How does one do Gospel ministry in a culture that is undergoing a serious moral crisis? In the opening session of the 2014 Basics Conference, Alistair Begg answers this question with a surprising reply: preach through Ecclesiastes! With a message as equally relevant and timely today as it was then, Ecclesiastes demands a fresh look.
Series: Basics 2014
Our “context” is the time and place in which we live – our society and the values of the people around us. The Apostle Paul wrote his final letter to Timothy with a goal of ensuring that future generations, no matter what their context, would hear the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ preached rightly. In this message, Alistair Begg addresses the importance of conserving the content of the Gospel message, because its eternal truths are needed by people in every culture, in every generation.
It's easy for local congregations to become comfortable and allow our outreach to neighbors and friends to wane. But the pattern of our Lord is a passionate commitment to spread the good news of the kingdom of God. In this message from Matthew 9:36-38, Alistair Begg explains that taking our responsibility to share the gospel seriously means making Jesus' priorities our own by seeing those around us clearly, caring deeply, thinking properly, and praying fervently.
One of the most memorable and inspiring scenes in the Bible is the "great multitude that no one could number" in Revelation 7. Looking more deeply at this passage, Alistair Begg explains the relationship between these worshippers gathered before God's throne and the Church's mission to take the Gospel to the whole world.
In Part Two of this three-part message, we delve into additional factors that motivate the believer to witness to others. While the primary motivation is to bring glory to God, we are also commanded by Christ to witness, and our love for Him should compel us to seek the spiritually lost. Because Christ has reconciled us to God, we are now given the supreme privilege of taking this ministry of reconciliation to others.
In Part Three of this three-part message, Alistair Begg gives his closing thoughts on the remaining two motivational factors for witnessing; namely, the utmost certainty of the return of Christ, and Final Judgment. Additionally, the five main points of the message believers are to proclaim are outlined. For witnessing to be effective, there must be knowledge as well as conviction of the truth of the exclusive claims of Jesus Christ, and a passion to give our best to reach the lost for God's glory.
Speaking to pastors, Mark Dever outlined the characteristics that distinguish a healthy church from an unhealthy church. He detailed what he has termed “the 9 Marks” of differentiation: expositional preaching, the Gospel, biblical theology, a biblical understanding of conversion, evangelism, church membership, discipline, concern for promoting discipleship and growth, and a biblical understanding of church leadership.