Many people throughout America and around the world are no longer “hearing Him". The days appear to have come according to God's Word from the Prophet Amos in Chapter 8 when there is a famine in the land of hearing the Words of the Lord. Many churches all over America have all but abandoned the preaching of the Word of God in favor of focusing on an entertainment program. The prevailing practice in many churches if not the majority of the churches is a focus on an attempt to attract non-Christians. The overwhelming focus in many churches is hardly distinguishable from a “rock concert" with little or no preaching of the Word of God, and particularly not the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ.
There is virtually no mention of the fact that only the blood of Christ can cleanse any person from their sin. Unless there is repentance and a return to the preaching of the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ, the non-Christians that are attracted will remain non-Christians! When Jesus spoke to the woman of Samaria, He told her “woman believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this Mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth." (John 4:21-24). The churches have always been intended for worshipers of God for the Father seeks such, not to attract pagans, who will always find other things to do.
When one looks at what is given priority in many churches on the “stage", rarely is it the pulpit. Increasingly, the focus is on a conglomeration of musical instruments situated in various positions around the stage or platform similar to a rock concert. The major significance is that primarily the focus in these churches is not on the pulpit and the preaching of the Word of God, but on entertainment.
- JESUS CAME TO SAVE SINNERS
The entire Word of God is the authentic historical account of God's redemption of fallen mankind. Jesus is the Lamb of God slain before the foundation of the world. God speaks to Adam and Eve in the garden after the fall and tells them of the coming Messiah. (Genesis 3) God loves His creation and purposes to redeem all those whom He has given to the Son from before the foundation of the world. In the passage of scripture in Matthew 17 quoted above, the Lord God said in the presence of Peter and James and John “this is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased hear Him”. One cannot be redeemed, according to the scripture, without hearing the Lord Jesus Christ. The Apostle Paul wrote to his young protégé Timothy that “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief." (1 Timothy 3:15) The Apostle John said, “for God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved." (John 3:16–17)
America, indeed the entire world, needs to know Jesus. Jesus said, “I Am The Way, The Truth, and The Life, and no man cometh unto the Father except by Me.” (John 14:6)
- THE DAY OF REPENTANCE
Many people in America today, as well as around the world, are in substantially the same condition as those who were in Athens when the Apostle Paul stood in the midst of the Areopagus and spoke to the men of Athens of the great unknown god to whom they had made an altar. Paul said, “truly, these times of ignorance God has overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent. God has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead." (Acts 17:30 – 31) Obviously, the Apostle Paul was speaking of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The day of repentance is now! The Apostle Paul in his letter to the Church of Rome said, “do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and long-suffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?" (Romans 2:4) Jesus himself said, “repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand”. “Hear ye Him." The passage of scripture quoted from the 17th chapter of Matthew which is set out above, occurred at the time of the transfiguration of Jesus witnessed by James and John and Peter. On that occasion, Jesus was transfigured before Peter, James, and John. His face shown like the sun and His clothes became as white as the light. The Bible tells us that even Moses and Elijah appeared to them talking with Jesus.
- THE EFFECT ON THE APOSTLES
The Apostle John speaks directly to the significance of this event in the first Chapter of the Gospel of John when he says, “and the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we be held His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14) The Apostle Peter also reflects on this event in his second Epistle in the first chapter when he says, “for we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His Majesty. For He received from God the Father honor and glory when such a voice came to him from the excellent glory ‘this is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased’. And we heard this voice which came from heaven when we were with him on the holy Mountain."
First, note the reality of the situation. Jesus was transfigured before Peter, James, and John and His eternal glory was revealed to them. Second, God the Father spoke in the presence of Peter, James, and John, and Moses and Elijah and told them that Jesus was His beloved Son in whom he was well pleased and commanded them to hear Him! Even the Apostle Paul, at the time of his conversion on the Damascus Road, saw the blinding light and heard the Word of Christ directed to him. These are not fables! These are not made up stories. This is reality. This is truth. Here ye Him!
Jesus has revealed to His people that He is the great I Am. Therefore He is the eternal God. One with the Father. We ought to want to hear Him more than anyone else. Jesus is our Savior. He came into the world to seek and to save that which is lost and to give His life a ransom for many. We are redeemed by the precious blood of Jesus. We are told in scripture that “He Himself bore our sin in His own body on the cross that we might be dead unto sin and alive unto righteousness”. We are also told that “He who knew no sin became sin for us that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.” That is the righteousness which we need to escape the wrath of God which is coming upon the earth. We ought to want to hear Him, indeed, we ought to demand to hear Him and the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ crucified!
- JESUS: THE EXCLUSIVE MEANS OF SALVATION
The glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ is “the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believes, to the Jew first and also to the Gentile”. We ought to want to hear of Him and to hear Him, for everyone needs a Savior. Scripture teaches throughout that “there are none righteous no not one”. “None seek after God”. “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God”. We are sinners by nature and by choice. We need a Savior! Hear Him!
If you are in a Church that is trying to design a service that appeals to pagans, pray, ask, seek, and knock that the Lord would change the hearts of those in authority and in positions to shepherd the flock of God. Ask the Lord to change their hearts and then you go to them and ask them to change the worship service so that those who need a Savior can hear the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Apostle Paul addressed the very issue that is at the heart of the problem in the church today, which has always been at the heart of the problem. This is nothing new. For in Paul’s first letter to the Church at Corinth, he said, “Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the Gospel of Christ, not with wisdom of words, lest the Cross of Christ should be made of no effect.”
You see, we are merely the pipeline. We are merely the vessel that carries the good news of the Glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ to others. This is a very important task for God has appointed us to this task. We are to preach the message that the Lord God gives us. “For the message of the Cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” (1 Corinthians 1:18)
Paul knew that there were those who were offended by the preaching of the Glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ, for God had revealed this to him. Paul said that “it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. For Jews require a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.” (1 Corinthians 1:21(b) – 24) Hear ye Him!
Hebrews 1:1-4 says that “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spoke in times past unto the father’s by the prophets has in these last days spoken unto us by His Son whom He has appointed heir of all things, by whom also He has made the worlds; who being the brightness of His glory, and the express image of His person and upholding all things by the Word of His power when He had by Himself purged our sins set down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become so much better than the Angels as He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.”(Hebrews 1:1-4)
The essence and substance of the message everywhere in the Bible is God’s Word to man. Because Jesus is the incarnation of God’s Word the message everywhere in the Bible is hear Jesus, the Living Word of the Living God! This is the reason that “the Bible is the most relevant book in the world” according to the great expository preacher Dr. D. Martyn Lloyd- Jones. The Gospel of Christ is the remedy for every problem facing mankind. We are not just pointing out criticism of men in general, churches in general, or anyone in general; the fact of the matter is that the greatest need in the world today is for one to know God!
In order to know God one must hear and receive the Word of God. Jesus is that incarnate Word of the Living God – “My beloved Son in whom I Am well pleased” – Hear ye Him! Jesus calls to everyone to “come unto Me all you that labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me for I am meek and lowly in heart and you shall find rest unto your souls for my yoke is easy and My burden is light”. Additionally, the one point that cannot be missed is that God speaks to man. When the Lord God, the Great I Am says, “this is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased. Hear ye Him”, He is speaking to man.
The fact of God’s speaking to Peter and James and John on the Mount of Transfiguration made an impact on each of them that they never forgot. Indeed, the business of the church – the business of everyone who claims to be a minister of the Gospel of Christ – the business of each and every one in positions of authority to shepherd the flock of God, is to tell men of Jesus who is mighty to save. They are not required to come up with some new and interesting philosophy, program, or plan, but they are required to hear and obey Him. Dr. D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones once said regarding the business of the Church: “The business of the Church and of preaching is not to present us with new and interesting ideas. It is rather, to go on reminding us of certain fundamental and eternal truths.” Obviously, Peter says these are not fables – not fairy tales – facts! It is the mission of the church not to make attendees “feel good”; nor, is it to make bad men good; the mission of the church is to make dead men live. Tell them of Jesus so that they hear Him and live.
Now may the God of all peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus Christ, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you perfect in every way to do His will, working in you that which is well pleasing in His sight through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom be glory and praise and honor both now and forevermore Amen!
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