10 December 2016
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Only God's Spirit can answer that question John ;-)
Peter, you asked, "How prepared are preacher and listener in prayer prior to the service?" In our bible study in Acts 10 a week past Wednesday we were considering Peter's call to go from Joppa to Caesarea and preach to the Gentiles. The narrative there provides a wonderful illustration of your point. Peter required adjustment and preparation by the Spirit of God and this was an intense and testing experience. Cornelius also required the preparatory work of the Spirit and included some of his servants, soldiers and it would seem his whole family in the execises he went through. The result was truly remarkable and that is why in the ways of God you and I and others are discussing these things today. The information that we are given in this chapter of how the Spirit of God arranged the working out of God's ways with all concerned down to the smallest details is very instructive. Your question is very apposite.
As to my last question, everyone who has donned the mantle of a preacher of the Gospel of Jesus Christ or taken the place of a Bible teacher will be held to account in the matter. The fact is unquestionable that in many churches today in the this nation and throughout the western world, God's word is being called into question by a refusal to accept and explain its inerrant truth. It is easy to go on to church websites and listen to sermons preached. Some time ago we were going up to Arrochar for the weekend and I was doing my usual research to try and identify a suitable church. I listened to the local minister's Easter service for this purpose. I cannot quote his exact words but the jist of them was this - Some people look at the cross and see God's judgement. I do not see God's judgement there, I see God's love." Such an imbalanced and distorted view of what Jesus faced and demonstrated on the cross raised no questions about God's righteousness and abhorrence of sin. The inference was clear, Jesus died for our sins and we're all going to heaven, especially if we are in the Kirk.
This is an interesting discussion and one about which I have some experience.
My wife and I decided to leave the CoS last year following the General Asembly decicion. We spent some weeks "window shopping" for a new spritual home. Having left behind a liberal CoS congregation we wanted to find an evangelical congregation.
we noticed that the evangelical churches were full, busy, have two services on Sunday and at least two prayer meetings each week. They also give generously both to the church and to christian charities.
Oh and the gospel is preached regularly. None of the "anything goes, do as you wish, we are all going to heaven" stuff.
It seems that "new testament" Christians are content with the liberal approach and only want to be immunised against religion so that they don't catch the full thing!
Ironically we are now attending another CoS congregation where the gospel is preached and the bible teaching is sound. Its a pity the whole denomination isn't united in preaching the word and reaching out to communities.
No fear of offending people by preaching heaven and hell and sin as the liberals would have us believe. There were 250 at church this morning and over 100 tonight. The midweek prayer meeting regularly has an attendance of 30-40.
The gospel is clearly what people want to hear, not the watered down PC version that the liberaals believe in.
Admin note: Please be aware that this thread is now in the 'public' (open) area of the website (previously in the 'closed' debate section.
Accordingly I have been asked to delete some recent posts as they could be judged as referring to a local congregation.
Please continue this (interesting) discussion with this awareness regarding future postings.
Thanks for your understanding. Ed.
Grumpy Old Man, your nom-de-plume belies your obvious committal to the Christian faith. The figures you give are very encouraging. On a recent visit to Aberdeen we attended a large C of S service right in the city centre. The word preached was absolutely sound, the fellowship welcoming and the age spread in the congregation all-encompassing. It was a great encouragement to us at the end of our short break. As far as I can see there are two possible outcomes to the faithful preaching of the word, revival and blessing or outright rejection and deadness. Your church is evidently an example of the former and I trust that the blessing will continue.
"As far as I can see there are two possible outcomes to the faithful preaching of the word, revival and blessing or outright rejection and deadness"
It has been said that God's Word either makes people better or bitter!!
"There were 250 at church this morning and over 100 tonight. The midweek prayer meeting regularly has an attendance of 30-40."
Hmmm, thankfully it is not a numbers game, but if we must go down the numbers route, why the big difference between the number out on a Sunday and the midweek? Or is that also a sign of the times?!!
I perhaps should have pointed out that the church we left could only muster around 60/80 at its one service per week. and no prayer meetings.
The preaching was dumbed down and sin was an alien concept.
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