Hillsong Conference 2012.

There’s a reason the Scriptures place such a high burden on teachers of God’s word—from Ezekiel’s call to be a watchman (a burden taken up by the apostle Paul) to the instructions in the Pastoral Epistles to find men of sound character, godly convictions, and ability to teach the word of God faithfully and well. One reason such a burden is placed on the teachers of God’s word is to ensure that the people of God are actually taught God’s word. That seems like a self-evident statement until you see how they aren’t fed. No-one who came to that conference heard of the need for forgiveness (by God, that is, for our sins). No-one heard about what Jesus accomplished. There was no mention of salvation from God’s wrath through the atoning work of the cross, or of how God’s Spirit works in us to make us more and more like our Lord Jesus, or of how we look forward to and long for the day of his return.

 

There may have been 20,000 people in the room, gathered as one church under Christ, but the church was too small. It was too small because the gospel being proclaimed was too small: it was just about you and me, and how God makes our lives better. We weren’t really being gathered together under Christ, we were gathered together as a large collection of individuals. Not only was the form of preaching individual—the preacher sharing what God had revealed to him or her personally—but the content was individual too: God’s revelation to the preacher is about a promise to make your life better. How unlike the way that Paul talks about what God has done in and for us! God chose us before the foundation of the world:

In [Christ] we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. (Eph 1:7-10)

God’s work in gathering us together to be his church is a story that is so much grander than my personal circumstances. But my personal circumstances, my life and what God has done and is doing in it: that is the size of Hillsong church. I simply don’t think that my life is big enough to be good news.

Read the whole article

I was at the last night of that conference and completely agree with Sam’s reflections of Steven Furtick’s talk. I remember feeling stunned that he could preach on John the Baptist from Matthew 11 and neglect the whole point, when it’s stated so clearly. 

 “I assure you: Among those born of women no one greater than John the Baptist has appeared, but the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been suffering violence, and the violent have been seizing it by force. For all the prophets and the Law prophesied until John; if you’re willing to accept it, he is the Elijah who is to come. Anyone who has ears should listen!”

Matthew 11:11-15

 

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Counting down…

There’s a few things I’m counting down till at the moment.

25 days – till BON JOVI!!! can’t wait! Last time I saw them I was 15. This time it’s a 30th birthday present from my sisters. Me, 2 of my sisters, their husbands, my oldest nephew (he’s 12 – gonna LOVE it!), Jon, Richie, David and my favourite drummer in the world – Tico. There may be some other people there. For the next 25 days I’m dedicating all of my facebook status updates to lyrics from my fav Bon Jovi songs. Here’s some classic Bon Jovi for you to enjoy! (I wouldn’t mind if he sang this at the concert but I’m glad that those pants won’t be making an appearance)

35 days – till I hit 30. I’m counting this down by planning a party and trying hard to NOT freak out about being 30 and single.

1 year (ish) – till I finish college for good. Much excitement. Very much looking forward to 4th year. And even more looking forward to what comes after that. Of course I wish I knew what that was ;-)

These are exciting things to be counting down till. Knowing that they are coming affects things I do now – I’m getting ready and preparing for exciting days.

I was reminded last night of something much bigger and more exciting that I should be counting down till.

This will take place at the revelation of the Lord Jesus from heaven with his powerful angels …  (2 Thessalonians 1:7)

It will be exciting but there is a harsh truth that comes with it

… taking vengeance with flaming fire on those who don’t know God and on those who don’t obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. These will pay the penalty of everlasting destruction, away from the Lord’s presence and from his glorious strength, in that day when he comes to be glorified by his saints and to be admired by those who have believed. (2 Thessalonians 1:9-10)

We don’t know when the day we are counting down to will happen. But we know it will. So I pray that while we wait we will be getting ready for it and counting down by telling as many people as we can.

Want to know how to be on the good side? Find out here.