What Do You Want To Hear?

Denver Thomas

Where is the fire? There seems such little enthusiasm these days for the work of the Lord. No longer do people gather in large numbers to hear a gospel sermon or attend a worship service. Church attendance, in general, is very low, and seemingly getting lower. It appears people no longer have the time nor the interest for true religion. A religion of convenience and feeling good has become the norm. Not much is offered, and not much is expected! Sermons are often innocuous. Revivals are "a thing of the past." Gone are the days when church buildings, tents, or other meeting places would overflow with those assembling to hear a sermon from the Word of God. Why? What has changed? Have we outgrown our need for God?

I just read an article depicting how modern day preachers preach and teach what people want to hear rather than what God wants them to hear. They are known to tailor their sermons to please the crowd. Seemingly, some fear the loss of “their jobs,” while others just take the easy path: “Don’t make waves. Don’t make anyone uncomfortable. Just leave them feeling good.”

Many people have become such as those Paul described to Timothy in 2 Timothy 4:1-5, “I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.”

Perhaps, others have become like those of Laodicea spoken of in Revelation 3:15-16, “I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.”

James tells us in James 1:21-25, “Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls. But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.”

Preachers and teachers have the grave responsibility to proclaim the truth (2 Timothy 4:2), and nothing but the truth. They were never authorized to be entertainers or crowd pleasers! Paul declared in Romans 1:16, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” Again, in Acts 20:26-27, he wrote, “Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men. For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.” 

So what do you want to hear? The Truth? Half Truths? Fables? Man’s Religion? Entertainment? Remember what James said: it is “the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.” -PO Box 821, Milton, WV 25541-0821. DLeeT@aol.com

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