LEXINGTON –Describing Christians as “exiles” in today’s culture, Jason Pettus, pastor of Living Hope Baptist Church in Bowling Green, reminded Kentucky Baptists on Tuesday that “God has not given us the option to give up.”
Addressing messengers and guests to the 175th Annual Meeting of the Kentucky Baptist Convention gathered at Immanuel Baptist Church in Lexington, Pettus referenced the prophet Jeremiah’s instructions to the children of Israel who had been taken from Jerusalem and held in captivity in Babylon.
The prophet said God wanted the exiles to “settle down” and live among the Babylonians to contribute to the society of their temporary home, “because if it prospers, you too will prosper.”
Similar to the Jews in Babylon, committed Christians today must also thrive in a culture that often contradicts foundational teachings, Pettus said.
“We need to deal with the fact that we’re living in a post-Christian culture.”
Pettus referenced a recent study by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life that found that, for the first time in U.S. history, the majority of the population is not Protestant.
“We’re going to have to change the way we fulfill God’s calling in our lives,” he said.
Taking care to speak God’s truth in a loving way, getting involved in the local community and developing the attitude of a peacemaker are ways to convey the hope of the gospel in today’s world.
Pettus said Kentucky Baptists should not be discouraged if their evangelistic efforts seem to fall flat.
He said on a recent trip he shared the gospel with a fellow traveler who listened respectfully but did not accept the message. However, the man told Pettus, “It gives me hope that you have hope.”
“Now is not the time to think we’re never going to see victory,” Pettus said. “The Great Commission still stands. God is still going to have His church.”
by Dannah Prather, KBC Communications