Thursday, September 6, 2007

THERE IS SOMETHING NEW UNDER THE SUN

One of my favorite preachers is Erwin McManus, pastor of Mosaic in Los Angeles. Several months ago he preached a message that still lingers in my mind. He talked about Ecclesiastes 1:9 where Solomon said, "There is nothing new under the sun." Then he proceeded to say that Solomon was wrong. Whoa! Was Erwin saying the Bible contains errors? Not at all.

I've used Solomon's statement on occasion to say that there is nothing new, just age-old things repackaged. But after chewing on this verse for some time, I agree with Erwin. Solomon was wrong. Remember, Solomon when he penned these words (even though he wrote them under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit) was one messed up human being. His money and his women must have gotten him off track. After all, how much value would you place on someone who says, "Meaningless. Everything is meaningless"? Solomon is writing about his journey to find purpose in life. Just because he spoke/wrote the words does not mean that he was totally accurate in his philosophy. The Bible quotes the Pharisees accusing Jesus of working for Satan. Does that mean Jesus must have been working for Satan since the Bible says it? Ludicrous!

Anyway, going back to Solomon's statement, the most obvious proof that he was wrong is the Incarnation. I'd say on Christmas morning, God did a new thing. It wasn't a repackaging of anything.

Get out a concordance and look up the word new and you will discover that God thrives on new things. He is creative and innovative. He likes to do things in a fresh way.

  • I am about to do a brand new thing (Isa 43:19)
  • If any man is in Christ he is a new creation. The old has passed and the new has come. (2 Cor 5:17)
  • The book of Revelation talks about a new heaven and a new earth.
  • He puts a new song in my mouth (Ps 40:3). The old songs are good, but God likes new songs also.
  • Jesus said, "A new command I give to you...." (John 13:33-34)
  • At the first Lord's Supper, Jesus told His disciples, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood."
  • His compassions are new every morning. (Lam 3:22-23) I love that one!

God is doing a new thing in churches all across America. Ministry always has its challenges, but I can't think of a greater time to be serving the Lord in full-time Christian ministry. There is a new wave of high energy, participatory worship happening all around us. House churches are popping up everywhere. The uses of modern technology to communicate the gospel are endless--MySpace and Facebook, video feeds, satellite churches--the list goes on and on.

Yes, I believe Solomon was wrong. I believe God is still doing new things. He is not a stale God. And because we love and serve a creative God, Christians above all others should be the most innovative people in the world. Let's not put God in a box. And let's not do ministry in a box. Let's keep dreaming of ways that we can reach people for Jesus and help them become fully devoted followers of Christ.

"For our email subscribers, please visit Ken's full blog page at http://www.pastorkenkelly.com to view previous blogs and many other helpful links."