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October 20, 2021 4:00 am
Churches are often ways that can attract people special services, likely music, entertaining sermons. But when Jerusalem's wall was rebuilt 50,000 people gathered expectantly. What was the big attraction find out today on Truth for Life.
Alister Ben continues his series. The pastor's study from God our father.
It is our earnest cry to you and be on the voice of a man and be on the pages of this wonderful book that we may hear your voice and may meet with you. We pray this for eyes as a church so that we might increasingly brought be brought into conformity with your work and we ask this as individuals, no matter what it means no matter what changes it brings.
We tell you that we want to hear you speak and we pray in Jesus name that is a sense in which this morning study helps to go some way towards answering the question, why is it that a church such as this would give such place and priority and preeminence to the public reading and teaching of the Bible because after all, not every place that names God's name and sets about to conduct worship services does as we do. Therefore, any thinking person presumably would want to try and analyze as to whether we were doing something that was merely preferential or something that was influenced simply as a result of external factors of time and culture are whether we are actually doing something that was of primary and foundational importance.
If you like something that has a biblical mandate that there is both preset for it, as well as the practice of it, which will enable both to obey as well as to observe because some of you have come from backgrounds even as recently as last week where your experience of worship was very different from the one a number of levels and perhaps not least of all on the basis of the fact that for much more time was spent in a liturgical emphasis on going through certain factors then would ever be spent on time given to the teaching of reading an explanation of the Bible. Again, any thinking person is going to ask himself whether this is simply a matter of superficial conjecture or whether it is in point of five something that is substandard to suggest to you this morning that it is absolutely foundational.
We recognize of course that in the minds of secular man. The idea of spending this amount of time on both reading and teaching and studying and understanding the Bible is really quite a strange notion because after all, the elevation of that which is tolerance beyond that which is truth has reached such an epidemic proportion that is great skepticism about anybody who speaks concerning anything with a measure of forcefulness and the television medium makes it sense that anybody who appears on TV to be driven and convicted or speaking with conviction about anything loose really rather crazy and people become fearful of this and in certain cases with justification in the British Isles many years ago now as a man by the name of Stanley Baldwin, a politician, and he was living in an era of great orators and powerful leaders. Lord Birkenhead was one Lloyd George was another Winston Churchill was another, and Baldwin had a bit of a problem because Baldwin really couldn't speak.
And yet Baldwin was going to go head-to-head with some of these men in seeking to secure votes from others, and so we decided to do was to turn his weakness into a strength and he began to suggest to people that he was just a plain ordinary Englishman that he wasn't one of these great speakers like Lloyd George or Winston Churchill or Lord Birkenhead.
None of that for him know know he was a man of the people.
And furthermore he suggested you want to be very very careful of anybody that speaks with such forcefulness. You should be very cautious of anyone who speaks with conviction or with emphasis and he sold this to the people to his own successful and left a legacy in the country which spilled over into the church, I think, which largely is existent.
If we examine it within the church today. Even here in the United States been brought on in many cases not without justification. As a result of some of the most extreme and bizarre forms of proclamation such as we witnessed on television being party to and listening to these things.
But beyond that, I think it has to do with something far more significant and that is that there is a sneaking suspicion that the Bible is not to be trusted in the way that people say it is. There is a loss of conviction regarding the authority of this blue so that what people do when they come and encounter authoritative preaching is given all these different things that tended to believe that anybody who is speaking with such conviction is presumably merely trying to manipulate people and that since there is no real foundation empowered in this book they've already decided then presumably the forcefulness is somehow to compensate for the absence of dynamism that is inherent in the book itself, and of course it is a way of speaking which so attracts attention to the individual better the end of it all be immersing my, what an amazing speaker. What we long for his of the people would walk out of the building safe.
My, what an amazing God, and what a wonderful book. Spurgeon when he was lecturing his students in an earlier generation sent to them concerning this unless we are instructive preachers and really feeling the people we many great quarters of elegant weekly and mighty retailers of secondhand windbags, but we shall be like Nero, of all fiddling while Rome was still burning and sending vessels to Alexandria to fix send for the arena. When the populace starved for one to: and that is a kind of preaching is like that.
It's entertaining and it's wonderful but inanimate all the peoples feel as though the guy has been fiddling while their lives were burning down now. The antidote to that is to do what were going to discover here and now my chapter 8 to refuse to respond to the spirit of entertainment which pervades our day whereby people do not come expecting to hear from God by the come expecting to hear from man about men.
They do not gather or sit out tentatively listen with expectancy by the setback passively may have just come off the week in which they been traveling and etched in their mind is the regarding his and I want you to sit back and relax and enjoy the flight. And somehow another. That's exactly the feeling they have and so they came to sit back and relax at enjoy the flight of plaintiff, NC, often led by some characters in the front which you may like you may dislike, but probably will be ultimately irrelevant to the fact that you have a business to return to tomorrow you're an elderly relative to visit this afternoon.
Your teenage son who is wrestling with drug June the marriage is on the rocks of plaintiff and see that really means very little talk you seek to preach is no special on, but it is a great call Bruce. Thielman says it this way.
There is no special honor in being called to the preaching ministry that is only special pain the poop it calls those anointed to it as the sea calls it sailors and likely see advancers and bruises and does not Rex to preach to really preach is to dying naked a little at a time and to know each time you do that you're going to have to do it again. What we have now my attempt anything is a classic illustration of this kind of proclamation and what I like you to notice this morning is simply for points.
Let me give them to you so you know where were going where watching the people here and were going to discover number one they gathered expectantly. Number two. They listened attentively number three that they responded properly and number four that they departed joyful okay so first of all, we're going to see in these opening verses the people gathering and were told that they gathered were told where they gathered they gathered in the square before the Watergate we would want to make more of this than is there but it is interesting to note that they arrived in the place that was not cloistered away in the temple area, but rather that they gathered in one of the centers of city life, the kind of place where God's wisdom pleads to be hair they would in the mainstream of things they were out where others could observe them. The aliens in the strangers and they gathered their they gathered you will see as one man now there the reckoning from chapter 7 is that there must've been somewhere in the region of 50,000 individuals who gathered on this particular occasion at a large congregation and yet we are told that they gathered as one man they gathered as one man. In other words, they came together in a spirit of unity. They came together with the same desires and the same devotion. This is the way God's people must always come if there is to be unity amongst the people of God and the expression of giftedness within the framework of corporate worship has to do with building up the church and the whole emphasis that Paul gives there to the church in first Corinthians 14 is not that if you take a thousand people in the gathered in a room.
They are there to have a thousand individual experiences but rather that the thousand people being brought to gather in the room in order that they may bring themselves that they may bring their own spirit of devotion their own spirit of expectation their own contribution to the worship so that their primary focus is not what my receiving from this event, but it is rather what I might contribute a to my brothers and sisters who have gathered around me now for a church ever to have a spirit of unity and commitment amongst itself. It demands this kind of unity in its gathering with the same devotion and the same desires no business organization can can I have any cohesion to it. Without this it needs to be stated clearly why there are there any Swedish stated clearly as to what they're doing and needs to be made clearly play into the wider going to sell or whatever it is they're going. So when God's people gather. The same is true now say somebody but surely were all very different. Yes of course there's tremendous diversity to it just struck me again yesterday in Washington DC that the amazing thing about how many faces there are in the world, but it's also when you're in an airport like that certain international airport.
You realize in millions and millions and millions of people in the end anything always been known to faces the same except when God decided to make to the say them using diversity that is represented in a congregation likeness and increase more and more may congregation be being marked by the diversities of race and nation made me so for God's glory so that we can show them what were talking about another superficial marriage in our background, but rather unity and devotion that is marked by first Corinthians chapter 1 and verse 10 while you turn to let you find out what it is.
If you don't, you just have to listen to me tell you.
First Corinthians 110.
I appeal to you, brothers, just fall in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you may agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you, and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought this doesn't mean that we all agree about everything. Some people like this and some people like that in some people like the next thing, but what it does mean is that at the very center of what it means to be the family of God.
There has to be unanimity of perspective in relationship to the priority of prayer to the authority of the Bible to the centrality and preeminence of Jesus to the absolute necessity of evangelism to the central place of the worship of God's people still want and it is the shared convictions which allow God's people to gather together as one man, you cannot have a church family where unanimity of perspective and that is something loved ones church for which we need to pray constantly that God would allow us as we gather together expectantly.
And in unity because after all we like them are gathering also voluntarily were not. Gathering here as a result of an act of Congress. There may come a day when an act of Congress is that we can gather here and then will act together against against the situations, but for now we're able to come when able to come with the spirit of the psalmist in our hearts.
I was glad when they said unto me let us go to the house of the Lord that the difference incidentally between a believer and unbeliever auto lease between somebody was walking with Christ in somebody who is crazy can be walking with Christ and not want to walk the people who love so when a swing church for you is merely heavy attendance upon an event which you have to enjoy and maybe in a moment in GA we have to endure which may have facets of enjoyment in it, and presumably something in terms of your own relationship with Garden City address our children get up in the morning.
Okay, Sunday. Your ergonomic chair while the Marines, but in the very heart of it all is simply this, there is none that seek after God. No, not one matter where you rearing them on what you do with them. The I do not my nature to scrape to the things of Christ.
They do not my nature. Love the law know my nature love the word they don't like. See teenage kids, many monopolizing the one doing the world the same and if they do same thing were saying what you want them to say wrestling that someone would have to pray not only can coerce them and convince them. Ultimately, we need to pray in the spirit of God, which is a hard I don't know what day it was in my teenage years when going to work something in my heart that made me go to church expectantly, but I know he did when I got my drivers license at the house most excited about. This may seem bizarre to you in cash in a weird mold and I can tell you I was ordinary and then bad again as you could ever imagine. I know my drivers license one of the most exciting things was to be able to drive 35 miles from Italy and Yorkshire to your which is of further north and east to go there to hear David once and preach on Sunday nights and in the service you can get there 45 minutes before it started.
I don't know how and when the transaction took place in my life, but it took place somewhere. I can only imagine that somehow or another the way in which my parents framed the parameters for me pave the way for that transaction taken place that I can make a decision in a vacuum. The people all gathered and you will notice the word Boys and Girls Club as well as men and women gathered expectantly under expectation was directly related to what was about to happen because he told Ezra the scribe to bring out the book of the law of Moses, which the Lord had commanded for Israel, bring out the book they told we want to hear what God has to say what the Lord had commanded.
We don't want to hear too much from you, Ezra.
We want to hear a lot from God when one order your opinions in your notions just read the book explain the book doings apply for and will be very thankful for that.
You know that every time that reformation on the revival has taken place in the history of Christendom.
It is always been related to great preaching. All that's why we would do well and I see it. Do you often to pray for God to raise up young man in whose hearts there is a conviction concerning the Scriptures because at every point in history when the when the society has turned around as a result of the people of God being stirred is being directly related to preach acts in the day of Pentecost wanted to do the preach manner and rather listen to this, this Jesus whom you crucified.
He is made in God is made in both Lord and Christ.
And when they heard this, the people were cut to the heart and they sent the money one another and rendering what shall we do this something we need to do. I'm equal to you from Martyn Lloyd Jones what is it that always heralds the Dawn of the Reformation of the revival, it is renewed preach not only a new interest in preaching, but a new kind of preach a revival of true preaching is always heralds that these great movements in the history of the church and of course with the Reformation and revival, they have always led to great and notable. The greatest preaching that the church is ever known as that was true in the beginning as described in the book of acts was also after the Protestant Reformation. Luther, Calvin Knox Latimer, Ridley. All these men were great preachers in the 17th century you had exactly the same thing. The great Puritan preachers and others, and in the 18th century. Jonathan Edwards Whitfield the Wesley's Rowlands and Harris were all great preachers.
It was an era of great preaching. Whenever you get Reformation and revival.
This is always and inevitably the result of what ever the late 20th century in America is about. It sure isn't about great preach and might be about great entertainment and might be about great singing MIB about great seminars and mighty about great families. MIB about many things, all of which enter in on themselves are fine and it is not about I suggest you great preaching.
Therefore, for those who are around there was as music lingers.
Revival Pearson because revival in preaching of always gone hand in and preaching is in the shadows. Neither the world nor the church believes.
And that's why, instead of congregations coming expectantly. The temptation is to become all that is Alister big Truth for Life with part one of a message titled bring out the book your Truth for Life.
We are passionate about doing just that. Bringing out the book every single day. In fact, it's our mission to teach the Bible daily in a way that everyone can understand. But our intention is to supplement what's happening at your local church, not to replace our prayer is that God's spirit would work through these daily messages to build up your faith so you can be an even greater encouragement to your local pastor and you can use your spiritual gifts to benefit your local church. If you'd like to encourage your pastor further or if you're in pastoral ministry.
Check out the list of recommended books, sermons and articles that our team is put together by ballistic Truth for Life.org/pastor or it's right in the Truth for Life mobile app were also excited to announce that registration for basics, 20, 22, is now open.
Basics is an annual pastors conference hosted by Alister Patel just outside of Cleveland Parkside church. The 2022 Conference Will Take Pl., May second through the fourth. It's a great opportunity for pastors to enjoy a time of refreshment and fellowship opening God's word together if you're in ministry signed up to firstname.lastname@example.org strengthening the local church is one outcome of our mission and it's something we pray about. Often we are grateful to be able to encourage pastors to preach the gospel with boldness and conviction. And if you are one of our truth partners. You need to know that your faithful giving helps make that outcome possible. So on behalf of many in church leadership who are grateful for this ministry. Thank you.
If you're not currently a truth partner who want to invite you to join that team today. It's quick, it's easy to enroll dismiss a Truth for Life.org/truth partner when you signed up to say thank you each month by inviting you to request both of our featured books, we put a lot of thought into selecting these titles and today's offer is no exception. Were offering a book titled faithful leaders and the things that matter most by author and pastor Rico Tice.
This is another resource that will be a terrific help to anyone in pastoral ministry and for anyone who serves in a leadership role could request a copy of faithful leaders today when you become a truth partner or when you make a one-time donation, visit Truth for Life.org or call us at 888588788 Bob Lapine hope you can join us tomorrow will hear part two of today's message and find out how 50,000 men, women and children responded to the proclamation of God's word, the Bible teaching of Alister big is furnished by Truth for Life. Learning is for Living