To defend God’s truth in a godless culture, Christians must be prepared to vigorously uphold the truth and robustly preach the truth, Juan Sanchez preached during The Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary’s chapel service, Nov. 19.

Sanchez serves as senior pastor at High Pointe Baptist Church in Austin and is the immediate past president of the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention (SBTC). During his introduction of Sanchez to the chapel audience, Adam W. Greenway, president of Southwestern Seminary, noted some of Sanchez’s other ministries, including council member of the Gospel Coalition and co-founder and president of Coalición por el Evangelio.

“I’m thankful for your ministry in Austin, thankful for your work with our SBTC partners and friends, and it is a joy to welcome you to the Southwestern Seminary chapel pulpit,” Greenway said. 

Preaching from Revelation 2:1-7, Sanchez reminded attendees that believers will be constantly under attack for their faith.

“Imagine how very difficult it is to live in a godless and anti-Christian culture,” he said. “Imagine how difficult it is to live in a culture in which pluralism is the only acceptable choice when it comes to religion; a culture in which idolatry is rampant; a culture in which the occult and magical arts are acceptable and popular; a culture in which political leaders are adored as gods and turned to as saviors.

“Of course, you know I’m referring to first-century Ephesus, but it does sound a lot like our own culture, doesn’t it? Not much has changed in 2,000 years.” 

Southwestern Seminary students today are learning to defend the truth “in the midst of just such a culture,” Sanchez said.

Yet in the battle for truth, the Ephesians abandoned love. “As we learn to proclaim and defend the truth in an anti-Christian culture, we, too, face this same danger of abandoning love,” Sanchez said. “Truth and love must stand together.”

“How do we maintain the truth in the face of a godless culture?” he asked. “We maintain the truth by remembering the risen Christ.”

“We need to remember that Jesus is sovereign; Jesus is on His throne,” he said. “No matter what happens in this world, no matter what circumstance we face, Jesus is in control.”

Sanchez recalled that the apostle Paul encouraged the Ephesians to live “as lights in this dark world.” Today, he said, “It is hard work in a godless, anti-Christian culture to keep fighting for the truth, to keep preaching the truth when it seems like no one is listening.”

“If we’re to maintain the truth, we must persevere and endure faithfully,” he said. “It will be hard labor, it will be difficult labor, we will be tempted to become weary, but we must press on. The only way to combat false doctrine is with revealed biblical truth.”

“Number one, maintain the truth, and number two, do not abandon love,” he stressed. “Those are the only two points I have.”