The simplicity which is in Christ is rarely found in the modern church of the western culture. In the place of this simplicity are complex program, methodologies, organization and a basket full of nervous activities that require time, attention, and a lot of money that cannot be seriously considered as honoring to God. Rather, much of what the western church has invented complicates our ability to loyally honor and obey our master because we have another god we’ve created that is always demanding our time, attention, and money.
The shallow, hollow and imitation of the world that marks our methods all testify against us that we, today, are more “this-worldly” minded rather than being, as A.W. Tozer put it, “other-worldly”, meaning heavenly minded. No wonder there is so little peace in God, so little rejoicing in Him. Many don’t even know God, much less are at peace or rejoice in and with God.
It was A.W. Tozer in his book, “The Pursuit of God”, where I was first introduced to the idea of how much of this world I had employed to do things I thought was pleasing to God. He was not the first to say it, just the first time I paid attention, that Scripture is sufficient, meaning all that is needed. If Scripture is inerrant and reliable, which it is, why employ so much of this worlds methods and simply behave like it is sufficient?
The voice of God, the word of God, is not merely the most powerful, most important component in nature, it is what sustains everything in nature, making God altogether different.
We’ve heard people accusing some Christians as “being so heavenly minded that they are of no earthly good”? I say it’s important the church be “other-worldly” heavenly minded so that we are of earthly good (salt and light).
It is the bible that puts the importance on words to advance the gospel, not entertainment, musicians, movies, games, or general silliness. The Bible even says that this duty of speaking words (preaching) is considered foolish by the unconverted. Yet the Bible calls out those who “have ears to hear, to hear what the Spirit says to the church”.
This may not be the day when men take kindly to an exhortation to listen.
Listening today is not part of the popular means because it implies another is speaking and we are of a worldview that celebrates the individual and even elevates his emotions and personality above truth, thus leaving him in a worse state than before.
Church, this coming Lord’s Day, come to hear a preached word from the word of God. Come prepared to listen. Then go and obey.
Preacher, this coming Lord’s Day, God’s people are expecting to hear what the Spirit says to the church, go to preach a word from the word of God. Away with your silly enticements and this-worldly mindedness. Be other-worldly minded so we may be of good to the sons of men.
Preacher – preach. Church – listen. All, go with authority from upon high into the byways of life advancing a gospel of a heavenly kingdom releasing the sons of men from the bondage of this world.