Today’s Scripture:  “27 And he arose and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship,28 Was returning, and sitting in his chariot read Esaias the prophet.29 Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot.30 And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest?31 And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him.”  Acts 8:27-31

Intro:

Just ten days left in this series, and then I think we’ll take a break to see where the Lord would have us to go next.  I have a pretty good idea, but if this next series is the one I think it’s going to be it’s going to be an even longer series then the one we’re doing now.  However, I believe that it might be a good series to get into.  I have to check out some of the messages in this series just to be sure that I’m not getting us into something crazy, and as long as it’s good, solid Biblical teaching…I do have a 40 day series for us…but I before we go there we’ll probably take a break…and make sure that it’s right with the Holy Ghost before we go there.  It is okay with you if I consult the Holy Ghost for our next series…right?  If not, then this isn’t the ministry for you to follow…because we follow the direction of the Holy Ghost here at Christlike Ministries NWA.

So, today’s message is about “Explaining The Word”.  I think you’re going to like it because I already have a few things rolling around in my spirit to say, and I’m sure the Holy Ghost will have a few things to say as well.  So, let’s get into today’s message.

Today’s Message:

We’ve used these verses a few messages ago, but I sense the Holy Ghost is bringing me back to them to adequately explain today’s message.  The set of verses I’m referring to is what Paul writes to us in Romans 10:13 – 15…and it reads:

13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!”

The question of “how shall they hear without a preacher?” is where I sense the Holy  Ghost is at for this particular message.  You know, yesterday I posted a message by Donnie Swaggart simply titled “The Old Paths”.  His main text was Jeremiah 6:16 (KJV):  “Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.”

In this message Donnie spoke about how the “new-age” apostles (and the message was preached in 2004) were saying that “the old ways of doing church just won’t work in today’s society”.  He went on to talk about letters that both he and his father Jimmy Swaggart received letters talking about how the way to “save the church today” is to have a “new way of doing church”.  This new way of doing church was actually outlined in the letter sent to Jimmy Swaggart.  They said:  “Imagine that you (the facilitator) are gathered in a restaurant, or even a local pub (bar, tavern).  You have your Bibles open, and you select a particular verse.  Then you (as the facilitator) give your opinion about what you think that verse means, and then you open it up for discussion.”  They went on to say that this new way of doing church is what’s needed to “fix the church”.

Well, I don’t know about you, and I don’t know how many of these messages on “Why Read The Bible?”  you have been a part of, but I can tell you a very easy way to fix the problem in the church today.  It’s not about how entertainment, it’s not about “facilitating a discussion”, and it’s not about doing a sermon on Rick Warren or Joel Osteen’s latest book.  What’s needed to “fix the church” is a return to the Word of God.  I’ve had the Lord speak this to me time and again…”NO WORD OF GOD = NO HOLY SPIRIT.  NO HOLY SPIRIT + NO WORD OF GOD = NO POWER.”  My friend, if you want to restore the power to the churches in America that return the Word of God to the pulpits!!!  You aren’t going to have Holy Ghost power without the Word of God.

You may have some spirit in operation manifesting signs, wonders, and miracles…but my friend any spirit that denies Jesus Christ is Lord is not the Holy Ghost.  You may have some kind of spirit performing miracles, but if you aren’t preaching the Word of God then I can guarantee that spirit that’s performing those miracles IS NOT THE HOLY GHOST.

Listen, I don’t even know what a facilitator is, but what I do know is that the day of the preacher has NOT come and gone.  We still need preachers.  We need preachers in pulpits who are unashamed of the Gospel, who understand that thus saith the Lord is still what thus saith the Lord, and who is unashamed of Jesus Christ.

Preacher, let me say this to you as clearly as I possibly can…one day you are going to stand before the throne of God, and give an account for every idle word that comes out of your mouth…and ever single soul that you lead astray from the Word of God teaching them these fables, and false doctrines you will be accountable for them as well.  Maybe you missed the part in the Gospel’s where Jesus said that it would be better for you to drown yourself in the sea then to lead one of “MY little ones astray”.

Preacher, I don’t know about you, but when Jesus says something like that I think that it’s probably in my best interest to make sure that when I am writing or speaking a message…I had better make sure that everything I write and everything I speak lines up with the Word of God.  I don’t know how in the world you can have anything to preach about without the Word of God anyways, but I can assure you that this ministry…this pastor is going to Preach The Word.

Preachers!  Preachers are necessary to preach the Gospel.  That’s what we do, that’s who we are, and it’s what we’re accountable for.  I am not going to sit here and rant and rave about the next great Rick Warren book.  I am sure he’s got some wonderful wisdom, and I’m also sure that some of what he writes is probably pretty good, and I’m sure that he has awesome insight into the Word of God…but there is NO WAY you are going to catch this pastor using that man’s book to write a message about.

I’ve said this a ton of times already.  If it wasn’t for the Word of God I wouldn’t have anything to write about.  I don’t have any idea what I would write if I didn’t have the Word, and I didn’t have the backing and unction of the Holy Ghost.  However, what I do know is that whatever I wrote apart from the Word of God and leading of the Holy Spirit would be rubbish…absolute rubbish.

So, again…this pastor and this ministry’s proclamation, promise, guarantee…whatever you’d like to call it is this.

OUR SOLE FOUNDATION FOR EVERYTHING WE ARE, EVERYTHING WE DO, EVERYTHING WE BELIEVE, AND EVERYTHING WE WRITE, PREACH OR TEACH IS THE WORD OF GOD…PERIOD.  We may borrow Joyce Meyer’s “Battlefield of the Mind”  Devotional, but the commentary is from us…as the Holy Spirit inspires and gives utterance.  Do you know why we have the Holy Spirit that inspires and gives utterance?  Because we stand upon the Word of God.  We stand for the Old Paths.  We still believe that the Bible is just as valid today as it was 2,000 years ago, and maybe even more so today because we know beyond a shadow of a doubt that there is NO other book like our Bible.

There is no other book written that is still writing it’s story.  The Bible may have been written more than 2,000 years ago, but it’s story is still being written.  So, when it comes to this pastor and this ministry I want you to know that our sole inspiration, our sole authority, and the sole foundation for everything we are, do, and hope to become is all predicated and based firmly in and upon the Word of God…and that’s the only thing this ministry will ever be based upon.

So, rest assure friends of Christlike Ministries NWA we will not be writing about Rick Warren’s book.  I haven’t even read it to be honest with you.  We will not be writing about any of Joel Osteen’s best sellers I haven’t even read those to be honest with you.  We won’t even be writing about Max Lucado’s latest book I haven’t read any of his books neither.

I also want it to be understood that I don’t have a problem with Rick Warren’s books, but seeming as how he believes that all religions have “a little bit of truth” in them.  I have decided that I can no longer support or continue to have anything to do with him on any of the Social Network sites I’m on because I don’t want to associate this ministry with anyone who subvert, perverts, or prostitutes the Word of God.  I don’t have a problem with Joel Osteen’s books, but based upon what I don’t hear him preach about and his interview that he had with Larry King Live…I don’t believe that he or his ministry need to have any association or support from my ministry because I don’t believe that Jesus Christ is one of many ways to Heaven…I believe He is the ONLY way to get to Heaven.

I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with reading books by Christian authors.  There are a lot of them like Max Lucado, Dr. Tony Evans, and more who believe, teach, and preach the Word of God.  What I am saying, however, is that when it comes to Romans 10 it’s clear that Rick Warren’s book has no redeeming value.  It doesn’t carry the power of the Holy Ghost, and it doesn’t have the power to save.  Neither does Joel Osteen’s book, or Dr. Tony Evans books, or Max Lucado’s books.

There is only ONE book that has the power to save, change, and transform a life.  There is only ONE book that tells the story of Jesus Christ, the Cross, and how to have a relationship with God through Jesus Christ.  There is only ONE book that is the power of God unto salvation, and leads men to repentance…and that book is the Holy Bible…and there’s no other book like it…anywhere…and will never be another book like it.  The Bible is a one of a kind book…and what’s disturbing is that preachers have turned the Bible into just another book.

Well, preacher, the Word of God isn’t just another book…it is THE book that all of us will be judged according to and by.  It is THE book that all of us are held accountable to.  Are you going to be on the side of the aisle that Jesus turns to say “away from me I never knew you’” or the side of the aisle that Jesus turns to say “well done, though good and faithful servant”?

I don’t know about you, but I want to be on the side of the good and faithful servant…and the ONLY way to make sure that I’m on that side is to Preach The Word.

Points for Pondering:

Well, this message really didn’t have much to do with today’s scripture, but I guess it does.  Preachers and teachers are responsible for explaining the Word.  Unfortunately today most preachers can’t explain the Word to you because they don’t really read it themselves.  The sad truth of today’s church is that you can go online and print out ready-made sermons.  You don’t have to do any of the studying, note taking or outlining of a sermon.  It’s already there.  Someone else already did the work, and is now posting it online to make your job easier.

Whatever happened to delighting in the Word of the Lord anyways?  Well…like we’ve said a few times it requires time and work to prepare messages that are Bible based…but that’s another message for another day.

Here are today’s questions:

  1. What is your impression of Philip?
  2. Why is it important to have someone else to talk with about the Bible?
  3. Do you have a person in your life that is this to you?

Conclusion & Prayer:

Well, I don’t really have a long-winded conclusion for today neither.  As we wind down this series I am just awe-struck by how far away from the Word of God the church has gone.  I suppose I shouldn’t marvel because I read it, and saw it coming…but I guess sometimes it’s just amazing to see how blatantly obvious the perilous times are that we’re living in…and how verses like what Paul wrote to Timothy were prophetic…and are coming true before our eyes.

Dust off that Bible at home, friends.  If you don’t have one…get one.  It’s important that we get back to the basics of life…and one of those basics is to rediscover a love and passion for the Word of God, and seek God to bring back the Old Paths.

Lord, I don’t have any idea what to pray today.  So, like Your servant Donnie prayed before his message on the Old Paths, I am simply going to pray the same thing.  Lord, return us to the Old Paths.  Give us a hunger and passion for Your Word that burns hotter and more intense than ever before.  Draw Your servants, Lord God back to Your Word, and raise men and women of God who are unashamed of Your Word to take the place of those who are.  Forgive us for being ashamed of You and Your Word.  Have mercy upon us Lord, and help us to get right so that we can Preach Your Word to a lost and dying world that’s going to hell because preachers are more concerned about entertaining people than evangelizing them….and getting them off the road to hell…and on the path to Heaven.  Lord, I love You, praise You, and glorify You and You alone…and in the name of Jesus I pray…Amen & Amen