I am privileged to present an insightfully challenging article written by Reverend Al Whittinghill. Brother Al is a member of Ambassadors for Christ International, USA. AFCI is a fellowship of preachers and teachers of God’s Word who seek to serve the Church of Jesus Christ as catalysts for genuine spiritual revival and world evangelism, primarily through itinerant preaching ministries.
One of the greatest desires of Brother Al’s heart is to see Heaven-sent revival…. a genuine move of God in the Church of Jesus Christ, both here in America and around the world. “True God-sent revival,” Al says, “will return true believers to God’s standard of living…Christ Himself in you, the Hope of Glory!
I desire that WE prayerfully consider…
An Appeal to Return to the Word of God
By Al Whittinghill (Ambassadors for Christ International)
Just before the Cross, in John 17:17, Jesus prayed for the Church that the Father would “Sanctify them through Thy truth: Thy Word is truth.” What a testimony to the power of the Word! It is the Word of God that the Father uses to sanctify the church and make her holy. Three of the seven utterances that Jesus spoke from the cross were Scripture. So, if you totally believe that the Word is God’s Word you are in good company!
After He was raised from the dead, Jesus appeared to His own in Luke 24:25-48 (Good to read it again!) and “opened the Scriptures” and “disentangled their minds,” giving them understanding that the whole Old Testament was written to teach about Him and the Gospel. What a glorious testimony to the veracity of the Word!! How dangerous it is to question what He has made so abundantly clear!
When you see a person who habitually questions the Word of God you can know that he is a person who will never be able to really trust God in a way that is pleasing to Him. That person must settle the issue of the authority of His Word! That dear soul will not enter or experience the life of TRUE victory as God intended until there is a genuine repentance towards God and a deep submission to His Word!!
A double-minded person will be unstable in all his ways. 2 Peter 3:16 says that we wrestle with the Scriptures only to our own destruction. Unbelief is contagious and will soon negatively affect the other people around it. It is our God-given privilege to trust the Lord Jesus, submitting ourselves to Him and becoming a radiant testimony of one who believes that “every Word of God is true!” The just shall live by faith.
To know the Word of God we must be taught His Word by His Spirit. As we give ourselves to the Scriptures in total trust, He will graciously reveal Himself to us. We are made wise only in the proportion that we are listening to Him in authentic prayer and meditation in His Holy Word and have surrendered to Him in obedience.
The Bible warns us clearly that many deceivers have gone out into the world. Many of these clothe themselves in “sheep’s clothing” while they “preach themselves” and a man-centered mixture of truth and error that is spoiled through philosophy and vain deceit. God warns us!Have you seen it? God’s Word is under attack today by many who claim to embrace it.
Remember that Jesus was betrayed with a kiss and not a slap! The Bible says that “If they speak not according to this Word it is because there is no light in them” Isaiah 8:20. We must not ignore God’s Word, neglect it, or try to “change it into what we can understand.” One does not have to “try to make it relevant.” The most severe warnings in the Word of God are to those who would “take away” from the Word of God and change the Gospel message into something of man (see Galatians 1:7-9 and Revelation 22:18-19)!
Preachers, especially, must beware of this in a day when so many are watering down the truth.
Preaching that is not truly “Word-based” has telling characteristics and effects. Some of them are:
- Instead of calling out “Thus saith the Lord,” you will hear more of “the best scholars say” and the giving of earthly “lessons” from sentimental stories and moving videos.
- “Thou art the man” (confrontation) becomes “Some of you may have a problem” (suggestion).
- Instead of calling the people to “the holiness of God,” the prevailing concern becomes securing “the happiness of man.”
- Instead of fervent God-consciousness and being God-centered, the services become “seeker-oriented” and man-centered.
- The desire to be salt and light gives way to a desire to be sugar and “loving.” They may look alike at first, but the results are as different as light and dark as they go on and motives become manifest.
- Instead of spiritual armor that enables believers to stand against the enemy, there is a tendency to gravitate to the “camouflage” mentality; to blend in so we won’t “offend anyone” and gain a hearing.
- The obedience that overflows from genuine faith and is pleasing to God is overshadowed by “church activities,” fleshly busyness, and entertainment designed to bless man.
- Instead of preaching Christ and Him crucified (foolishness to those who are perishing), there is the tendency to try to bring the Gospel down to a natural thing that is logical, humanistic, and marketable.
***Published by permission of Brother Al Whittinghill –
Ambassadors for Christ International, USA