Dream word – CUT
“Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, ‘Men and brethren, what shall we do?’” NKJV
The sentiment of the slashing sword
Someone has told us, a professor maybe, a social and society guru, that postmodern man requires an unpressured journeying choice of non-judgemental spiritual experiences. So, all our church advertising media trots out the same invitational tosh, “Come and enjoy the sweet spot of God’s presence!” Or. “We warmly invite your consideration to come to our worship experience.” And God forbid we offend anyone because the bottom line is to keep the punters happy, keep ‘em coming and keep ‘em giving, cause the mortgage on this church property is heavy and the personnel and programs budget is bigger than any comparable business! Yes sir, all this safe and satisfactory, experiential Christianity, is mighty expensive stuff so we have to keep the golden geese, excuse my mix of metaphor here, for we have to keep them the golden geese, pleased to be fleeced!
In the same deceitful way, we have been told that postmodern man, especially postmodern Christian man, cannot stomach a message that exceeds more than twenty minutes. Oh, they can watch a football game or maybe Arsenal ‘vs’ Manchester United for a couple of hours or more, or a not so decent movie, or stomach a meeting at work which lasts more than a few hours, or...well you get my drift, but for Pete’s sake, let’s not preach at them, no, lets give them a 10-20 minutes weak insipid talk. The problem is, that someone has told us that a twenty minute message, a talk even, a soft stroking multi-media, person hood affirming and life enhancing, non judgemental invitational coaching session, is all we need to make ‘em believe. The old fashioned and well fashioned sermon then, like a rust potted old barbers knife, has been folded away and placed in a draw, and the leather strap of sharpening prayer and practice has in its turn, been removed from its hook on the wall, rolled up and placed along there with it. The problem is that no one’s getting saved now! Oh we get the conversion to cultural Christianity, by no ones getting saved, not really. No, I am afraid, salvation is becoming as rare as rocking horse poop.
The Latin roots of our English word “sermon” means “to stab”, or “to thrust through”. Certainly our text for tonight shows Peter’s sermon was of soul bloodied, spirit cutting and surgical precision. There was no massaging of a message here! There was no soft caressing adjectival prefix to the words delivered from a drip drooled, dancing and effeminate, inoffensive little tongue. No, though the listeners had not prepared for surgery, surgery was what they got and my friends, there was no anaesthetic! Yet the sermon both cut and cured them. Imagine that! (Oh and by the way, you can always tell when there has been a leak in the devil’s massive heavy bottles of his inhalation sedation of nitrous oxide, after all, it is called “laughing gas” for a reason you know.)
So, listen up you leaders, you speakers, you ear tickling talkers all! Listen up you sissified choir boy, hair combing, cheek squeezing and head patting chumps! For it is time to get the knife back out again. Go on, reach in, right at the back of your study desk drawer and pull out that rusty old, straight razor shaving knife again. Unroll that strop found next to it, hook it on the wall and get to praying and a to practicing once more, for Sunday is surgery time and I tell you right now, if your sermon isn’t sharp, isn’t cutting, isn’t putting people on the spot of eternal choosing, then you had better pack it in, pack it up and go get yourself a job as a bingo caller or a used car salesman! Go and give talks to the Women’s Institute man for it’s all your good for now. For I tell you, there is no sentiment in a slashing sword my friend, and each of us teachers, each of us preachers, will give thorough accounting for each sharp slash, and especially the lack thereof! So, stop talking man! Stop tickling ears and patting heads, and start preaching again for goodness sake. Stop listening to all this Post Modern hogwash which is producing nothing but pale consumers and commit yourself to let the lion loose once more.
Listen: “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.” - Hebrews 4:12-13 NKJV
Pray: Lord, may Your Word and Your Spirit both cut me and create me, in Jesus name I ask it, amen.
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