On the night before He gave His life a ransom for many, our Savior instituted the Lordâ€™s Supper. This is one of two ordinances which He gave to His church, the other being baptism. Today, immediately after the morning message, we will partake of the bread and wine, and in so doing, we remember our Lordâ€™s sacrificial, justice-satisfying death. Immediately afterward, we will eat together downstairs, and there will be no service tonight.
****** BEHOLD THE DYING SUBSTITUTE TUNE "THERE IS A FOUNTAIN" CM/DOUBLE WORDS BY JIM BYRD
1. When to the cross I turn my eyes, Where Christ my Lord once died; I see my ransom paid in full, And justice satisfied. The holy law of God condemned This sinner, lost, undone; But lo, One came to rescue me, Godâ€™s well-beloved Son.
2. The plan to rescue fallen man, Required that Jesus die; He hung upon the cursed tree, The Law to magnify. Behold Him suffâ€™ring for the sins, Of all His chosen bride; He brought in perfect righteousness, "â€˜Tis finished," Jesus cried!
3. Behold the dying Substitute, Who took His peopleâ€™s place; And with the Father made our peace, O what an act of grace! Now Jesus reigns forevermore, Before His throne I fall; Such wondrous grace demands from me, My life, my soul, my all.
***** "Marvel not that I said unto you, Ye must be born again." (John 3:7) *****
THE LORDSHIP OF CHRIST Sixteen hundred years ago the church was adopted by Rome. Millions of pagans flooded its membership and they brought with them their pagan culture, tradition and faith. It took that â€˜successful churchâ€™ a thousand years to recover from that brilliant success. Something like that has happened in our day. In this century, the church and religion have been adopted by society, politicians, entertainers and popular persons. All of a sudden â€˜Jesusâ€™ and â€˜the gospelâ€™ have become quite popular. Millions have joined up to swell the membership to an all-time high. Results: a church that bears no resemblance to the church of our Lord Jesus Christ. â€˜Religionâ€™ has become manâ€™s chief defense against the true gospel! If there is one place that a man does not dare to preach the gospel of Godâ€™s sovereign grace, it is in the average church. â€“Rolfe Barnard
***** USING BAIT TO ATTRACT PEOPLE "If weâ€™re going to reach the people, we have to use the bait. Thatâ€™s just the way the world is today. Previous generations were much more reliant on the spoken word...but the postmodern generation is much more perceptual. Theyâ€™re looking for something real." Those were the words of a Michigan preacher given to a newspaper reporter.
Bait - "something used in luring, especially to a hook or trap; also: a poisonous material distributed as food to kill pests" (Webster). False prophets use the bait of contemporary music, stage lighting and other carnal activities to attract and entrap more attendees. Preachers design services so people will enjoy themselves; they make the church as much like the world as possible so the man of the world feels comfortable. The religious floor-shows are the bait which multitudes are swallowing; they are being lured into the feel-good atmosphere of deadly false religion.
Most people do not want to hear the preaching of the old gospel of the person and work of Christ; that message is too archaic, not "real" enough for todayâ€™s "perceptual" generation that needs to be amused. To grow our churches we must use more clever means to draw people in, thatâ€™s the thinking of many. But Paul told Timothy. "Preach the Word...for the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables" (2 Tim 4:3-4).
There is nothing more "real" than preaching the gospel of Christ. "It pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe" (1 Co 1:21). Our methodology may be deemed antiquated by modern religion, but Godâ€™s preachers will continue to proclaim the message of sovereign grace and see to it that when we meet, we honor the Lord. A worship service is to be just that - an occasion for worship. We do not conduct services so that people can be treated to a good time attending a religious pep-rally. Our services are about the Lord, His honor and His glory; our aim is to exalt the God of salvation and inform sinners of who Christ is, what He did, why He did it and where He is now. We have no intention of entertaining sinners on their way to hell. There is no bait here, just the preaching of the gospel by which God is honored and sinners are told the truth. We pray God the Spirit will apply the Word to their hearts. â€“Pastor Jim Byrd