The Priority of Preaching (Part 1)

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You should gauge and judge every ministry and podcast on how they handle the Word of truth. 

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Classic Friday: Three Imputations (Part 2)

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Welcome to No Compromise Radio Ministry. My name is Mike Abendroth. Duplex Gratia Radio.
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I think I said that the other day. I don't know why. I think that was yesterday in real time.
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You can go to amazon .com and order the new Sexual Fidelity book written by me.
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Some lessons that I taught my son Luke when he was younger. I updated it. I revised it.
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I put an appendix in the back with some Puritan authors on the subject.
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I wrote a little different introduction and I included Law Gospel, Duplex Gratia, and other things to make it a little more well -rounded.
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I was pleased that even though 10 years ago I wrote it, it was not graceless.
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It still had many good things in it and I was very thankful for that. Also, the
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Sexual Fidelity book has a counterpart and that is the
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Cancer book. Don't waste your cancer. That's John Pfeiffer.
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I'm listening to someone in the background and that's why I got distracted. Cancer is 31 -Day
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Guide to Suffering. So, that will be the fourth book in the 31 -Day
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Guide series. I guess that's my future for the next 20 years.
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I'll be writing 31 -Day Guides. People didn't like devotional, so I had to say guides, although we did the
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Gospel Assurance Devotional, which was shorter than a guide. Well, today
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I want to continue to talk about Jesus and is that shocking?
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It shouldn't be shocking at all. That's what we do now. We don't get as many listeners because it's not body slam radio.
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But, you know, hey, we're just going along to get along. That's what we do here at No Compromise Radio.
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Once in a while, I think like last night on Twitter, I did shoot out a scud. There's a church someplace that's got a
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Batman skit with people in Batman costumes. And I just said, as bad as this is, it's worse to mess around with the
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Trinity. And then I tagged Owen, who, to my knowledge, has not yet taught the right view of the
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Trinity. All right. I have in front of me, before we start to talk about the Lord a little bit more, the
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New England Primer, improved for the more easy attaining of true reading of English.
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Easy for me to say. To which is added the assembly of divines and Mr.
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Cotton's catechism, Boston, 1777. I've done shows on the
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New England Primer before, but this is sitting here on my NoCo desk. On my
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NoCo desk, I have Teddy Beza. I should start probably reading him again, although my mind's not functioning that well today, so I don't want to try to read.
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I've got Gospel Assurance sitting here. I have Anglican Book of Common Prayer.
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I have Cliff Notes on the New Testament. I have Dangers of Calvinism.
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I have a Rite of Baptism from the Roman Catholic Church, a
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Rosary through the Joe Osteen Cube, the
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Message Bible, a couple of John Payton books, notes, and a real
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Bible. Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep.
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If I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take. First in the morning, when thou dost awake, to God for his grace thy petition make.
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Some heavenly petition use daily to say that the
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God of heaven may bless thee always, singular. I paused a little bit when
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I was reading because the F's that are written are really pronounced with the S's now, so it's just harder to read.
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Love God with all your soul and strength, with all your heart and mind, and love your neighbor as yourself. Be faithful, just, and kind.
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Deal with another as you'd have another deal with you. What you're unwilling to receive, be sure you never do.
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That's kind of a good one. But what you're unwilling to receive, be sure you never do.
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So far we got long, which is good. I'm just saying what it is, and it's from the hands of Christ, right, if you're a believer.
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Be you to others kind and true as you'd have others be to you, and neither do nor say to men whatever you would not take again.
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Okay, not bad. With all thy soul, love God above, and as thyself thy neighbor, love.
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So far, so good. You like it? Let's keep going a little bit more, and then we'll get into the text.
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Now in the heat of youthful blood, remember your creator, God. That's Ecclesiastes 12.
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Behold, the months come hastening on when you shall say, my joys are gone.
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Behold, the aged sinner goes, laden with guilt and heavy woes, down to the regions of the dead, with endless curses on his head.
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The dust returns to dust again, the foul and agonies of pain. Ascends to God, not there to dwell, but hears her doom, and sinks to hell.
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Eternal King, I fear thy name. Teach me to know how frail I am, and when my soul must hence remove, give me a mansion in thy love.
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New England Prima, I'll put that on top of the Catholic Catechism for the baptism of, what's it say, the rite of baptism, baptismal rites.
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Mike Abenroth, No Compromise Radio. You can write me, mikeatnocompromiseradio .com. Once again,
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I would like to advertise, that's a bad word, but I'll say it.
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If you have prostate cancer, if you know someone who does, if you have cancer, or you know someone that does, and they need some help, they need some encouragement, they'd like to talk to me, you can email me, mikeatnocompromiseradio .com.
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And I've talked to quite a few people, and the Lord has given me a ministry to those with prostate cancer, and that diagnosis, and also now that I have leukemia, maybe the double cancers.
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Anyway, I can't guarantee that I'll call everybody, but I'll try my best to serve in whatever way
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I can, and that is a genuine offer. That's a legit offer. I might have to talk to you when
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I'm driving in the car or something like that, but it's an honor to be able to serve in some way, shape, or form, especially with some people that I never meet.
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Anyway, Mike Abendroth here, we're talking about Jesus and preaching.
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So, I was looking at Luke chapter 4 a while ago, and there's another passage that I've been really fascinated by, and it's
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Luke's equivalent in the Synoptic Gospel, in one of the synoptics,
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Mark chapter 1. And I heard Dick Lucas, the
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Anglican preacher, I think he's with the Lord now, but I heard him preach this in Watts, Los Angeles, California.
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That would be a pretty rough part of town. I remember when I drove there, I can't remember who
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I went with, maybe Edwin or someone, and we parked in the parking lot, and there were fences, protective fences, rod iron fences along the perimeter of the parking lot, which is pretty common for that area.
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But what I didn't know, and what I've never seen before, nor after, is they had fences on top of the parking lot, so people couldn't crawl over.
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If you crawl up and over, there's nowhere to go because you have fences and protective barriers on top.
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And I remember then Dick Lucas there preaching, and he preached in Mark chapter 1.
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And of course, the context of Mark 1 is similar to Luke chapter 1, and Jesus is casting out demons, and the demons are saying things like, what do you have to do with us,
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Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are, the Holy One of God. Jesus says, basically, be quiet, be muzzled, come out of him.
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They're amazed, and remember, he is teaching as one that has authority, and he's not quoting people.
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I know the rabbis, he is the word incarnate, and he has authority, and he is commanding unclean spirits, and they obey him, and word gets out.
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Fame spreads around Galilee. And then he goes to Simon's house, and his mother -in -law is struck with a fever, and he takes her by the hand, compassionately lifts her up, and the fever's gone, and she, because she's completely healed, begins to serve them.
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And now they bring more demons at sundown. Well, Mark chapter 1, verse 35, we pick it up there.
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What I just gave you is a little intro to the passage, and this is what I'd like to talk about today. Mark chapter 1, 35 and following, and you're going to see the primacy of preaching in the ministry of Jesus.
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While he heals, preaching is more important, and so I just want you to just get it stuck in your craw right now, that when there are these healing ministries that don't teach the
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Bible, or if they do teach it, it's in a cursory fashion, and a bad fashion, and bad hermeneutics, and kind of attack on.
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The key is preaching, and healings just point to the preacher and his message back in those days.
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And if there's some healing ministry, you can see that on TV, and you can just think this is all wrong, because Mark chapter 1 helps me see things clearly.
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Once again, today on No Compromise Radio, as wonderful as the healing is, if you just think this way, that those people that got healed will eventually die anyway, but what about their souls?
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And so, if you could have eternal healing for your soul, or just healing in your life until you lived,
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I don't know, as old as Methuselah, 969, but then die and go to hell, what's that going to matter?
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It will only matter temporarily while you're on earth. And so, we know that the
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Lord Jesus sometimes healed people on earth, and he ultimately healed those that he came to die for, and in an eternal way, he healed them, right?
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The soul. So, let's just look at the passage and talk a little bit about it today, and if I get in a bind, we'll just,
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I don't know, we'll look at the New England primer. And rising very early in the morning,
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Mark 135, while it was still dark, Jesus departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed.
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We talked a lot last time about the prayer life of Jesus and how wonderful that is, and how we think about his prayer life first, before we begin to say, if Jesus prayed, we should.
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We should say that, but I want you to say that secondly, not firstly. Second, not first.
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And Simon and those who were with him searched for him, and they found him and said to him, everyone is looking for you.
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Now, we've got a lot going on. Mark is a fast -paced gospel. There's healings, there's demons cast out, there's all kinds of stuff going on, and now we have almost like a little pause, kind of a little rest here.
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He gets up early in the morning while it was still dark. And basically, what's happening is the original language, the
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Greek, is emphasizing how early it was. The last watch of the night was between 3am and 6am, and here it says, very early in the morning while it was still dark, making sure you have the double word, the double designation of early, dark, dark early.
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And Jesus is praying. So, it's early, when it was dark, departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed.
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And the verb for pray is extended prayer. That's what it would mean.
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It's an imperfect verb, for those of you who like to know. And he's praying for a long time. Sometimes we just pray little prayers, help, and sometimes we have to pray longer prayers because of our heart and so many people that need prayer.
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And here, he's praying for a long time. Now, put yourself in Simon's shoes. Can you imagine the horror of Simon upon waking up and finding a crowd of people outside his home and no
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Jesus? So, you're thinking, what's going on?
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If you think back to the passage, it says, that evening at sundown, they brought to him all who were sick or oppressed by demons,
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Mark 1 .32, and the whole city gathered together at the door and healed many who were sick with various diseases, and they cast out many demons.
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And he would not permit the demons to speak because they knew him. And rising very early, and then we come to our passage.
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Now, the text doesn't say there were people at the door directly.
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But indirectly, hey, everybody's looking for you, meaning that there are people at the door looking for Jesus.
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They wake up. It's later than when Jesus woke up. And the crowds have started gathering around the door?
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I think so. Lenski said it seems that the
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Peter's house. Peter and his companions want Jesus to hurry back in order to satisfy the crowds.
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So, you wake up. Jesus is gone. You don't know where he is. And there's a huge crowd outside, and they need healing.
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And I've written before regarding this passage. I said I can hear Peter's heart beating 2 ,000 years later.
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I mean, his Adam's apple must have stuck in his throat as he's checking every room, checking around to see where Jesus might be.
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And you can put yourself in his shoes. What would you do? I would probably sweat. I would probably have a moist forehead.
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And then the hunt is on. Let's go find Jesus. They were searching for him.
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They were tracking him down. This is like hounds that would track down a fox.
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They're looking for the healing master. Probably Andrew, James, and John, Peter, a bunch of others are trying to stay one step ahead of this crowd, this gathering crowd, this swelling crowd.
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And he says, everyone, Peter says, everyone's looking for you. Very, very intense word.
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Everybody's trying to find you. We're with intensity trying to track you down.
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Hebert said it reflects a recollection of the anxiety of the disciples before they succeeded in locating
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Jesus. This is the same language. Everybody's looking for you.
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This is the word look that Mark will talk about when Jesus's foes are looking to arrest him.
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They're trying to find him. Everyone's looking for you. And as Dick Lucas would say, so get back to your healing ministry.
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After all, you started it. So, what does Jesus say? He's up early.
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He's praying communion with the Father. They wake up. There's a big crowd. They go try to find him.
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They finally find him. Everyone's looking for you. And what does Jesus do? Oh, I'm sorry.
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I better get back to healing ministry. Oh, I just fell asleep.
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I did the wrong thing. You know, all those are dumb. What does
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Jesus say? Well, Jesus doesn't apologize. He sent by the Father to do this very thing.
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He never has to apologize. He's never sinned. He's never done anything even remotely close to that.
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And so, what does Jesus do? Remember, Jesus has a plan and there's a deadline. And you think about all the divine musts of the
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Bible. I must do this. The Son of Man must be lifted up. And Jesus must do these things.
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And so, what does Jesus say? And here comes the nuclear bomb.
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He said to them, Let us go on to the next towns, that I may preach there also, for that is why
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I came out. Let us go to the next towns.
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It's a long preaching trip. The language of the Bible there in the original is it's going to be an extended time of preaching.
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Remember, he said in Luke 4, I was sent for this purpose. That's why I have to preach to the other cities.
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Here's what we need to remember, dear listener to No Compromise Radio. Preaching of the gospel, the good news of God, and his forgiveness found in Christ Jesus alone, received by faith alone, is more important than healing pregnant paws.
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It could have been, and there's a commentator named Mounts, M -O -U -N -C -E.
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It could be that this healing ministry was going to somehow eclipse or overtake or overcome the preaching ministry.
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That's a possibility. What's not possible is what's true, and that is preaching has a higher priority than healing.
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Don't get me wrong. I've been sick before, even as I said earlier in the show, and if I were to be healed of that directly by God, instantaneously, organically, completely, wholly, verifiably, because that's how
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God heals, I would be very, very happy, and I would hopefully be praising the Lord and returning to thank him, unlike some of the other lepers.
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By the way, I saw some kooky, I forgot the lady's name, so I won't say a name that I think it is, just to make sure, because I wouldn't want to say the wrong thing.
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She was talking about healing ministry. I saw it on Twitter, on X, and she was talking about how she loves to heal lepers, and she kisses lepers, and watches their toes grow back.
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Like, you are such a liar. You are such a liar.
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Anyway, I'd like to see her go to a real leper colony, and we would watch from afar with nice lenses in our camera to make sure she really did it, because we'd be standing far back, making sure it was contagious leprosy and not uncontageous.
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Non -contagious? A -contagious. Healing is important, especially here when you just think about the compassionate
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Savior talked about in the servant songs of Isaiah. Obviously, true humans, true men are compassionate and gentle and kind and strong, and so that would be obvious, but it's not the important thing.
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I remember Dick Lucas, he basically said, this section is how to ruin your ministry.
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If you'd like to have a ministry, how do you ruin it? Three easy steps, Lucas said. One, get the power to heal all sickness.
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Two, get a large crowd of sick people. Three, turn away and tell them you're going on a preaching trip.
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Well, they might be able to shut up John the Baptist for a while, but not Jesus. And he went throughout
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Mark 139, all of Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and casting out demons.
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I know if you listen, that 99 % of you realize the priority of preaching and how that is more important than healing ministries.
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And when you see healing ministries on TV, Benny Hinn's or something like that, healing crusades, you automatically know this is not right.
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This is bogus. Keep the priority of preaching.
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That's what I want you to do. In a climate and culture today that says they preach, but just offer lip service, that somehow want more drama and dialogue than a sermon delivered in a monological way.
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Churches that love videos, Batman skits.
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I mean, if you go to a church that plays a video of the latest movie and then talks about how that movie has a theme of redemption that points to Jesus, that's not a church you ought to leave.
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I'm very, very careful to say to people, you know, don't leave right away at a church and be prayerful for your pastor.
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And all of us have problems. If you were to come to Bethlehem Bible Church, and if you are a member of the church, you know what problems we have.
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And we're far from a perfect church. And sometimes I think it's like, you know, I know people that seem to never want to get married because if it's a guy, what they're looking for is, you know, the proverbial 10 out of 10 looks and 10 out of 10 spiritually and 10 out of 10 on a compassionate level and 10 out of 10 in love for children and all these other things.
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And they just price themselves out of a spouse. And the same thing, you know, if a woman is looking for a perfect man, she's never going to find him.
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I don't mean you should cut corners and, you know, marry some guy that's addicted to porn or whatever.
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But you know what I'm saying? I don't like to say to people, oh, just leave that church and just in a flippant fashion.
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Oh, that's no good. I wouldn't like to have people say that here because we do have problems. But if the church is playing videos and, you know,
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I don't even like it if a church is going to play a video of Braveheart for a little bit to talk about courage because the passage that they're preaching is 1
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Corinthians 16, 13 through 14. Can't you just talk about courage? And if you want to use an illustration from a movie, can't you just describe it?
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Well, I think the answer is yes. Just use your words. You don't need any props. You need a Bible. I think amplification is good because it's a bigger group.
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A Bible, the Holy Spirit, and the preacher, don't you just need that? So, if you're at a church and they're playing videos during the sermon,
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I couldn't sit through that, not one second. Anyway, you can do whatever you like, of course.
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Sometimes people say, well, I'm a visual learner. And I kind of mock them a little bit.
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I'm a visual learner. Hey, Paul, you sarcasm in 2
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Corinthians and elsewhere. I'm a visual learner.
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That's true. Okay, you're a visual learner, and so am
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I. There's nothing wrong with being a visual learner. God has meant his natural revelation in creation to visually teach you and hold you accountable.
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There's much you can learn visually. That's true. But God also teaches auditorily, aurally, a -u -r -a -l, because he preaches.
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He, Jesus, preaches. He, the triune God, sends prophets to proclaim the truth.
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I mean, preaching in a day of participatory learning, dialogical learning, nonlinear learning.
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Don't want to just hear one guy only. We have to involve all the congregations somehow into the service.
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That's kind of a big hit these days. Well, more people need to be involved in the service. Now, I don't want to do everything in the service, obviously.
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Well, maybe not so obviously, but in my mind, obviously, I don't want to do that. I don't want to have other people get up there. And that's why we have the elders rotate through for pastoral prayer and scripture reading.
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We have hymns. We have more contemporary music, and so there are different leaders for those things. Multiple voices heard.
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I don't really know what that means. When I first got to Bethlehem Bible Church, they said, well, we have like a youth Sunday, and the youth run that service that Sunday, and then someone from the youth group preaches.
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And I didn't want to cause too much of a fuss, but I'm sure I did. This is not novice
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Sunday. Certainly young people can be saved, and they can minister in lots of different ways.
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And maybe they're in the choir, maybe they're playing the bass guitar or whatever. I don't know what they can,
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I mean, they're able to do lots of things. But preaching, you ought not to be in the pulpit at 17 years old, because you can't be mature by definition.
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You're just a brand new Christian. Anyway, if you love preaching,
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I'm glad you do. I hope you pray for your pastor. I hope you say, you know what, it's good to hear from God's word.
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And we come to sing his praises, of course, and do many other things. But we know that there's a priority for God speaking both law and gospel.