One of the things I love to do is preach! It seems to be the one thing that is always on my heart and has been burned into my spirit! I long to see the “church” come alive and experience all it should, and could be! Indeed, anytime people of faith come together to hear the Word of God proclaimed; amazing things can happen.
There is however, an element of great danger, for some who casually saunter into a place where the Word of God is declared . . . so much is at stake!
Every time we come together and share God’s Word; which by the way the Bible says is sharper than ANY two-edged sword (Hebrews 4:12) we have choices to make; some of those choices determine the fate of our eternal soul!
I have a background in metal working and there is a process by which you can make iron very hard. First, you need to get the iron extremely hot; and when the conditions are right, you quickly quench the iron bar, either in water or in oil, depending on the hardness desired.
There is a rather short window of time whereby the heated metal is thrust into the cooling medium; once this is done, the metal becomes quite hard.
Similarly, over hardened metal, can be softened again by heating and allowing the metal to cool slowly; this process is called annealing.
Spiritually speaking, the danger lies wherein the power of God, through His Word, is touching your heart. Often the heart is strangely warmed, heated by the Holy Spirit if you will, to the point of becoming altogether new; the composition is about to change.
Too often, it is at this critical point, the flesh rebels and quenches that fire; causing the heart to become excessively hard, and brittle. The Bible warns us about this . . .
Do not quench the Spirit; do not despise prophetic utterances. But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; abstain from every form of evil.
We live in a broken world that is dying and swirling in an ever-increasing state of despair. Hopelessness abounds and our own nation is getting angry, frustrated and on the brink of destruction!
People in our country are calling for revolution; should we not cry out to God for a revolution in the Church!
How did the church become so sleepy, so apathetic, so unconcerned about the current state of our world? It seems like we have been asleep at the wheel, only to begin waking up to a terrible mess, wondering how we got here!
It did not happen overnight; but rather by many years of complacency and disregard for the demands of the Gospel. The church once held a position of high esteem; those who joined the ranks of the church were, seen as upright and noble people; and getting your name on the rolls was important.
It is easy to join a church; go down to the river and be, baptized telling everyone you love God and believe in Jesus, take communion when it is, offered. Be sure to give a little bit of your income and smile a lot; imagining that is well with your soul, do this, and in most churches you will be, viewed as a spiritual person.
You now have now successfully acquired a form of godliness; you have respect in the church and with your peers. The growing numbers of people, whom you see, are just like you. A sense of self satisfaction grows, and you truly believe that you are quite safe and secure in Christ . . .
But what of the Power of God?
Listen to what noted preacher Charles Spurgeon; often referred to as the Prince of Preachers, had to say about this subject in a message preached Sunday morning, June 2nd, 1889:
I do not doubt that a form of godliness has come to many because it brings them ease of conscience and they are able, like the Pharisee, to thank God that they are not as other men are. Have they not been to Church? Have they not paid for their pew? They can now go about their daily business without those stings of conscience which would come of neglecting the requirements of religion.
These people profess to have been converted and they are numbered with Believers. But, alas, they are not of them. Of all people these are the hardest to reach and the least likely to be saved. They hide behind the earthworks of a nominal religion. They are out of reach of the shot and shell of Gospel rebukes. They fly among the sinners and they have taken up their quarters among the saints. Sad is that man’s plight who wears the name of life but has never been quickened by the Holy Spirit.
What then is the power of God which is lacking?
True godliness happens on the inside, and works its way to the outside. The true power of God comes when a sinful wicked heart, infected with the curse of Adam, is “re-created” and made new, restored to its intended condition; now that’s the power of God!
Remember the promises of God to Ezekiel. . .
I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh.
I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.
At the conclusion of Peter’s message in Acts 2, Peter gives the key to the Spirit-filled life, the way to be baptized in the Holy Spirit; it comes by repentance and baptism, and by baptism I mean being immersed, covered with Jesus.
The key is repentance! Without it, there will be NO SALVATION and NO SPIRIT-FILLED life. None!
We all want “Godliness with Power” we all want to live victorious Christian lives, but we cannot unless we have repented. What produces repentance?
Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.
“Godly sorrow” produces repentance. I have to ask you if you have ever felt godly sorrow. Have you ever felt the need to repent, and then actually do it!
Because if you have not ever repented, you are NOT redeemed, and you are still in your sins, and are as lost as ever; even more lost, because you have deceived yourself into thinking you are redeemed, when in fact you are not.
Jesus said these stunning words . . .
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’
The most revealing and frightening aspect of this passage is that the people were, so convinced that they knew Jesus; when in fact, He did NOT know them!
- What can be said of you?
- Are you holding to a form of godliness, are you the real deal?
Deep inside your heart you know the answer.
- Will you resist still?
- Will you quench the Holy Spirit one more time?
This is your chance; for some . . . this could be your last chance!
Dr. Martin Lloyd Jones puts it this way . . .
You do not decide for Christ, the sinner FLIES to Christ in utter helplessness and despair.
His arms are open wide . . . run to Him!