"A Christian Exists To Impact Society"
The above statement is one of those innocuous sounding half-truths
that can be easily misconstrued so that people are misled. It was
stated by a Bible teacher on a promotional CD made by Colin
Urquhart’s Kingdom Faith Ministry, in 2004, called Impact.
When you take a closer look at why it
was said, it sends a shudder down the spine. There is pride and
self-seeking behind it – well disguised of course – as the deceiver,
Satan, always does!
Now I don’t mean to imply that Colin
Urquhart or Michael Barling who uttered the slogan are
deliberately deceiving people. Good men don’t do that, and even
most false ministers don’t deliberately deceive. They are just
blinded to truth, and get caught up in the drift that has developed,
usually without perceiving why. They go along with ‘the flow’, and
it is human to seek acceptance, recognition, prominence, or
popularity. So, reaching more people is the aim, and that end often
justifies the means.
Slogans get coined to help promote
But we should always question the
veracity of what ministers say, and check their ‘drift’ according to
Bible truth. That is the first step in contending for the faith.
It’s Not His Time
My kingdom is not of this
world... (Jn 18:36).
Jesus didn’t come to establish His
kingdom in this age. That is for the next age, the Millennium. His
kingdom has come, only in the sense that He works invisibly by His
Spirit, fashioning His character in the lives of the few whom He has
chosen and called out of this world’s society, ideologically
speaking. They are still in this world physically, and His Kingdom
still awaits the birth of the next age to be fully realised.
When He comes back in shining
splendour and awesome glory (Rev 19) all people will see Him.
Then His Kingdom will be visibly and fully established on earth,
and all people throughout the world will come to know Him and obey
Him then (Mic 4:1-4).
But NOW, His Kingdom is not of this
world. That has massive implications for gospel preachers! Yet, few
perceive this truth. Many don’t want to perceive it!
The former is forgivable, the latter
Where there is wilful sin, God’s
truth is not able to shine.
Unfortunately, I have heard messages
by Colin Urquhart and preachers co-operating with him, puffing up
their audiences with false notions of ‘populist’ ideals – promoting
mega-churches, seeking many converts, impacting society to
change it radically in this age.
Yet, have they never understood
Jesus’ words? He didn’t come, intending to change society – to
impact it in that way. That isn’t what He intended.
He came to be rejected, despised,
forsaken, and to die (Is 53). His first coming was to live His life
as an example of righteousness for us to follow, and to die to pay
the penalty of sins that none of us could pay. In His footsteps we
are to follow, emulating that humble surrender to the will of God,
not seeking pride or pre- eminence, or popular acclaim.
It is true that the early Church DID
impact society! They turned the world upside down by their preaching
after Jesus’ death and resurrection. But they didn’t set out to do
this. That was not an objective. It was an outcome.
Jesus laid the groundwork for it. The disciples didn’t try to
do that, nor intend it, or plan it. They expected the
Had they planned to impact society in
such a way, they would have been guilty of pride. And, they could
not have done it anyway.
It was not because of them,
but despite them, that Jesus engineered what He did, and
society was impacted. But it wasn’t impacted in the presumptuous way
Colin Urquhart’s ‘team’ envisage. What came eventually was further
rejection, persecution and scattering, not mega-churches! That’s
How Should We Impact Society?
Confrontation or contending is an
inevitable feature of what occurs when the gospel is preached.
Upholding truth, especially Bible truth, God’s truth, makes enemies.
You don’t set out to make enemies but it occurs. It happens when
truth is resisted.
That is one impact upon society. To
most people it’s not a positive impact.
Positive impact is achieved amongst
the few who accept the truth and begin to live by it. But they come
out of society psychologically, and are no longer a part of it. They
are part of the ekklesia, the called out ones – ‘the Church’.
And by their positive example of living with God’s love, ideally
others are brought to Christ, too.
That is the ideal, and it happens in
some instances. However, often Christians are not good examples in
society. They tend to be the weak of the world, not the wise and
accomplished (1 Cor 1:26, 27). And society is not dramatically
impacted by such ‘models’. The overwhelming majority of people in
society carry on the same old way, ignoring the gospel.
Irrespective of the reasons why, God
can only call a few at this time. Up to now He has only planned to
call a few – in comparative terms. While believers are certainly
millions, in relation to the billions on earth they are a minority,
only a ‘little flock’ (Lk 12:32).
But they can impact society.
However, it is not in the way that the promoters of Impact
meant. They imply that society could be radically turned around, and
the current system improved as a result. But God isn’t in the
business of patching up and improving a satanic system that by its
very nature and basis is destined to fall.
No, the impact to society is one of
witness. A witness comes to court to testify. A prosecution witness
testifies against the accused, presenting evidence or testimony that
incriminates him or her. And so it is with a Christian’s witness. He
testifies against society by his life, and to a lesser extent (where
appropriate) by his words.
Society, for the most part, does not
change as a result of his life. His life of righteousness condemns
the wickedness of the wicked. It brings the wicked under God’s
This is the condemnation, that
the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather
than light, because their deeds were evil (Jn 3:19).
Just as Jesus was the greater Light,
so are you to be a lesser light, but one nonetheless that God uses
to bring evildoers under His condemnation. You don’t have to say
anything necessarily to condemn them. Your righteous example serves
as a yardstick against which they can compare their lives.
You accepted Jesus and chose to live
His way, but they didn’t, even though they knew you lived in His
light of truth. That will condemn them in the judgement.
That is the main way you are meant to
What About Revivals?
“What about revivals?” people will
ask. “Like the Welsh Revival, when Evan Roberts impacted society in
a dramatic way, and they could no longer get the pit ponies to move
because their commands were swear words, and the miners were so
transformed that expletives were no longer heard on their lips?”
Agreed, dramatic changes have been
seen in isolated areas where revival has broken out. But these have
been relatively short-lived, and localised. And, most significantly,
they have been sovereign moves of God – generated by Him, not by the
whim or plan of man.
I believe they serve as an example to
us of what CAN be done, when people put aside pride, self-will and
self-interest, and are prepared to completely humble themselves.
They serve as a reminder of what is to come after Jesus returns to
set up His Kingdom on earth, and how wonderful it will be.
“So why can’t we achieve that now?”
For the simple reason that the motive
of trying to achieve it is one that stems from presumption or pride.
Men who lead churches or large ministries have often hankered after
such an achievement. But they have overlooked the most fundamental
and central aspect of WHY revivals come.
In one word it is repentance. But
repentance cannot be engineered or produced by man. Only God can
bring a person to repentance (Rom 2:4; 2 Tim 2:25).
Repentance follows from the moving of
the Spirit on a person’s life, to bring them to a deep conviction of
their sins. They are broken inside, and brought to a graphic
realisation of how awfully they have lived. This happens as they are
presented with truth, and God enlightens them at that point to see
the error of their ways. Their genuine remorse allows the light of
God to shine and transform them within.
But show most church leaders or
ministers their sins and they will show you the door even quicker!
For that reason, revival cannot come via Colin Urquhart’s Kingdom
Faith movement. His presumptuous claim to fame in the name of his
National Revival Centre in the UK has firmly shut the door on that.
He has wanted to be the centre of revival that many have prayed for
in the UK. But that very desire is what will prevent God giving him
such a destructive success – for success in the physical can so
easily bring destruction in the spiritual through pride.
The revival that is coming to this
land – and I was given a prophecy about this coming when I was in
one of his meetings about 11 years ago – is going to bypass those
who seek elevation through it.
Such revival is not coming to impact
society in the way most people humanly want. It’s going to prepare
people for the horrors of the Tribulation that is fast looming over
the horizon. Those dark days which Jesus prophesied (in Matthew 24,
Mark 13, Luke 21 and Revelation 6) are a mere two or three years
A heaven-sent revival, in which
people are humbled by a new awareness of their sins, is not going to
come through the churches, where leaders are not open to the
restoration God is performing. They don’t want to be told they got
it wrong, or that their agenda was not God’s but their own,
part-influenced by Satan!
Most of them will fight it, resist
it, badmouth it – the very heaven-sent truths that are the
foundation of the next age when Jesus rules! Can you believe it?! –
most church leaders and ministry leaders resisting the very
thing that many of them have prayed for, longed for, preached about,
and thought they would help to usher in?!
Yet, that is the way God has always
worked – the unexpected way. It humbles. And that’s His greatest
purpose in all His work. Without it there can be no foundation for
righteousness in your life.
Humbling, and acceptance of truth as
a result of that humbling, is the foundation of revival. THAT is the
way to impact society, yet it’s not what anyone seeks by themselves.
God has to bring it.
Malcolm B Heap
The Missing Dimension in Christian
A Message To ‘The Charismatic Church’