FISHERS OF MEN
“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.