10/31/2022 0 Comments
October 31, 2022
This Week's Teaching | SRQ Meetup | Prayer Requests
Click to watch this week's teaching
"We Must Go Through Many Hardships to Enter the Kingdom of God"
If you believe that statement is false, you have believed something other than the biblical witness. And yet, due to the prevalence of teaching that suffering is never God's will, many are not prepared to endure hardship. As followers of Christ we should expect it. It's part of the gospel message. It's what Jesus taught.
Now, this doesn't mean we shouldn't pray for healing or deliverance when we suffer. There's a time to remind each other that God heals and God delivers. I have benefitted from such reminders. But I also have what I believe is a prophetic burden to "strengthen and encourage the disciples to remain true to the faith," even in hardship.
In this week's teaching I simply read the scriptures that speak to suffering. Follow along in your Bibles as you listen.
I hope it's clear: This isn't to discourage anyone from praying for healing or deliverance. Not at all. But my heart is to encourage and strengthen you so that when you face trials, you won't lose heart. And if you face persecution you won't kick and scream at it, but will instead be able to give a witness to the hope you have.
The Spirit does seem to be saying that hardship is coming. I don't really know what that will look like. I just think that most western Christians are not prepared for it. And I believe that what we're doing with X242 is helping to prepare for it.
I talked with a pastor friend yesterday who pastors in a conventional setting, and he reminded me what he said two years ago when I was discerning God's call to plant this network of microchurches. He believes hardship is coming. And he is glad to know that the network X242 is creating will be able to receive them when the above ground systems are no longer sympathetic to public gatherings.
Make what you will of that. Perhaps God will give the Church a time of peace in the United States. We pray for peace. But this statement is still true: "We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God."
Be strong. Be encouraged. Be ready.
SRQ Meetup: Tuesday, November 15, at 6:30p
Interest in the X242 network is growing. Some inquiries are from people who are already meeting. Others are starting to discern their first steps in planting a microchurch. Pray for strength of conviction and determination in those who lead, and are feeling called to lead. This week, specifically pray for those in the following areas:
And if I might ask for prayer the same way Paul did in Colossians 4:2-4, "Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should." This is my heart.
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Roger Shenk is the pastor of X242, a network of microchurches.