DiM | “Forever” by Kari Jobe

Presentation1Today is another “Discernment in Music” (DiM) day here at Faithful Stewardship (2 Corinthians 10:4-6 (ESV)).

August 20, 2015. Today we’ll be taking a look at “Forever” by Kari Jobe which currently sits at #7 on the KLove top 10.

This is another cross-over song written for corporate worship that is very popular on Christian radio. This song does not call the hearer to repentance, but it is a song of declaration of a crucified and risen King, Jesus Christ. Overall, this song has some good stuff. It is full of emotional power, my eyes well up with tears each time I hear the song played… and since I keep the song on repeat as I work through these DiM posts… you may assume that my face is streaked with tears. I’m okay with that. Oh, how I wish there was a call to repent and be forgiven in Jesus’ Name. Without the call to repent and be forgiven… the theology behind the songwriters reflects Bethel’s Kingdom theology… which is to be avoided. Bethel teaches heretical Christology. Here, we will redirect whatever false theology lay behind the intent of the song, and re-frame it in Biblical theology. Jesus Christ overcame sin and death, so that we might repent of our sin and be forgiven in Jesus’ Name, for He bore the wrath of punishment for our sin upon the cross, and by faith in Him we might be granted the righteousness of Christ, imputed to us by an act of God’s Grace.

VEVO Lyric Video

Lyrics (via Air1.com)

Kari Jobe – Forever Lyrics

The moon and stars they wept
The morning sun was dead
The Savior of the world was fallen
His body on the cross
His blood poured out for us
The weight of every curse was broken

One final breath He gave
As Heaven looked away
The Son of God was laid in darkness
A battle in the grave
The war on death was waged
The power of hell forever broken

The ground began to shake
The stone was rolled away
His perfect love could not be overcome
Now death where is your sting
Our resurrected King has rendered you defeated

Forever, He is glorified
Forever, He is lifted high
Forever, He is risen
He is alive
He is alive

Publishing: © 2013 Bethel Music Publishing (ASCAP) / Worship Together Music (BMI) (Admin. at CapitolCMGPublishing.com)
Writer(s): Kari Jobe, Brian Johnson, Jennifer Johnson, Gabriel Wilson, Joel Taylor, and Christa Black Gifford

Discussion

The first verse declares the death of Jesus Christ on the cross.

Luke 23:39-47 (ESV) | The Death of Jesus

39 One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him, saying, “Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!” 40 But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? 41 And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” 42 And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” 43 And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.” 44 It was now about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour, 45 while the sun’s light failed. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. 46 Then Jesus, calling out with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” And having said this he breathed his last. 47 Now when the centurion saw what had taken place, he praised God, saying, “Certainly this man was innocent!”

Amen. But Jesus was not left in the grave.

Luke 24:1-7 (ESV) | The Resurrection

24 But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb,taking the spices they had prepared. 2 And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3 but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel. 5 And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? 6 He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, 7 that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise.

The second verse of the song portrays Matthew’s account of the resurrection.

Matthew 28:1-7 (ESV) | The Resurrection

28 Now after the Sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. 2 And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. 3 His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. 4 And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men. 5 But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. 6 He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. 7 Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and behold, he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him. See, I have told you.”

Now, onto what is missing from the song… why did Jesus come, live, die, and rise again from the grave? For that, let us go to Peter’s sermon in Acts 2.

Acts 2:22-41 (ESV)

22 “Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs that God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know— 23 this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. 24 God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it. 25 For David says concerning him,

“‘I saw the Lord always before me,
for he is at my right hand that I may not be shaken;
26 therefore my heart was glad, and my tongue rejoiced;
my flesh also will dwell in hope.
27 For you will not abandon my soul to Hades,
or let your Holy One see corruption.
28 You have made known to me the paths of life;
you will make me full of gladness with your presence.’

29 “Brothers, I may say to you with confidence about the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. 30 Being therefore a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that he would set one of his descendants on his throne, 31 he foresaw and spoke about the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to Hades, nor did his flesh see corruption. 32 This Jesus God raised up, and of that we all are witnesses. 33 Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you yourselves are seeing and hearing. 34 For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he himself says,

“‘The Lord said to my Lord,
“Sit at my right hand,
35     until I make your enemies your footstool.”’

36 Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.”

37 Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” 38 And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.39 For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.” 40 And with many other words he bore witness and continued to exhort them, saying, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation.” 41 So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls.

Now, I do have some minor concerns with some of the wording in parts of the song. The third line in the song describes the Savior as fallen, and we generally associate the word fallen with sinful. That is not what is being conveyed here. The picture here is one of a fallen soldier, one who has died on the battle field. Christ died and in that death He secured Victory for all eternity. This doesn’t detract from the song, but I worry that someone might wrongly use this as a disqualifier for the song, so I wanted to address it openly.

There is a portion in the second verse that asserts that Christ fought a battle in the grave. Bethel teaches some crazy mysticism and heretical Christology, so there is probably a lot of bad teaching driving this, but as I read the scriptures, the battle was won on the cross, when our Lord and Savior declared It is finished. The Resurrection is further proof of Who He Is, and awaits all of those whose names are Written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. One final point is that of death. The all will still taste the first death, and then the judgment. We who are in Christ will not taste the second death, which is reserved for the demons and the unbelievers.

Conclusion

For the most part, what is present in the song is very good. The song is incomplete as far as the Gospel goes. The context of the song as written is dubious, given its connection to Bethel. If your church is performing this song, I pray the Doctrine preached in your church is sound and sharply contrasted against Bethel’s false teaching.

Romans 15:13 (ESV) 13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

Amen.
In Christ Jesus,
Jorge

5 thoughts on “DiM | “Forever” by Kari Jobe

  1. What are your thoughts on playing the Bethel songs in church? How would you look at the idea between just playing the song because it is a ‘decent’ song versus the potential danger of the local church’s acceptance (or endorsement) of Bethel without addressing the major concerns of Bethel’s wonky teachings? Disclosure: I am not comfortable supporting songs by Bethel in the local congregation (it troubles me) because of the different bad teachings the leadership supports.

    Derrick

    • Hearing Bethel music played during church worship is a red flag for me. I leave room for the possibility that the leadership of the Church is fully aware of the heretical theology taught by Bethel, and that whatever song is being played has been fully vetted. If the Church does its job in preaching sound doctrine, there is a chance that a ‘decent’ song such as this one can be rightly understood by the congregation. What the worship leader says before / after / during this song can also have a correcting effect on how the congregation perceives the lyrics. The best way for a song like this one to be performed in a church, is if the worship leader pens a third verse to clarify the theology. I’d like to see more worship leaders take this route.

      I don’t consider any of these corrective measures effective for the practice of playing Bethel or Hillsong music tracks over the sound system as background music. It happens often during “altar calls”, collection of the offering, meet-&-greet time, and intermission between services. When such music is played in the background, it most often serves as a general endorsement of the band (Hillsong United, Jesus Culture, U2…yep, I’ve heard it, etc). Since this tends to happen more in your seeker churches, there will be folks in attendance who have been invited specifically because they are unsaved. You’ve just endorsed music from heretics as fit for playing in the Church to those who don’t know the Word of God. That’s a big problem.

      Thank you for asking the tough question, and for visiting the blog. God bless you and keep you in His Will.

    • The folks at Pulpit & Pen took particular issue with this lyric concerning the battle in the grave by calling forward Bethel’s false christology. In their article, they are discussing the theology of the organization and the artist and how it drives their teaching. I think they are correct in their assessment of the artist, Bethel, and the theology working behind the lyric of this song. When I reviewed this song lyric on its own merits, I took issue with that line, and pointed out where it was wrong (Christ declared “it is finished” on the cross), and continued working through the song. I don’t recommend anyone listen to anything Bethel puts out. I could have been harder on this point of the lyric, but was probably trying to highlight the positive points which are so rare in Bethel and Hillsong music.

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