WE LOST THE BIBLE IN THE CHURCH

 

Those words may sound funny but I think this is happening today.

Something similar happened thousands of years ago in II Kings 22.  When Josiah became king he wanted the temple to be repaired. He was a reformer king, a revival king; and while they were fixing up the temple they found God’s Word which had been lost in His house.

 

“I HAVE FOUND THE BOOK OF THE LAW IN THE HOUSE OF THE LORD” II Kings 22:8

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WE DON’T NEED PREACHERS BUT COMMUNICATORS

I was told that  personally…

I was told that the day of the preacher is gone and I need to learn how to be a “communicator”.

“That is your problem”, the young pastor told me. He pastors an up and coming church. I think his success was now clouding his thoughts.

How sad that we are now letting culture and society dictate how the church is to operate.

Romans 10:14 “how will they hear without a communicator….” I think it says PREACHER.
I was reading an article last week called “the juvenilization of God”.  It’s basic premise is that we have dumbed down our services and are now treating our congregations like Junior High kids that need smoke, lights and lattes in order for people to come and listen to us “communicate”.
I happen to be one of those old fashioned guys that think Jesus is enough.
I know, here it comes….”We do all that, AND think Jesus is enough!” will be the cry of those blasting this post.
I would be quiet if the message wasn’t getting dumbed down also. I think the message is getting effected now by the means. I think true preaching is best defined by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones who said it was “theology on fire.”
We dress up better on Mondays now then we do on Sundays.  God forbid if someone “communicates” longer than 17-21 minutes.  It would be “ichabod” if we didn’t have a schedule that told us what was next on the agenda.  And how dare you call your church by some religious name like “revival” , “tabernacle”, “redeemer” and not use words like “community” and non religious terms in the name.
I think we are getting intoxicated with pursuits after misplaced passions.  After the flat screens, the macchiatos, flip flops and Hawaiian shirts, a bunch of metaphorical songs about sloppy wet kisses are done….if the Holy Spirit descends, then who am I to say anything.  Then keep on sipping, flip flopping, and singing metaphors. But if there is no fire, conviction, repentance, but just simply adjusting the church to fit your mode of life then we have missed it….BIG TIME. 
“If the church tries to be embraceable by everyone
we lose our power to Influence anyone.”
                                                    ~ JR

I can’t seem to get this…

“greater works than these (you) will do”

John 14:12
“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do,
he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father.

This is such a tough verse to wrap oneself around…
“GREATER WORKS” than Jesus?
Are you kidding me?
Jesus raised the dead…
Jesus multiplied food…
Jesus stopped nature in it’s tracks by talking to it….

So you are telling me greater than that?

I’ve heard this verse in the midst of high octane pentecostal meetings and someone will blurt out in a commissioning service “greater works you will do”….everyone would join in the “amen’s” but I have to say if you cornered any “amen-er” and simply said “what does that mean?”  I’m really not sure any one of them could tell you the answer.

I know I couldn’t.

Thanks for the great Romans expositer and Philadelphia Presbyterian Pastor, Donald Barnhouse.  His Romans commentary was what I cut my teeth on.  While reading him one day, I ran across this in his commentary that dumbed it all down for me.

Sometimes… I just need stuff dumbed down.

Donald Barnhouse explained this verse with this amazing illustration.

“Aboard a US submarine in enemy waters a sailor was stricken with an acute case of appendicitis.  The nearest surgeon was thousands of miles away.  Pharmacist Mate Wheller Lipes watched the seaman’s temperature soar to 106 degrees.  His only hope was an operation or he would die.  Said Lipes, “I have watched doctors do it, I think I could.  What do you say?”   the sailor consented; and in the wardroom, about the size of a train compartment the patient was stretched out  on a table beneath a floodlight.  The mate and assisting officers, dressed in reversed pajamas tops, masked their face with gauze.  The crew stood by  the diving planes to keep the ship steady; the cook boiled water for sterilizing.  A tea strainer served as an antiseptic cone.  A broken handled scalpel was the operating instrument.  Alcohol drained from the torpedoes was the antiseptic.  Bent tablespoons served to keep the muscles open.  After cutting through the layers of muscles the mate took twenty minutes to find the appendix.  Two hours and a half later, the last catgut stitch was sewed, just as the last drop of ether gave out, 13 days later the patient was back to work.  A successful operation.

Admittedly this was a much more magnificent feat than it had been performed by a trained surgeon in a fully equipped operating room of a modern hospital.

(Here goes his amazing explanation)

Study this analogy and you come up with  the real meaning  of Christ’s words “greater works than these shall he do because I go unto my Father….” For Christ to work directly on a soul to quicken and bring out of death into life is great…. but for Him to do the same thing through us is an even greater work.”

Now that makes sense to me.
I can wrap my puny mind around that.
The “greater work” is not that the work is greater (than NT works) but what makes it greater is the rough and unconventional instruments He is using and yet it still happens.
Jesus goes to the Father and He decides to use us to get the job done.
You and I are the unconventional instruments our Master Surgeon uses  and when the operation is all done….you don’t praise the scalpel but the One Who used the scalpel.  We have too much scalpel worship and not enough Physician praise; but that is another topic for another time.