Lifted Up!

Jesus said, “If I be lifted up from the earth, I will draw all men unto me.” John 12:32 KJV  He was lifted up from the earth on the Cross of Calvary, yes, and He is available to all people.  But, how will they know this truth if we, who are His servants and followers, don’t lift Him up in all that we say and do?

Sunset Cross

I have been listening to Christian radio recently, and I have noticed something about the music.  A lot (not all, but a significant amount) of it has left out the central part of the Gospel…the name and work of Jesus Christ!  I was driving to church the other night, and switched on the radio for some “warm-up” music.  Three songs, and not one mentioned the name of Jesus!  The first song was a slow, lilting tune. Comforting words of peace and rest.  The next was an up-beat, toe-tapper calling us to come to the river and lay down our burdens, find rest for our weariness. That heaven would heal us!   Sounds great!  I want to go where they are and chill from this crazy life…but…I found myself waiting for them to sing the important part. Come on!  Sing it!  Say that it is JESUS!  I could even fill in His name and make it rhyme!  But, it just didn’t happen! No mention of Jesus, or the cross, or what that burden is that wearies us so…sin.

I wanted to shout, well, maybe I did shout a little at the radio!  “Tell them what that burden is they are carrying! Tell them why they are so weary!  Tell them about their sin, and the remedy for it! Tell them Jesus is the River!”  Heaven isn’t the healer!  Jesus is!!  Heaven is our destination and home, but Jesus takes our burdens and makes a way for us to be able to go to heaven.  The Cross of Calvary is where our burdens can be lifted and our hearts cleansed from the burden of sin.  After one is saved and cleansed, one has a better understanding of the “river.” And where to go with our burdens. But a “seeker” doesn’t know that.  They might liken it to a meditative state or use the music itself to soothe them and make them “feel” better, if they aren’t taught the gospel truth.

It is one thing for Christian entertainment (radio & concert music) to be lax in ministering the heart (the bare truth) of the gospel, but soon churches will be using this same music in their worship services because it is popular, and, after all, it is written by and for Christians, right? And, while I have always felt that music in the song service should be directed to God in worship, we can’t deny the fact that “seekers” learn a lot of their theology from the music in church.

I am afraid that we have allowed the religious version of political correctness to infect the church.  We are afraid to offend “seekers” by telling them they are sinners, and that they need a Saviour.  We speak comfortably to them about laying down their guilt…but we don’t tell them that they need to recognize and repent from their sin. We feel embarrassed to speak (or sing) about the purpose of the Cross, His broken body, or the Blood of Jesus in salvation.

You can’t come to heaven to get released…you can’t come to some resting place to lay down your burden and find peace…you must come to Jesus Christ and His death on the Cross to gain entrance to that place!  If we tell them there is rest for their souls, and healing for their bodies, but we don’t tell them exactly how to attain those things through Jesus, we are not adding “such as should be saved.” (Acts 2:47)  We are really stealing their salvation! For there is no other door.  We are ministering “another gospel.” (Gal. 1:8)

God help us if we don’t “rightly divide the word of Truth” in all of our music and ministry. (2Tim.2:15)

Let’s pray: Heavenly Father, How we need your Holy Spirit to help us to wait on our ministry. To make sure that we see the need to minister the whole truth, and not just the part that feels good to the “seeker.”  Help us not to be ashamed of the Gospel, the Cross, and the Blood of Jesus.  Help us to minister all of these liberally whenever and wherever we can so that all can come to the grace and knowledge of Your great salvation.  In Jesus name,

Amen!

 

 

10 thoughts on “Lifted Up!

  1. Powerful, and very relevant word for today! I say a hearty “AMEN” to all of it, Sister Shirley! Keep speaking the truth!

    • Thank you, Pastor Gary! I came to the conclusion that this trend in music is “missing the mark.” I believe that is one of the definitions of sin. If we offer comfort and freedom from sin without repentence, we are hindering the work of salvation…which should be the point of all ministry.

  2. Amen and amen! Bloodless sermons and songs are truly “another gospel”. The Apostle Paul emphatically stated, “For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.” As the hymn says, O precious is the flow that makes us white as snow, no other fount I know, nothing but the blood of Jesus. Let us obey the scriptural command to buy the truth and sell it not.

    • Thanks for stopping by, Susie! You hit the nail on the head with what Paul said. We must always be aware the Christ Crucified is the answer for one and all. He is the answer.

  3. There is no other name whereby men can be saved….delivered…healed…made whole…find rest/peace/life etc. I saw last week a friend post pictures of a “worship concert” they went to. Now worship is on display for 10$ and you’re guaranteed to have fun. They mock what is holy and sacred by disguising it with a form without godliness saying what is good is evil and what is evil is good. Oh there’s good words…good lights…good shouts….but worship misdirected is profane and the devil likes it like that. David said he would not offer to God what didn’t cost him…and today these “worship concerts” only cost money but not the price of seeking and finding, looking and beholding, loving and intimacy. What union is excelled by mere convenience if not striven for? Take this whole world but give me JESUS!

    • I am hoping that Christian songwriters begin to consider the aim of their message, and shoot straight for the absolute truth of the Gospel, being aware that the language they use is being heard by the lost as well as the church. If they sing about the “River,” I know what they mean, but a lost person doesn’t and might have their burden lightened (for a while) by the song, and not by giving it to Jesus. Help us, Lord.

  4. Another perspective. No you haven’t stepped on my toes, but I know quite a few teens, twenty and thirty somethings, that will not listen to the old songs. It doesn’t equate to their style. Every generation has their own music, and words, so although the songs do not say Jesus, this generation knows that is what the music means. Similar to how Jesus’s use the words in His parables.
    And the worship concerts by Toby Mac, Mandisa, Sidewalk Prophets, Mercyme, Matthew West, Building 429, Third Day, etc… Bring many non believers to their concerts. It may be the first time, some are exposed to the love of God.
    As for the cost, in this day and age, it’s takes a lot of professional people behind the scenes, to put on these concerts and they have families to support too. And if these concerts bring One person to God, than I would wager, Jesus would say it’s worth it.
    Coincident or not, I just heard Jordan Feliz – The River last week and again yesterday. I heard this song at a time when I did not feel God’s presents and needed reminding of God’s grace, mercy, that my sins are washed by the Living water (Jesus) and I am born again. I felt the rise of the Holy Spirit within me and I sang out in joy to the Lord. I was going to share it. And today seeing your post about the words of this song, shows me how God is working in my life.

    • Thanks so much for your comment, Debra. I appreciate your perspective. I agree that the youngsters don’t want to sing the “old” stuff, but I want the new music to leave no doubt about who can take their burdens, heal them, and set them free. We sing a lot of songs with the language of the Kingdom, and we understand that language. But the lost may not get it. That’s why we have to “write it, and make it plain.” My own kids love the concerts, and I am happy for that. And when they take their unsaved friends, I hope the gospel is loud and clear. 🙂

  5. Shirley, I came here by way of the Consilium page on Facebook. I was so pleased to see Fernando Ortega’s “Sing to Jesus”…I love his music; I had that particular CD on in the car a bit ago.
    I think it’s interesting how our spirits just ‘know’ what will feed us, don’t we?

    • Hi, Jody! I am so pleased that you stopped by to visit! And, yes! I love Fernando Ortega’s music! I love all music that points clearly to Jesus and the Gospel message. There is no time to lose! We need to make it plain! Have a blessed week, and drop in here anythime! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *