MUSINGS ON CHRIST CENTERED PREACHING AND WORSHIP!
In continuing our thoughts on personally knowing the true God as revealed in His Word, I would like to examine our current Church environment in America.
Remember, there are always going to be exceptions. Also remember, these thoughts are my observations as I have intently listened, observed, and sat in on various gatherings around the country. I also pray my evaluations are based upon the solid teachings of God in His Word and not my own personal self-generated judgments. Although, the Scriptures teach us to judge with righteous judgment (“Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment” Luke 12:24); many times we engage in self-centered personal criticisms and judge wrongly and I do not wish to engage in that. None of us are perfect and we all know that, but His word is perfect and His word is instructive on all issues. His word is to be spoken, and clearly taught.
In a previous article, we learned that our studies of doctrine must be “God centered”, that is, we present God Himself in our dialog, preaching or teaching! We don’t just talk about facts, creeds, information, laws, rules or statements. Yes, there has to be information, but in the Christian context of presenting the information we have a big responsibility to make sure Christ, God the Father, and the Holy Spirit are actually there in real time and in power, so much so, that people recognize His presence. That is preaching Christ! We do not preach dogma, doctrine, creeds, or theology, for their own sakes, but we preach these great truths by and through His power, in His presence, relying on His intimate work in hearts, so people take note that we have been in the presence of Jesus. Do I preach a “living in our presence” Christ, or do I preach information?
What I am trying to say is ministers, teachers and yes, even the saints who witness to others, must recognize and pray for, the very presence of God to be in our midst in a very real and experiential way when we worship.
This will not happen if we are not absolutely exercising the faith He has given us. It is called “walking in the Spirit”. Without that, things are hollow and empty!
I don’t know how many times I have left a church service and said, “The Gospel wasn’t preached, Christ wasn’t preached”. It may have been a good discourse on some moral precept, it may have been a good message on current situations relating to a family or a marriage problem or our nation’s political problems, but where was Christ Jesus?
Why are we even talking about those issues at all?
Isn’t worship and Church supposed to be about Him and His person and His ways and not centered upon man and his “stuff”? If we are not preaching Him, you can bet He is not there.
The Bible teaches God will take care of all our earthly needs and concerns if we truly worship Him and know Him and have a deep love relationship with Him (Matthew 6:33). All our concerns are put in their proper perspective and fade away into some far off place. You can tell when He is around if you really know Him.
So, we love Him and worship Him in health or out of health, in prosperity or in poverty, in persecution or when things are moving with ease!
When we are praying for a special awakening and revival in our churches in America, may we also pray that this concept I have written about, the living presence of Christ in our midst, be the “normal” Christian experience and the “normal” experience in our Christian church worship service? Certainly, I would love to see a great special display of God’s moving in the entire nation among the lost and saved, but I would pray that His presence be with us in a mighty display of His power during our times of corporate worship and in our personal lives.
To this end I pray for myself and all of the Body of Christ!
by Lamar Carnes