A few days later, when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home. They gathered in such large numbers that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them. - Mark 2: 1-2 (NIV) And He preached the Word to them. Sometimes we make things so much more difficult than God ever intended. Sometimes we get into our own carnality and human logic and start to think that we can help God. That we know better than God. That we have some sort of special insight into the current times that God is somehow unaware of. The Bible has warned us about this: Don’t let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Christ. - Colossians 2: 8 (NLT) Yet week after week in the modern church we see this sad reality play out. We start to poll lost people as to why they do not attend church and then take their answers to cater the church to them. Beloved, they do not attend church because they are lost. Because they love the things of this world more than they want to believe in God. Because their hearts have been hardened. There is only one answer that solves their riddle. There is only one thing that can penetrate the darkness of the world they are living in. There is only one thing that has the power to change the most hardened of hearts. The answer is not that difficult. He preached the word to them. Week after week we see churches across this land compromise the Gospel of Jesus Christ so that they can be more seeker friendly. So that they can reach the next generation, for which they claim the Gospel has suddenly lost its power to. Pastors trying to be hip to the world. Trying to make their church relevant to a culture that is leading everyone to hell. Words are changed to lessen the blow. The unsaved are now merely unchurched. The poor theology of the sinner's prayer is now reduced to a two sentence slap in the face of God while people are counted statistically for the kingdom without ever actually meeting Jesus. No discussion of sin and repentance. Everything is reduced down to cheap grace. The kind of grace that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy about sin but has the power to save absolutely no one. The real grace of God is cast aside for this cheap knock off. The real Savior is left in the parking lot while charlatans and snake oil salesmen lead more and more people to hell. It need not be. The true answer is not that difficult. He preached the word to them. The purpose driven church model seeks to expand the church body horizontally; not vertically. Pastors fail to remember the lessons of the early church and who is ultimately responsible for the horizontal growth of the Body of Christ: A deep sense of awe came over them all, and the apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders. And all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had. They sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need. They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity— all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved. - Acts 2: 43-47 (NLT) The Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. How does He do that? Does He add to the number of those being saved through slick marketing campaigns? Does He do so by tricking people into heaven? Does He do so through staged altar calls and false signs of the Spirit? Does He do this by watering down the Gospel so that more will be drawn to the church house? No beloved. He doesn't do it any of those ways because He doesn't have to. The answer is not that difficult. He preached the word to them. Jesus enters Capernaum early in His ministry in our key verses and the people have started to hear about Him. Much like today. According to the key verses they gathered in such large numbers that there was no room left. Jesus was starting to pack them in like the latest mega-churches do. No room even outside the door. He has the people curious to say the least. What does He do? Does he try and get the best local musicians to entertain them? Does He worry about how long He is going to speak to them? Does He cheapen God, cheapen grace, or cheapen the Gospel because He is worried they may not come back to hear Him again? No beloved. He knows the answer is not that difficult as He simply preaches the Word to them. One simple portion of one simple Scripture yet so much profound truth for us today. Do we truly grasp the power of the preached Word of God? For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. - Romans 1: 16 (NIV) It IS the power! The salvation so many people need in this world is found through the preached Word of God! It does not need to be changed. It does not need to be altered. It does not need to be massaged. It does not need to be cheapened. It needs to be preached! It does not need to be made purpose driven! It does not need to be made seeker friendly! It is sufficient - all on its own - to bring salvation to those who hear it! Well what if they don't come back preacher? Then at least they heard the good news! At least they heard that there is only one way to heaven and that is through Jesus Christ. It is time to put down our leadership conferences. It is time to put down our latest seminars on church growth. It is time to put down the high sounding nonsense and empty philosophies which come from the spiritual powers of this world and human thinking and get back to Christ. He made it clear. He made it simple. The answer is not that difficult. He preached the Word to them! Let us go and do the same in His name! Rev. Anthony.