"If we’re going to reach the people, we have to use the bait. That’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. They’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 today’s "perceptual" generation that needs to be amused. To grow our churches we must use more clever means to draw people in, that’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 God’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.
--- Pastor Jim Byrd
THE MOST DEADLY IGNORANCE
All people are ignorant of something. To be ignorant is to be without knowledge and understanding of something. The scientist may have great knowledge in many areas but he may be ignorant as to how his car works or how to fix it. But there is a common and very deadly ignorance that we abide in and bear witness of apart from the grace and power of God upon us. Paul confessed it and attributed his deliverance from it to God’s grace alone. Before Christ coming to him in His saving power, he was an educated, religious and moral man who trusted in his own works of religion, nationality and morality to commend him to God. But when God revealed Christ to and in Paul, he says, “I was before a blasphemer” and trusted my own works of righteousness “ignorantly in unbelief.” (1 Tim. 1:13) The unbelief he spoke of was ignorance of God’s truth. Ignorance of Christ who is the Truth. We are ignorant of the most important things when we are ignorant of who God is, what we are, and how God saves sinners through the righteousness of another. Paul sadly described his own nation saying, “For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.” (Romans 10:2,3) How did he know this? “For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.” (Romans 10:3) They showed themselves ignorant of what righteousness is and where it is to be found by trying to establish a righteousness of their own. This shows the natural ignorance of all people by nature and birth. Paul again describes our state by nature: “Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:” (Ephesians 4:18) This ignorance is willful. In the word itself is the word “ignore!” We willfully ignore the only truth, the only righteousness, the only way a sinner is made righteous before God and by God which is in Christ Jesus alone. God plainly tells us that it is “not by works of righteousness which we have done.” To be righteous we must be “made the righteousness of God in Him.” His righteousness imputed to us is the only righteousness. May God give us an understanding and if He does it will be through the word of truth, the gospel wherein His righteousness is revealed. “If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord. But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant.” (1 Corinthians 14:37-38)