Preaching this sermon would probably get you thrown out of Saddleback Church, Calvary Chapel, or Willowcreek

 

Why? 

Listen, and let me know ‘why’ (if you agree with me), or ‘why not’, if you don’t agree with me.

I have posted this one before (it is my all time favorite sermon – if that’s a sin, well…I am a sinner – what’s one more?)

It is a sermon on Luther’s explanation of the third article of the Apostle’s Creed, the Holy Spirit.

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click here > I believe that I cannot believe

 

 

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Thank you, Pastor Mark for this strong Word of the gospel.

Thanks to flickr and Waiting For The Word, for the photo.

 

 

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13 Responses

  1. Oh well, um…

    What a difficult question, Steve!
    Over here in Germany there is also some broadcasting on TV of the worship services of different American megachurches. Their beliefs are quite different and sometimes it is hard to find out what they really believe in, but they do have one thing in common. And this appears to me, is their chief purpose: They are all aimed at attracting new members as much and as quick as possible, because a visible “physical growth” of the church means for them to be “successful in following Jesus”. This kind of conviction is a very worldly, tangible view of Christian faith. And therefore you mustn’t be surprised looking at their secular means to succeed in doing this.

    At first they always do point to God and Jesus (not always to the cross – sadly enough), but suddenly they turn around and replace our heavenly goal with earthly desires. If anyone will follow these men (and women) he/she would be happy, wealthy, healthy, feel comfortable all around (“Christian Wellness”), their kids would turn out rightly, they’d have a lot of friends, get the right job, look perfect, whatever – it’s somehow tiring to see what I just don’t have in this graceless life, but (!) I do have God’s grace through Jesus Christ who promises that all those things I don’t have at now, I’ll receive in the future with Him (and way more than those peanuts! Ha!).

    The only thing we have to do is trusting in Christ. But, unfortunately – we cannot believe on our own. There is nothing we can do but receive anything we need from our Lord who gave us the Holy Spirit that will bring us throughout this whole life. Thank God, this is not as exhausting as the before mentioned possibility to be successful on earth. HE gives us the rest we need, but the world was and will always be restless in doing this and that.

    Steve, I don’t think that you would get thrown out of this kind of church because they are nice and friendly people, but I’m afraid they would scarcely understand what you’re talking about. Satan always wants to keep us busy. If you say, “There’s nothing to do, everything is done.” – maybe, some people will believe it by God’s grace, and then they would realize for the first time in their life that there is a vacuum deep inside their hearts, which can only be filled with God’s unconditional love. And nothing else.

    This is Christian success: Jesus Christ won by being crucified and killed for our sins and being raised for our eternal life. He has achieved anything we could ever imagine and desire. I hope and pray that many of those hard-working megachurch Christians become desirous of passively receiving God’s love, peace and rest because He wants to give them His spiritual gifts still here on earth.
    Amen.

  2. Susanne,

    Thanks for you gracious comments. I think you have rightly mentioned many of the characteristics of these ‘free-will’ mega-churches.

    I do agree with you that they are nice people. I know many of them. I also know many Mormons and some Muslims who are quite nice. While they might not “throw us out”, they would probably never ask us to return.

    I too pray that they will tire of the ‘working their way up the ladder project’ and find their rest in the finished work of Jesus.

    – Steve

  3. Steve,

    Many thanks for your appreciative answer. I do know that there are much more characteristics – especially seen from our theological perspective ̶ I could have mentioned, but this would have been a comment at great length.

    Me too, I know many welcoming Muslims for there are a lot of them in my hometown here, and I happened to meet nice Mormons as well. But as far as our Christian faith is concerned – particularly the proclamation of the Gospel including the cross – we are worlds apart from each other. You’re absolutely right that “they would probably never ask us to return” and perhaps some of them would even throw us out effectively or even more kill us (John 16:2). However, I do think we would be in best company because our Lord said,
    “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter al kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad,…” (Matthew 5:11-12)

    While Jesus prepares us in John 15 that loving Him means keeping His commandments and loving all our Brethren, He also predicts the hatred of the ̶ most probably religious plus Christian ̶ world. We will be hated just as Jesus was hated when we obey Him in order to not please men but God alone. To follow Jesus doesn’t mean to proclaim an ear pleasing “fabric conditioned Gospel” so as to attract new disciples, but to boldly declare the “word of God that is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” (Hebs 4:2).
    I’m convinced that this is our part in sharing Jesus’ cross by loving Him and His will more than any man on earth (Matthew 10:34-39). Indeed, we are his children when “we suffer with him in order we may also be glorified with him”. (Rom 8:17) Nevertheless, to our great relief, His yoke is easy, and his burden is light (Matthew 11:30), because our Lord “daily bears us up” (Psalm 68:19).

    In this sense, let’s continue!

    Susanne

  4. “Nevertheless, to our great relief, His yoke is easy, and his burden is light (Matthew 11:30), because our Lord “daily bears us up” (Psalm 68:19).

    In this sense, let’s continue!”

    Amen, Susanne!

    Thanks for your good thoughts.

    Off to the salt mine. ( my brevity)

  5. In the last few days there were just over a hundred clicks on the sermon that was highlighted in this post.

    How many listened, or listened to it all ?… who knows? How many really heard the gospel in it?…who knows?

    In the past few years, that mp3 audio has been clicked on almost 600 times.

    I pray that some heard the gospel. I pray that I did, too. By God’s grace.

  6. Hi Steve,

    Absolutely off topic. Today I checked your site up and down, and “all across”, and I found this:

    “theoldadam, on September 6, 2008 at 9:07 pm said:

    The Germans have a road where there is no speed limit. Obviously they did that in response to Luther’s ‘the Freedom of the Christian’.

    We need to get with it in this country!”

    That’s how it should be, of course. With these words you have revealed yourself worthy of being invited. Then you can check our terrific German “Autobahn” (similar to freeway).

    Speeded motorist’s greetings,

    Susanne ;)

    • Thanks, Susanne!

      I would love nothing more than to be able to take you up on your invitation!

      I just got home from a 5 1/2 hour drive (2 1/2 there…and 3 hrs back). If I was on the Autobahn, I could’ve done it in about an hour.

      If my ship comes in I may be giving you a holler. But it may be a while.

      I don’t even think it has left port yet. :D

  7. Poor Steve :(

    Maybe, I would throw a fit driving in California or somewhere else in the US. These are dire conditions you are forced to cope with, oh boy! That’s horrible!!
    I feel so sorry for you that I’d like to buy a round because of this. :D

  8. Linda and I have driven on the Autobahn. From what I could tell, traffic rules are suggestions – at best!

    • Alas, you are right, Mark.

      Granted, we still have no Italian situation, so that most traffic rules would be completely ignored*, but we are well on the way. Especially (young) men drive like fury, and they often wrongly sum up traffic situations. This is the dark side of motorists’ freedom when some of them don’t accept limitations at all and turn into “traffic Antinomians”.

      In 1976 my aunt died at the age 36 from the consequences of such a tragic occurrence. She left a great void for her two teen daughters and her husband. My even-aged cousin whom I loved very much died in 1991 at the age of 26.
      Our daughter was thirteen and on her way to school, as she was suddenly knocked down by a car. I was paralyzed with fear when an unknown woman’s voice called and told me, “Your daughter has had an accident right on the cross-walk.”
      You have to be careful with racers anywhere. Thanks be to God that He protected Sarah from severe injuries. However, the fear remained. One day she told me that she always prays before crossing the road. And she avoids cross-walks like the plague to this day.

      Blessings to you,

      Susanne

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      * My best friend is an Italian woman and she totally agrees with me

  9. Thank-You for sharing this link at IM. I will share this with my fellow church-beat up and burned out buddies. Such good news, wow, hard to believe with all the other teachings that race around in my head… However, I think my heart heard the gospel… I soaked this talk up.

  10. Gail,

    Thank you, friend!

    I try and listen to that one every few months or so. So glad it had an effect on you, too.

  11. Preaching this sermon would probably get you thrown out of Saddleback Church, Calvary Chapel, or Willowcreek | The Old Adam Lives!

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