Title: Effective Broadcasting – Part 2
Theme: Planting the Word of God
Series: Essentials for Church Growth
Acts 6:4 and then verse 7, “But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to ministry of the word.” “And the word of God continued to increase, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests became obedient to the faith.” (ESV)
Effective broadcasting involves having the right seed and having obedient servants of the Lord planting God’s seed in the fields of the world. Just as farmers face the constant battle against drought or flooding, plant disease or insects, or many others elements that can determine the effectiveness of the harvest – Christians face an adversary, the devil, (1 Peter 5:8-9; Ephesians 6:12; 2 Corinthians 4:4) who constantly tries to destroy the faith of the Body of Christ and keep those in this world blind to the Gospel.
This is why the Apostle Paul, one of God’s faithful sowers, writes, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground…” (Ephesians 6:10-13)
I would propose to you that in this battle of broadcasting that life changing Word of God which points lost souls to Christ, the Bible holds truths to cling to and direction that assures a harvest for the Lord. Ephesians 6:17 says, “Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17 says, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” The Holy Spirit, through the Apostle Paul wrote, “This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words.” (1 Corinthians 2:13)
Faithful seed planters of the Word of God do not fall into the same pattern as the institutionalized church. They follow the example of Christ, who quoted the Word of God in the face of the devil’s temptations. (Matthew 4:1-11) In his exposition of the Book of Ephesians, Dr. Lloyd Jones wrote, “we are not to fight… in our own strength, power, or with our own ideas; we are to use the Word that the Holy Spirit of God Himself has produced.” “…The Holy Spirit enables [understanding of] the Word.” (The Christian Soldier – Lloyd-Jones)
Therefore, just what is our charge? How is the seed of God’s Word fertilized? What is the harvest?
Planted by soldiers of Christ who understand their charge
Effective broadcasting plants the reliably yielding seeds of God’s Word as it is planted by soldiers of Christ who understand their charge. 2 Timothy 4:1-2 says, “In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of His appearing and His kingdom, I give you this charge: Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage--with great patience and careful instruction.”
“I give you this charge” (διαμαρτύρομαι diamartúromai) has the weight of a legal affirmation given with a reminder that God our Father and Jesus our Savior is watching. Their eyes are upon you. Holy Spirit illuminated preachers and teachers take this charge seriously, just as Timothy was to take it. The great Greek scholar Kenneth Wuest wrote: “This charge is to be obeyed at once. It is a sharp command as in military language…”
The charge is clear, “Preach the Word.” “…Preach the Word.” “Preach” (k¬¬erússo) means to especially preach, publish or announce religious truth, the gospel with its attendant privileges and obligations, in this gospel dispensation. (The Complete Word Study Dictionary; Analytical Lexicon of the Greek New Testament; Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon: Wuest Word Studies in the Greek New Testament)
Holy Spirit influenced preachers and teachers courageously proclaim the written Word, no matter the trials they face. Not even the treats of men stop them from obeying their charge.
They will make every effort not to preach their own ideas or the ideas of other men. They allow the Holy Spirit to breathe life into their spiritual hearts as they prayerfully read and study the written Word, thus avoiding self-importance and personal promotion. Philosophy, psychology, sociology and worldly education are held in check by the Word of God, not the Word of God held in check to the doctrines of mankind.
Matthew Henry wrote, “It is not their own notions and fancies that they are to preach, but the pure plain Word of God; and they must not corrupt it.” Kenneth Wuest wrote, “The preacher must not present book reviews, not politics, not economics, not current topics of the day, not a philosophy of life denying the Bible based upon unproven theories of science, but the Word. The preacher [or teacher] cannot choose his message. He is given a message to proclaim by his [Lord]. If he will not proclaim that, let him step down from his exalted position.” (Kenneth Wuest, The Pastoral Epistles, Vol. 2, p.154)
I like the way the New International version states it. The preacher is to give “careful instruction.” If you are in a locked room with a ticking bomb and your only hope is phone contact with a person who is a specialist in defusing bombs, you want to receive careful instructions. Many are locked in bondage of soul threatening sin. They are in great need of those who can give careful instructions from God’s Word.
Those who have been the greatest blessing to me, especially in times of great trials have been Christians who oversee para-church ministries, who correctly handle the Word of God, and can give careful instructions. The worst advice I have ever received in my entire life has come from pew warmers and pastors who know very little of God’s Word. (Please note: The truths presented in this portion of the message came forth after prayerful study of God’s Word with the assistance from these time tested commentaries and language study material; The Preacher’s Outline & Sermon Outline; Matthew Henry Commentary; Daily Study Bible Series; The Expositors Bible Commentary; The Complete Word Study Dictionary, New Testament)
Use the fertilizer of prayer
Preachers who effectively plant the seed of God’s Word use the fertilizer of prayer. 2 Thessalonians 3:1 says, “Finally, brothers, pray for us that the message of the Lord may spread rapidly and be honored, just as it was with you.” 1 Corinthians 3:7 says, “So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The man who plants and the man who waters have one purpose, and each will be rewarded according to his own labor. For we are God's fellow workers; you are God's field, God's building.”
Christians who are planting the Word of God out in the fields of the world have a heart desire to see the Word get out where people can read and/or hear it. Their prayer is that people receive a powerful hunger and thirst for the Word of God. They pray for the forces of hell to be broken down.
In these last days, Christians pray that opposition to the publication and public proclamation of the Word of God be removed. Romans 10:14-15 says, “How, then, can they call on the One they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the One of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!’” Verse 17 says, “Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.”
The Bible gives Christians their responsibility to be in prayer for the spread and reception of the Word of God. No one comes to Christ unless the Father draws him. (John 6:44)
I think the greatest ministry that has understood the truths of being in prayer for the reception of the Gospel message is the Billy Graham organization. They have learned the joy of having people unite in prayer for lost souls and they are receptive to the work the Lord has called them to.
Joseph Aldrich was the chairman for the September 1992 Evangelistic Billy Graham Crusade in Portland Oregon. He writes, “For several years previous to the crusade, pastors from the greater Portland area met in prayer summits. After one prayer summit the pastors held ‘An Evening of Celebration’ attended by 13,500 people. There were no name speakers or singing groups, in fact no human name was mentioned all evening. The highlight of the worship service was the collection of prayer cards containing the names of over 90,000 people. These were collected in buckets, brought to the platform, and dumped in front of a large cross. It was designed as a faith-builder to create anticipation of, and participation in the crusade. It exceeded our expectations. Mr. Graham attributed much of the unusual success of the crusade to the prayer summits.” (Equipping for Evangelism NACI 94 – An Experience with God, message, page 662)
(Please note: The truths presented in this portion of the message came forth after prayerful study of God’s Word with the assistance from these time tested commentaries and language study material. Matthew Henry Commentary; Thru the Bible; Equipping for Evangelism NACI 94)
Churches and ministries who enjoy seeing the life changing power of God’s Word be brought to life in spiritual hearts are faithful to be in prayer for the Written Word of God to spread rapidly and to be honored among those who hear it.
A harvest to enjoy
When proper administration of preaching the Word of God is done joyously (Acts 6:5) and undergirded with the fertilizer of prayer, there will be a harvest to enjoy. Act 6:7 says, “So the word of God spread.
The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased rapidly, and a large number of priests became obedient to the faith.”
When the Word of God increases, the amount of the harvest of Christians increases. When the Word of God is handled correctly it births forth a harvest of cheerful disciples hungry to know the Word of the Lord, bringing compliance to precepts and laws found in the Bible.
In the Book of Nehemiah (Nehemiah 8) we read of a time when Ezra reads aloud the law of God from “daybreak until noon.” (Ezra 8:3) The Bible says, “men, women and all who were able to understand” (Ezra 8:2) “…listen attentively to the Book of the law.” (Ezra 8:3) In Nehemiah we also read of the Levites “[reading] from the Book of the Law, making it clear, and giving meaning so that the people could understand what was being read.” (Nehemiah 8:8) We also see that the people of God were broken over their sins and wanted to obey the Law of the Lord. (Ezra 8:9-17)
Modern world history also records times of revival due to the hearing of God’s Word undergirded with prayer. The little nation Wales once become known as “The Land of Revival.” It has its own unique spiritual heroes such as Saint David of the Celtic Church – William Morgan with his translation of the Scriptures into the Welsh language – Howell Harries and Daniel Rowlands, contemporaries and co-workers with Whitefield and Welsey in the 18th Century Methodist Revival, accompanied by William Pantycelyn, and the Welsh Charles Wesley – who provided the spiritual sound track with his unique hymn writing ability.
Fredrick Fogle wrote: “When a true revival, initiated by God occurs in the hearts of Christians, the Holy Spirit will help them to understand that it is real. The proper understanding of what REVIVAL really is has become illusive for many. One of the best ways to define TRUE REVIVAL is to cite a positive and powerful example. The example chosen for our purposes is a brief account of the revival in Wales in 1904-05. The Welsh revival of 1904-05 was a divine intervention that drastically changed life in churches, homes, mines, factories, schools and even places of leisure and entertainment. God used young Evan Roberts to spark the new fires of revival. Roberts responded well to the spiritual atmosphere of his home background. As he matured, he grew spiritually and gained a broad knowledge of literature and music. He enjoyed the interaction of intelligent conversation. One of his motives as he grew to manhood was to bring each of his endeavors in life into subservience to Christ. In Evan, prayer and poetry became a beautiful blend, communion with God and music became practically synonymous.
As a young minister, Roberts brought to his pulpit a disciplined knowledge of the Scriptures as well as an unusual level of spiritual dedication. These attributes, coupled with literature, enabled him to deliver powerful and polished sermons that greatly amazed his hearers.
The year 1904 proved to be crucial. Prayer meetings for world revival were being held in many places throughout Great Britain as well. Young Roberts already had prayed for thirteen years for the Holy Spirit to control him. He determined to read and speak often about revival. His personal prayer effort culminated early that year when he felt the need to spend seven hours with God in prayer and Bible study each day. By October 1904 the Lord's Spirit had communicated to Roberts that he was the preacher of revival.
Another man God used was Seth Joshua, a leading Bible teacher. He prayed for four years, asking God to select some able person to present revival truths. The Lord answered his prayer by calling Evan Roberts. After the Word of God had accomplished its work in his own life, Roberts intensified his praying in travail of soul for a great spiritual awakening in his beloved Wales. His spiritual thirst to see people saved was evident. He was not interested in mere intellectual renaissance.
Roberts went to his hometown of Loughor with the desire to share his burden with his Christian friends. A service was announced, and many young people attended. With great liberty, Roberts spoke of the deep things of God. Because of the clear manifestation of the conviction of sin and the need for cleansing by the Savior, that first meeting was continued until midnight. The next day many comments were made in the village about the event. The people were amazed. With the special work of God clearly visible, it was decided to keep the chapel open day and night so that worshipers could go there to pray and to praise God.
Everything sprang into new life. Former blasphemers became eloquent, both in prayer and praise... Drunkards forgot the way to saloons... they were busy worshiping... It was the young people who responded with the greatest alacrity to the challenge of absolute surrender and consecrated themselves to the service of the Lord... With ever-increasing momentum, the movement advanced, creating unprecedented excitement among the churches and the secular institutions outside. (Matthews, I Saw the Welsh Revival, Moody).
Coal miners crowded into prayer meetings that lasted till 3:00 a.m. and they washed, ate breakfast and returned to work. Many drunkards confessed their sins and received Christ. According to the London Times of February 2nd, 1905, due to the Welsh revival many men abandoned dens of iniquity. Employers noticed a great improvement in the work produced by their employees. A judge named Sir Marchant Williams said that his work was much lighter especially regarding drunkenness and related offenses.
The revival fires burning in Wales in 1904-05 spread through England, Ireland and Scotland. Prayer meetings multiplied. As many as 2,000 attended a prayer meeting in the city of Bradford. In the City of Leeds, Samuel Chadwick reported that his church was never empty all day. An amazing work of grace transformed life in factories.
In 1905 a week of united prayer meetings in an English town called Nuneaton led to a ‘glorious revival’. The Prince's Theatre was packed each Sunday night after church with 1500 praying believers and many unsaved seekers. In Bulwell, many of the most degraded drunkards were converted. In the Bedfordshire villages, whole nights devoted to prayer prepared for powerful evangelism.
Joseph Kemp, pastor of Charlotte Chapel in Edinburgh, visited God's mighty work of revival in Wales in 1904. Back in his home church on New Year's Eve, 1905, an unusually fervent prayer meeting led to conviction of sin. A powerful revival that continued for over two years was under way. A strong work of evangelism began.
The Irish Presbyterians issued a call to prayer. Noonday and evening prayer meetings multiplied. The Irish Methodists and other denominations experienced an unusual spirit of grace and supplications. In Lurgan, revival meetings packed both the First Presbyterian and the Methodist churches. The taverns were emptied while people who had not attended church before come in record numbers and received Christ.
Revival fires spread through Bangor University resulting in only a third or fourth of the students attending some of the classes... Beginning with a spontaneous outburst of praise and prayer among the men students, the movement spread.
In 1905 when Fred C. Gibson became pastor of 1st Presbyterian Church in Tobormore, the little town in Londonderry, Ireland was morally and spiritually dead. So he signed a covenant with God to seek revival by his preaching and his prayers. In spite of strong resistance, God moved in special meetings that changed the Christians and resulted in remarkable conversions of hardened sinners.
What God did in Wales through Evan Roberts should be an object lesson to the world. We desperately need revival today in order to see God glorified and change the tide of godlessness. A heaven-sent burden is needed concerning the sins of our world and of our churches. Sustained prayer must be the norm if we are to experience the birth pangs of a new spiritual era.” (Please note: The truths presented in this portion of the message came forth after prayerful study of God’s Word with the assistance from the writings found in the Ellis, Living Echoes, Delyn Press; P. Fredrick Fogle, Ph.D. Published by Union Gospel Press Gospel Herald and Sunday School Times Spring Quarter 1996 Vol 14 Number 2)
In Closing – Proverbs 29:18 says, “Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint; but blessed is he who keeps the law.” “Revelation” (חָזוֹן ḥāzôn ) as it is used in Proverbs 29:18 means, receiving Divine communication through instructions of God’s truths. The application: where there is no expounding or good teaching of the Word of God, the people of God and the people in a nation are taken over by the enemy of their soul. Satan actually uses their sinful nature to lead them in all sorts of sinful acts. (Romans 1:18-32) However, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people He chose for His inheritance.” (Psalm 33:12)
The Founding Fathers of the United States of America were God fearing men who were greatly influenced by preachers who obeyed the Word of God. Only the Lord knows who were “born again” Christians, (John 3:3; 3:8) during the time period of laying a foundation for this nation.
One known truth is, during the years surrounding the great revolution period (around 1776), daily newspapers held Biblical messages presenting God’s truths dealing with the issues of the day. (Wall Builders, David Barton; The Pulpit of Revolution or, the Political Sermons of the Period of 1776, John Wingate Thorton)
There were men of God who lived out these Biblical truths: 1.) They understood their Biblical priorities. 2.) They broadcast the seed of God’s Word. 3.) As opportunity arose they pointed people to the “Savior of mankind.” 4.) They obeyed God’s given charge. 5.) They believed in prayer. And finally, 6.) They enjoyed the fruit of broadcasting the seeds of God’s Word, while experiencing the conflicts and benefits of being faithful servants of the Lord.
Sadly, for several different reasons, the Word of God is not seen in secular newspapers as a whole. Thus, the general public is being lead astray by secular writings influencing the flesh of mankind.
However, just as modern farmers are using new methods of planting seeds and harvesting their crops, the Lord is raising up faithful servants, men and women of God who are using new methods of planting the seeds of God’s Word. They are creating websites that give “careful instructions” of the Word of God. They blog, e-mail, twitter, text and continue to look for modern ways to get the Word of God out before the eyes and ears of the general public.
Sadly, most local churches are ineffective in getting the Word of God outside their church walls. Thank God for preachers and teachers who are.
Where does the Holy Spirit of Christ find your heart regarding broadcasting the seeds of God’s Word out in the fields of the world? What is your participation in getting the Word of God outside the church walls? God the Father and Jesus Christ are watching. There will be a day of accountability for those who are called to preach and teach the Word of God. There is Word from the Lord for those who are fulfilling their charge, “Well done, My good servant!” (Matthew 25:21, 23; Luke 19:17)
Let us Pray!