Monday, November 30, 2015

Worship Service... Or Lip Service?

"The Lord says: "These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is based on merely human rules they have been taught." (Isa. 29:13)

This, of course is the natural result of people seeking to have their itching ears scratched (2 Tim. 4:3). How many church websites promise things like "Passionate Worship" "Dynamic music" or "A modern praise band playing current worship favorites"? How many church mission statements state they want to help people become "passionate" followers and worshipers of Christ? Yet, where is all the passion? Where is all the devotion to God? The lives and influence of Christians - indeed, the life and influence of the church - belie the "passion" and "devotion" shown by so many in worship services and events all over the world. If we're honest we'd admit it's obvious the "devotion" to God shown during the worship time vanishes as soon as most walk out the door to go home. What about you? If what you display during the worship time doesn't translate to the world around you then you are likely among those described in the above scripture, to some degree or another. You can raise your hands and sing, "I love you Jesus" (even with a few tears) all day long, but you need to examine your heart and find out if it's real.

The late Dr. A. W. Tozer, author and pastor, said, “If the Holy Spirit was withdrawn from the church today, 95 percent of what we do would go on and no one would know the difference. If the Holy spirit had been withdrawn from the New Testament church, 95 percent of what they did would stop, and everybody would know the difference.”

Absolute truth.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Oh Those Itching Ears!

"For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear." (2 Tim 4:3)

I can say with absolute certainty that we are now in that time. Many who are reading this post find themselves in the company described in the above scripture, and they don't even know it. It has been my experience, especially in online discussions, that sound doctrine is a rare commodity these days.

Why do we find ourselves at such a place? Well, mainly because the Scriptures say it will happen. Another reason is because way too many preachers and other church leaders (and I use that term loosely) are for too interested in keeping butts in the seats and not offending anyone (all in the name of "love") than they are in preaching the truth and building the kingdom of God.

Not too long ago I was in one such church and picked up one of their brochures. On the brochure was their stated goal of providing a "casual and hassle-free atmosphere" for people to "experience" God. So, "repent and believe" (Mark 1:15) has become "casual and hassle-free", and "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations..." (Matt. 28:19) has become, "let them 'experience' God"?

So how does one know if they're one who wants their itching ears scratched (or are the ones doing the scratching)? If you're about to jump into the comments section to refute or argue with what I just said, there's your answer.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

A Preacher on the Fence

I don't know the original source for this old poem, but it is so very true.  Saw it first on Facebook, posted by Jerry Demott.  Thanks Jerry!

From out the millions of the earth
God often calls a man
To preach the Word
And for the Truth to take a royal stand.
'Tis sad to see him shun the cross,
nor stand in its defense;
Between the fields of right and wrong,
A preacher on the fence.

Before him are the souls of men
Bound for heaven or hell;
An open Bible in his hand,
And yet he will not tell
All the truth that's written there;
To them 'twould be an offense.
The joys of heaven, the woes of hell.
A preacher on the fence.

Now surely God has called a man
To battle for the right;
'Tis his to ferret out the wrong,
And turn on us the light.
And yet he dare not tell the truth;
He fears the consequence;
The most disgusting thing on earth
Is a preacher on the fence.

If he should stand up for the wrong,
The right he'd not defend.
If he should stand up for the right,
The wrong he would offend.
His mouth is closed; he cannot speak
For freedom or against.
Great God, please deliver us
From a preacher on the fence!

But soon both sides will find him out,
And brand him as a fraud.
A coward who dares not to please
the devil or his God.
Oh Lord, free us from fear of man;
From cowardly pretense;
Cleanse out the dross and fear of loss,
And keep us off the fence!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Talk, Power or Neither?

"The Kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power." 1 Co 4:20

Curiously, the church is split on this subject.  One segment believes the power of God and the gifts are for today; the other doesn't and would rather rely upon talk.   But where is the church on the world scene today?  Those who believe in power, for the most part, are sitting home too scared, busy or indifferent to use it.  Those who believe in talk are at home doing the same thing.  What is it going to take to get the church back on track?  It will take a few bold individuals to get up, challenge the status quo, and actually do what the word of God says rather than just reading about it.

Anyone up to the challenge? 

Saturday, October 27, 2012


"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for, certain of what we do not see."  Faith makes things happen.

When we pray, do we expect God to give us everything we ask for, every time?  Or, do we pray then "wait and see"?  That's not praying in faith - that's hope at best.  Hope says, "God can", but faith says, "God will".

Monday, August 8, 2011


In the church we sure do alot of talking about how things should be, but what do we DO.  Many stand to testify and make passionate commentary, but that's as far as it goes.  The same scene plays out in churches all across the country at various times during any given week, yet the world remains unaffected.  I must say that no one is preaching the gospel in power like Jesus did, otherwise we'd hear about it.  Jesus and His disciples created a stir wherever they went, and people heard about it - and all without CNN!

The nationally known pastor that wrote the book promoting universalism made more of a splash than anyone who might be speaking the truth.  Jesus told us He would make us fishers of men.  We have become well versed in talking, learning and teaching about fishing but we never fish.  If we never prove the truth by showing it in action, the lies and falsehood will always have the upper hand.

We can't simply speak or pray things into existence.  We must go and make disciples.  We cannot simply stand in church and "bind or loose" stuff.  We can't stand there and say, "This is how it's gonna be," and expect anything to happen.  It gives us spiritual goosebumps and makes us look spiritual, but it has absolutely no effect on anything.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Test the Spirits

Something woefully lacking in the church today is the ability (and dare I say willingness) of the average Christian to test what they are being taught.  It's all part and parcel of the old "itching ears" that I've written about before (1 Tim 4:3-4).  The reasons for it are too numerous to mention, but the fact is it exists and it needs to stop if the church is to be used of God the way He wants to and the way we all want Him to.

In 1 Th 5:21 we are told, "Test everything. Hold on to the good." Then, in 1 Jn 4:1 we hear, "Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world."

Preachers and teachers today have done an excellent job of persuading the church to keep their mouths shut and to just accept what they hear.  Oftentimes people who question their pastors/leaders are labeled as rebellious, and they often take it as a personal attack.  However, that is not what we see in the scriptures.  In Acts 17:11 we see that testing teaching is actually a noble undertaking: "Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true." And this was no ordinary preacher they were testing - it was none other than the Apostle Paul!  If Paul was to be tested, then why should any preacher or teacher today feel slighted when their audiences do the same?