Summary: #2 in a series of four messages in the "What If It’s True?" campaign. This is intended to assist pastors whose churches are involved in the evangelistic outreach.
Pastor Rick Flowers
First Baptist Church of Flushing
The word Relevant means “Logically connected with and important to the matter in hand; appropriate, germane, pertinent.”
To some the Word of God and the Church of Jesus Christ do not always seem “Logically connected” or “important to the matter in hand.” They may be logical to the believer, but not to the unbeliever. Consider Isaiah’s words in 55:6-11:
6 Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near:
7 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.
9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
10 For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater:
11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.
In the January, 1966 edition of an American journal called The Christian Century, the editor wrote of receiving a small “assemble it yourself” package by mail. After spending an hour in frustration trying to put the pieces together, he discovered in the box a message from the manufacturer. Printed on a neat, white card were the words, “If all else fails, follow the directions.”
Most in our generation today are puzzled, bewildered and confused, not knowing the way to worthwhile living. Now comes the question, “Whose directions are we to follow?” Men once took their directions from the Bible. However, over the past forty years, our nation has all but abandoned this trustworthy resource. As a result, we are still reaping the bitter fruits that come from neglecting God’s counsel!
- In the 1960s the Supreme Court ruled that prayer and Bible reading in public schools violated the Constitution.
- They prohibited the teaching of Creationism and replaced it with the theory of evolution.
- They removed God’s standard of truth and instead gave children the responsibility of determining right and wrong on their own.
- To determine whether the Bible is relevant, one need only look back over the last 40 years of our nation’s history.
- If people don’t believe the Bible is relevant today, it isn’t because we tried it and it failed, but because we have ignored it and have virtually destroyed the morality of the last generation!
As we enter week #2 of the “What If It’s True” series, we will address the question, “Are The Bible And Church Relevant Today?” Let’s read 2 Timothy 3:10-17:
2 Timothy 3:10-17 - 10 But you have carefully followed my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, perseverance, 11 persecutions, afflictions, which happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra—what persecutions I endured. And out of them all the Lord delivered me. 12 Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. 13 But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14 But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, 15 and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
Any church that is founded upon the sound teaching of the Word of God is as relevant today as the Bible is. The church is a place where we learn 1) what God’s Word says and 2) how to appropriate those biblical principles in our lives.
The problem today is that most come to church for the music, rather than the message. We’ve become more concerned about programs than we are about progress in our spiritual lives. We welcome comfort and convenience, rather than conviction and confession. People would rather have their “ears tickles”, than to be confronted with the truth of the Scriptures. The problem lies not in the Content of the Word of God, but in the Complacency of our society!
When the Holy Spirit begins to convict of sin, they start looking for another, more compassionate church to attend… usually a place with a watered down message. If that’s what you’re looking for this morning, I just want to go on record as saying that you are in the wrong place! When it comes to communicating God’s Word, my prayer is two-fold: 1) That we will always speak the truth in love and 2) that we will always speak the truth!