“The Church is Physically Alive, But Spiritually Dead.” I recently referred to a true story. A young girl, devastated by the choice her father made to leave her family for a younger woman, had a nightmare following his announcement. She dreamt that she, her mother and sister all died in a horrific car accident. When she …
This article is a by-product of a sermon that I recently delivered. These core values also provide the basis for the new church that I will be planting and pastoring beginning 9-25-2010 (Westside Christian Fellowship). Radio program responses have indicated that this message is timely, and relevant. I hope that you will be encouraged and strengthened as well.
Part IV in a series on compromise in the church
As I said last week: Holiness is not a strange, outdated word. Its being set apart, or separated from anything that causes us to sin, whether mentally (in what we think), or physically (in what we do). Holiness begins in the heart. We should continually strive for holiness in all that we do and say. “The Holy Spirit is first of all a moral flame. It is not an accident of language that He is called the Holy Spirit, for whatever else the word holy may mean it does undoubtedly carry with it the idea of moral purity” (Tozer).
Ironically, one youth pastor told me, “I don’t worry about what I watch, or listen to, as long as my heart is right.” But this is a very dangerous view. Most will admit, however, that this statement is really just an excuse to cross the line when it comes to entertainment. Let’s be honest: Many rationalize watching and listening to very questionable material because they enjoy it.
Someone once said, “I don’t worry about what I watch, or listen to, as long as my heart is right.” This is a very dangerous view. Most will admit, however, that this statement is really just an excuse to cross the line when it comes to entertainment. Let’s be honest: Many rationalize watching and listening to very questionable material because we enjoy it.
What we watch and listen to affects the heart; it’s impossible to separate the two. If we would make it our goal to know Christ more personally, we would preach Christ more powerfully. For example, if a preacher fills his mind with worldly pleasures and desires all week and expects the Spirit of God to speak boldly through him from the pulpit, he will be gravely mistaken: “The gratification of the flesh and the fullness of the Spirit do not go hand in hand” (R.A. Torrey). Who he is all week is who he will be when he steps to the pulpit—the passion and conviction of his message is only as strong as the passion and conviction within him. The same is true with you: “For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” (Matthew 12:34). What goes in ultimately comes out.