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Pastor Luke Barnett addressed America Fest on the final day of the four-day event hosted by Turning Point USA. He discussed confessing Christianity in the culture.

Barnett said it is clear that Christians no longer have a “home-field advantage” in America.

“There was a day where we were the home team,” he said. “We were supported in schools, supported in government, we were supported in culture around us at large. Even if they didn’t agree with us, they still respected us enough to allow our opinions to be heard. But today we are no longer the home team in America. Which means if you are a Christian, or if you believe in a Judeo-Christian ethic, you are not only not being cheered, you’re being booed. And the more committed you are as a Christian, the louder the boos are going to be.”

There was a time we could hide behind the church, he said, but today’s Christianity is not like going to a potluck in church.

“There’s no place to run, there’s no place to hide because you and I are being called out because the values that we hold to,” he said. “We’re being called out by the media, called out by the education system, called out by the culture at large. It’s become clear that whatever remnants of a Christian nation we once had is completely gone. And in many cases, the one institution that God created to hold the line, called the church, has also crumbled.”

Barnett challenged attendees to be “unapologetic, unashamed” followers of Jesus Christ. He quoted Jesus from Matthew 10:32 about confessing Jesus in front of men. He said everyone knows what it means to “identify” with something these days. And it is imperative Christians identify with Jesus. There is no shame he said in the testimony of the Lord.

“You know, we live in a day today where there is no more shame,” he said. “We’re seeing things on TV today that we never thought we’d see. We’re hearing language used today we never thought we would hear. We’re seeing marches take place in the streets of America that we never thought we’d see. And I don’t hear anybody apologizing, do you?

“In other words, what they’re saying is, ‘You all adjust, because this is the way it is.'”

But Jesus wants Christians to not take off their Christianity identity — ever.

“Jesus says, ‘Don’t take off your Christian ring when you go into politics. Don’t take off your Christian ring when you go into work. Don’t take off your Christian ring when you go into school.’ I want people to know that you identify with me,” he said. “Why won’t some Christians do that? Why won’t some Christians confess Christ in our culture?”

It isn’t much different than the people spoken about in John chapter 12. Many believed in Jesus, but they were not professing Him because they loved the approval of men more than they loved the approval of God.

“People were afraid of being rejected by people so they choose to be secret agent Christians,” he said.

Today, Barnett said, we live in a day of political Christians who wrap their Christianity in a flag instead of a cross. And cultural Christians who wrap their Christianity in the issue of race rather than the primacy of Jesus. And convenience Christians who want to use God for their blessing but not identify with Him in the culture.

“Jesus said unless you confess me, Jesus, not my father, me,” Barnett said. “In other words, just saying God isn’t going to cut it. That’s vague Christianity. Because Jesus Christ has been assigned by the Trinity to represent the Godhead on planet Earth.”

Individuals become Christians by faith alone in Christ alone, not by their works. But, once a Christian, you have entered the realm of discipleship.

Anyone wanting to become one of Jesus’ disciples must be like Him — meaning attitudes and actions, character and conduct.

“So Jesus sets the standard of truth in the culture and we are to reflect what He says and how He feels to the culture around us,” Barnett said. “So let me ask you a question — on your job, in your neighborhood, among your friends, if you were accused of being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you of such? Or would they find you innocent of all charges?

“Jesus says I want you to confess me publicly, not privately. Now, when it comes to confessing Christ, there is this one underlying issue that many of Christ’s followers have yet to come to grips with. It revolves around this whole issue of the Lordship of Jesus Christ.”

He said when someone joins the Army, it’s free of charge. But once they’re in, it’s a whole new way of operating. They’re easily identifiable based on their clothing and uniform. They have complete rights over your life and dictate where you go.

“God has a lot of Christians who are on their way to heaven, but they’re AWOL on this Earth because they don’t want to put the uniform on,” Barnett said. “I want to tell you, this nation is not going to turn back to God until some Christians are willing to put on the uniform — until some Christians are willing to put on the Lordship of Jesus Christ.”

He shared a story about a little boy in Africa who was being attacked by a lion before a missionary saved him by killing the lion. The little boy showed up at the missionary’s home not long after and the missionary asked what the kid was doing.

The kid told the missionary he was moving in with the missionary because he saved his life and that is the law of the jungle.

“I would remind you of the law of the kingdom,” Barnett said. “There would be no life if someone didn’t die for you. There would be no life if someone didn’t lay down His life for you and that person’s name is Jesus Christ and we can’t confess Him as Lord in our culture? Lovingly? Yes. But clearly and boldly and without apology.”

Barnett said he knows the culture is pulling us in a different direction and everyone has a reason for not taking a stand for Jesus at a secular job or a secular university, but Jesus expects us to do it anyway.

“He says, ‘No, you are in the kingdom of God and you belong to me now. You are in this world, yes. I don’t expect you to go to a monastery and be a hermit, but I do expect you to use your time, your talents and treasurers in this world under my authority and with full confession of me.’ That’s what he expects,” Barnett said.

He said it is challenging, tough and scary, but it can also provide the thrill of a lifetime.

“I want to tell you too, confessing Jesus Christ isn’t always pleasant, it’s scary sometimes, but I want to tell you, it’ll give you the thrill of a lifetime,” he said. “Let’s confess our Lord. Let’s confess our Savior. Let’s be unapologetic confessing followers of Jesus.”


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