Tuesday 9 February 2016

In 2 Corinthians, Paul does not lose heart when facing rejection,but that was certainly his temptation.

Isn’t this true to our experience as Christians? Which of us has not been tempted to give up trying to share the gospel with friends, family and neighbours? Who has not been disappointed at the response; the consequence is that we give up.

We give plenty of notice about a Christian festival or special guest service, but with little if any increase in our congregations. There is a cynical and rather dishonest way perhaps of getting your Church full however; just put a notice outside saying there will be a Songs of Praise service being held here at….on… Just watch the response as people think they are going to be on the television programme of that name.

One Vicar in all innocence did advertise such a service and genuinely meant a service in his Church, based on the television format, and was horrified when people abused him for misleading them, making them attend when they otherwise not have done so. The connection didn’t occur to him beforehand.

We should be like Paul who no matter what rejection or rebuff he received never gave up trying.

Next Sunday the theme is temptation, when we see how Jesus never gave in to being tempted by the devil. To those temptations Jesus showed obedience to God, resisted bribe and sensationalism.

I wish some of the preachers I have listened to would learn from Him. I have wondered at times if I was at a Church party rather than a service, with quiz questions, amusements, and on Minister who invited the congregation, where the average age was 60, to stand and do raising of arms and bending down to pretend putting things in a shopping trolley. (really)

One Vicar invited a comedian to give her lessons in telling jokes to make the people happy with her sermons. I read that there are courses now to instruct clergy in telling jokes.

Our Churches are being filled with leaders who are not only unsure about what the Bible is teaching; many of them don’t believe large parts are either true or relevant. They only want to teach what is tallying with society’s culture.

There are so many clubs, organisations, functions and institutions offering a whole variety of activities. If the Church is to attract people it has to offer something entirely different and special which cannot be found anywhere else. The answer, however old fashioned it may sound to the majority, is the teaching of the Bible by men and women who truly believe it to be the Word of God. Such men and women are not in plentiful supply because there are so few who are willing to adjust their lives away from non biblical living

The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel, they do not believe because they are blinded by the evil spirit.

When feeling despondent, say with Paul,
Therefore, since through God's mercy, we do not lose heart.

No comments:

Post a Comment