Eric Ludy Sermon Podcast: Church at Ellerslie
Summary: Discover a Christianity that actually works. These powerful sermons delivered by Pastor Eric Ludy will awaken you to the majesty of true Christianity. God designed Christianity not to be mere theory but a life empowered by His grace, built unshakable upon truth, centered upon Jesus Christ, and poured out for His glory. It is more than academic head-knowledge, it is practical living grounded in the Word of God. These sermons are delivered with soul-stirring passion that will ignite your spiritual fire. Eric Ludy's sermons are a ministry outreach of Ellerslie Mission Society. If you have been blessed by these messages and would like to support this work with a gift, you can do so here.
Most of us struggle with carrying our own burdens let alone the burdens of others. But a Christian, set on fire by Love isn’t just willing to carry the burdens of others, but is desirous to do it. Whatever it is that causes men like C.T. Studd to eagerly long to go to the most difficult place on earth to speak of Christ or that causes men like Jim Elliot to seek out the most dangerous native tribe for evangelism and then get genuinely excited when they are found — this strange and bewildering attitude is desperately needed in the Body of Christ again.
What causes one man to shrink back and cower before Goliath and the next man to rise up and sprint after him? This mysterious function of bold spiritual daring is often chalked up to being nothing more than a function of extraordinary personality that someone either has or doesn’t have in their native DNA. But, in actuality, this soul moxie is the result of something sturdy and gritty being built into the soul over time and through the joyful encounter of many trials. It’s the result of a vigorous faith being continually exercised in the human soul. This particular message is installment #13 in Eric Ludy’s series entitled, “The Spiritual biography of a Nation”. It rewinds the calendar 400 years to 1620 and sticks us in the middle of the Atlantic in a ship known as the Mayflower. A magnificent crisis is going to unfold before our eyes, and yet, the 102 people on board this small ship are going to shock us, because they are not going to give way to panic. Why? Because they were readied for this crisis.
Many Christians start out strong, but few finish strong. Many believers come out of the gate with gusto but instead of continuing steadfast they either limp to the finish line or bail out altogether from the spiritual fray. Using the Pilgrim’s extraordinary send-off from England in 1620 as powerful illustration for the need of spiritual resilience, Eric Ludy will make every listener crave to be a William Bradford rather than a Robert Cushman.
In 1618, the unthinkable took place in England — King James I officially kicked every religious non-conformist out of his country. He boldly declared that these “fanatics" were no longer welcome to live in grand ‘ol England. That meant the Puritans were out on their backsides and all the Separatists needed to find a new country to call home. Long and short, it was a tough time to be a strong Christian in lukewarm England. This great purge of spiritual strength out of England strangely changed the course of the United States of America, because it brought all this spiritual zeal and strength into North America — and dramatically changed the course of our nation.
Spanish and French missionaries both made a sizable impact on the North American territory in the 15th and 16th centuries, but England remained quiet on the New World landscape until the 17th century. And when they finally decided to put their proverbial foot in the water, they experienced total disaster in Roanoke. In the year 1607, England postured themselves as if they were coming to this New World with the intent of sharing the Gospel of Christ with the natives. But their “Gentleman” Christianity was anything but a light shining in a dark world. The Jamestown settlement is a study in self-centered, self-coddling Christianity and its ramifications on the world around it. The Modern American Church in its manner and in its thinking runs a strange parallel with the gentleman settlers of Jamestown in 1607. Hopefully history can be our tutor and steer us toward a Pilgrim landing in this hostile season of American history instead of Jamestown landing.
When the missionaries brought the light of the Gospel to North America in the seventeenth century, there was a cultural retaliation amongst the Amerindians. Some natives viewed these Christian missionaries as blessings and bearers of the New Life in Christ. While others viewed them as harbingers of death, bearers of small pox, malaria, and dangerous ideas. This tension represents the historic animosity that exists between light and darkness. Christianity has always been a threat to those who love the darkness. And it has always been a blessing to those yearning to find Life.
America prior to the 16th century was dark and savage — a land of lawlessness, fear, and extreme violence. Then the light of the Gospel came to this North American territory — men gave up everything to come here and share the hope of Jesus Christ with a depraved people. Now five hundred years later the people of this same territory are actively seeking to snuff out the light of Truth and return to that ancient darkness that once ruled this land — reverting back to lawlessness, fear, and violence. It was the willingness of Christians to sacrifice everything, including their very lives, that originally turned this American territory from death towards life — could it be that, to turn this country back from its errant ways, the same willingness amongst the Christians to forsake everything is once again required?
In the 16th century, two movements were afoot — 1) the lust-driven pursuit of gold, and 2) the love-driven pursuit of souls. The gold pursuers turned south and claimed Central and South America, while the soul pursuers (the missionaries) turned north and pursued the souls of the native peoples of the territory we now know as North America. The heritage of America is decidedly one of boldness and unashamedness for the Gospel. That is a piece of our heritage that ought not to be lost in the midst of our present-day “erase-everything” and/or “reinterpret-everything" movement.
The founding of America in 1492 ushered in fifty years of great darkness. The age of the conquistadors in the late 15th and early 16th century to this part of the world brought with it bigotry and bloodshed. But, in the midst of this growing darkness came forth the light of Truth. Like stowaways in these barbaric expeditions in search of lost gold came missionaries to these shorelines — men in search of lost souls. Like every nation’s history, America’s past is checkered. But one thing is certain as you review it. God shed His grace upon this country and blessed it in order that it might become a blessing to the nations. He turned what the enemy meant for evil into a profound and mighty good.
With every passing week the incorrectness of Christianity seems to be increasing. According to our culture it is becoming “wrong” to be a Christian, to think like a Christian, to act like a Christian, and (the worst of all crimes) to cause someone else to become, think and act like a Christian. Missions has been an integral piece of the Christian life and practice since Jesus Christ first commanded His disciples to “Go!” back near 2000 years ago. But the idea of missions is currently under siege in this liberally skewed world we are now living in. As the Church, we cannot allow this critical piece of God’s Kingdom plan to be undermined in the minds of the Church.
While statues and monuments commemorating Christopher Columbus are being presently defaced and toppled across the United States, it's amazing to look back at this embattled explorer and allow God to instruct us through both his successes and his foibles. It would be wise to offer the highest degrees of admiration to this man's astounding demonstration of faith. It was a faith that was dogged and untiring. We as the Church need an epic sense of call and vision like Columbus had — not to discover new worlds and oceanic passageways —but to reach every single lost soul with the Gospel. This is our hour.
The country of America was founded as a safe house — a place for people to run to in order to find religious liberty. And countless millions have come to it to find that exquisite freedom. But, this rare “national picture” is merely what the Church of Jesus Christ was designed to be from the beginning — a safe house. The Church was intended by God to be a place that prospered your spiritual exercise and development even if that “exercise and development” were deemed illegal in the current governmental system. It is imperative that the Church of Jesus Christ become such a safe house right now in-and-amidst these tumultuous times.
America is in a molten state. From riots and rights violations to pandemics and forthcoming elections. It is imperative that as Christians we have solid footing in the Word of God as we navigate these unsteady times. As the North American Church we have been entrusted much in terms of truth, liberty, opportunity and wealth, but are we proving faithful with the trust we have been given?
Eric Ludy dexterously addresses the Christian’s submission to governing authorities and how that biblically balances with the exertion of constitutional liberty. In and amidst this COVID-19 situation, the Church is desperately in need of a clear understanding of what loving Christian responsibility looks like. This message provides some wonderful tools for beginning to reason these challenging matters out.
Eric Ludy walks through Paul’s unique outlook while stuck in a jail in Philippi and then converts it into present-day strategies for each of us stuck in COVID-19 quarantine.