SBC Life Articles

Where Do We Go From Here?

In 1979, something very significant happened in Southern Baptist life: Adrian Rogers, a person who was a good friend to many of us, was elected president of the Southern Baptist Convention. That began what I perceive to be twenty-five years of extraordinary blessings upon our Convention as we began to reaffirm our belief in the authority of God's Word. I thank God we went through that period of time in spite of its difficulty, in spite of its hardship. God blessed our stand for His infallible, inerrant Word, and for that I am very grateful.

I personally believe that the conservative resurgence as a crusade ended in 2004 on its twenty-fifth anniversary. I won't take the time to give you the reasons now. But does that mean that we should no longer hold to those ideals and deep convictions, which we expressed during those twenty-five years? Oh no. In fact we're just beginning to build a Convention for this generation on the basis of our heartfelt convictions and our belief in the Bible as the authoritative Word of God, a Word we can trust completely because it is from our Father.

Across this Convention there are leaders who say, "I believe the Bible to be the inspired, infallible Word of God, inerrant in the original manuscripts." For that I am grateful.

But I believe we've come to a time when we must begin to ask the question, "What would God have us do now that we have been given the leadership responsibilities of the Convention?" I would ask a question similar to the question that Ronald Reagan asked the nation, "Is our Convention any better spiritually because biblical conservatives are leading?" I leave that question for you to answer in the depths of your own heart.

We also need to ask ourselves if we are on the brink of a spiritual revolution in our nation or even in our Convention. Every Southern Baptist leader has reason to ask: if not, why not? Surely this has been the prayer of our hearts: "God send us a revival that will turn this nation right side up. Lord, we believe in Your holy Word so that we might be stronger evangelists in our witness to the Gospel, that we might herald to the world that Jesus saves, that we might demonstrate the love of God to all who will listen and all who will look."

We know we have proclaimed to the world that the Word of God is true and that we stand unequivocally and forthrightly and unapologetically on the Word of God. But our Lord Jesus Christ died on that cross that our sins might be forgiven. He died as a sacrifice for my sins; He died as a substitute for me, a sinner. The Father so loved us that Christ came to this earth wrapped in flesh and died on the cross that we might know eternal life. That is the love of God. With the coming of Jesus there was a revelation of the love of God the world had never known before and shall never know again.

So do we dare as biblical conservatives to speak of the love of our Lord Jesus Christ and let the world see our love? Do we dare to let the world see that while we have strong convictions, we will be less judgmental so people can see Christ in us? Let us so enthusiastically preach the power and the presence of the Holy Spirit, the coming of Christ to save us, and the coming again of our Lord Jesus Christ that people will not have time to speak about trivial matters but will lift up Jesus so that all may see Him. The psalmist said, How happy is the man who has put his trust in the Lord and has not turned to the proud and to those who run after lies (Psalm 40:4).

Cooperation in our Convention is the rational, emotional, and relational glue that holds us together. The key ingredients of cooperation are truth, trust, and being trustworthy. Do you trust completely in the Lord to meet your needs? Are you willing to take the risk of trusting your fellow Southern Baptists and being worthy of their trust? Are you willing to trust God to do something that is bigger than you for the cause of Christ?

Isaiah said, Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusted in thee (Isaiah 26:3, KJV). Is your mind stayed on Christ? Do you know God's perfect peace? The Bible says in Philippians 4:7, And the peace of God which surpasses every thought, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. And Romans 15:13 says, Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

God gives us the tools to be a part of a spiritual revolution in America and in our Convention. Yet, for some reason, it is not occurring. God gives us the formula in 2 Chronicles 7:14 for experiencing a mighty revival. It gives us a direction and a path to follow. The conservative resurgence has been accomplished so that we might take the truth of God's inerrant Word and herald it to the world, so that we might be so different that everyone will see Christ in us. Then when they see Christ in us, they will be transformed by the power of God's Holy Spirit.

I pray God will accomplish this work. We can't do it ourselves; only He can do it. But we can abandon our selfish pursuits and say, "Lord, because there's so much we need to do in Your service, at this very moment I abandon my all for the cause of Christ." I pray that God will touch each of our hearts and speak to us. I pray that revival will spread throughout the Convention and that soon we will see an inexplicable move of God amongst us because God's people have been on their faces.

Will you pray the following prayer with me?

Father, we pray for a spiritual revolution.

Lord, if I am in the way of a spiritual revolution in this country, in our Convention, I pray for deep conviction.

Lord, I pray I will know how to abandon my desires and embrace Your desires. I pray, Lord, that there will be nothing I so badly want that I will let it get in the way of what you want for God's people.

Now, Lord, we believe your Word is true. As we read it, let us come to you in humility, on our knees, on our faces. We know we need to kneel before You and ask for You to move mightily in our hearts.

Father, may each of us be filled with Your Spirit so others will see Christ only. Lord, may our minds be stayed upon You for Your glory and for the good of all mankind, and may we know the peace that passes all understanding.

Dear Lord Jesus, we pray for revival, and we pray for it in the wonderful, powerful name of your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen.

    About the Author

  • Morris H. Chapman