Church leaders, followers must uphold Jesus for greater revival --Cassidy
GREATER Christian revival worldwide now depends on upcoming and experienced theologians faithfully upholding Jesus Christ and following the Lord’s advice that his followers pursue the truth, love, holiness and unity, world renowned evangelist Michael Cassidy has declared.
Dr. Cassidy --who founded African Enterprise (AE), a key Christian international and inter-denominational evangelism organisation 50 years ago-- was speaking at a lecture that launched his latest book, The Church Jesus Prayed For, at the Evangelical Theological Faculty (ETF), a prominent evangelical college, in Brussels, Belgium, on October 30.
The audience, which mainly comprised students and church leaders from the Benelux area and Germany, was clearly inspired by the lecture. This was more so because Dr. Cassidy characteristically used humour and poignant anecdotes as he delved into his wide ministry experience, to prove that anyone’s obedience and a closer walk with God can turn small beginnings into overwhelming results.
Dr. Cassidy pointed out that when God gave him the vision to evangelise Africa through AE five decades ago, the journey seemed daunting for him, then a 21-year-old budding evangelist. But he praised God for faithfully guiding him and giving him courage, strength and the people and resources with which to implement the vision.
He stated that many of his AE experiences have been reflected in the new book, including reasons why people are reluctant to work together, the need to understand spiritual warfare and how it is imperative, for those a house of God, to base their lives on the four key ingredients of truth, love, holiness and unity. He also pointed out that the book spells out ten indicators marking the ideal church that Jesus prayed for .
The Church Jesus Prayed For gives an in-depth explanation of the Bible story, in John Chapter 17, by shedding light on some on the last discourses of Jesus in chapters 14, 15 and 16, which are paramount to understanding Jesus’ prayer request to God the father.
The book also challenges people to review their worldview statements, which vary from one individual to another, as the viewpoints emerge from the various people’s interpretations of reality. In the book, however, Dr. Cassidy urges Christians to grasp the Bible’s worldview, which includes the existence of heaven and earth.
“The followers of Christ are on a stage, here on earth and in front of the whole universe, to testify of the love of God. At times (however), we don’t know what happens in the upstairs play, so we are blurred and don’t understand our lives,” Dr. Cassidy stated in his lecture.
A lively question-and-answer session, ably steered by Dr. Vinoth Ramachandra, of IFES Asia, followed. This session further bonded the speaker with his attentive audience.
Michael Gowan, Church Leader at Vineyard Brussels and a Staff member of the European Union Commission, said: “The lecture was helpful and encouraging, especially when Michael shared his testimony on his 50 footprints in the sand and how the Lord answered his prayer..., as AE celebrated 50 years of ministry last August. That was a thrill to me! The big challenge about the Church Jesus prayed for is to find the balance between truth, holiness, love and unity, as the equilibrium is dynamic and never static --as being on a see-saw.“
Jodie Theut, an American missionary, said: “Dr. Cassidy’s lecture has inspired me to read John 17 again.”
Ruben Jongejan, a theology student at ETF, said: “The lecture was very interesting. It has helped me to understand how we, Christians, can reach out to other churches inspite of our differences.”
Mathys Heerikhuisen, another student, enthused: “ I enjoyed the lecture very much! The practical stories on how people came to faith bring life to our theology.”
Sue Bird, a British expatriate, said: “It has inspired me to be in service for God for the long-term.”