Comments On Sermons

Discussion in 'Calvinism/Arminianism Debate' started by Rippon, Aug 5, 2015.

  1. Rippon

    Rippon
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    Perhaps this particular subject should have been placed in another forum. I am just playing it safe. Mods can feel free to transpant it somewhere else if necessary.

    I am re-reading a book by D.M-Lloyd-Jones : Preaching & Preachers

    I will cite some remarks of his from a chapter called The Character of the Message

    This is a most serious question. In those other realms they do not object to the length because they enjoy it, they like it, and they want more of it. Why then is it not the same with the Christian? I am again raising the question of assuming that these people are Christians simply because they come to the service at all. I am suggesting that if they put these time limits on sermons they are more or less confessing that they are not Christians, they are lacking in spiritual life. Why is it also that so often they are listless in their listening? They often give the preacher the impression that he is allowed to preach by their leave, and only on condition that it will be brief. There are even some people who in a literal physical sense settle down to endure the sermon.(p.155)

    Nature cries out for the nutriment that is appropriate to it; and if you know people whom you think are Christians, but who do not want the preaching of the Word, and do not revel in it, and rejoice in it, and want as much as they can possibly get of it, I suggest that the right question to ask them is, 'Are these people Christians?' This behaviour is contrary to nature. They do not conform to what we are told about Christians in the New Testament. They revelled in it; and they were a praising people. They did not attend their meetings mechanically, they did not do so as a matter of duty, they did not do it merely because it was the expected thing...
    The New Testament preachers, the Apostles, did not have to go round the houses and urge people to come to the services. The difficulty confronting the Apostles was to send them home! They wanted to spend the whole of their time in this atmosphere; and the more they received the more they wanted. Daily! Steadfastly! You could not keep them away. And this has been the characteristic of the church always in every period of Reformation and of Revival. John Calvin used to preach every day in Geneva. Every day! And people were thirsting to hear him, and the others. (p.157)
     
  2. SovereignGrace

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    I have heard people squabbling over a service lasting too long, thinking the first song needs to be sung at 11:00 and the last 'amen' at 12:00 so they can go home to watch football from 1:00------11:30? Look, I love sports as much...probably more than...most people, but it can wait. I love NASCAR, MLB, NFL, NHL, but none of those sports died for me, raised for me, ascended for me, saved me by His blood, and will return for me.

    People want to go to church for a few minutes a week so they can pat themselves on the back.
     
  3. annsni

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    The only reason we limit our service is because we have another church that needs to meet after us and it is their building so it is just being gracious to end on time. But I do agree that we should be willing to sit for hours listening to the preaching of the Word of God - and should not be so distracted by other things that we do not listen or leave early or wish we could!!
     
  4. blessedwife318

    blessedwife318
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    I have long known I was in the minority but I enjoy being at church, and love good sermons. I do not think it is possible to really get into a text of Scripture and also have good application in less then 30 min. I prefer sermons that are closer to 40 min in length. My husband and I often listen to sermons throughout the week as well since we enjoy hearing from God's word.
    This idea that we need to have the service done in an hour seems in my experience to be unique to the western mindset. I know when I was on a mission trip to Central America, the service was 3 or 4 hours, and I have heard numerous missionaries talk about how church on Sunday is pretty much and all day affair. I think we could learn something from that. And all that time doesn't have to be preaching. Fellowshipping has also become a lost feature it seems as well. Hard to get to know people when they race out the door to watch the game.
     
  5. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate
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    :thumbsup: Good post, Rippon!
    I don't think there is necessarily anything wonderful in long sermons or anything virtuous in listening to them, but you are right that people should come to church thirsting for the word of God, and there is something strange if people are chafing after 20 minutes (unless the preacher is particularly bad!).
    I think part of the problem is that television divides everything up into tiny sound-bites and as a result people are not used to concentrating for more than five minutes.
     
  6. PreachTony

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    Very true...though I would add the caveat that not all services are created equal. I was in a service last Tuesday night that lasted from 7:30 to 10:00 and felt interminably long. The next day, I went to my fiancee's church for Wednesday morning and night revival services. Both services lasted over two and a half hours, and I would've been fine with each service continuing.

    I'm personally not a fan of set ending times for services, though I will not fault anyone who prefers such method. I go back to a saying my Mom and I used to share when we were visiting churches: "Not my church; not my ways." Not every church is going to do things the way I prefer.
     
  7. SovereignGrace

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    I have heard preachers preach close to an hour, maybe longer, and I was like, "why did they quit?" Then I have heard some preach 15 minutes and thinking, "they should have sat down 10 minutes ago." :smilewinkgrin: :laugh:

    Yes, I do not like a rigid church schedule. But they have every right to do as they choose to.
     

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