Society has cultivated a distorted view of reality —author Mark Sayers has called it “hyperreality” — and its effects can be devastating, Pastor JR Vassar, founding pastor of Apostles Church NYC, told students at Palm Beach Atlantic University on Thursday morning.
"It ends up creating an incredible discontent in our hearts," Pastor Vassar said, speaking to an assembly of students in the Rubin Arena during the University’s Christival celebration.
Hyperreality causes people begin to disdain what is ordinary and instead crave the exotic, he said, adding that the perpetual discontent then begins to settle into everyday lives.
Society’s answer? Consumerism, he said.
"It’s all about consumption. It’s about consuming goods, consuming experiences, consuming people."
Jesus addressed similar concerns in his day, Pastor Vassar said. In the sixth chapter of John, "Jesus says all of it will fail you. I’m the bread of life," he said.
To fully embrace Jesus, to have a covenantal relationship with Him, we must be "all in," Pastor Vassar said.
Then we are no longer living for the world’s goods but for the world’s good, he said.
"When you see that Jesus is for you, you will not mind having him over you," he said. "You will not mind committing to the lordship of Jesus when you understand he does not rule with iron fist or fierce hand. He loves you. He gave his life up for you. If he gave his life up for you, his goal is not to keep you in line. His goal is to give you life."
Pastor Vassar’s remarks came during the second day of the two-day Christival event. Christival is a multi-day series of chapels each semester with guest evangelists and praise music. The services are open to the PBA community.
This semester's Christival will conclude with a worship concert led by former chapel band musician Zach Williams at 11 a.m. today in the Rubin Arena.
Williams, a PBA graduate who is now a recording artist, reunited this week with fellow chapel band alumni Lance Villio, Ryan McDermott and Jason McDonell to perform during the services.