Summary: Sermon for preachers, preached at the MBA of Texas Mission Meeting
High Time For Revival
Mt. Pleasant Missionary Baptist Church
MBA of Texas Missionary Meeting
November 16, 2004
We are living in exciting and difficult times. I have heard preachers say that they are glad they didn’t have to begin their ministries in today’s times with our world in such a mess. The face of ministry is changing before our very eyes. Our culture is changing so fast that few can keep up. In the space of just a few years, technology has brought us out of the world of isolated communities and churches so that we can be anywhere, talk to anyone, and find all the information we ever needed and more. Our post-Christian culture is making a lightening speed exodus out of church and into what seems right in their own eyes; not that they haven’t always done it, just not so outspokenly and with such open animosity and contempt for all things Christian.
The times in which we are living are shaking our churches up, and more and more we are being driven back to the faith of our fathers found in the Bible.
“Insulated Western Christianity is waking from the dreamworld that being a Christian is normal or safe. More and more, true Christianity is becoming what it was at the beginning: foolish and dangerous. ‘We preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to the Jews and folly to the Gentiles.’ ‘The hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God.’”
Its not just the people sitting in your pews who live in a dreamworld – I’m talking about you and me – God’s men in the pulpits – preachers and pastors and missionaries. We have built up some false sense of the pastorate that thinks that just because God has called us and stuck a Bible in our hands that the people are going to love us and the lost are going to embrace us. The face of ministry is changing, some for the worse, and some for the better.
In the midst of all the change: changes in our culture, in our churches, in our ministries and in our personal lives, one thing must remain the same as we hold true to our calling as God called preachers, and that is our duty to proclaim the glory of God by lifting high the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! “Give the Lord the glory due His name!” “O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together.” That is our purpose, that is our calling, that is our reason for being here today – to lift high the name of Jesus Christ to a world that is and has rejected Him, to churches that have forgotten Him, to saints that love Him, and to families that need Him.
· The answer for the broken-hearted is Jesus!
· The hope for the faint of heart is Jesus!
· The nourishment for those who hunger and thirst is Jesus!
· The comfort for those who mourn is Jesus!
· The only true freedom for those in bondage to their sin is Jesus!
The apostle Paul asked the question that begs our answer today – “How shall they hear without a preacher?” We ridicule the world today because they are trying so many things looking for the answers. Sexual perversion is being taken to new heights. The divorce rate among profession Christians is now higher than among nonbelievers. Drugs and alcohol are everywhere. We live in a culture of instant gratification, and it has infected our churches. People are looking for answers, and they’re dying to get them. I believe that people want the truth. They want to know the truth. They want to know about marriage and raising children and how to be good citizens. People want to know how to live right and live long. They want to know how to be good neighbors and good employees and good employers. People want the truth!
In a world where everyone is searching, we are like Philip, who ran to the Ethiopian and asked, “Do you understand what you’re reading?” Do they understand what they’re doing? Do they understand why they’re searching? Do they understand why they’re trying to fit so many things into that God-shaped void in their hearts? And the answer the whole world is screaming out to us is “How can I, except some man should guide me?” That man is you and me.
Now, the challenge you and I face is this: will we push ourselves away from the table to go and meet the need? I’m not talking about the dinner table, though some of us need to get away from that one too. The table I’m talking about is the table of comfort and ease. I’m talking about the table of satisfaction. I’m talking about the rut many of us have gotten into of spoiling our people and being satisfied with good attendance and a regular check. The challenge you and I face is coming to the Lord every day, day after day for the spiritual nourishment and refreshment that we need.