The Lord’s cause to restore men through Jesus, Son Of Man is from eternity (1 Peter 1:20) and was announced in Eden for all to hear (Genesis 3:15)! From that garden announcement the sovereign God has moved in His timing and in accord with His plan to bring His cause to restore willing men from among every ethnicity, race, tribe and language spread across the earth to fulfillment beginning with Israel, His chosen people (Isaiah 49:5-6; Matthew 4:18-22; Acts 1:1-8, 9:10-16, 17:22-31). The absolute fruitfulness of the Lord’s work from the first century until now is known only to Him, but even early on the apostle Paul spoke of it (Colossians 1:3-6).
In learning about church history, I have consistently come across how advantageous the Roman Empire--the general peace it brought and its paved roads at the right moment--was for the arrival of Christ, His life, death by crucifixion, burial, resurrection and the eventual spread of the Gospel about Him through His apostles to all the world it dominated. This was, of course, a matter of divine foreknowledge, will and strategic plan that in those early years the Gospel should go forth in peace to all the lands the Jews of the pre-Christ, punitive dispersions resided among the Gentiles that they might hear it and believe if they would (Romans 9-11:10).
Many Gentiles into Rome itself also heard and believed the Gospel during that first century, though the men Christ sent to preach it throughout the empire were often violently set upon by Jew, Greek and the Roman politico-military establishment as He foretold (Matthew 10:16-26; John 15:18-16:4; Acts 13-14; Romans 1:1-17, 15:17-24). God graciously gave Israel in its land and dispersed a generation to hear and respond to the Gospel. After this period in AD 70, His foretold wrath led again to the nation’s destruction and this time their global dispersion (Deuteronomy 28:58-68; Isaiah 28:9-19; Jeremiah 25:1-11; Daniel 9:20-26; Hosea 5:8-15; Matthew 23:37-39; Luke 20:9-19, 21:20-24).
Although the Lord has continued preaching the Gospel to His scattered people with the foretold limited results and in recent times after over 1,900 years restored them to the land in ongoing prophetic fulfillment, during that same period He turned His two-fold attention to us Gentiles (Acts 13:42-49). As with the Jews, the Lord first graciously sent forth men preaching the Gospel to all four points of the compass among the Gentiles beyond the Roman Empire. Many disciples were made and churches established as the Lord moved to fulfill His cause to restore men to the ends of the earth. Meanwhile, the Lord was also fulfilling a second foretold objective among the Gentiles.
As He had announced through His prophets, the Lord has also been moving through the earth meting out long delayed judgment on the Gentile nations for their wickedness sometimes prior to as a softening up, but mostly after they had heard the Gospel (Jeremiah 25:12-28). Indeed, the Lord of hosts says to the Gentile nations, ‘“For behold, I begin to bring calamity on the city which is called by My name, and should you be utterly unpunished? You shall not be unpunished, for I will call for a sword on all the inhabitants of the earth,’” (Jeremiah 25:29, NKJV). Thus, even Rome was felled by its gross immorality and European tribes known then as “barbarians” in the 5th century AD.
After this, as with the demise of Jerusalem as the vibrant birthplace of Christianity, so, every city of the former empire such as Antioch, Corinth and Ephesus where it had thrived for a time faded, was later destroyed or overrun by Islam. Greatly diminished in influence after four heady post-apostolic centuries, Christianity in variant forms as “orthodox” religion was and has remained dominant in the Greek East as it spread North into Asia and in the Middle East, North and East Africa. It was the influence of Christianity as a settled religion worked like yeast in Western Civilization as dough and overseen by Roman Catholicism in the West, however, that led to the Gospel being preached to the farthest reaches of the planet.
For the next thousand years Roman Catholicism’s preservation and teaching of Western Civilization (Greco-Roman thought and ideas with Christian morality etc.) brought the tribes of western Europe out of their barbarism to more refined tastes, renaissance, enlightenment and the ambitious quest to be enriched by and take possession of the whole earth! By the time German priest, Martin Luther, had launched his attempt to reform the Catholic Church in 1517, many previously unknown lands had already been reached and in divine providence, the Gospel proclaimed to the inhabitants. Among the lands and upon shores the sea brought Europeans and Catholic missionaries was West Africa from whence came my black forefathers as slaves.
The Lord has allowed that I should pause at this critical juncture in writing about the restoration of men and grieve for those from amongst whom I have sprung racially for what is taking place and is still to be fulfilled as He began to show me in 1984. For this is Black History Month unfolding contemporaneously with and an integral part of American history. Even so, though we remember the facts and realities of the black American experience this month, Juneteenth and everyday of the year, they of themselves can do nothing to turn back the continued suffering of the spiritually and otherwise impoverished masses of the people--the men in particular--untouched by divine restoration.
I set out in the autumn of 1984 to create a short video documentary for my Master’s Thesis on the problems many black Americans faced in Fort Worth, Texas including the typical issues of poverty, inadequate housing, low educational attainment, unemployment, family dysfunction, drugs, alcohol, violence, criminality, incarceration etc. My target audience was predominantly black American churches that were numerically prolific in the hood. Who Is Weeping For My People? as the title of the documentary was not only intended to spiritually and morally confront otherwise preoccupied religious hearts, but to also convey the heart of God toward their hurting community.1
The problems I found in 1984 Fort Worth, of course, exist in every urban and rural area of America with any sizeable black population and have intensified. In fairness, governments along with secular and faith based non-government organizations to include a relative few that are church operated at all levels have tried (and try) in varying ways with uneven success outcomes to address the political, educational and socio-economic factors that give rise for example, to persistent poverty. However, unless and until the churches professed to be of Jesus Christ in each community step up as one to fulfill their biblical restoration mandate, positive outcomes will continue to be limited.
Churches involved do not immediately release any of the current key players from the mix of those helping black Americans. But they bring to the table the divine imperative to restore men spiritually in Jesus Christ who are the engines that God designed to drive families and communities to prosperity. After any man is restored in Christ, he relies long-term on God and needs only that mortal flesh places no artificial barriers such as racial discrimination to his aspirations to provide for his family and be a contributing member of the community. For him it is as soul singer, James Brown, sang in his 1969 song: “I don’t want nobody to give me nothing, open up the door, I’ll get it myself.”
To their shame today as in 1984 though, such talk is so much idealism since the many divided churches and their pastors cooperate well enough to put on self-serving annual days, but find it impossible to lay aside ego, pride, control issues and personal agendas to preach the one and only Gospel of Jesus Christ as called and teach biblical manhood as it is plainly written in God’s Word (Romans 10:14-15; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4; Ephesians 4:1-6, 5:22-6:4; 2 Thessalonians 3:10; 1 Timothy 5:8). Yes, keeping it real, many of our sons do not try too hard to hear what preachers are saying today because of the great number in destructive bondage to Satan, sin and self as they are.
I wrote about the inability to declare freedom to other men when the preachers as ostensible aspiring strong men of God in Christ’s image are still in bondage and unconcerned last year.2 So, I write again this year for the sake of black males and our community languishing in self-destruction to appeal to any hearts left that may care; care enough with tears launched from agonizing grief at the slaughter. Or am I at times, their families and friends the only ones to weep when another black male is killed by anyone; another soul removed from and whose blood waters the earth? God weeps over this and wills to act; why not all of those professing to be His people? The Lord weeps as He did through the prophet Elisha over Israel in the face of His judgment’s instrument (2 Kings 8:7-15).
He weeps also as He did over Judah on their way to and in Babylon through the prophet Jeremiah (Jeremiah 8:13-9:2) and all from first century Israel to this hour that fail by the time of death to lay hold of His salvation and restoration through Jesus, Son of Man (Luke 19:41-44)! He as God’s prime “Repairer of the Breach” (Isaiah 58:1-12, NKJV) and true “Change Agent” is our only Hope as I know for myself and have joyfully testified.3 Such testimony to the world is what God planned for our people!4 But if those that profess to know God refuse to model and declare His restoration in Jesus, why should we expect anything better than what we see through our tears (Jeremiah 9:3-24)? The risen, living Christ continues His cry among American churches, “Who is on the Lord's side?”
1 The documentary was packaged and shown on Dallas/Fort Worth cable systems in 1989-90 as part of its Revival’93 media campaign targeting black Americans by
Open Door Communication Ministries, Inc.
2 Read the blog series, When The Messengers Are Bound, Parts 1-3, February 28-March 13, 2016 under the category, Black History.
3 Read the five part series beginning December 2005, Releasing The Strong Man! where my personal testimony is included in the Journal Archives at the From Sla-
very To Victory Education Project (FSTVEP) Web Site.
4 A biblical worldview of the black experience from Africa can only come to this gracious and redemptive conclusion which is what the From Slavery To Victory Edu-
cation Project heralds beginning with its presentation on the Home Page of www.fromslaverytovictory.org. While you are there, visit the Hope For The Family Page
to listen to the full length Juneteenth audio message the Lord gave me entitled, Restoring Fathers & Children’s Hearts.
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