Archives For Matt Chandler
From Matt Chandler’s sermon, “The Call to Mission:”
Download to the full message or listen here (if the audio’s working):
An excerpt from the transcript:
“That very day two of them were going to a village named Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, and they were talking with each other about all these things that had happened. While they were talking and discussing together, Jesus himself drew near and went with them.” Jesus kept up with them for seven miles. Let me tell you why this is important. The resurrection of Christ historically causes a lot of trouble for the secular mind. So there’s all these theories about how do deal with it. One of the theories is that when they arrested Him, beat Him a dozen times, yanked the beard out of His face, drove nails through His hands and feet, after they yanked the skin off His back and left Him hanging there for six hours and then took a spear and drove it under His ribcage through His lungs and back out, spilling and water all over the cross, maybe they didn’t kill Him.The theory is that they put Him into the ground, and two days later He’s jogging to Emmaus with two guys seven miles after being crucified and beaten for close to 20 hours. That’s ridiculous. You’d have to be an idiot to believe that theory. I’m not trying to offend you. Have you ever broken a toe and tried to walk without looking like your hips have exploded inside of your pelvis? And the historical Discovery Channel theory is that, two days after this unbelievable beating, Jesus is walking to Emmaus for seven miles. That’s just silly. So for all the goofiness that is Christianity, that’s right up there with the dumbest things you could say we believe. It’s silly to believe that, two days after having your full body weight bear down on a nail driven through the center of both of your feet, you’re jogging a seven mile jaunt to Emmaus.
Matt Chandler on the power of the resurrection:
For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die—but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation. (Romans 5:6-11)
Matt Chandler is the senior pastor of The Village Church in Highland Village, TX. He is expounding on Ecclesiastes 11:9-12:8.
The audio is available for download here. Video footage can be viewed below:
My notes below:
I pastor a church where there’s a lot of young people. In nine years, I’ve done one funeral for a person over 30, but I’ve done dozens of for people under the age of 30, and many under 10.
I wanted to be faithful to the Lord and the people He’s given me to shepherd to prepare them for this suffering, and one of His great mercies on Him was that as I was preparing them, He was preparing me.
When I read this text, I feel it, because here’s what I know that you don’t:
Some of us who are here aren’t going to be here when we do this again. Nobody thinks it’s coming for them. So when I read this text, the weight of it, the pain of it, it’s honestly a beautiful thing.
Ecclesiastes 11, beginning at verse 9:
Rejoice, O young man, in your youth, and let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth. Walk in the ways of your heart and the sight of your eyes. But know that for all these things God will bring you into judgment.
Remove vexation from your heart, and put away pain from your body, for youth and the dawn of life are vanity.
Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth, before the evil days come and the years draw near of which you will say, “I have no pleasure in them”; before the sun and the light and the moon and the stars are darkened and the clouds return after the rain, in the day when the keepers of the house tremble, and the strong men are bent, and the grinders cease because they are few, and those who look through the windows are dimmed, and the doors on the street are shut—when the sound of the grinding is low, and one rises up at the sound of a bird, and all the daughters of song are brought low—they are afraid also of what is high, and terrors are in the way; the almond tree blossoms, the grasshopper drags itself along, and desire fails, because man is going to his eternal home, and the mourners go about the streets—before the silver cord is snapped, or the golden bowl is broken, or the pitcher is shattered at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern, and the dust returns to the earth as it was, and the spirit returns to God who gave it. Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher; all is vanity. (Eccl 11:9-12:8)
There are a lot of imperatives in this text: Continue Reading…
On your walls, O Jerusalem, I have set watchmen; all the day and all the night they shall never be silent. You who put the LORD in remembrance, take no rest, and give him no rest until he establishes Jerusalem and makes it a praise in the earth. (Isaiah 62:6-7)
Yesterday, my friend Amber asked a great question:
What has led you (or others) to believe that biblical illiteracy is such a widespread problem? What has led you to believe that it’s any worse now compared to other times?
I gave a lengthy answer in response (because I’m a bit long-winded, I suppose); but I as I was writing, I remembered a great point from a recent sermon by Matt Chandler, Lead Pastor of The Village Church in his October 10 message, Ultimate Authority 3: Government and Institutions. I pray you’ll find it helpful as we all continue to pursue a deeper knowledge of Christ.
Here’s the transcript if you’d rather not listen to a six minute rant:
You and I, as believers in Jesus Christ, should be looking at the world through a biblical/gospel lens.
Now this creates two huge frustrations in me. Because of what God has done here, I get invited to speak at pastors’ conferences all over the world. So I’ve been to those pastors’ conferences where the men sitting in the seats are pastors. They are preachers like I am. I will see a guy stand up in front of pastors and they’ll open up the Bible and they’ll teach something contrary to the Bible. And because they can do it in a way that’s entertaining and their church has grown, the pastors will applaud them. So that, like Paul in Athens, provokes me, and so I get up and say they’re not saved, they don’t know their Bibles, they should never preach again and that their churches aren’t actually churches. And then they applaud me.
It’s like they can’t tell the difference.
One guy actually got up and said that the gospel can’t be defined outside of your individual communities in front of twelve thousand pastors. He’s saying that the gospel is for you whatever you want it to be.
This is heresy. And nobody said anything. They took notes. God help us.
How in the world are we supposed to see through a gospel/biblical lens when our pastors can’t do it?
So if you’re a pastor reading this, know your Bible. What are you shovelling to your people if you don’t know the Bible? What are you talking about? I don’t care if your church is growing. Might does not make right. God simply moving in a place always happens despite men. Continue Reading…
As I’ve been continuing to develop as a preacher (albeit slowly), one of the great temptations I’ve come across has been imitating other men. I mean, seeing these guys who are extraordinarily gifted by God to preach His Word—guys like my pastor, Norm Millar, and guys like Driscoll, Chandler, Francis Chan, Piper, MacArthur, Platt—and it’s really tempting to want to be like them.
To say things the way they would say it. To act the way they would act.
But isn’t that dishonoring to God?
The other day, I came across this video where Matt Chandler reminds us of the danger of trying to be who you’re not:
As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. (2 Tim 4:5)
Fulfill the ministry God has intended for you, not for someone else. Don’t be who you’re not.
In this video excerpt from his message at the recent 9Marks conference held at Southeastern Seminary, Matt Chandler describes “an epic beatdown”:
Here’s the story from Acts 19:11-20:
And God was doing extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul, so that even handkerchiefs or aprons that had touched his skin were carried away to the sick, and their diseases left them and the evil spirits came out of them. Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists undertook to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, “I adjure you by the Jesus whom Paul proclaims.” Seven sons of a Jewish high priest named Sceva were doing this. But the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and Paul I recognize, but who are you?” And the man in whom was the evil spirit leaped on them, mastered all of them and overpowered them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. And this became known to all the residents of Ephesus, both Jews and Greeks. And fear fell upon them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was extolled. Also many of those who were now believers came, confessing and divulging their practices. And a number of those who had practiced magic arts brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all. And they counted the value of them and found it came to fifty thousand pieces of silver. So the word of the Lord continued to increase and prevail mightily.
As Chandler notes, it’s interesting that the demon responds to the sons of Sceva, “Jesus I know, and Paul I recognize, but who are you?”
The question is revealing. Demons know Jesus—and shudder (cf. James 2:19). They know He is the Sovereign one who will, on the day of judgement, cast them all into hell.
They also recognize Paul. As Christ’s chosen instrument to reach the gentiles (cf. Acts 9:15), he is a known entity in the spiritual realm. He has power—because He believes.
But these guys…
They are sons of a Jewish high priest and itinerant exorcists.
Who don’t believe.
“I adjure you by the Jesus whom Paul proclaims,” they declare; they treat the power of Christ in the life of a believer like a magic spell.
And the demons, instead of turning tail, turned on them.
And after that, by God’s grace, the gospel exploded in Ephesus.
When you look at a passage like this, it can be challenging to see what application we can make. As I’ve been reading it, one clear, practical application jumps to mind:
In our pursuits, in our passions, are we really, truly all about Jesus—His glory, His fame, His majesty, His gospel—or do we use His name like an incantation?
Do you want to use His name to further your agenda…
Or is He your agenda?
The challenge here is that the answer reveals something of our hearts. If we’re using Christ’s name to further our agenda—even for a great cause like helping people who live in poverty, freeing young girls from the sex trade or setting up an after-school program for kids in inner-city neighborhoods—and the agenda is not, clearly, overtly that we want people to love and serve Jesus… we might wind up no better off than the sons of Sceva.
It’s scary to think about, but we can pursue God-honoring things in a way that is insulting to Him. When we rely on our own ability, when we make our cause, our movement, our agenda the main thing. When we pursue our glory instead of God’s.
So, today as you go through the day, rely on Christ, not on your own ability.
Glory in Christ, not in your own cause.
You never know, you could see the gospel explode where you are.
A few quotes, pulled by JT:
“Lauren asked the doctor, ‘What’s best-case scenario and what’s worst-case scenario?’ He said: ‘Best-case scenario is that God heals you. . . . Worst-case scenario, honestly, is that you get killed in a car wreck on your way home today.’
“He was the first one to say to me out loud, ‘Nothing’s really changed for you—you just get to be aware that you’re mortal. Everyone is, but they’re just not aware of it. The gift that God’s given you is that you get to be aware of your mortality.’
“So if this goes bad for me, if my MRI scan shows that . . . I have a short amount of time, I can talk to my wife, talk to my children, shoot videos. . . . Most guys who die in their 30’s kiss their wife goodbye in the morning and never come home. . . . At least once a year, for the rest of my life, I get the anxiety of ‘Am I going to hear today that I only have a couple years to live?’ . . . It is a gift.”
Matt Chandler shares some of the story of his conversion and discusses some of the men who have shaped him:
There are certain people who have been a powerful influence on us, particularly in how we live out our faith.
I’ve spoken of some of them here before. My friends Adam & John have been major influences, particularly as we’ve been wrestling with theology together. Chris, a godly man who took me and a few other guys under his wing at a moment in my life when I desperately needed guidance and counsel. My Friday morning men’s group is increasingly becoming influential in my life as we try to work out .
But what about you?
Who influences you?
Who has been an influence in the past and who continues to be to this day?
Really appreciated this interview with Adrian Warnock & Matt Chandler on how embracing the charismatic gifts plays out in Chandler’s life and ministry. The big ideas from Chandler:
- No one swings from chandeliers
- Any word that someone may have received is brought privately to the elders
- They pray over it and determine its veracity
- Sometimes it’s brought out to the congregation, other times it’s not
In short, they’re seeking to handle these kinds of things—like a personal word, a dream or a vision—very, very carefully.
They’re obeying Scripture’s commands concerning such things. To “not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God” (1 John 4:1).
I tend to approach the charismatic gifts very cautiously, probably as an overreaction to being around a number of people who tended to not test but blindly accept. For me, it’s always interesting and helpful to see how others are approaching them.
What about you? What’s your background on this issue?
Do you think the charismatic gifts are active today and for everyone?
If so, why? If not, why not?
Very exciting news for Matt Chandler after the latest MRI. Watch the video:
Thrilled for the Chandler family and the Village Church.
Keep praying that God would completely eradicate this cancer.
Update: Even as the Chandlers are celebrating this progress, it’s come to my attention that Zac Smith of NewSpring Church died recently. A few months back, he released an inspiring video testimony about his battle with cancer. Please be in prayer for his family.
Matt Chandler was a special guest at Together for the Gospel 2010, sharing about how his experience with cancer has impacted him and his theology:
“My goal is to be a faithful minister of Jesus Christ until he calls me home,” says Chandler.
I don’t know about you, but I’m not sure I’ve got that kind of faith. But I want it.
When we suffer, will we suffer well? Will we look at our circumstances with despair or will we join Paul in saying,
For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell. I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account.
HT: Matt Robbins