Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Whatcha think about this quote?

"Isn't it staggering when you think that one sermon on the day of Pentecost produced 3000 Christian people? And we had some cities yesterday where 3000 sermons were preached and nobody was saved. And it doesn't even faze us. The church used to be a lightning bolt, now it's a cruise ship. We are not marching to Zion - we are sailing there with ease. In the apostolic church it says they were all amazed - And now in our churches everybody wants to be amused. The church began in the upper room with a bunch of men agonizing, and it's ending in the supper room with a bunch of people organizing. We mistake rattle for revival, and commotion for creation, and action for unction. Look, I think this is a critical hour in history, the most critical hour in history; the Middle East is ready to blow up... the prestige of this nation we love has gone down ... As someone said, "We live in a theater of the absurd...When did you last tiptoe out of the sanctuary when you dare not say a word? The church has to rediscover two things. One, the majesty and the Holiness of God, and the other, the sinfulness of sin." ---Leonard Ravenhill


dean January 10, 2008 at 1:08:00 AM CST  

i think this is absolutely brilliant! most of it is pretty obvious... how we've replaced Kingdom service with lip service. but that last sentence cuts to the heart of the whole matter... the first part of the sentence: "rediscover the majesty and holiness of God." many have taken to relating and referring to God as some sort of cosmic buddy... we're losing our awe of God. in Isaiah 6, the prophet describes his encounter with God... "I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple.

it's as if Isaiah was so awestruck, so overwhelmed by what he experienced, that words absolutely failed him... "uh, the train of his robe filled the temple!" now THAT'S a big God!!

the second part of the last sentence... "the Church needs to rediscover the sinfulness of sin." many churches are either reluctant or just downright refuse to preach about sin (or hell for that matter). as far as i can tell, no discussion of salvation and what Christ did when He gave His life on the cross, can begin without first talking about the sin in our lives. preachers are afraid they'll offend someone if they tell them they are a sinner. i can't tell you how many testimonies i've heard that basically amount to someone saying their life was ok, or even pretty good, Jesus was just the missing piece to the puzzle. if Jesus is missing, things aren't pretty good or even just ok... things are HOPELESS... WE are hopeless! Jesus doesn't just compliment an already good life... He is the GIVER of life!

i just read on a youth ministry blog i follow, that the Young Life campus ministry is going through a major upheaval because they put out a document consisting of 6 "non-negotiables" for evangelism. most of the document is not in dispute, but the one part that is states that Young Life staff must explain sin and separation before talking about grace and forgiveness. 8 Young Life staffers were dismissed for refusing to go along. while Young Life may have been a bit heavy-handed in their dealings with the staffers, i wholeheartedly agree that in a discussion of salvation, you MUST first explain WHY a person needs salvation, and that's because they are separated from God due to their sin. we've watered down the gospel when we've left our sinfulness out of the equation.

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