What a great day it has been! Started the day again with a wonderful Bible study in the 5th Chapter of John. The diseased man at the pool of Bethesda had endured his disease for many years and could never make it to the pool when the Angel stirred the waters. He was sick, helpless and hopeless until Jesus came his way and changed everything. You know, that was exactly how we were before He came our way. But for those of us who have put our faith and trust in him, He changed everything.
This morning we also had the privilege of laying hands on and praying for one of our Christian brothers who is facing some very serious health issues. That was very special for all of us and I know it was greatly appreciated by our brother. We certainly believe in the power of intercessory prayer but we also believe that God deserves all the glory in every situation no matter what the outcome. However, our selfish desire is to see our brother healed and we will continue to lift him up in prayer on a regular basis.
Last week, as we continued our “Then and Now” series, we discussed how the “messenger” seems to have changed over the last few decades and how it has affected the present day church. This evening I would like to consider how the “message” has also changed as it is delivered by many of the “messengers” that fill the pulpits today. The change I’m referring to has been very subtle and slow and many Christians do not even recognize that the change has taken place.
Let’s begin by asking a few simple questions. How long has it been since you heard the word repentance? When was the last time that you heard from the pulpit that one must repent? That one must place their faith in Jesus and what He did at Calvary? The words sin and the blood are very seldom used to describe man’s problem and God’s solution. We’ve grown accustomed to hearing feel good sermons and walking away with a warm fuzzy feeling but no burden for the lost and no change in our lives. One of the favorite words used today is surrender. It certainly sounds like a real spiritual word and it is. But in the context in which it is used, it’s almost like saying God has determined what your fate is and you don’t have a choice in the matter. So you might as well just give in. Just surrender. No need to repent. No need for faith. And that, my friend, is just about as untrue as anything I’ve ever heard or read in God’s word. And it is definitely far from what the message was when I realized that I was lost, that I was a sinner, that I needed to repent and place my faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
The conclusion to this matter is also very simple. The message from God’s word has never changed. Man has attempted to change it through the centuries but it has never changed. It is just simply this. Man has a sin problem that he is born with because of Adam’s fall in the Garden of Eden. Man can in no way or in his own merit solve the problem. The solution to the problem was provided by God Himself. That was the shed blood of a perfect sacrifice which was accomplished by Jesus, God’s own son, by His death on the cross. His blood covered a multitude of sin which included yours and mine. Therefore, we must have a repentant heart towards God and a sincere faith in Jesus before we can be reconciled to God. That is the real message and it will never change. Check it out for yourself. Don’t rely on what someone else says. God said it in His word and that settles it.
Next week, we will see how the church “members” have changed. Hang with me.
God bless each of you.