I have preached through the story of Jesus' birth, I am struck with the
simplicity and profundity of the Christian gospel. You can see it from
the very beginning. It's right there in what the angel said to Joseph,
"You shall call His name Jesus, for it is He who will save His people
from their sins" (Matt. 1:21).
When the Father gave the incarnate Son a name, He proclaimed His rescue mission in no uncertain terms. Jesus, the Greek transliteration of the Hebrew name Joshua,
means "Savior." Now, "there is salvation in no one else; for there is
no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we
must be saved" (Acts 4:12). Jesus is the Savior-that's been the joyful news from the start.
But you might ask the question: "A Savior to save us from what?"
That's certainly a fair question. The word savior implies that we need
to be saved from something. Saved
is a synonym for rescued or delivered. It implies there's some kind of
threatening condition, a dangerous, desperate, or deadly condition from
which we need to be rescued. The question is, from what?
If you listen to the way some preachers speak about the gospel,
quite frankly, the condition of unbelief doesn't sound so grave. You get
the idea that humanity mainly needs to be rescued from its lack of
fulfillment. Maybe your marriage hasn't worked out according to plan; or
your child isn't turning out to be tomorrow's Copernicus or Einstein;
or your dream career has turned out to be a dead end. You understand.
You look at the travel brochures; you really want a month in Europe, but
you end up with a three-day trip to see the in-laws. Life just doesn't
According to the gospel some are preaching, Jesus will take care of
all that. Jesus will fix your marriage; He'll help you raise confident
kids, brimming with self-esteem; He'll help you climb that corporate
ladder or breathe new life into your business. The only danger from
which you need salvation is the shattering of all your dreams.
Everything you've longed for has turned out to be a nightmare, and
that's the way it's going to end. But Jesus will take care of it-He'll
rescue you from your unfulfilled life.
I've also heard people presenting the gospel as if the great hope of
salvation is relief from debilitating habits. Jesus has come to enable
you to get control of your life. He's the step stool, the boost you need
to get out of the hole you've fallen into. That salvation is especially
attractive to a society like ours that is overcome by lust and passion.
Many are enslaved by sinful habits: drinking, smoking, pornography,
even overeating. Obesity is on the rise in many countries-in America
it's almost epidemic. Angry outbursts and uncontrolled tempers destroy
homes and relationships. Sexual sin, both homosexual and heterosexual,
plagues the entire world-AIDS ravishes entire continents. But Jesus will
come along and fix all that. He'll pluck you out of the flood of
dissipation by saving you from your drives and desires so you won't
destroy your life.
Will the gospel deliver you from an unfulfilled life? From
enslavement to debilitating habits? Absolutely, but that needs to be
qualified. There is a sense in which the gospel secondarily makes
an application to those things. When you are genuinely converted, you
belong to God and the Holy Spirit takes up residence in your heart. You
do have a new reason to live; you have the hope of eternal life and the
promise of heaven. That has a dramatic effect on the lack of fulfillment
in life. And when you experience the power of the Holy Spirit to change
you, you'll see victory over the debilitating habits and passions that
your sinful nature generates. That's all true. But those are not the
primary issues in salvation.
Finding fulfillment and overcoming bad habits cannot be the most
important concerns of the gospel. Why not? Because not everybody in the
world is unfulfilled. In fact, I think this idea of lacking fulfillment
is a byproduct of our western culture. Throughout the world, there are
many who live expecting very little out of life. They don't experience a
lack of fulfillment-there's nothing to fulfill. On the other hand, many
people are very content with their present condition. They've got all
the wine, women, and song money can buy. And not everyone is driven to a
point of desperation and disaster by their passions either. There are
people who have a certain measure of self-control. So those things
cannot be the universal problem.
The real problem is sin and guilt. That's the issue. God sent Jesus
Christ to rescue us from the consequence of our sin, and everybody falls
into the category of sinner. It doesn't matter whether you're among the
haves or the have-nots, whether you have great expectations or none at
all, whether you're consumed by your passions or exhibit a degree of
self-control and discipline-you are still a sinner. You have broken the
law of God and He's angry about it. Unless something happens to change
your condition, you're on your way to eternal hell. You need to be
rescued from the consequences of your sin. Those are the principal
issues the gospel solves.
The truth is, even when you are delivered from the ultimate danger of God's wrath against sin, you might never realize
your dreams. When you come to Christ, the Lord realigns your thinking
so that all you ever wanted, all you used to strive for, you count as
loss, waste, garbage (cf. Paul in Phil. 3:4-8).
Coming to Christ means the end of you. Also, though you'll experience
the power of the Holy Spirit to gain victory over sin, you may never
attain total dominance over your drives and passions this side of
heaven. Like Paul, you will strive with sin to your dying day (cf. Rom. 7:13-25).
Issues of fulfillment and sinful passions will be dealt with, in the
Lord's time and in the Lord's way. So if you've come to Christ primarily to find fulfillment or to escape from bad habits, Jesus may not be what you're looking for.
The church needs to get back to remembering that God sent His Son
into the world to save His people from their sins. A proper presentation
of the gospel should focus on that. The angel told Joseph: "He is the
one who will save His people from their sins. That is why you must name
Him Jesus." Humanity's real destroyer is sin, and the guilt for sin is a
real guilt, a God-imposed guilt that damns to eternal hell. That is why
people need to be saved, rescued, and delivered. That is what people
must understand in the gospel, and that is what we must proclaim.
January 1-3, 2015
Bring a Group or Just Bring Your Own Student
Point of Action: We need your help in getting out the word. Will you e-mail this letter to your family and friends? Will you post the information on your Facebook page or tweet out the URL: www.contend2015.com  and let everyone know it is free as a ministry of www.worldviewweekendfoundation.com 
As a parent or grandparent would you like the opportunity to bring the high school or college students in your family to a Biblical worldview conference that is specifically for them? Have you ever thought about sending your student to a worldview camp but the $1,400 or more in tuition, plus transportation, was a barrier? Colossians 2:8 tells us to:
Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.
Are you concerned that the students in your life may not be fully equipped and Biblically prepared to resist and refute the man-centered philosophies and empty deceit of this age? Can the students in your life destroy every argument raised up against the principles of the Lord as we are called to do in 2 Corinthians 10:4-5?
For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,
Being a parent and grandparent today that is seeking to encourage the students in your life to follow the Lord and love Him with all their heart, soul, and strength presents challenges not even comprehended by your parents and grandparents. Sometimes the questions your students ask may frustrate you because you wish you had an answer for them. Perhaps you are worried about your students being included in the nearly 80% of young people that are walking away from the faith?
If the questions I have asked you have you concerned then I think you are going to be encouraged by the free Contend 2015 conference we are hosting January 1st starting at 6pm and ending at 12 noon on January 3, 2015. We are bringing in some of the premier Biblical worldview speakers to address the major issues facing today’s high school and college students.
A sweet family from Iowa sent us this e-mail last year. I will share it with you in a moment in hope it will challenge other adults to take the leadership and ministry opportunity as did this family. The January 1-3, Contend 2015 conference will have an eternal, life-changing impact on countless young people for the gospel and church.
Why would you not take advantage of a free Biblical conference like this and organize a group of young people? Why not? We are doing our part but are you? As an adult will you partner with us by sponsoring and organizing a group of young people and hosting them? If you cannot bring a group then just bring your own student with you parent! Here is the testimony from this family and I hope it is a challenge to you and inspires you to follow their example. They wrote:
So excited to be bringing 11 young people to your conference in January! Thanks for the hotel discounts - my husband and I are renting a van and paying for three hotel rooms with our Christmas cash. Cannot think of a better use for that money! The college-age youth that are coming are really looking forward to the conference also. Thank you...thank you...thank you!
Here is a link to the conference for complete details, topics and speaker bios: www.contend2015.com  The conference is free but you must register online so we can save everyone a seat and have the free resources waiting for each student when they arrive. Some parents have asked if they can also attend the conference with their students and the answer is an enthusiastic YES!
A Short List of Some of the Topics to be Covered at Contend 2015:
- Why the Prosperity Gospel is a False Gospel
- The Jesus of the Cults Versus the Jesus of the Bible
- The Danger of Mysticism
- A Biblical Look at Pot, Gambling, Pornography, Abortion, & Doctor-Assisted Suicide
- The Dangers of Moralizing: Why Christians Should Not Attempt to Force Christian Values on Unbelievers But Share the Gospel With Them By Which They Can Change Their Values
- How Hannah in I Samuel 2 Understood and Trusted in God’s Total Control, Rule, and Goodness and Why You Can Too
- Growing up in the Church but Not Saved: A Biblical Study of True and False Converts Through the Eyes of Samuel in I Samuel Chapter 3.
- A Rocket Scientist Debunks Evolution (by Test-Pilot and Real Rocket Scientist Jason Pratt)
- Testimony of a Backslidden Atheist (by former atheist Jason Pratt)
- How To Study The Bible in Context
- Critical Thinking Skills That Disarm Evolutionists
- The Bible Versus Millions of Years
- Plenty of Question and Answer Time with the Speakers
Let’s not just complain about the state of modern Christianity but let’s do something about it. Join us January 1-3, 2015 for Contend 2015 in Memphis, TN, which is centrally located. Check the map and you will see that Memphis is a day’s drive from about half the population in the United States. Parents, if you want to bring your student or a group of students and attend the conference that would be great. If you just want to bring them and then you spend the time exploring Memphis, then that is fine as well. Either way, please partner with us through this ministry opportunity.
Finally in closing, if you agree with our stepping out in faith to host this free Contend 2015 conference please consider helping us with the cost by making a tax deductible contribution on our website at www.worldviewweekendfoundation.com  At the very least, please join us in praying for a great weekend of ministry that will have an eternal impact on the life of these young adults.
Worldview Weekend Foundation
Worldview Weekend Foundation
1016 West Poplar Ave #106-228
Collierville, TN 38017
Testimonials From 2014 Attendees:
Contend was a truly encouraging and edifying conference, where adults
and young adults alike were able to hear the Word of God accurately
taught and proclaimed to equip the saints in contending for the faith
and glorify God. All speakers brought a unique and dynamic contribution
to the conference, varying topics with in depth study of God’s Word with
available resources to continue learning. I really enjoyed hearing from
Brannon about contending against the “ISMS” of the day, which threaten
our society as well as true biblical theology.Jesse Johnson contributed a
humbling and edifying message on the Christians life from Philippians
1:21. Jared Carlson contended for the validity of the Bible and the
infallible Word of God, as well as clarifying the issue of homosexuality
in light of the Gospel. And finally Jason Carlson taught on the lie of
evolution. These speakers were my favorite and the notes I have taken I
will surely share with others. I thank everyone who made it possible for
the Contend 2014 conference and I hope that this conference will be
able to happen again to continue to equip believers to contend earnestly
for the faith.
I attended Contend this past weekend and had an absolutely great
time! My only complaint would be that it didn't last long enough! Haha. I
loved all of the speakers. The topics from you six were so different
that they are kind of hard to compare… It's uncommon for there to be a
event for teens that is full of facts like Contend was. Normally it
would be directed more towards having fun and building up self-esteem,
which is fine, but getting meaty facts was a really nice change! Thanks
again for all that you have done. see you next year!
High school student from Arkansas
The conference has been so important to me because the speakers have
directly addressed so many lies that I have been taught during my first
semester in college. The worldview that I am being taught and which my
professors attempt to convince me are right are not Biblical and it is
so important that I and others in my position learn what is right
according to God and how to defend truth.
High School student
I enjoyed Jason and Jared Carlson the most. I loved that they talked
about the problems that Christian college and high school students have
going against them almost every day, such as homosexuality and
evolution. This was the best Christian student conference I’ve ever been
to. Thank you for bringing this together Brannon Howse.
High school student
I want to thank Brannon Howse for giving a good summary of feminism,
mysticism and the other confusing issues of the day. I am looking
forward to reading further information. All of the speakers communicated
their messages with a degree of frankness and candor that was
refreshing and remarkable. Their commitment to truth inspired me to live
more truthfully. Also Mr. Johnson’s discussion about the purpose of the
church was very compelling…Thanks to everyone who put this together.
Des Moines, Iowa
I can’t thank you enough for hosting the Contend 2014 conference.
While I thoroughly enjoyed all of the speakers, I would have to say that
my favorite part of the conference was watching my 16 year old daughter
take it all in. As she herself may tell you, she did not want to
attend.I had to pull out the “Dad” card to get her to attend. But by the
end of the first night, she was soaking it all in, taking notes, and
asking me questions about the various topics the speakers discussed. She
has not shown this much interest in Biblical worldview issues for some
time. She is already looking forward to Contend 2015, and plans on
inviting some of her friends to join her. Thanks again, and may God
continue to bless you, your family, and your ministry.
I have loved my time at Contend 2014! I love the fact that I am
treated as a young adult instead of an immature kid. Contend has been a
great experience because everything has been focused on Christ, versus
keeping us entertained with fluffy messages. I have enjoyed the straight
forward facts. Thank you to all of the speakers and behind the scenes
workers for all of your time, teaching and work for us youth. Looking
forward to Contend 2015!
High School Student
The biggest thing for me that I’ve learned thus far is understanding
all the ISMS of today…this is crucial for my generation and being a
student in a top public university.
College Student From Georgia
A few of the speakers stuck out to me most. 1. Jesse Johnson: He
stuck out to me when he spoke on contending with purpose because my
youth pastor always tells us we have a purpose. So this topic always
captures my interest. 2. Brannon Howse: He just has a pleasant way about
the way he talks. It makes it easy to listen and follow what he is
speaking about. 3. The Carlson brothers have humor and some good stories
of how God has worked in their lives. 4. Michael Furchert: His story is
incredible. It amazes me that he did everything he did for God and his
family was the outcast for it…5. Usama Dakdok: You will love his voice!
The truth he revealed was amazing.
I liked the way everything was said…It was not like my church. We
were treated like the young adults we are. Repentance was taught. My
church doesn’t have a pastor, but only an interim. He doesn’t preach
much about repentance. This conference was so refreshing to me. I don’t
have any real Christian friends outside of church so the only
encouragement I get is on Sundays and Wednesdays and whenever I read
God’s Word. It was nice to have half a week full of Christ! Thank you!
High school student
This weekend has supplied me with evidence that has bolstered my
faith. I feel more confident in my beliefs and I have gained an insight
into the scriptures that I previously did not have.
Student did not put name or state on letter
One thing I have always struggled with is wanting to conform. The
testimony of Michael Furchert was a big encouragement to me in my stand
not to conform to society and its norms.
High School Student
This is a really life changing experience. A growing experience so we
grow in our faith in God and learn not to be fooled by Satan and false
This was my first Worldview Weekend conference. I’ve been to many
conferences over the years and I must say this is by far the most
informative Biblical conference I’ve been to. I appreciate the sound
Biblical teaching. Every speaker had me on the edge of my seat. Contend
2014 has given me more confidence to bodly stand up for Christ and the