The Baptist Pillar © Brandon Bible Baptist Church 1992-Present www.baptistpillar.com
"...The church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth."
I Timothy 3:15
Evangelist T. A. Nalian
As long as I have been a Christian, it has been my experience, to hear regrets, sore feelings, and disgruntled attitudes toward the length of preaching services. Notice, I said preaching services. You will not hear complaints breathed out toward the length of singing, or some other special activity within the church service. No, the complaint is focused in on the preaching. Why is this the case?
What is wrong?
The attack is not really on the preaching; this is a subtle camouflage. The voice of complaint is an out right attack upon the "Word of God!"
Over the many years of my Christian service and attendance, in the church house, I have observed those who breath out such contemptible remarks. Deacons, trustees, Sunday school teachers, seemingly Godly mature people are among the clamorous crowd. The much given excuse is this: I have other important things to do; the church service is only to be an hour or so; we go to church three times a week, there should be a set time of length for the service, (I guarantee you most of the people disgruntled over this issue do not attend every service).
The majority of people, in the Bible, who scorned and disobeyed the Word of God, were people of authority. Often kings would lead people astray. Jeroboam led the people of Israel astray because he did not listen to the Lord, (I Kings 11:26-40; 12:25-33; 14:16). Rehoboam led Judah into error, because he forsook the Word of God, (I Kings 14:21-24). Many kings of Israel and Judah were guilty of this because they despised the Word of God.
Prophets and Priests also transgressed against the Word of God, in so doing, leading and teaching God’s people the wrong way, (Jer. 23:1-2; 9:40).
People who cry aloud, despising the length of the preaching service and time spent in the church house, are those who spend very little time in personal study, prayer, and meditation of the scripture. Love for God is synonymous to having love for his Word. Love for the Word of God is hunger and thirst that will pursue God at any length, (time will not be an obstacle) (Matt. 5:6; Psalm 63:8).
The churches in the United States of America are broken, weak, feeble, carnal, immature, lackadaisical, and self-seeking, because it is starving for the knowledge of the Lord.
"My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children." Hosea 4:6
In our day, people (professing Christians) go to church out of convenience, not conviction; their reasoning is superficial not sacrificial! The average church member will spend more time watching TV, gratifying the flesh, indulging in personal hobbies, chasing the dollar, living for temporal pleasure, than they do in the Word of God, and in the service of God. This is a wicked sin, an abomination before God! Like in the days of Isaiah, our assemblies are loathsome before God, Isa. 1:11-15. God does not want your spotted, blemished, weakly, sickly sacrifices. He desires your heart! Love! Devotion! Deut. 6:5.
If you cry out against the length of preaching services, and at the same time do nothing for God, all you are is a carnal bum, eating out of the garbage can of this world! If you spend 3 hours watching a football game, 2 hours observing a baseball game, an hour and a half polishing your car, you better bite your poisonous tongue before you sink your fangs into the body of your local Bible believing, gospel preaching church for declaring the Bible for an hour! Why do we have no power? Why do we not win souls? Why are prayers not answered? It’s because we are forgetting God and forsaking His Word!
The problem in our nation is not with the ungodly forsakers, the problem is the Godly forgetters who forsake God’s Word, (Ps. 9:17). David said that he did not wickedly depart from his God, (Ps. 18:21). To depart from God is the sin of wickedness.
Some preachers advocate that you should be able to "say it all in 20 minutes." Please show me that in the Bible. On the contrary, church services in the Bible were long in duration. In Neh. 8:1-12, many who returned from Babylonian captivity stood and listened to the reading of the Word of God for hours, (at least four to six). The people wanted to hear the scriptures, (Neh. 8:1). Ezra "brought the law before the congregation" 8:2. Ezra "read...from the morning until midday...the ears of all the problem were attentive unto the book of the law" 8:3.
Not many attentive ears today. Ezra... "stood up on a pulpit of wood..." 8:4; "Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people;...and when he opened it, all the people stood up" 8:5. Their standing position showed a readiness to serve. When Ezra preached, the people responded by saying, Amen! Amen! They lifted up their hands, (expecting to receive some thing from God) and bowed their heads and worshiped the Lord, (showing self-effacement, and Godly sorrow) 8:6. After the service concluded, the people went away in joy, 8:12.
The Word of God brings joy!!
The early church held services every day "and they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple..." (Acts 2:46). When they would come together they preached, prayed, praised, and participated in the Lord’s Supper. "They continued steadfastly in the apostles doctrine," (Acts 2:42). I guarantee you, that they were in church for more than one hour daily. When they came together the preaching was hot! They had a Glory Hallelujah Shouting Time. The early church was effective, people were saved daily. Glory! This kind of attitude toward the Bible and the local church would bring revival to America!
Before Jesus fed the great multitude, He was preaching, teaching, and healing all day; the day was far spent, the time was far passed, (Mark 6:35). The disciples wanted to send the people away hungry, Jesus would not, but fed them. Again we see another long church service in the Bible. In Acts 20:9, the Bible tells us that "Paul was long preaching." Paul preached until midnight, (Acts 20:7). A man by the name of Eutychus fell asleep and fell from the third loft and died, (Acts 20:11). Oh, how we should hunger and thirst for God and His Word, (Ps. 42:1-4).
"One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD (communion, fellowship, devotion of soul), and to inquire in his temple (to seek the Lord’s will)." (Ps. 27:4).
America, let’s return to the Word of God! II Chron. 7:14.