It has been a great pleasure and privilege to visit differing churches throughout my life. It is a delight to be among God's faithful people in differing provinces, all worshipping our great and glorious YAHWEH. Although, as it is with most things, there is bitter intermixed with the sweet.
Upon occasion, I have come upon a church where there was an abundance of grown covenant children, most were second and third generation believers. Their heritage of grace a beautiful thing that was most unfortunately, taken for granted. It was clear from the level of conversation that love for Christ was foreign, holiness anathema, and doctrine a thing to be despised.
We do not expect to find this in our carefully guarded Reformed churches, but here it was. I am not Pollyanna enough to believe that this is not more common than any of us would want to admit. Which causes me a great amount of sorrow and concern. I wonder, how did they get here? How can I keep my children from this apathy? How can I keep my own heart?
Thankfully, God has revealed some mysteries to us and they are ours and our children's. (Dt. 29:29) God has taught us in His Word, what the chief means of grace is, His Word faithfully proclaimed going forth which will not return to Him void. (Is. 55:11) There is no great, brain- teasing conundrum to figure out, where there is weak preaching the people of God will be anemic Christians if christian at all. Even as a babe grows and hungers for more than the milk that has been his sustenance, so also the believer should grow and hunger for more than milk. The heart filling and sustaining doctrines taught in God's Holy Word should be our soul's longing for this is how we know God and draw nearer to Him. (Psalm 42:1-2) Sermons should be filled with the truths of scripture, doctrine, attributes of God and application of God's holy law and requirements to our lives so that we may know how to love Him rightly, walk with Him daily, serve Him gratefully, and rely on nothing but His righteous surety.
I come to the crux of this post, which is an earnest plea from a simple pilgrim sitting in the pew. PLEASE PREACH GOD"S WORD! Preach it to me, preach it to my children, preach it my friends. Preach it in our churches. Preach the word to those lost, lonely, despairing, and hopeless. Preach it to those bound in chains of sin and satan. Preach it in dark corners that the light of truth may shine forth. Preach it to all. "Preach the Word, be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching." Be faithful to God's Word and trust His means to save and sanctify His people.
And secondly, pray for our church leaders. Be thankful for our elders and pastors. Remind them to "guard the trust". Write to pastors and encourage them and let us sit submissively under the preaching of the Word.
Preaching is a preservative for the saints. It is not to be relegated to the last fifteen minutes of the worship service. It is not a time for ditties and silly stories. Preach to us, please pastors, that we may grow in grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. Exalt our Saviour in your sermons so that we may gaze upon His loveliness. Show us our King triumphant in all His splendor. By God's grace, He will use His means to keep us from apathy and from stumbling as we live out our days pursuing our chief end... to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever!