Bible Ballistics: Signs or Evidence? April 13, 2014 Vol.3 #22

I’d like to share some food for thought this week. I’m terribly concerned about the direction the ‘church’ in America seems to be taking and I have a question, ‘Are we putting up signs, or being evidence?’ Passing through most towns today we see church marquees with anything from simple lettering with times and details, to flashing, digital, scrolling signs rivaling the biggest secular marquees. What is the reasoning? To advertise our church? To get people’s attention? To proclaim truth? Consider with me?

One meaning of ‘sign’ is: “a notice that is publicly displayed giving information or instructions in a written form”– Nothing wrong with that, but let’s look a little deeper. While signs can convey information about a church—time, events, people, etc., why are we spending enormous amounts of money to put up bigger, better, flashier signs than the next church? Are we becoming more and more reliant upon the methods of the world to reach our communities with the gospel, or following the scriptural mandate to ‘preach the word’?

2 Timothy 4:2, “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine.” We are to preach tirelessly!

1 Cor. 2:2, “For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.

1 Cor. 1:18, 21, “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God……21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.

Are we using the methods of the world as a substitute for our failure to be Christ’s ‘church’ to the world? Have we, the church, denigrated the preaching of the ‘cross’ to the status of ineffective ‘foolishness’? Perhaps more eager to rely on ‘signs’ and media than the ‘power of God? My question is, “Are we so busy putting up ‘signs’ that we have failed to proclaim Christ crucified for Sin?” Are we ‘being’ the salt and light that Jesus called us to be, living out our lives by the power of the Spirit, and sharing the truth? Or rather depending on the world’s methods? We are called to ‘walk in the Spirit, not the flesh. Whose power are we depending on, and walking in?

Have we forgotten what Paul said in Romans 1:16-17?

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. 17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

Have we decided that God’s ways won’t work in our world? Are we unwilling to ‘be the evidence of the gospel’ by living holy, obedient lives and just put up lights?

Matt. 5:13-16, “Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. 14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. 15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

We are to ‘BE’ light, not put up lights; our lives to be the ‘evidence’ of the Gospel to the world.

We are to be salt—

which preserves and flavors!!

We are to be light—

which dispels the darkness.

Have we passed the buck, so to speak, and decided to live our lives our own way and put up bigger and brighter ‘signs’ rather than yielding our lives to the risen Lord—and ‘BEING’ light?. Are we profaning God’s Word, His house, and His message by abandoning the power of the Gospel and settling for the world’s ‘advertising strategies’?

Oh, God forgive us.

Oh, Lord open our eyes.

Are we more concerned about

bringing ‘comfort’

than ‘conviction’?

In our zeal to appeal, have we abandoned God’s truth and power? Jesus quotes form Isaiah 56:7 in

Mark 11:17, “And he taught, saying unto them, Is it not written, My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer? but ye have made it a den of thieves.”

Jesus never established, or called us to imitate the world but

to ‘preach’ the gospel boldly,

and confidently depend on God for the results.

Our Gospel –

Jesus death,

burial

and resurrection

‘for our sins’—

the only hope for the world.

As Jesus said in John 14:6b, “no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

There is only one way—Jesus.

We have only one message—Jesus.

Are we willing to preach Christ crucified without compromise—

To live for Him and be salt and light to the dark world—

To be the ‘evidence’ of the life-changing power of the Cross,

not just to getting used to the ‘dark’. How are we to do this?

We who belong to Jesus are the Temple of God through the work of the indwelling Holy Spirit. Are we reflecting the character of God, or just putting up lights? Are we displaying Jesus to the world? Is our life ‘evidence’ of the transforming power of the cross? May we ever be.

1 Corinthians 3:16-17 says, “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? 17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.”  

Think on it—

are you putting up signs,

or being evidence?

Being a ‘den of thieves’

or the “house of prayer”?

The ‘house of prayer’ not simply being the place where prayers are wont to be made, but a place where the presence of God is sought, praised and obeyed.

Being light

not just putting up lights….