“The show must go on” is a well-known phrase in show business, meaning that regardless of what happens (such as the lead performer breaking a leg), the show must still be put on for the waiting patrons. The other day a church invited teenagers to come to church and play an allegedly ultra violent Play Station 3 game Halo3 with the hope that they would in so doing, some how love coming to church. This is modern day evangelism for you, its called connecting with the youth in the name of Jesus. Another church was offering flat screen Tvs another offered Harley Davidson Motorcycles and cars to first time visitors or any body who accepted “Jesus into their hearts”.
The Show must go on.
Is it possible that in the last days there will come times of difficulty? People will be lovers of self… lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power? What ever happened to the power of the gospel? What ever happened to the cross? What ever happened to the name that is above any other name by which men are saved? Are we still tongue in cheek because of Jesus Christ? Does Christ have to be disguised to a point where we use sleight of hand? Is this the level to which friendship evangelism has fallen?
When love begins to sicken and decay it uses an enforced ceremony. [Julius Caesar]-William Shakespeare
Many great men of God in the Bible kept “the show going”. Putting on an out ward façade that all was going well despite having long lost the anointing. Having every form of godliness but denying the power there of. So take heed. Samson the strongest man in the Bible; lost his hair, the symbol of his anointing while he slept and woke up saying, “I will go out as at other times and shake myself free.” But he did not know that the Lord had left him. Was the departure of his anointing so subtle that he did not know it or did he become so numb that he didnt realise it? Spiritual malaise either way made him not miss the one thing that made him special. The Spirit of God on his life. In modern day church life there are loads of activities and programmes. Programmes and activities do not mean growth. Counterfeits and hypocrites cast the same shadow of deception. Deception can bring in many “converts” because it is appealing. Indeed deception has got to be appealing. To maintain the numbers it has got to preserve its appeal. People flock to preachers that offer socially acceptable “gospels” or “fish and loaves” messages of prosperity, self help and motivational sermons as they say. Well, the show just keeps going on. The numbers grow and quadruple but there is no fruit of the Spirit. No genuine repentance; no abhorrence of sin.
Mushrooms in The Night
That is the reason we have so many mushroom converts. – George Whitfield
They will never accept grace until they tremble before a just and holy Law -Charles Spurgeon.
The story is told of the prophet Samuel and the king Saul of the Israelities. Saul was told by God to get rid of the Amelekites and kill all of them and all their livestock. But Saul after invasion of the enemies of Israel kept back the best of their sheep and oxen. His excuse was, “… for the people spared the best of the sheep and of the oxen to sacrifice to the Lord your God.” Then Samuel said to Saul, “Stop! I will tell you what the Lord said to me this night.” And Samuel said, “Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice and to listen than the fat of rams.” Saul was boasting of the numbers. Oh have you seen the numbers? Oh have you seen how well fed the cattle look? Isnt it so lovely?
Samuel feels saddened and disappointed as a prophet toward a king he loved and had had the privilege of anointing. This was the first king of Israel. Now he was rejected by God as king. What do you do when God’s presence is lifted from you? Repent I suppose. What do you do when you realise that error and fallacy have been introduced into teachings of a minister or a ministry you once loved and supported? As Samuel turns around to go away, Saul seized the skirt of his robe, and it rips apart. “The Lord has torn the kingdom of Israel from you this day, Saul.” Saul its over. There is no show. Ichabod!
But wait Saul pleads, I know I have sinned but hey the elders do not know. The people don’t know.
Then he said, “I have sinned; yet honour me now before the elders of my people and before Israel…” 1 Sam 15:30
Let’s act as if. Let’s keep things going for the crowds. The crowds, the people, the spectators and the whole world is watching; dont let me down infront of them…lets keep this thing going even if you know i dont have “it”.
You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet. -Matt 3:15
Does the church still have that “it”? Is it possible to water down the gospel message, sin, righteousness and judgement? The church’s worth is in her retaining her saltiness. That ingredient that keeps and preserves is, the Spirit of God. Jesus said, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you, he will bear witness about me.
And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment. John 16:8-11
What a big show we have to run when we try to run the show without the Spirit of God. We then try to “convict” sinners by our own forms of unbiblical godless delusions, let a lone try to keep, tirelessly entertain and try to preserve converts in our ways of “godliness”.
Its virtually impossible and tiring to disciple such false converts. They come to Jesus because they have seen and heard of a” fish and loaves” gospel. They wont have desire for the things of God or the deeper thigs of God or even His Word.
They are not born of the Spirit. They only came to church to play a goofy Play Station game, watch the Rockstar church band and they mumbled a half hearted “sinners prayer” so as to reach the next level of Halo 3 . Didnt hear about sin, righteousness or the coming judgement. How would they hear if nobody preached to them so, how would they believe if the one sent to them didnt tell them so. They faithfully attend church month in and month out for more “fish and loaves”…having a form of godliness indeed.
Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’ Matt 7: 21-23
When the Spirit of the Lord departs, the show is over. Ichabod! It is time to go back to God in repentance.
If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land. 2 Chr 7:14
Finally, the term Ichabod is a sad one. It appears in first Samuel chapter four. Eli’s daughter-in-law, the wife of Phinehas, was pregnant, about to give birth. And when she heard the news that the ark of God was captured, and that her father-in-law and her husband were dead, she bowed and gave birth, for her pains came upon her. And about the time of her death the women attending her said to her,
For the glory has departed.
“Do not be afraid, for you have borne a son.” But she did not answer or pay attention. And she named the child ICHABOD, saying, “The glory has departed from Israel.” 1 sam 4:21 ESB
Editor’s Note: “If we do not preach about sin and God’s judgment on it, we cannot present Christ as Saviour from sin and the wrath of God. And if we are silent about these things, and preach a Christ who saves only from self and the sorrows of this world, we are not preaching the Christ of the Bible . . . Such preaching may soothe some, but it will help nobody; for a Christ who is not seen and sought as a Saviour from sin will not be found to save from self or from anything else”
Unfortunately I think your analysis is correct, Acidri. Great post!
You write well, Acidri. Please keep posting.
I recently listened to a good sermon on this topic by a preacher named Handley Milby. He is an old time gospel preacher, one of the old time fire and brimstone guys. If you like that sort of preaching, which I do, you can find a lot of great ones by him over at The Old Time Gospel Trumpet.
Great blog,by the way!
I loved this post, as I also have heard God saying “Ichabod” in my spirit a few months back. There was a preacher my husband and I used to love to hear, and for a long time God, through his messages, sustained us in times of great, great affliction, giving us hope and strenghening our faith through this brother’s sermons, but then something happened where he embraced and endorsed error, and the next time we tuned in to hear him preach, and we saw that he was exalting and endorsing a wicked, wicked politician, on that day I clearly heard God saying “Ichabod,” for His glory had departed from that ministry. Since then, I have never listened to any of his sermons again.
If you have good, and still faithful preachers whose messages we may hear online, please share the names and links with me, for the unadultered Word of the Lord is scarse on the earth these days. Where I live, it’s almost impossible to find.
I like your blog very much, and I will add it to my blogrool.
God bless you, brother, and keep up the good work!
Sorry for not getting in touch earlier. You were asking for any preachers or teachers who you could rely on. However first and foremost i should say rely on the word of God. The Bible is infallabe. Get rooted in scripture. I have humbly made a simple blog roll of a few teachers that you can walk with. Make use of the podcast resources and evangelistic tools of several of the ministries….let them equip and prepare you to get deeper in your knowledge and understanding of God. Hey thanks for viisting my blog. Go serve your King.
I have found preaching of Paul Washer very helpful, but in all things ask the Lord for a discerning spirit!
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I came here from Timbob’s blog, and glad I did. What a great post–and sadly, so true. The Lord has departed from the pulpit and pew. He has departed from the rituals and the forms, and desires a living house; a house made up of living stones, all functioning, all displaying His glory, all vessels of His Son. By this is He glorified, that we have love one for another–that we lay down our lives for our friends, as He has done. That requires more than listening to a sermon and taking notes–much more. That requires that He become, not the most important thing in our lives, but rather He must BE our life.
All too true
I read this for the first time today. I found the link to your blog from you post on the Way of the Master on Facebook. This is my confirmation. I preached this message Sunday night in my home church. Our Pastor was out of town and was asked to minister the Word of God. Most people did not like this message. I know it is the heart of God and your post confirmed in me that I had heard from my Lord. Thank you for posting. My sermon was prepared with much tears for I knew in my heart the people would not receive it. I have never been able to “handle” or “carry out” an altar call, (in ref. to your other article) and Sunday night I told the people that I knew why I wasn’t good at altar calls, because it is between them and the Holy Spirit! I preached the word. How will they respond is between them and God. Thanks!
Great posting! Try this website on for size:
Thank you Randall for visiting my humble corner.
This message should be preached all over the US. We have left our God for another god. America worships pleasure and riches. So sad that God is used as a play thing, and a jeanie, and Jack in the box. But its coming up again! There is hardly any more preaching on heaven and hell. But II Peter Chapter 3 remind us that this earth shall burn as an oven…
My husband is an evangelist who preaches the Gospel, he preaches that repentence with Godly sorrow leads to salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, he preaches that christians are to pick up a cross and follow Jesus in abandonment and surrender, that the grace of God enables us to live overcoming separated lives ,not worldly sinful lives. Believe me when I tell you, sad to say this type message is not popular nor wanted in most churches and we have ministered in alot of them. Most churches are full of gimmicks and entertainment, basically just religious themed social clubs that compromise the Gospel in order to build numbers and fill pews, it is really heartbreaking to see the lack of respect for the things of God, the lack of reverence and fear in Gods house is astounding, it has really put us on our knees !!! Thanks for posting this , I am sorry to say this but it was right on target.