What can the evangelical Christian say to the Now generation today?
Specifically, what word from God does the National Association of Evangelicals have for the spiritual chaos of our time: to a Reformation culture turned into a drug culture; to the moral anarchy of a permissive society; to people who have become super-conscious of the problems of racism, poverty and personality; to youth for whom feeling is wisdom; to emerging revival movements struggling to be born?
Today, as it was yesterday and as it will be tomorrow, one word sounds above all others: Jesus Christ is Lord of all! He is the creator, the redeemer, and the upholder of the universe in whom all things consist and in whom men live and have their being. We assert that the Jesus we know is the same Jesus found in the Holy Scriptures, the trustworthy Word of God written that reveals to us Jesus the Word of God Incarnate.
This Jesus is the Lord of life and the Lord of history. Transcendent in that He stands above and beyond history but immanent in it, He is the divine mover in history who is bringing all things to the final consummation.
This Jesus brings substance, integrity, integration and significance to human life; and man who is rooted and grounded in Him must realize anew that there is and can be no real humanity and no true life apart from Him.
Jesus is the Christ of judgment as well as the Lord of life. And we see in the events of these days that men and nations who have sowed the wind are now reaping the whirlwind. But the end is not yet and the door of mercy is not closed. God is still at work in Jesus Christ and is gathering from among all nations a people for His name.
Jesus the Lord is calling His people to full surrender, non-conformity, radical self-denial, and that servanthood which identifies with the brokenness of the world. While we gladly embrace this call, we confess that sometimes we have failed to carry out the responsibilities that have been ours. We have not been fully aware of where God has been at work both inside or outside the regular structures of our churches. We do not wish to be so caught up in the traditional ecclesiastical program that we remain insensitive and unresponsive to any genuine new thing God may be doing around us.
We remind ourselves that we live between the time of Christ’s first and second advent and in this interval are called to be responsible citizens of two kingdoms: God’s kingdom and Caesar’s kingdom. In an age of growing national ism we insist that God’s kingdom takes precedence over Caesar’s kingdom, that no human government or kingdom is wholly Christian, and that evangelicals must give priority of allegiance to God’s kingdom and judge the actions of all nations in the light of the Christian revelation.
At a time when men are receptive and searching, and when secular solutions to men’s basic problems are once again proving to be inadequate, we seek to enter more determinedly into fulfilling the greatest task committed to the Church of Jesus Christ, to take the Gospel of salvation to all men everywhere. We must regroup our forces, increase our stewardship, and pray for a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit’s cleansing and power as we seek to penetrate the world about us. We have been sent not only to witness to and preach the good news of redemption but also to serve. as agents of reconciliation of man with man. We must speak Biblically and vigorously to the issues that call for action. We must lead, not simply react to the pressing need for true justice for all men in all areas of life.
We do not anticipate the creation of a perfect society before the return of Jesus Christ nor do we profess to have the perfect solution to every social problem. We do however emphasize that Jesus who is the Christ of faith is the answer to every human need and also the Christ of the consummation. We wait with expectancy for his appearance. And as we wait we must work for we have been called and commissioned to servanthood. As servant churches and servant people we place ourselves and all that we have at the disposal of Jesus the Lord, and we pray: Even so come quickly, Lord Jesus.