You are browsing the archive for 2000 January.

Alarm Clocks & Crackpots!

January 24, 2000 in Bro. Heath's Blogs, The Holy Bride

shockingclock
(A Message To All Wanna Be Preachers & Prophets)

Suddenly you realize you have the ability to fly. As you flap your arms you find yourself defying the law of gravity. Higher and higher you go. You look down on the earth. All the people look like ants. You feel so free, so alive, so bird-like. Then you hear a small buzzing sound in your ear. Is it a bumble bee you wonder? It grows louder and louder. Then, poof, you realize the buzzing sound was your freaking alarm clock going off!

You were only dreaming. In reality you can’t even jump higher than 2 feet and besides that, your afraid of heights. With a quick and grumpy hand you slam the snooze button. You try to go back to sleep to savor the moment, the ecstasy of flying without a parachute but it’s no use… the alarm clock ruined your happy thoughts. Five minutes later the buzzing starts again. Reality eventually sinks in…your a wingless mortal lying on a lumpy bed, hearing an irritating alarm clock that blares the fact that you have to be at work in less than an hour.

Alarm clocks are not the most enjoyable invention of 20th century. In fact, although they are needed, they are not loved. Mostly, alarm clocks are tolerated because they are useful to warning us to the lateness of the hour and waking us up to impending circumstances. Hardly anyone in their sleeping state of mind enjoys being rudely awakened by one. Many alarm clocks have been martyred by a sleeping Joe who did not want to be disturbed any more by it’s rude ringing. Unplugged and pitched against the wall, it is silenced forever and discarded to the junkyard.

So can go the life of you, oh preacher prophet man, who obeys the call to be an alarm clock , to wake people up from their dead religion, to dare to speak out against sin, hypocrisy and lukewarmness in the church. No doubt you will have some sleeping Joe’s to contend with. No doubt you will be attacked. Attempts to silence your ringing truths will be made. There will be those who will label you as “harsh”, “unloving” and “negative” . They will spread their slander against you to every ear that wants to hear it. Your reputation will be dragged through the mud by talking Pharisees who are offended by your conviction of truth, your sounding alarm. You will be cast upon the bed of persecution, not by the world only but by men who claim to be “Christian”. Now, do you really want to wake people up and be an alarm clock
If the things Jesus taught and preached were spoken more fluently to this generation of “ear tickled” church folk, we would see more martyrs. Many preachers are content to tick away as “non-offensive” shepherds, never disturbing the peace of the hypocrite or the happiness of sinners. They dare not sound an alarm of God’s holiness or righteous demands of repentance, lest they offend the sinners and lose the respect, attendance and financial support of their parishioners. So both the shepherd and the sheep spend their days sleep-walking in a self-induced religious stupor. But where are the alarm clocks that will wake up the sleeping church?

Yes, the church is filled with slumbering sheep who would rather stay in dream land, sheltered in a fantasy bubble of their own making. Singing only fast and happy songs, they are inflated with a false sense of peace but truly their lives are being destroyed by sin and worldliness. Unalarmed about the things around them and caught up in an emotional euphoria, they become blind and unconcerned about the condition of their church, their families, their schools, their government, their nation, their world. But where are the solemn assemblies? Where are the weeping prophets who declare the sins of the nation and the church? Where are the Jeremiahs who can’t keep silent because of the “burning fire shut up in their bones”? Jeremiah 20:9 Where are those who grieve over the lost and dying souls of men? Where are the mourners who have the seal of God upon their foreheads who shed tears for their world? Ezekiel 9:4

No, instead we are flooded with preachers and teachers who tickle the ears and keep their flock in dream state, preaching “peace, peace when there is no peace”. Jeremiah 6:14 “And the people love to have it so.” Jeremiah 5:31 Everyone is running after goose bumps and “holy laughter” these days but not many are pursuing desperate prayer or “holy weeping”. You can pack a church out if you have a praise gathering or a “fellowship night” but announce a prayer meeting or time of fasting and see how many show up.

The church is overrun with the entertainment spirit. Shallow Christians and unsaved pew warmers threaten to leave the church if they are the least little bit challenged or convicted. Don’t even think about rebuking them in love. Proverbs 9:8 You’ll most likely become a preacher without a pulpit.

We have a lot of churches today that really don’t have a preacher, even though they have a man who stands behind the pulpit. They have a motivational speaker, a pep rally cheerleader. They are only concerned with making their church comfortable and pleasurable for their bottle-fed “milk and cookies” loving members. Some pastors can’t even feed them milk but must give a candy-coated lollipop sermon every week to satisfy their carnal, worldly congregations!

I say enough is enough! Jesus is coming for a pure, spotless bride. Ephesians 5:27 It’s time we had a church purging. I say we run out all the wishy-washy, uncommitted and hypocritical. Yea! We should preach in such a way to scrutinize the religiously pompous and have them offended to repentance or offended to leave the church (to become a more sanctified place in the end). If we purged the church of the Pharisees and “holier than thou” folks, sinners might just come and really get saved!
Well, I know I’m just dreaming and this isn’t possible. The wheat and the tares (the true and false children of the kingdom) are growing up together and only judgment day will separate the two. But if we preached the true gospel, holiness, true love for people and the fear of the Lord like we should, I think there would be less religious rats in the cupboard.

Where are the alarm clocks that will risk their reputations and their lives to alert us to the lateness of this hour, impending judgment and to the lukewarm, loveless condition of the church? Where are the Micahs who will stand up and announce, “But as for me, I am filled with power, with the Spirit of the LORD, and with justice and might, to declare to Jacob his transgression, to Israel his sin?” Micah 3:8 Where are the preachers who actually preach against sin and don’t make concessions to keep their sermons “kosher” to appease the masses.

Being called to be an alarm clock is no easy position. Not only do you deal with persecution but also frustration. You see, alarm clocks have the ability to wake people up but it has no power to get them out of bed! All our challenging sermons might stir the slumbering souls of countless thousands, but only the Holy Spirit of God can motivate them into action. Never trust in your “ringing truth” abilities. The words of truth can echo from a hollow heart just as fluently as from a deep well. Are your messages truly “character developed” and bathed in prayer? I’ve seen people get accustom to an alarm clock and sleep right through it. Many good preachers have a congregation that snooze in the pew with eyes wide open. We must saturate ourselves in prayer, begging God for divine visitation. More than words and hype, we need the “demonstration of the Spirit and power.” A lady once told her pastor that his sermon “moved” her. The pastor replied, “yes, but did the Spirit of God move you and to what?” We need men and women who will sound the alarm, trusting in God and not in their own abilities to move the church to revival. Who will sound the alarm like this?

Jesus Himself was an alarm clock. What made Him tick was surely love and mercy… what made Him sound His alarm was surely holiness, truth and the fear of the Lord. His words were urgent and bold. By today’s standards, Jesus would be called an “alarmist”, or worse yet a “narrow-minded fanatical extremist”. He did not speak flattering words to either saint or sinner. He spoke cutting truth by the sword of His mouth. Yes, He spoke in love but this love was not a soft breath of goobley-gook so as not to offend a fly. It was a love which was bold and full of power.

It was a love that uttered God’s holiness and righteous demands upon a sinful humanity in order to save them! His words would strip men of their false securities and justifications for their sin. His words would thunder a holy warning that men were commanded to repent or perish forever. He cried out with tears to a hypocritical religion, “Woe unto you”. He called men vipers and children of the devil. The Pharisees thought his words were harsh and unloving. But were they? Truth is a rude enemy to the soul who resists it, but it proves to be a sweet and inviting guest to the soul who yields to it. Where can we find such alarm clocks that will speak the truth in boldness and in love? Who will sound the alarm like this?

Now before I go any further, it must be pointed out for the overzealous alarm clock, that neither was Jesus a sour-faced Rabbi, critical of everything and everyone around Him. He didn’t slam dunk every soul He spoke to. Jesus was not a “prophet with a chip on His shoulder” or a balloon full of inflated knowledge. He was not a joyless, laughless, puritanical “stick in the mud” that only viewed the world through a skeptical eye. I think Jesus loved life. I think He laughed almost as much as He cried. I think He was comfortable to be around. I think that it was His goodness and gentleness that drew people to Him. He was compassionate and tender-hearted.

Truly Jesus was a “well-adjusted” soul who was both radical and reasonable, holy and human, a “no-nonsense” person yet friendly and loveable. Yet such a man would never compromise the truth or choke on His words to spare the feelings of those around Him. He was not concerned about His reputation. He was only concerned about doing the will of His Father and speaking the truth to His generation.

His message was alarming and radical. Yet we see some who try to pattern themselves after the prophets or Jesus, only to become arrogant “truth-tellers” bloated with knowledge and criticism. They think they are God’s “alarm clocks” when truly they are only crack pots. These wanna-be preacher/prophets run around with a big head and a little heart. But God is not looking for such warped halos. Jesus did not need to use dramatic scare tactics, “charisma” or a screaming anger in order to get His point across. Preachers take note; the truth needs no support props of human effort to convict men of sin. It does a better job if it stands alone. Bathe your sermons in prayer and try preaching the truth without hype and hoopla or motives to impress your hearers. Speak the truth out of sincerity and with no other agenda but to change lives for the glory of God. You will no doubt see what God will do. It works.

Repent of thinking you have authority and proper respect because you hold a PhD or a seminary degree. True spiritual authority is not earned academically but only from getting on your face in the prayer closet and by serving the church in sacrificial humility! Only men who diligently know their God, do great exploit for Him! Without true anointing and power from on high, your loudness or even so called passion in the pulpit is pep rally religion and only make’s the church a three ring circus. If you want prestige and to command peoples respect, then you are filled with self serving agendas and God will never truly put His Holy Spirit behind you.

However, if you do it God’s way and are filled with the power of the Holy Spirit, there is a chance that you might get crucified, or voted out of your church. It might cost you position, finances and reputation. But it is better to do the will of God than to cater to a watered-down generation of Christians that only want to be entertained with the “fluffy white sermons. The church in America needs more alarm clocks that risk their lives for the true honor of our holy God and for the purity of the church. But where, oh where can we find men and women in this generation with such a balance of boldness and love, conviction and mercy? Where are the alarm clocks that will blare their bells against the sin and lukewarmness of the church and yet still be humble and non “holier than thou”?

It is highly probable that if you are an alarm clock and start waking up dead men, it will cost you things near and dear to you. Your financial support base may not be as fat as the prosperity teachers and false prophets. You may not be able to afford that dove shaped swimming pool for your church staff breaks and oh yea… for baptisms.

Truth is not popular, fashionable or marketable these days. Paul tells us that “the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.”(2 Timothy 4:3-4).

Elijah had ravens sent by God as his support base. So don’t be surprised if you can’t build a giant “cathedral ministry” with truth as your foundation. But never worry, our beautiful Father will always be faithful to provide for your needs. He may not send you treasure chests of gold to line your pockets but be certain He will send you meat from little birds and manna from heaven… and the added benefit of being right with the Judge of all the earth.

Your family and friends may even stand against you. Other Christians may raise their eyebrows at you. Jesus said that He came to bring division and a sword. Holiness and truth will probably cost you friends. You will surely feel alone at times… but dispel such thoughts- you have all Heaven on your side! Friends like Jesus, Paul, Peter, James, John stand next to you… and a great cloud of witnesses overshadow your rejected, lonely life… and you will realize that though you are standing alone against much of the cesspool of this age, you’re not really alone

Nevertheless, beware that this feeling of “aloneness” doesn’t turn into a warped sort of identity posture. Please keep your head from swelling with the pride of “elitism”. There are many other good Christian men and women in this world who have not bowed their knee to Baal. Don’t try to be a lone ranger, alienating yourself from the mainstream on purpose. Have a high tolerance level for others who do not see things as you do. Don’t cut off brothers and sisters in Christ because they disagree on trivial or undefinable points of God’s Word. If your going to be an alarm clock, make sure your ringing the truths of God’s Word and not just “tooting your own horn”. So many preachers are caught up in defending their theological positions and interpretive preferences that they never get around to actually preaching the Word of God.

The motive of being an alarm clock for God is not so that we can pride ourselves on the ability to slam dunk everyone around us or feel specially used by God. We sound the alarm in to win souls and change lives for the glory of God. If this is not your motive for speaking the truth (in love), then quit ringing your religious bells. Your doing more damage than good! The church has had it’s fill of “alarm clock dingalings” who have used the pulpit as a sounding board to their own agendas. We need alarm clocks that blare out of burden with the heart of God, born from prayer and basked in love. Who will ring truth with the heart of God like this? Who will sound the alarm?

In conclusion, I would like to challenge you dear preacher/prophet, to be an alarm clock, to wake people up in desperate hour. Stand up, stand up for Jesus! Do not be a lopsided alarm! Sound a two-belled alarm! Sound the alarm of God’s love for man but also sound the alarm of God’s hatred for sin! Share on the Father heart of God but also share on the awesome holiness of God.

Speak out on God’s mercy but also speak out on His judgment. “Behold, therefore the goodness and severity of God.” Rom 11:22 Preach the grace of God that teaches us to deny sin and also teach a faith that is obedient to God’s ways. Tell the people about a grace that works and works that are done by grace. Do not be “ashamed of the gospel of God for it is power unto salvation for those who believe.” Romans 1:16 Do not waver in the standards of holiness and truth!

In closing summary, consider the following points;
1. Be bold as lion but not rude as a hyena. Make sure you don’t “sound your alarm” just because you enjoy offending people.

2. Weep more than you whip. Pray more than you preach.

3. Be holy but don’t be “holier than thou”. Be serious but don’t be stoic. Be real. Enjoy life. Laugh. Yes, even have fun!

4. Never compromise truth but tolerate different perspectives that are not your own. Don’t believe the lie of your own pride that you have the corner on truth. Always be teachable and humble. The path to grasping truth is paved with corrections along the way. Live the narrow minded path but don’t be close-minded. A wise man learns more than he teaches.

5. Be more of a “profit” to this world than a “prophet” to this world. Take your calling serious but don’t walk around as if your “God’s gift to mankind”. You don’t have to be the center stage at every gathering. Be humble and redirect the praise of men toward the Savior who hung on the cross and is the only one worthy of it. Take criticism or extreme negative remarks as “perhaps from the Lord”. Be dead to those who would flatter you… and also dead to those who would flatten you. You stand and fall first before your Lord. The opinions of men mean nothing. It’s what God thinks of you that counts!

6. Let people examine your life and question your authority. Yes, even invite them to critic your sermons and judge the things you say! The Apostle Paul invited others to judge his words and so should any real man of God. Otherwise you run the risk of forming a cult with members following you blindly and you wouldn’t want that to be in your portfolio on Judgment Day, would you? Don’t think that your seminary education or Bible training makes you above the little old lady who speaks her mind to you. She may be God’s voice. Take rebuke from a jackass. It might be a Holy Spirit thing. Don’t worry about your reputation If your a man of God you don’t have to defend anything… God will fight for you.

7. Make sure your not just blowing hot air or letting off steam when you preach. Let your ministry be under the influence of Holy Spirit and not from conjectured charisma. Forget ,how seminary taught ahh, you to roll your tongue ahh, with the last word ahh, of every sentence ahh, you speak ahh… This does nothing to promote true anointing, trust me. The Word of God is sharper than any double-edged sword that cuts on it’s own. Wield it skillfully and carefully.

8. Be an alarm clock with a snooze button, that is, have mercy on those who have not awakened as fully as you have. You can wait for them to catch up… God is still waiting for you to catch up to Him!

9. You can lead a horse to water but you can’t force him to drink. Sound the alarm to wake up the sleepy heads but pray to God, trusting Him to get them out of bed.

God is calling you to be an alarm clock to wake up a sleeping church… but in order for you to wake up others, you yourself have to be awake. Be disciplined in God’s Word. Refrain from the temptation of a lot of worldly amusements and distractions… lest you sleep as others. In the end, fear God and never men. Your success is not based on quantity of seats filling the pews but on quality of souls being filled with the fire of the Holy Spirit
~ Heath C. Goodman

*We make no apologies for the many scriptures and references in this article because it is┬ánecessary┬áthat you know that it is not our opinion but God’s Word that really matters in the end.


heathdonatebutton

 

Dare To Share:

Notice: Undefined index: logged_out in /home/churcho0/public_html/wp-content/plugins/skysa-official/skysa.php on line 94
Skysa App Bar
Skip to toolbar