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There was a time when the church was very powerful – in the time when the early Christians rejoiced at being deemed worthy to suffer for what they believed.
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We consume small groups. There are even those who are consuming the house church experience. Unless we confront this consumption life practice, we will never grow up to be those who practice resurrection. We will bounce around from place to place and fail to stay put long enough with a specific group of people in a specific place to be a specific colony of heaven.

"Colony of Heaven in a Country of Death"--Eugene Peterson

Life requires a mentality of investment, not one of consumption. Monday, September 17, Carrie Underwood Shares About 3 Miscarriages: This Is Botham Jean: Worship Leader, Beloved Son and Brother. We are pilgrims who have come out of another country. We are seeking a better country, a heavenly one, and God has prepared a city for us. In our text for today, when we are reminded that our citizenship is in heaven, and one day, our Savior will descend from our homeland and transform our bodies into a body like his own glorious body, and we will reign with him for ever and ever.

I hope that you can see that we are indeed a colony of heaven. But what is the mission of this heavenly colony? Life in the Christian Colony. We are an island of one culture in the middle of another. This description of the Christian colony is becoming more and more true in the United States. There was a time when Christian culture and the culture of the United States had a great deal in common, but the values that Christians share in common with the American culture are rapidly becoming less and less. Increasing, we are finding that we are that island culture in the middle of a culture that is very hostile to our core values.

But we should not think that strange.

"Colony of Heaven in a Country of Death"–Eugene Peterson

The Church, by very definition, has been called out of the world. The Church is like the children of Israel in exile in Babylon. We live in the midst of a pagan culture, but we are still maintaining our own beliefs and practices. Look at how Peter described the early church in I Peter 1: Yet, we survive as a people. As this island culture, it is our duty to pass on the values of our homeland. We must pass these values on to our children.

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This colony is a place where the distinctive language of our culture is taught. Sadly, in order to make ourselves more popular with the world, we have abandoned our distinctive language and adopted the language of the foreign culture. We do not have a desire to modernize the language of the Book of Common Prayer, because we lose the richness of the language of the Christian colony.

One of the reasons we cling to the rich hymns of our faith rather than so-called contemporary praise music is that the modern worship music does not even remotely approach the beauty and richness of our great hymns. A hymn such as that has the power to make you a great theologian and a great poet. Hymns such as these contain the language, the theology, the poetry, and the beauty of our colony. If, by the time our children leave our homes, they are not profound theologians, able to argue minute points of theology, we as parents and a church ought to be profoundly embarrassed.

We have our language, our customs, and we must pass them on to the next generation. In the Anglican Church, we have a great opportunity to pass on our language and our culture to the next generation. Our liturgy and our Church calendar are blessed instruments to be used to saturate the children of our colony with our beliefs, practices, and customs.

But let me add a word of caution at this point. Maintaining our distinct culture does not mean completely separating ourselves from the culture that is around us.

Some Christian groups have literally tried to separate themselves from the world and have as little to do with the world as possible. They are so afraid that they are going to be corrupted by the world and its ways that they think the solution is to withdraw from the world completely. Christians, in their zeal to be separate from the world, adopt lifestyles that have nothing to with being separate from the world.

Our separation from the world does not consist in obeying such man-made lists. No wonder our children often rebel against us. The Christian colony is not one that separates itself completely from the surrounding culture.

A Colony of Heaven–Sermon

The Christian colony is one that is actively involved in the surrounding culture, seeking to show the beauty of its values with the world. I think the Puritans and some such religious colonies made this mistake. They separated themselves from the world and thought they would eventually prevail just by having godly children.

We think it is our duty just to hibernate within the colony and try to keep all of the evil forces out of it. When you adopt that type of agenda, you become a cult, not the church. The primary posture of the church is not defensive—it is offensive.

The Local Church As a Colony of Heaven In the Country of Death

Whenever you look at those first disciples, a little colony of Christians, see how that colony was on the move. As Christians, we are not hibernating, insulating ourselves from the world. No, we want others to become members of our colony and join us in the pilgrim journey. We must refuse to be holier- than- thou people who cannot have contact with sinners. We must have contact with people, lovingly embrace them, present the gospel to them, and invite them to join our colony. We are so concerned with maintaining our purity, we refuse contact with the world, which as you remember, was the great sin of the Pharisees.

They criticized our Lord Jesus Christ for eating and drinking with sinners.