“But I will come to you shortly, if the Lord wills. And I will not know the speech of those who are puffed up, but the power. (20) For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power. 1Cor. 4:19-20 

Just how much of Christianity today is a pile and a cellar of mere words? Books are written, words are preached and many sermons delivered. I guess that, if for every sermon which is delivered on Sundays alone all over the world today, three or five thousand people were converted as happened with Peter at the day of Pentecost, we would not see one single sin in this world of ours within a short while. Earth would be as it is in heaven.

I have often listened to preachers who preached better than Peter did at Pentecost, I have seen just how elaborated their speeches have become, how much accuracy is sought after just to find they miss the point, just how their perception of truth is with no real effects upon crowds of sinners and believers altogether. Nevertheless, I looked around and saw whole congregations slumbering in deep sleep and wanting to go home. In some cases, if it were not for the drums there, they would leave for real. I often wonder what Paul meant by these words to the Corinthians: “And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power”, 1Cor.2:4. What is enticing in your congregation today? Music, drums, doctrine, prosperity, miracles, fan doctrines, apologetics of some kind?

What has been happening that I don’t understand? We read from Scripture that “the wicked shall not stand, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous”, Ps.1:5. Nevertheless, the most common thing we behold today is that the hypocrites are the ones who feel at home in church, and that mostly holy people have to leave church for it pains them to look around and be unable to expose and explain even to themselves what is going on around them – it is the righteous who mostly become confused and upset in church and do not stand there right now. I have been asked once not to participate on the church’s sacraments because I preached unconditional holiness to God and the pastor said that wrong doctrines are sin and I should not take part in their Holy Communion. I wondered then what the word Holy Communion meant to him. I just kept quiet and went my way. His church is empty today and there are no church members left.

We read as well in the book of Isaiah that when God comes down and rents the heavens “that the mountains quake at His presence, (2) as when fire kindleth the brushwood, and the fire causeth the waters to boil… that the nations tremble at His presence!” Is.64:1-2. We do not see this when people say, “God is with us” and sing halleluiah around the world. I often wonder at the word Emanuel, what it really means (God with us, it means).

There are many false prophets nowadays. Yet, I find that fewer ones speak and preach the wrong things – fewer than the amount of false apostles there is. Many people preach and pray about the right things, use the right words and it seems it is their motives which do not reach God. I have spotted little children preach, and hard, stubborn sinners melt before God and be conscientious of nothing else but their sins before a most Holy Being; I have also seen eloquent preachers deviate little sheep who would gladly find God and reach out for truth by himself (holding on God). I often rejoice when I find someone whom I do not have to teach the words of God myself if God can do it to such personally, for I regard that as the motive of my preaching being reached. It is a marvelous sight to see when people are able to hear God for themselves – it is a sure accomplishment when it is real. Nevertheless, we find that more and more preachers rather tie their congregations up and have multi-reasons to fear when they are in charge of a aspect of their congregation life somewhere. What has been happening today? Scripture says, however, “Blessed are … (those)… that send forth the feet of the ox and the ass”, Is.32:20. “Behold, a king shall reign in righteousness, and princes shall rule in justice. (2) And a man shall be as a hiding-place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest, as streams of water in a dry place, as the shade of a great rock in a weary land. (3) And the eyes of them that see shall not be dim, and the ears of them that hear shall hearken. (4) And the heart of the rash shall understand knowledge, and the tongue of the stammerers shall be ready to speak plainly. (5) The fool shall be no more called noble, nor the churl said to be bountiful. (6) For the fool will speak folly, and his heart will work iniquity, to practice profaneness, and to utter error against Jehovah, to make empty the soul of the hungry, and to cause the drink of the thirsty to fail” Is.32:1-6.

I have seen people all over the world that easily stand out for a lie just to show how right they are (for the sake of own image) and succumb near a truth and take it as an honour to acknowledge truth as an error. I mean that it seems degrading to disagree with lies and it seems upholding to disagree with truth given in a reality shape. People will believe truth, yes, will defend it, agree with it, pray with it, but for as long as it is a lie still. Once it becomes real they become non-conformed with it and seem to dissociate themselves quickly and in some haste from it.

I find people preaching about forgiveness and cleansing by the blood and their conscience stains them, and it shows by the eagerness they try to convince others of that (so as to convince themselves along as well) and that it is true that God forgives. It is like talking about good apples and throwing them against the wall to dash them to make a point – it is not eating them.

Most of Christians’ works are mere words of speech. The greater the speech today, the greater the Christian seems to be. It seems Christians are seldom representatives of themselves. They, quite often, put themselves forth as representatives of Christianity but never of themselves. These often talk harsh, arrange words, get to pulpits to preach what they learned well, but never put their own private lives forth as an example. I have traveled some of the world already and seldom did I find a Christian who is not a hypocrite in some way or another – whatever they preach about seldom matches what they live with and experience personally for sure, as they live, unless it is error which they preach about. They learn but not for living - they do so for knowledge purposes merely, and to be able to preach to all others (excluding themselves from a heart search). If you cannot put  your own living forth, don't be too quick to represent Christ, for He will judge you on those grounds. The essence of Christianity is a Life which is vivid and which one is seldom able to hide away if and when one has it – that is what should be visible and be put forth all the time. All your words should be mere assumptions of what people clearly see living from you. They are the ones who are to prove your walk for you. Jesus said that by their fruits you will know them. I wonder if does not mean as well "by their faults you shall know them". Seldom are words regarded as fruit unless you were Isaiah or another Jeremiah. Take good heed, for it is by our words we will be judged one day – those we may have said and those we may not have said as well because it shows just how much you may have learned concerning truth. Does your walk show that God lives or do your words convince people that it is so? Paul said “…lest proclaiming to others I myself might be rejected”, 1Cor.9:27. Make sure you live with God before you tell others to do so, Christian, and may God bless you. Amen.

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José Mateus