Too many preachers preach self. They preach what they think, what they saw, what they felt and what they envisioned.
Too many congregants seek some form of a modern day prophet. They seek a person who possesses something special, a dynamic personality with unique spiritual gifts.
Too many Churches are trying to recreate the day of a Pentecost at every service and neglect the very bread of life, God’s word. Pastors are starving their congregation of the necessary food, the word required to sustain and grow them in this life and the next. Congregations are hungry for God’s word but opt for the quick fix of a type of spiritual, emotional candy, which leaves them empty and down after the service is over.
Frightful Goal of the Church
Most frightful is the modern day Church who’s goal is to, “feel good” and to “get along” with everyone and everything. This sentiment is cloaked and guised under the banner of Christianity, but is anything but.
“That this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the Lord: Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits: Get you out of the way, turn aside out of the path, cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us.” Isaiah 30:9-11
God and His word are being replaced by feelings and self approval. The rise in popularity of the atheist church around the world is testament to this fact. No God. No word, just self-adulation and justification.
Why is God and His word being avoided?
“Thou hast shewed thy people hard things: thou hast made us to drink the wine of astonishment.” Psalms 60:3
God and His word shows truth, purity and righteousness. Looking into God’s word shows inconsistencies in self to that truth and it can be very hard and very astonishing. It is why people require, “Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits”. The cold, hard look at self is too painful. This is why people then want, “the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us”.
You can’t justify yourself with Jesus standing in the way.
Some Preachers abide. They bend, alter or flat out omit the word of God. They deviate from the truth of the word, the word in the Bible and the word being Jesus Christ so as to please and attract people.
“Now therefore hearken, O Israel, unto the statutes and unto the judgments, which I teach you, for to do them, that ye may live, and go in and possess the land which the Lord God of your fathers giveth you. Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you.” Deuteronomy 4:1-2
“For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.” Revelation 22:18-19
If God’s word is taken away then you are not left with man’s word. What you are left with is the devil and the free reign of his word. There is no such thing as a spiritual void. If it isn’t filled with God then the devil will occupy the space. A Church not preaching and teaching the word of God and making the word of God priority one then it is not a Church of God.
Church, be very careful. Are you feeding the flock the bread of life or are you feeding them spiritual candy? The bread of life grows the person, spiritual candy diminishes.
The “I” Preacher.
Is the most often word used by your preacher, “I”? does every message generate from them? Does it always seem that to get to God you have to go through them? Are they full of prophesy and dreams that seem to dominate the service?
The epitome of sin is self, I. Pride and arrogance are its symptoms. The devil gives the perfect example of both. Notice how often the devil uses the word, “I”.
“How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.” Isaiah 14:12-15
The day of Biblical prophets is over. Does these mean prophesy is over? No. But beware of a self proclaimed prophet or one who accepts that title. The fact of the matter is that to prophesy or to be a prophet all one has to do is believe in God and His word. Read and receive his word. Preach and teach His word. That is all a prophet has ever done anyway! Pick up your Bibles and eat the word, the very bread of life. Let it be part and parcel of you. Speak God’s word! We are all children of God (Galatians 3:26), God, “hath made us kings and priests” (Revelations 1:6). We can become prophets of the most High but we must put God first and make His word a priority!
The next time someone says they are spiritual ask them the following question, “What spirit”? Many Churches need to ask themselves the same question. What spirit are many Churches operating under? They drive themselves into a “spiritual” fervor before services. They play song after song and to drive the atmosphere to an electric pitch. But is this a spiritual condition or purely emotional? If it is spiritual, why is the impact of music far greater than the word preached?
Jesus said, “It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” John 6:63
The spirit brings animation and life and the word is that spirit. If music animates and God’s word doesn’t, then we have a problem. Best to double check what spirit you are working under.
“I have no objection to instruments of music in our worship, provided they are neither seen nor heard.” (John Wesley)
“musical instruments were not used. The pipe, tabret, and harp here associate so intimately with the sensual heathen cults, as well as with the wild revelries and shameless performances of the degenerate theater and circus, it is easy to understand the prejudices against their use in the worship.” (Augustine)
“I am an old man, and I here declare that I never knew them to be productive of any good in the worship of God, and have reason to believe that they are productive of much evil. Music as a science I esteem and admire, but instrumental music in the house of God I abominate and abhor. This is the abuse of music, and I here register my protest against all such corruption of the worship of the author of Christianity.” (Adam Clark)
“David appears to have had a peculiarly tender remembrance of the singing of the pilgrims, and assuredly it is the most delightful part of worship and that which comes nearest to the adoration of heaven. What a degradation to supplant the intelligent song of the whole congregation by the theatrical prettiness of a quartet, bellows, and pipes. We might as well pray by machinery as praise by it…
‘Praise the Lord with harp.’ Israel was at school, and used childish things to help her to learn; but in these days when Jesus gives us spiritual food, one can make melody without strings and pipes… We do not need them. That would hinder rather than help our praise. Sing unto him. This is the sweetest and best music. No instrument is like the human voice.” (Charles Spurgeon)
It is time again for a revival of God’s word. Not a social gathering or an event with its soul intent to hoot and holler. We need a revival with a soul intent. Few Christians read the Bible or know the word. We need a revival just like in the Book of Nehemiah. Only through God’s word can we truly be spirit filled thus being fulfilled and spiritually happy.
“And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people; (for he was above all the people;) and when he opened it, all the people stood up: And Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God. And all the people answered, Amen, Amen, with lifting up their hands: and they bowed their heads, and worshipped the Lord with their faces to the ground.
Also Jeshua, and Bani, and Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodijah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan, Pelaiah, and the Levites, caused the people to understand the law: and the people stood in their place.
So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading. And Nehemiah, which is the Tirshatha, and Ezra the priest the scribe, and the Levites that taught the people, said unto all the people, This day is holy unto the Lord your God; mourn not, nor weep. For all the people wept, when they heard the words of the law.
Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the Lord is your strength. So the Levites stilled all the people, saying, Hold your peace, for the day is holy; neither be ye grieved.
And all the people went their way to eat, and to drink, and to send portions, and to make great mirth, because they had understood the words that were declared unto them.” Nehemiah 8:5-12
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