Friday, September 12, 2014

And How Are They to Hear?

...preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.
 -2 Timothy 4:2

It is impressive to sit in Pastor Billy McGarity's study and observe the books lining walls from top to bottom. Many Bible translations, as well as commentaries, collections of sermons, and systematic theologies are contained in these shelves. 

Brother Billy would be quick to assert that in no way has he absorbed all the learning contained in these many volumes. What is impressive is the dedication, the devotion to the Word of God.

It is this dedication for which I so love my pastor, though he is also dear to me as a Christian friend and brother. When I read and hear the statements made by ministers in this community, words which so often betray not merely a lack of understanding, but an utter ignorance of Scripture, I am shocked and saddened.

Shocked because it seems such a small thing, a basic thing really, for a Christian person (and how much more so a minister of the Gospel) to desire and seek the deep things of God's Word.

Instead we see a casual, almost flippant attitude toward the Bible: a few key texts pulled out of context and hammered to death, willful (or so it would seem) rejection of the basic doctrines of God's grace, and a blasphemous elevation of fallen man's will above the sovereign rule of the Lord of the universe.

But  am saddened even more by the thought of those who sit in darkness, under the shadow of those pulpits where Scripture is so incompletely presented. Saddened by the thought of those lulled into a false sense of comfort and security as their ears are tickled by lies and their bellies filled by that which is not food.

Saddened that they hear the words, "Peace, Peace," where there is no peace, only impending judgment.

Ministers are called to preach faithfully, diligently and carefully. Souls hang in the balance, and while God alone gives the increase, it is through the faithful sowing of the Gospel that he works to draw sinners to Himself and create a bountiful harvest.

I praise the God of heaven for Billy McGarity and pastors like him who present the complete counsel of the Word of God. I have included a link to one of his sermons. I pray you will be blessed by listening to it:

I pray, as well, that you are hearing such preaching regularly.

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