A funny but serious thing happened during worship Sunday…

After the service, a friend from Parkwood shared with Celeste about an encounter she had during the sermon.  Having fulfilled her responsibility elsewhere at church, she was making her way into the service late.  As she was coming up the steps to the balcony, she met a man and his two teenagers.  She asked if she could help them out.  The two teens, who were sprawled out on the steps playing video games on their phones, never looked up.  The dad engaged her in a conversation that left her speechless.  Now keep in mind that you can clearly hear me preaching on the battle with the world as they are talking.   Here are a few of his comments loosely quoted…

  • “We are waiting on my teen who is a part of 180.”
  • “We go to another church.”
  • “This church has an old feel.”
  • “That guy (preaching) is too old for me and my kids…he doesn’t connect with them.”
  • “He should not be preaching on homosexuality and abortion…church is not the place for that.”
  • “I do not want someone to tell me what to think.”
  • “You need to come to our church…it’s cool.”

Why am I sharing this with you?

As it relates to the series that we are currently studying, I wanted to remind us that spiritual warfare takes place everywhere, even in the church building while the preaching of the Word of God is happening.

I wanted give illustration of my second point on Sunday.  The world often responds to the Truth with pious antagonism.  The conversation ended with an encouragement for the lady to leave Parkwood and come to where the action really is.  Talk about guts…hey lady you need to leave this church and get out from under this kind of preaching…while I am preaching.  Now of course, he added, “I know that guy is sincere and passionate, it’s just not my cup of tea.”  At first glance this statement sounds harmless and even righteous but is potentially deadly.  If he meant the manner and style by which I was preaching is not his cup of tea…no problem.  He may not like my southern accent, my tone of voice, and the way I unfold a sermon.  What I think he really meant was that he did not like the content of what I was preaching.  If that is the case, we have a problem, not a problem with each other but a problem with the Truth.

3For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.  1 Timothy 3:3-5

1 Timothy 3 explains both the battle with the world that will invade the church leading to corruption and the call to keep your head and fight the good fight for the sake of the Gospel.

I think we all understand more and more each day as result of this study that spiritual warfare is real and it is here.  Put on the full armor of God!  Remember that our battle is not against flesh and blood…that man is not my enemy only the expression of the world he espoused.

 

Comments

  1. Stan Greene says:

    Jeff, we who love the TRUTH and admire your boldness in preaching it every week want you to know we pray for men like this who exemplify the reason the ‘church’ is declining in America. I pray even more for his children who are not being fed either at church or in the home. Wonder why he didn’t just go outside instead of continued listening? I am afraid he is facing some serious heart break down the road. Thank you being the man of God that we love and respect.

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