In the church, we care for souls. But what is it that we are doing in that work? It is our conviction that we are helping one another die well–with dignity and hope. That may sound like a strange thing to say, but we are convinced it’s biblical. In this life, we are weak and frail. We experience suffering and pain. Yet, Christ is our hope. And he has secured for us a life that is beyond this one.
Semper Reformanda: The guys discuss a theology of the cross versus a theology of glory. And, we consider the point of our sanctification.
Episode: Take Up Your Cross
Giveaway: “Recovering Eden” by Zack Eswine
FREE EBOOK: Theocast.org/primer
Justin Perdue: Hi, this is Justin. Today on Theocast, we’re going to be talking about what we are trying to do in the church when we care for people’s souls. A lot of things are said about these things, but it’s our position here that really what we’re effectively doing is helping people die well—helping people die with dignity and with hope, and that hope being in the Lord Jesus Christ. A lot of the things that are said about sanctification, even growth in the Christian life, give us the wrong idea. So we want to try to define some terms and define things appropriately today, as well as think well about our weakness and our frailty in this life, and the hope that Christ has given us in the life that is to come ,and to think well together about the faithfulness of God in the midst of our suffering and pain. We hope that this conversation is encouraging for you.
And then over in the SR podcast today, we’re going to get into some theology of the cross and theology of glory conversations. We hope that you enjoy that conversation as well.
We’re going to be effectively talking today about the care of souls and what it is that we’re doing in caring for souls in the church. The title of the episode is Dying With Dignity, which really is borrowed from something that John said on a podcast a few months ago about what we’re doing in the church as we watch over and care for people, which is this: we are helping people die with dignity and hope, and effectively we’re helping people die well, trusting in the Lord Jesus, knowing that deliverance has been accepted for them and that our final deliverance is coming because of Christ. And so this is a conversation in some ways about suffering, in some ways about sanctification, and trying to talk about it in a way that’s honest that squares with our experience. Because a lot of times, at least this is my take and I know you agree, that the way that growth and sanctification and even healing—to use some of that therapeutic language—is talked about. I think it gives us the wrong idea of what it’s going to be like.
This conversation today is, we hope, a kind of a reset. And I personally think it’s encouraging. We do not mean in saying this, in anything we’re about to say, we do not mean to sound fatalistic as though life is gonna be terrible and Jesus is going to come back. That’s not what we’re saying. We’re trying to biblically take a balanced posture on what it is the Lord is doing in our lives and what we can expect this life to look like between now and when we die, or between now and when Christ returns.
Jon Moffitt: That’s right. When we use the word dignity, one of the things that came to mind when I first started to give this theology to our church—I was trying to describe to our church. What are we doing every week? What are we trying to accomplish? I always want to be careful not to tear the churches down, but a lot of what I was seeing presented by other churches has given such a bad taste in my mouth, because if that’s the end goal—which is big buildings, big programs, big livestream…
Justin Perdue: Everything bigger and better and higher.
Jon Moffitt: This is pro