By Tom Yerman

PastedGraphic-6RootedScripture tells us that God’s compassions/mercies are new every morning (Lamentations 3:22-23). I believe God is encouraging us with a fresh start and new beginning daily. And when we properly embrace these new beginnings, we can look forward with expectation of a good New Year as we remain firmly rooted in God’s Word. God’s Word is the only thing we can count on to find and give stability in a world that is destined to perish before it is reestablished.

The power of the pulpit must persevere!

The human race has always had to face change. Change is inevitable in time and space. And it isn’t difficult to see or experience the societal changes that are pressing upon us in this Nation and world today. I’m not saying that change is bad or wrong. Change can be good. But I’m talking about the changes that come due to some form of compromise or willful act when people choose to let their feelings lead them rather than the Word of God, due to such impulses as selfish gain, preservation or fear. I don’t think I’m mistaken in saying that we pastors face a challenge every day. Challenges come from the government, family, church, individuals, the world and our flesh, not to forget Satan. And if we loosen our grip on the commitment we have been called to by God Himself, be assured instability will begin to try and form itself in one way or another. The power of the pulpit must persevere!

I have just finished reading a book entitled “Manhood Restored” and am currently reading “Act Like Men.” They confirm to me the issue we have with men not acting like men. I am speaking beyond the temporary godly man shortcomings we experience as being not yet perfected. I’m sure you know about, or have even witnessed, the issue of “men not acting like men” from your own pastoral viewpoint as well. There is a lack of spiritual leadership in men that has affected families, churches, our nation and without exaggeration this world. I have seen and counseled men who, by misplacing their security in God, had blurred or lost their vision of identification in Christ thus causing them to suffer in their relationships both vertically and horizontally.

Chuck Swindoll sent an email out that fired up my passion for God’s Word. He stated that “if there were a day in which a strong word is needed it is now. It’s time for some strong talk and a strong pulpit.” He compared to Charles Finney, who in 1873 said:

preacherIf there is a decay of conscience, the pulpit is responsible for it.
If the public press lacks moral discrimination, the pulpit is responsible for it.
If the church is degenerate and worldly, the pulpit is responsible for it.
If the world loses its interest in religion, the pulpit is responsible for it.
If Satan rules in our halls of legislation, the pulpit is responsible for it.
If our politics become so corrupt that the very foundations of our government are ready to fall away, the pulpit is responsible for it.

Paul wrote a similar warning to Timothy in 2 Timothy 3:1-5,

But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days.  People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.”

Over the years, I have found that the common denominator in dealing with people has been that their feelings and not the Word of God are leading them. I am concerned about the lack of ability and unwillingness I see in people to trust God and follow His Word when they are faced with difficulties and in the decisions that follow. Their feelings, emotions, fear, pain, pride…control their actions. It’s all too easy for people to walk away from Truth and His counsel. The reality of God’s presence and His unseen/unfelt involvement in people’s lives has no apparent stronghold to counter the lead of emotions. Though a belief in God might be acknowledged, though sometimes questioned, His power is denied. It is apparent that God’s presence is allowed but without His sovereignty being accepted or understood. Trusting God’s sovereignty in the midst of suffering is something that can be difficult.

There seems to be shallowness in intimacy of relationship with God when things get tough or don’t go a pain-free way. Jesus is our example of being called to suffer and enduring, 1 Peter 2:21 says that, “To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.

If people do not truly know God they will not trust God. Without an ability or decision to trust God and His Word (which is inseparable), people will be unable or unwilling to stand in the fire and endure the heat while working patiently through a problem rather than running away from it. Running away from pain and discomfort is a human default mode that results in people missing out on receiving God’s best. We understand that when a person owns up to something, accepts the responsibility of their actions, or even patiently endures through the pain another person puts on them, they allow God to do a little chiseling and reshaping for spiritual gain and maturity. This is where trust builds strength, stability, and leadership into a person’s life. In the midst of that, the power of the pulpit must persevere!

The focus from the pulpit is where the beat of the congregation’s heart is going to be. People are going to have difficulty with God’s teachings, John 6:6066 gives us a good example of that. That hasn’t and will not change. Truth is hard to accept, for all of us. Truth is offensive! But that should never stop us from embracing and proclaiming it. Truth guides us in true discipleship, which gives us our true identity. When people feel offended by the Word it is probably more correct to say that the Holy Spirit is convicting. Conviction by the Holy Spirit when the Word of God is taught and preached is a good and necessary thing we must not shy away from. The Word of God challenges (tests the ability of) both the one who is speaking it as well as the one who is hearing it. We all must recognize that when we feel the challenge, that that is a time to embrace the trust that comes by knowing who He is.

We should never be afraid to express what we believe. Even the terrorists with a wrong philosophy are willing to die for what they believe. Since we have the Truth, let’s boldly proclaim it so that conviction may come as the Holy Spirit does His work. Truth will offend and we must be okay with that, because in the positive sense, lives are at stake. We represent the only living and true God who has entrusted us with the responsibility of simply unapologetically proclaiming His Word as He passionately calls out to those who will embrace a relationship with Him that will glorify His Name.

It really is all about how deep our intimacy of relationship with God is. Man’s greatest temptation is the compromise that separates him from a trusting relationship with the Father. As Jesus gave us an example of that in the garden (Matthew 26:36-46), may the thought of any temporary loss of fellowship with the Father agonize us as deeply and motivate us as willingly to trust God, proclaiming His Word openly and without guilt or embarrassment from the pulpit no matter the cost. We serve a jealous God who is passionately seeking glory. The people we shepherd, the families, the community, the nation, and the world all need a fearless pulpit. The power of the pulpit must persevere!

A spiritual principle that reigns from cover to cover of the Bible is perseverance. Perseverance is rewarded.

Let me end with this and encourage you fellow pastors. When the Spirit of God came upon Azariah he went out to meet and speak the words God gave him to Asa: “be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded.” When Asa heard these words, he took courage (2 Chronicles 15:1-8).

Similarly the New Testament book Hebrews finds its purpose in encouraging the church to endure through the persecutions and trials of life. It encourages us to hold fast to our faith because our faith is grounded in the most superior revelation. We are to persevere in our faith until our faith receives the eternal reward it has been promised. So “don’t throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.” Hebrews 10:35-36.

Pastors, be encouraged. You are God’s best. The Power of the Pulpit must Persevere!


Tom Yerman has been an FCA Pastor and Minister for many years in the Chicagoland area.

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