FROM THE DESK OF THE ARCHBISHOP AND APOSTOLIC HEAD
Sir Godfrey Gregg DD
To our Patriarch Sir Darrindel Hoyte-Johnson, our Cardinal Sir Eric Alleyne, Archbishop Sir Adrian Toussaint, brothers, sisters, friends and well-wishers greetings.
2 Timothy 4:1,2 I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
Preaching The Word of God
In this day and age in which we live there is a great and growing need for the preaching of the word of God. There is a great deal of preaching going on to be sure, but very rare is the man who will preach the whole counsel of God’s word. Too many are worried about the possibility of losing the crowd or even being asked to leave the church if they take a stand on the word of God. God help us to be willing to stand in the face of opposition. There is a greater reward that awaits faithfulness than we could ever receive from our fellow man here in this life. It is time to search our own hearts, to call upon God, and to prayerfully seek and preach that which He would have us to. And this, in spite of adversity. God help us to make up our minds to do so. Let me tell you of a testimony of a man called to preach. There was a young man who had not long surrendered to preach the gospel. He sought advice from many older men of God as to how to execute the office to which God had called him. One of the men told him to be prepared for the worst that men had. He said, “Many years ago people wanted to hear preaching, real preaching. People expected to be told how to live when a man of God stood up. I remember the patriarchs of old at the corner of the streets preaching with a lantern, bell and bible. I stand today to bear witness to that ministry. Now they are doing just what Paul wrote to Timothy about. They are ‘enduring’ sound doctrine.
The time is soon coming that they will no longer ‘endure’ and they will heap to themselves teachers having itching ears.” This preacher advised the younger preacher to be prepared to work a job for the rest of his life because he did not believe that churches would be wanting to support a full-time minister in the near future. This seems to be the case in most quarters. Now, years later, it is just as the older preacher said. “Churches are not going to want anyone who will stand.” Sadly enough, the “endurance” is about gone. Churches are heaping to themselves teachers having itching ears. However, all seem to have itching ears. The majority of church members have ears that itch for the “feel-good” non-offensive preaching of our modern-day pulpits which is ringing across the airwaves and from the pulpits across our nation. And most preachers are plagued with ears that itch for praise from the people that they preach to, as well as palms that itch for the rewards for their feel-good sermons. I thank God that I minister for the Kingdom and I am not being paid to do anything. I don’t benefit from ministry but by prayer and supplications, I will continue to let my request known to the Lord.
One deacon in a particular church actually told his leader that there is no need to preach in the mid-week service but to give a short “sermon” and let everyone go home. Not long after that meeting, the leader was told that the church was not going to follow him and he was asked to leave. It is time to dig in, prepare for the fight and preach. Preach the whole counsel of God as we are commanded. Preach the Word of God in its entirety. Teach our people how to live. And if you have to suffer being chased away, then leave with the satisfaction of knowing that you have done what God has called you to do. Leave with dignity and pity those who have abused you. It is going to get worse before the Lord returns. Look again at what Paul said to Timothy…..
I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
…and take heart to do what God would have you to. It may not always feel good, but it is right.
“I Charge Thee”
Paul was not simply advising Timothy to preach. He was commanding him to preach. When he said that he “charged” him, he was telling him that he was placing a great responsibility upon his shoulders. Paul was placing a great burden on this man Timothy. And that before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, the Judge of the quick and the dead; This is no small matter to be entered into because of a simple desire. It is a command to be met with a determination that cannot be swayed. A man of God can not escape the desire to preach the word of God. Paul said “woe unto me if I preach not the gospel.” Jeremiah said that when he made up his mind to be silent, the word of God was as a fire in his bones. If a man has any preach in him then he must preach.
Preach the Word
We must preach the word, it must go forth, but how?
In order for the word of God to be preached effectively, it must go forth…
I. In Power…
There are many great speakers, and gifted orators. Many men are wonderful pulpits speakers. But there are few great preachers today. It shows in the fruits of their labours. Jesus told us that we would know them by their fruits. The great problem is that this is one aspect of Christianity that is forgotten. That of trying the spirits. One reason is that men can not get past the material things in life. Men are so nearsighted that they are no longer able to identify truth when they see it. Oh my brothers and sisters of the Mystical Order and Starlight of Israel, many men are deceived by the wealth of some preachers.
Many see a man who is dressing like a million dollars, who can reach out to the hearts of men in such a way as to make them take a step toward the altar, even though God may never have dealt with them at all. We must remember first of all that the Gospel is the power of God unto salvation unto them that believe. It is not what God has done for me, it is not what God has given you. It is not a stirring of emotions after hearing a moving story of an abused child or a heartbroken mother or father. It is the Gospel. I may have cried when the old Patriarch or Leader died but that type of stirring of emotions is not what it takes to save the soul of a sinner going to hell. It is the Word of God. As a preacher, one of the most difficult things for some to do is to make a workable outline. This being true, many who can’t make a workable outline are superb preachers. While many who know all the little things of running the show, of how to use their clout have no idea how to lead an ant. Let me give you this and consider the lilies and how they grow and when you find the answer then come back to me and tell me the story.
At the same time, there are those who try and teach their own thing and for preparing sermons. They are turning out monster cookie preachers by the thousands who can make outstanding outlines yet there is no power in their preaching. The only advice that I can give a preacher is to read the word of God. Study the word of God. Get in the word of God! If you will be faithful to the word of God, then when you are reading a message may leap off the pages of the Scriptures and burn so deep into your soul that you can’t get it all out in a single message. When God puts a desire into your heart to preach a verse of scripture, dig into that verse of scripture and see what precious message you find there. You will find that the word of God is bursting with fresh and powerful messages. The kind of messages that can change the lives of those who hear it preached. The kind of message that can change the one who preaches it; A message that has POWER from God on high, because that is where it came from. So few preachers have power in their messages today because they get them from the wrong place, and preach them for the wrong reasons.
We are not to preach just to get a response from the people. We are not to preach just to prove our point. And we are most certainly not to preach just to get at someone who may have upset or hurt us. If God gives us a message, we preach that message because “woe is me” if I do not! If we would preach the Word of God in the power of the Holy Spirit, then we must preach the Word that the Holy Spirit gives us, and not just what we want to at the time. There is no doubt that at times a minister has to deal with certain things in preaching to his people. God will lead and give him the wisdom to do the work that He has for him to do. There may be a problem in the church that must be taught in order for the church to have a more clear understanding of what should be done in a particular situation. That is an absolute truth. A minister-teacher must teach those things that are needful for the church to grow. Still, only in the leadership of the Holy Spirit. And then it will have the necessary power to do the work that God has in mind. In order to preach the Word of God in power, we must first preach the word of God. Not the desires of man. Not what we think or how we feel. Ourselves must be dead and alive unto God to be effective in the church.
II. In Purity…
The Word of God must be preached in purity. In purity of mind, heart and also text. It must be the true word of God. So weak is the church in our day because there is so much confusion concerning the truth. Many new books have been printed in the last few hundred years and had the word Bible placed upon them. They are just that, “New Books” with the Words “Holy Bible” written on them. They are not the word of God. There can only be one word of God. If one is the other can not be. Millions of people came to a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ because of the preaching of the King James Bible. No wonder the devil wanted to come up with a counterfeit. Many people have replaced the Bible with an iPod, smartphone, tablet or some electronic gadget. Are they the same?
The 1611 KJV was just too powerful for the devil. So now he has a book for every belief and every desire of the religious world. They can all go to hell carrying their own book of doctrines and beliefs. There are many excuses for people not using the King James Bible. “It’s just so complicated with all of those ‘thee’s and thou’s in it.” “You just can’t read it and understand it, it is just too complicated.” If a “thee” or a “thou” is enough to get you confused, then don’t even look at the names that are throughout the word of God. They will really blow your mind. Some people use them as an excuse but they are pretty much the same. I thank God that I don’t have to know how to pronounce all the names that I try to read in order to be saved. The real problem is not all the “thee’s” and “thou’s”, but all the thou shalt not’s.
I wonder, if a doctor gave them a prescription to be filled, knowing that their lives depended on the proper medication, how many people would simply buy a bottle of aspirin because they could at least read the label. At the same time, in order for the word of God to be preached in purity, there must also be the proper vessel for its delivery. If a man came to your home-selling honey from a tar drum you would think him insane. You would not want to eat from the hands of a man who has just walked from the slaughterhouse, his hands covered with the blood and internal organs of the beasts that he has been killing. But people don’t care anymore what it is that is doing the preaching. Men are caught in adulterous relationships, they are caught embezzling money, molesting children, and still, they mount pulpits all across America. Homosexuals, women, drug addicts, and pornography addicts are being allowed to continue to fill pulpits when they have been discovered. When they ought to be required to surrender their licenses and their ordinations revoked. This is the way the Mystical Order is about to walk to prove what is the good and acceptable will of God. That is forgotten today. It is a sad day when those who claim to believe the word of God will continue to allow ungodly men to fill a pulpit, and allow women to preach. It is no wonder that religion has become a dirty word today.
There is a word being preached but not the word of God. There is a vast supply of perversions of scripture on the bookshelves of stores all over the country, being preached out of by unqualified individuals and leading the world to hell with a “keep paying me” smile on their faces and giving “religion” a horrible reputation. God help us to get back to the old fashioned standard that a man of God is to be an example to the believers. In order for the word to go forth in purity, it must be the pure word preached from the true heart, of a qualified man of God.
III. In Passion…
Another requirement for the effective preaching of the word of God is a burning and unquenchable passion for sharing the truth of God’s Word with others. The three things that a child of God most desires are
1. The assurance of salvation,
2. An understanding of the Scriptures,
3. The ability to make Christ known to others.
This is not lost on preachers. There must be a passion for souls in order for preaching to be effective. The opportunity to boast of how many times and where one preaches is not passion. It is proud and somewhat vain. In our day, it seems that people think that the more occupied people are the more that they are doing. If you remember, Mary and Martha were both in the same room with the Lord. Martha was working herself to death. She was cumbered about with her labours; but Mary was in worship. She had a passion for Jesus. If we could just get back to a passionate desire to please the Lord then we would passionately seek to carry the message of the Gospel to a lost and a dying world. We would be passionately seeking to see those saved that the Lord gave Himself to die for. Instead of wanting to “do” we would be wanting to serve the Lord and see souls saved by His Grace.
As I conclude this message let me urge you to trust God and find out His perfect will for us in this wicked age and adulterous generation.
To preach the word of God effectively, seek the Word that God would have you preach. Preach the pure word of God’s insincerity. Preach as if every soul within hearing may depend upon your words to see their need for repentance. They well may. Hallelujah.
Lord Jesus Christ another day I thank you for your blessings on me and for touching lives. With this ministry Lord, we are able to reach hundreds of people across the world. I thank you for His Eminence Sir Eric who joins me on a Tuesday to minister to the needs of people. The many letters of encouragement from our readers. God, I ask that you will bless everyone and give me the strength to move on. Bless our Patriarch and the clergy. God bless the ministry in Trinidad and Tobago and keep us on the firing line. Bless our brothers, sisters, friends and well-wishers. In your matchless Name. Amen