The other day I was watching America’s Got Talent on my phone. I watched a contestant sing John Lennon’s song, “Imagine.” It wasn’t the voice that caught my attention; it was the words. “Imagine there's no heaven. It's easy if you try. No hell below us. Above us only sky. Imagine all the people living for today.You may say I'm a dreamer. But I'm not the only one. I hope someday you'll join us. And the world will be as one.”
To tell you the truth, I can’t imagine no heaven. And I can’t imagine no hell either. But there is a half-truth in the song. There are millions and millions of people who “imagine there is no heaven…no hell…” They are aimlessly “living for today.” That’s their existence. They are desperately believing, hoping, wishing, that “the world will be as one.” Or as Rodney King said, “Can’t we all just get along.” This is the vision of the masses and yet this half of the song is a deception. The world is not one and cannot be one. The world is in chaos.
The Message says, “If people can’t see what God is doing, they stumble all over themselves; But when they attend to what he reveals, they are most blessed” (Proverbs 29:11). Approximately 600 years later God demonstrated what He was doing all along. He sent Jesus Christ of Nazareth into the world to reconcile the world unto Himself. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is what God did. When people respond to this Good News of “God in Christ reconciling man to Himself,” they no longer walk aimlessly living only for today. They have a vision of Heaven. They know it’s real and that their feet will one day walk on streets of gold.
Stadia and World Impact have forged a partnership believing that this Gospel transforms lives leading to the planting of churches in the most neglected and forgotten places among the poor. Part of this partnership is hosting vision tours in Los Angeles and Newark. Pastors and Missions leaders join us in walking the streets and spending time we church planters. They begin to see and hear what God is doing through our vision to identify, equip and release indigenous leaders to plant churches and facilitate church planting movements. We challenge them to imagine the poor and least of these joining God in His Great Commission to expand and advance His Kingdom in their communities. These pastors and leaders are seeing and experiencing the vision and responding with financial blessings. These blessings are providing a boost to our church planting efforts through our 3 chord Evangel Strand: Evangel Dean School of Urban Church Planting, Evangel School of Urban Church Planting, and the Evangel Network.
There is a heaven and there is a hell. There is a “god of this age” who is the Commander-in-Chief of spiritual forces. There is only one force strong enough to confront this hellish force on earth to set captives free from their spiritual bondage and that is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. One day the world will be one under its true Creator God and His King: Jesus. Until then, we have a task before us.