Starting in November, our church will be doing a Hot Topics series. We will be covering the topics of Marijuana and Other Drugs, LGBTQ Questions, Science and Faith, and Suicide and Euthanasia. We let people vote on almost 30 hot topics, and these are the four that received the most votes. Every time we do this series, there are people who shake their heads in disbelief, saying, “I can’t believe you do those topics. That is brave.” So…why do we talk about Hot Topics? Let me give you three reasons, and then ask you for prayer.
We are unashamed of God’s word.
The first reason we can talk about hot topics, or any topic, is because we have the confidence that comes from God’s word. Every culture goes through waves of what is controversial, yet God’s word never changes. Here’s the thing: we can’t let the controversy of our culture determine the proclamation of the Good News. We can’t allow others feeling offended to silence the gospel. We should be wise and gentle in how we share, but we must never be ashamed of the Word of God that transforms every human life. This is reason one for why we do the Hot Topics series.
God’s truth sets people free.
Reason two is that people have the capacity to hear the truth, recognize it, and respond to it. Even when someone has been surrounded by lies, they hold on to the ability to comprehend the truth. Once they accept God’s truth, it sets them free. God’s truth and love unravel the lies that have latched onto our souls. Part of the reason these topics are controversial is because some seed of a lie has been believed. This sermon series pushes people to think. We root our lives in God’s Word and live with integrity. We think deeply, ask good questions, and devotedly follow Jesus. We pursue God’s righteousness in our lives and God’s justice in the world.
People come to Jesus.
The third main reason we continue to preach on Hot Topics is that when we preach this sermon series, a whole bunch of new people come to church, give their lives to Jesus, and live into the roots of faith. Some people come because they are interested. Others are amazed that we have the courage to preach on these topics. Ironically, in this sermon series, there are always a few people who leave our church because they don’t like what we have preached on. This is why it is my hope to not share my opinions but God’s word. Everyone is welcome, and every gets to read the same unchanging truth of God in the Bible. This is hard for everyone, which is why we have community. This month draws people in, forces people to ask life-transforming questions, and brings struggles for others (who may end up leaving). These reactions are signs that the word of God is reaching into people’s lives. It emphasizes that we need a lot of prayer.
Pray for us!
We need prayer. Prayer is the plow for God’s work, and we plant behind the plow. We pray first. As we proclaim the word of God unashamedly, we need prayer. As we speak the truth that may offend yet sets people free, we need prayer. As new people come to Jesus, we need prayer for them to dig deep roots. Please pray for Covenant Grove as we follow Jesus on this adventure. Hot Topics will be covered in November. Pray for us every day!