DINOSAURS IN THE PULPIT
DINOSAURS IN THE PULPIT
Radical preachers exposed to danger
And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come (Matthew 24:12 emphasis added).
On one occasion Bishop JC Church and First Lady Jeannitta Church came to our home for dinner. We were talking about the profoundness of the Kingdom of God, and the importance of preaching the genuine message of the Kingdom. In the middle of the conversation he commented: “Few preachers preach the message as it should be and has to be. For many of us, by the way we preach and the message we have, we are dinosaurs.”. Due to the Bishop saying this, I have elaborated the phrase, and it’s the title of this chapter. The sons of God are not part of the crowd, but a unique part of the body of Christ. The commission of taking the message of the Kingdom has not been an easy task because it is through the blessed craziness of the preaching that God saves the believers.
God is seeking radical preachers who do not compromise the message of the Kingdom with nothing or with no one. The Church exerts itself much to present an attractive gospel: lights, cameras and dances instead of paying the price to present a powerful gospel. The power of God itself is attractive.
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek (Romans 1:16).
People do not want to hear another sermon; churches are filled with sermons and preachers with messages lacking life and revelation. Human psychology and philosophy have wanted to replace the revelation of the Word of God, which is obtained by having an intimate life with Him. Sundays become a routine, where people enter and leave the same. Many Sunday messages come from the Internet, and there is no transformation in the Church.
Jesus Christ, the greatest preacher.
The greatest example of a preacher that this planet has had is Jesus Christ. I cannot find another preacher greater than Him. When He spoke, people’s hearts would burn, and when He would expound the scriptures the power of His words were irresistible. Without a doubt he was the best preacher that this world has had. Jesus Christ was a unique and radical preacher because He simply spoke the words of the Father. When He spoke it was because He heard from the Father. This made many hate Him. He was always exposed to danger because His message was not centered on the opinion of the people, nor on Himself, but on what He heard from His Father. These are the genuine preachers, who unveil the heart of the Father with their message.
This has not changed; Jesus Christ still wants to preach today, wants to speak today, but through His Church.
And I know that His command is everlasting life. Therefore, whatever I speak, just as the Father has told Me, so I speak (John 12:50).
There were three important characteristics in the preaching of Jesus Christ, which are the following:
1. His message was the message of the kingdom: We cannot invent a new message; this is the message of God given to the Church for the world.
And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease among the people (Matthew 4:23).
2. He spoke the Father’s words: To hear the voice of the Father requires clarity in our spiritual ears. This we can achieve with rigorous consecration, intimacy with the Father and constant meditation on the Word of God.
3. He spoke with power and anointing from the Holy Spirit:
I believe we need to be marionettes in the hands of God at the time of putting forth a message. The Holy Spirit knows the depth of God, and reveals it to us at the time of preaching.
Then Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and news of Him went out through all the surrounding region (Luke 4:14).
A price and reward for being radical
And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the Spirit by which he spoke (Acts 6:10).
In the book of Acts chapter 7, we see Elder Stephen being stoned for the cause of the message. The message of Stephen cost him his life, but before he died he saw the glory of God. Stephen had the three characteristics which we previously mentioned Jesus had. Stephen had some qualities which are registered in the Word of God, which I would like to list:
1. Man of a good testimony (Acts 6:3)
2. Full of the Holy Spirit (Acts 6:3)
3. Full of wisdom (Acts 6:5)
4. Full of faith (Acts 6:5)
5. Full of grace (Acts 6:8)
6. Full of power (Acts 6:8)
7. Boldness and courageous
Not all preachers in the Bible are described with these qualities. Even in these times not all preachers reach this level of maturity. This is what made Stephen a bearer of a heavy, loaded message from God. His message was irresistible, penetrating, many times contradictory and confrontational, but it was sure that God spoke through this man.
The message of Stephen produced anger, rage and hate, in such a manner that he was killed by stoning. I do not want to focus on the people who killed him, because our fight is not against flesh nor blood. Behind the curtains of the elders and scribes, I can imagine the forces of darkness and thousands of demons trying to quench the divine message, in the mouth of a daring preacher. I can see a spirit of religion, racism and formalism, trying to impede the supernatural move of the Kingdom. The thrown rocks represent hardened hearts and the religious opposition which resist the Rhema of God. It also symbolizes the criticism and murmuring at the hour of preaching a message which places a finger in the wound to heal.
This also happens today. It is very evident how hell rises up, when a preacher out of the norm stands out and preaches a message by the order of God. We can see when the unusual stands out, rocks rain from the opposition.
Many compromise the message because of money, what others will say, criticism, fear that people will leave the church, and fear people will get angry and stop tithing. Nowadays preachers have been prohibited to speak against abortion, contradict the homosexual movement and preach against pornography, among other things. The blood of many martyrs, who for the cause of the Gospel, cry out for justice before God.
Stephen saw the Glory of God because his eyes were set there. Even though the price is hard, in the end we will see His glory.
“But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up steadfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God (Acts 7:55).