“Faithful Christians should not be the exception,” declared Dustin Wisely, keynote speaker at SOAR 2017. “As Christians, we have the best news…the GOOD news. A reasonable life for a Christian is that of one speaking and acting on the gospel.
This is how the final session of SOAR 2017 began: with an unequivocal challenge to be the followers that God requires. Wisely proclaimed that it is not only reasonable for a Christian to speak and act on the gospel, but it is their joy. “Because it is the good news,” he explained.
After days of sessions, workshops, worship, and ample time in the Texas sunshine, students came together one last time to hear their final call to a selfless, ministry-focused lifestyle – even as students.
“We need to be intentional, passionate, and bold when it comes to the gospel. We realize that we are fighting for eternity,” continued Wisely. “We need to be soldiers and athletes in our mentality – unwavering.”
Alongside that challenge, Wisely gave the caveat that the Bible assumes persecution for Christians, because the ideals and principles held by followers of Christ fly in the face of every secular culture.
“If you live in a worldly, secular culture and live opposite of that culture, they’re going to hate that. They will hate you, because they hate Jesus,” said Wisely.
No matter the trials, no matter the persecution, Christians can have joy because the good news never changes. Just like when Paul was a prisoner for his faith, as documented in Philippians, he had joy because he knew the gospel was being proclaimed for Christ’s glory – both in his prison cell and in the city of Philippi by the believers there. Paul had sustained joy.
“The life lived for Christ is different because of the contentment we already have in Jesus,” proclaimed Wisely. “It’s easy for Christians to be selfless, because we already have all we need. We have been given, through the Holy Spirit, the ability to be holy and righteous in every circumstance. That is the pursuit.”
Dustin concluded with the declaration that a Christian’s life exists for God’s good pleasure, not for their own. Eventually, through study and growing closer to the Savior, God’s good pleasure and his follower’s good pleasure become identical.
“God has shown us his will in his Word,” said Wisely. “We need to be men and women of the Word of God. It’s a direct command from Scripture. So we go, not reluctantly, but with joy – just like Paul!”