Monday, June 04, 2007

Maybe We Should Decorate the Ark...

This sermon from Leonard Ravenhill preached over 20 years ago is very applicable today to churches who decide to apply man-made methods in doing God's work and purposes. Just as David decided it was appropriate to build a cart to help transport the ark of the covenant, churches today try all sorts of techniques and methods in attempts to "improve" upon God's methods, resulting in disobedience and spiritual death.

It's a sad and dangerous thing to see happening all around us.

here is an excerpt....

"... All this man did was try to steady the ark of God (Uzzah, 2 Samuel chapter 6). Oh mercy, how we’re trying to steady the ark of God these days. We don’t just want to steady it. We want to do some new thing.

We’d paint it.
We’d put a musical box inside of it.
We’d put the priest in some new garments.
We’d try to make it more acceptable!


The power and the presence of God were resting on that tabernacle. And while they were obedient, they had success. Are we steadying the ark of God in the way we are presenting the gospel these days?

The gospel is still the power of God unto salvation to all who believe. I heard somebody say, "Well, you know, there’s a different approach today". Is there? Is there really? Is there any difference between the grief of somebody who’s heartbroken today and the grief of somebody who lived three thousand years ago? We say, "Human nature is changed". Human nature has not changed! Human nature is still a sinful nature. Human nature still needs God. It seems though, God is trying to check us, but we won’t take the checking. We won’t take the warning. And again I say to you, the most distressing area, I believe, is the area of the church itself. We are trying to steady the ark.
We don’t want God Almighty to govern the whole thing.
We want a little bit of flesh in it.
We want a little bit of humanism in it.
We want a little bit of organization in it.
We want some of our skill in it.
And God holds off.
The word of God says, "Some trust in chariots, and some in horses, but we will remember the name of the Lord our God." Oh, I’m aching on the inside to see somebody that really, really, really has no confidence in the flesh."

--excerpt from a sermon preached by Leonard Ravenhill, Who's Touching the Ark? May 14, 1983

4 Comments:

Blogger Hank said...

Kenny, I think this is where the debate should start. I hope some of the responders to other posts are looking at this and realizing this is the question. Is the God of the Old Testament the same as the God in the New or has He in some way evolved or Changed?

6:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is good to know God never changes

2:45 PM  
Anonymous c said...

Have you seen the latest literal examples of this?

http://morebooksandthings.blogspot.com/2007/05/catholic-ark.html

5:29 PM  
Anonymous mnphysicist said...

An interesting post. Certainly humanity has not changed, although as far as God's part goes when it comes to dispensational and convenant theology the waters are a bit muddy.

That being said, ministry appears to have changed, and much of the wisdom of scripture has been lost due to non-use or ignorance... or perhaps better said, the wisdom moved into the secular world, and away from the church.

Now, on the outset, it seems a bit harsh to say that, yet.... since the reformation, many ecclesiastical constructs have been small and limited in scope. Thus, the parts of scripture relating to large scale management and ministry often were glossed over or interpreted in other ways. So, its not really that ministry has changed, its just a repeat of history. Thus today, large scale ministry practices are often viewed as secular influences, when in reality, God gave them to us thousands of years ago.

Thus, I find that whenever I bring up management practices which seem secular and of the world, there is resistance. As a result I have now resolved to validate them with scripture. Practices supported with scripture time and time again work, and work well. Those counter to it often do not. King Solomon was very wise.

Ecc 1:10 Someone says, "Look at that! There's something new that's never happened before!" But it has. In fact, that something happened long before our time.

8:43 AM  

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