Saturday, November 1, 2014

A Lost Testimony?

The following is a response to the teaching on "The Power of Testimony" that was shared at Crossroads on October 15. 


By Jim Jordal (Shafer, MN)

Among the many aspects of giving testimony for Jesus is the pervasive habit of witnessing only to what he has done for individuals and small groups. Often lost in the barrage of individual salvation and deliverance claims is the vital, powerful testimony to what Jesus has done for nations and the earth as well as for individuals and churches.

Many scriptures call us to give witness to what Christ has done for us as individual Christians---and this we practice with great sincerity, often to the point of excess. But hundreds of additional scriptures---mostly in the Old Testament---call us to proclaim loudly and continuously what God has done to redeem and deliver from oppression, not only individuals, but the entire earth.

Today we find Christians limiting the awesome message of world-wide deliverance by insistence on individualizing, spiritualizing, and futurizing almost everything in the scriptures. Divine deliverance is for individuals, not nations, they say. It is spiritual in nature, certainly not for the physical here and now; and it will happen in heaven, not here on the earth.

We speak continually of Jesus yet we ignore his clear teachings concerning his earthly mission found in Luke 4. He said he came to “preach the gospel to the poor” (not only the poor in spirit, but the poverty-stricken masses of the earth); he came to “heal the brokenhearted” and to “proclaim liberty to the captives” (again, those broken and enslaved by evil world systems as well as those broken spiritually). He came to provide “recovery of sight to the blind,” and to “set at liberty those who are oppressed,” (those blinded and oppressed by evil in physical reality, not just spiritual suffering.”

So we minimize the true plan of God for creation by limiting the deliverance and salvation purchased by Jesus at Calvary to the spiritual, individual, and future realms of thought. When we testify to what Jesus accomplished at Calvary we offer our testimony as recipients of the greatest act of deliverance and salvation ever experienced upon earth.

The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy, and true prophecy begins and ends with Jesus. Prophecy is much more than predicting the future: It is also explaining the past and present in terms of God’s universal plan, and urging anyone who will listen to accept the sovereignty and grace of God and his Son, Jesus. Real prophecy and true testimony is giving our assent to the plan of God for the earth and its inhabitants, and claiming our full membership within the plan.

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