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What Do You Go Out To See?
August 02, 2015
When you go out to a church assembly, expecting preaching, just what is it that you go out to see? A performance? A show? Some man telling you what you want to hear? Or, do you go out to hear a man speak the worlds of God Almighty? Do you check to make sure that he is telling you the truth? Do you really want to hear what God has to say, even if it offends you? - Bernie Parsons
What Do You Go Out To See?
by Bernie Parsons
Presented to Globe church of Christ on 08-02-2015
Presented to Load church of Christ on 09-20-2015
When you go out to the church assembly, knowing that there is supposed to be a preacher or teacher there, what do you actually go out to see? What is it that you expect to hear?
Matthew 11:7 "And as they departed, Jesus began to say unto the multitudes concerning John, What went ye out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken with the wind?
8 But what went ye out for to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? behold, they that wear soft clothing are in kings' houses.
9 But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? yea, I say unto you, and more than a prophet.
10 For this is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee."
Do you expect to see someone who barely registers with you when he speaks? Easily ignored? Do you go to hear some self-styled expert who is in it for the perks? Or, do you go to hear a man who will present the word of God, not adding to it, and not taking away from it?
2 Timothy 4:1 "I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;
2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables."
Do you come out to church assemblies to hear what you want to hear? Do you expect the preacher to say soothing things to you, to make you comfortable in your lifestyle, to reassure you that the way that you live your life is totally acceptable to God?
Or do you go to hear a man of God proclaim the word of the Almighty, even if it challenges you, stirs you up and steps on your toes a bit?
Godís word is not seasonal, it is eternal. It doesnít shift on the changing tides of current culture.
1 Peter 1:22 "Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:
23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.
24 For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away:
25 But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you."
Our desire should not be to go listen to someone preach because we think that person is a nice guy, or has a booming voice, or says the things that we want to hear. We go to hear in order to have our lives directed by God and His word, not by the musings of men.
1 Thessalonians 2:13 "For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe."
The work of Godís word is not always soothing and pleasant to the ears, heart or mind.
Hebrews 4:11 "Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.
12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
13 Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do."
The word of God cuts right to the heart of matters. It lays bare our souls, showing us our shortcomings and the areas in need of improvement. It reveals out weaknesses while offering the help that need to understand those weaknesses and work to overcome or counteract them.
Some fail to understand the truth even when they hear it.
Matthew 13:14 "And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive:
15 For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.
16 But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.
17 For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them."
2 Corinthians 4:1 "Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not;
2 But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God.
3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:
4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
5 For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake.
6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us."
Even when we have heard Godís word before, hearing it again stirs our memories.
2 Peter 1:12 "Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth.
13 Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance;"
2 Peter 3:1 "This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance:
2 That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour:"
The word of God is profitable. It saves souls.
1 Corinthians 1:18 "For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God."
James 5:19 "Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him;
20 Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins."
But it takes the entire counsel of God. We must always watch for there are imposters.
Acts 20:25 "And now, behold, I know that ye all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, shall see my face no more.
26 Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men.
27 For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.
28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.
29 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.
30 Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.
31 Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.
32 And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified."