Have you ever had a song or a tune "stuck" in your head that you can't seem to shake? It keeps coming up at the strangest times and in the weirdest situations. Not too long ago I had the theme from the old "Brady Bunch" song echoing through my mind. Now, I have not seen an episode from that show in years - nor do I remember even hearing the song recently. Yet I found myself humming that tune in a hospital elevator, in my vehicle driving on 270, even as I was studying in my office for my sermon last week. Last week I probably found myself humming or singing that old tune over 40 times in just one day.
However...as I was reflecting on that experience - from just a week ago, mind you - I have to exert a little effort to even remember how that old tune sounds. Isn't it strange that one day I can't get it out of my head and it seems to be with me everywhere I go; and just a week later I rarely think about it and may not give it the slightest thought for many more months to come.
In just three decades of preaching I've had similar experiences in the ministry. I remember in the '70's when the phrase "I Found It" was found all over the evangelical countryside. You could hardly pass a church without seeing it on the sign and found it on church printings all over. Scripturally, of course, the phrase was grossly inaccurate because the sinner doesn't find Christ, He came to this earth to seek and to save that which was lost. Like all crazes or spiritual fads, it didn't last long - sort of here today and gone tomorrow.
In 2004 the "hot" topic in "Christianity" was the Hollywood film, The Passion of the Christ. I have never seen the film nor do I ever intend to - unless it would be to give a proper analysis of the content; but churches all over the nation had cancelled their morning services and sent their congregations filing into the theaters. I was scolded by other pastors for not promoting this film because it was "the best evangelistic tool they had ever used." Had that truly been the case, it would still be used and those same churches and pastors would have viewings for the public each month. Scripturally the whole concept was unsound because "it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe."
Now a new phase or "Christian fad" has entered the scene. Many preachers are declaring that beleivers need to preach the gospel to themselves daily. I love the Gospel. I love learning more about the Gospel. I love declaring the Gospel. I love reliving how I accepted the Gospel. I love how much of the New Testament contains the Gospel. It's just that I have never read in the Bible that I am supposed to preach the Gospel to myself every day.
- I read where we are to preach the Gospel to every creature (Mark 16:15).
- I read where the disciples went through the towns preaching the Gospel (Luke 9:6).
- I read where Jesus preached the Gospel in the temple (Luke 20:1).
- I read where Paul was ready to preach the Gospel in Rom (Romans 1:15).
- I read where Paul desired to preach the Gospel NOT where Christ was named (Romans 15:20).
- I read where the apostle wanted to preach the Gospel in the regions beyond (2 Corinthians 10:16).
But, I can not find any place in the Bible where I am to preach the Gospel to myself. And to do it every day.
Fads and unscriptural crazes will continue to come and go - just like that song that you can't seem to get out of your head. It's every place you go and seems to permeate every thing you do...for a little while. Since it is built on an unscriptural foundation it won't last.
Little wonder that God knew these things would be thrust upon us, so He gave us the following admonition:
Hebrews 10:36-38 For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry. Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.
Patience is a very necessary component of Christian growth. Enduring through temptations and trials and hardships without departing from the Word of God or deserting our Saviour deepens our faith, strengthens our reliance upon Him and provides a necessary testimony to the unsaved. Patience - the opposite of fads or crazes. Patience - the nemesis of temptation. Patience - the antithesis of "now" or "trendy."
Patience develops deep Christians. Patience chisels unaltered doctrine upon the foundation rock of our souls. Patience breeds strong families and church members.
Ye have need of patience. Boring, old patience.