I was watching TBN for the first time in months tonight, and I heard a preacher–I can’t remember his name–who I very much was enjoying. I can’t remember the last time I heard a sermon on television that was so biblically solid.
I’ll mention only briefly that he was cut off in the middle of an excellent sermon…
Anyway, he was preaching on being a person after God’s own heart and was giving practical ways in which we can do that.
He made a very good point about youth, which is all the more impactful because he seemed to be a fairly young man himself. It is good for teens to be fired up when they praise God in song, but if they are not even more fired up at the preaching of God’s word, then there is something wrong in their spiritual lives.
Think about that for a second, and then look at the Bible for what it contains. How much of it is song? Only two books are entirely composed of song, while the others contain but a few lyrics. But how much of the word is made up of sermons? A very good case could be made that the entire Bible is composed of sermons given for different reasons–for prophecy, for instruction, for salvation.
So why is it that churches which are centralized around their musical worship attract teens and young adults so much easily than churches which emphasize that which God emphasizes–the preaching of His holy word?
To a lost person, preaching is foolishness. If you claim to be a Christian and you have problems enjoying sermons, I’d say that’s a cause for self-examination. For the saved person, the preaching of the word is power, spiritual nourishment to strengthen us in our daily lives, to renew our minds, to resist the Devil, to mortify the flesh, to conform to Christ’s image, and to appreciate what God has given us in His word. That’s right. Our Father spent six glorious days making Heaven and Earth, but He spent hundreds of years bringing us His word, His masterpiece, which will outlast both Heaven and Earth and is as eternal as the Lord Himself.
The latest praise song people get hyped over is brought to you by a very short amount of time by likely overhyped men and women. It is the similar to the secular pop market. What is “in” will always be changing, the hot songs to sing on Sundays will always be changing, and new ways to dazzle the senses with audio and visual presentations will always be evolving. Welcome to MTV Church.
I love contemporary Christian music, but I could never place it above the preaching of His word. This is why in the Bible when believers would gather together, the word would be preached first, and sometimes for hours on end. If a song is sung, it isn’t until the end, and then it was only a hymn, which are typically fairly short.
It is oft said that music prepares the heart to receive the message of preaching, but I dare say that after “praising and worshipping” and offering up “clap offerings” and jumping up and down and singing your hearts out for 3-7 songs and for 20-40 minutes, who’s going to want to sit through a sermon of any length and actually pay attention?
But if we listen to the word of God first, if we feed on His meat and drink the spiritual milk of the word, if we allow our minds to be renewed and our spirits refreshed by means of the word of God and the preaching thereof, when it does come time to praise God in song, it will mean more to us. We would have been nourished spiritually and have been made better able to mortify our flesh and to offer our praise to God with a good conscience.
This is one area in which mainstream Christianity is falling apart. Far too much emphasis is being placed on the Christian music industry. And while i have no problem with listening to music in your personal time, when you come together as a body of believers, we must do so in accordance with the Bible. We must do so in a manner which elevates the teaching and preaching of the word of God. When the word of life must compete for time, even with praise music, it is the music which must bend. The word of God is not bound. The Lord deserves the time we spend delving into His word, for in doing so we enter into the mind of God. In His word is life, wisdom, purity, and light for your paths.
What do you focus on when you go to church? Having read this post, you are now responsible for what it contains. Let the preaching of the word of God spread far and wide!