The Preacher: Part 2

His sermon, titled, You Shall Have No Other Gods Before Me, seemed to have struck a nerve among the congregation. There were obvious sidelong looks and uncomfortable movements and more than a few kept glancing at the wall mounted clock that hung so conspicuously behind him above the Christian flag.

He continued, saying, “Today, as many as having abandoned the narrow way and have succumbed to the temptations of the broad way, their love for God becomes stale or stagnant, and they tend to search for a god of their own creation. Many will claim adherence to the Bible but have in fact deserted it’s life changing principles in favor of men pleasing ones. They don’t understand that God will not accept another ‘god’ before Him because the worship of demons is strictly prohibited throughout the Scriptures!”

There were audible gasps to be heard and some shaking of the heads to be seen, and as he glanced to his right at the choir, he noticed that Mr. Barkely, the choir leader, had a dark scowl on his face as he glared at him with disapproving eyes! The remaining nine members had looks of uncertainty and were also passing puzzled looks between themselves as they pretended to adjust their robes which were meant to represent holy praises to the Father and Son.

And so he continued further, saying, “In today’s world of modern Christianity, the term ‘modern’ denotes going with the times, and the times are proving themselves incapable of adhering to the standards which are outlined in the Scriptures. As a result, many have wandered away to search for another god who will take them as they are, one who will bow to their views while maintaining the airs of a Christian, but be lacking the knowledge and the principles of discipleship. You might ask yourselves if the god you worship is the same God who created the heavens and the earth or have you become followers of the god of evolution?” He noticed that Mrs. Pelski, who happened to be a member of the Board that had hired him, had pressed a finger against her tightly pressed lips and was silently shaking her head in disapproval. She was also the President of the local chapter of the Audubon Society and was a teacher in the high school where she taught economics and philosophy since twenty years. She was also a lifelong member of the church and was very proud of it!

The Preacher was thinking to himself, that he was probably going to lose this job after the Sermon, but he knew that to pamper the people would be to betray the purpose and so Speaking further, he said;  “The heavens declare the works of His hands, and we see that every time we step outside to view the stars! They cannot be counted no matter how deep we peer into the heavens and no matter the depth of the seas, the works of His hands can be seen. From the tiniest molecule to the largest mountain, from the jungles of Africa to the deserts of Peru, we can clearly see what He has created, and yet, we don’t give Him the praise and honor due, but instead, search for other gods to praise! And I tell you that it should not be! Are we greater than the One who formed us in the womb? Can we create life out of nothing? Are we able to cleanse ourselves from our sins or rebellious ways? Perhaps we have become so bold as to say that all gods are the same, that all religions lead to God despite the clear instructions given to us in the Bible which state unequivocally that you shall have no other gods before Me! It’s a choice, whether to believe or not to believe.” And what you choose to believe will determine your future, either in the presence of the Living God or in the company of tortured souls in the lake of fire!”

He paused and looked upon the congregation and the looks told him that the words were shocking them for no one had dared to speak in such a manner since several generations! They had been used to soft words and gentle strokes of the heart and flowing words of grace with nary a mention of sin, and now this? He could feel the ripples of mixed emotions and could see that some were astonished, others were excited, and still, others had surly looks on their faces and still, others held themselves ramrod rigid without so much as the twitch of an eye!

The calling of a Preacher had been in him since he was a youth, but despite that, he had lived as others, rebellious and self-centered. He had committed more than his share of evil deeds and thoughtless actions, and he wasn’t proud of his past, but he wouldn’t deny it either. He had learned to live as others before him, but then came the time when his sins had become too heavy for his conscience to bear and that was when he remembered God. He had begun to read the Bible every day, and though it took time, he finally understood the call to repent and to trust in the works of and to have faith in God’s Son, Jesus the Christ. Later he’d gone to Seminary, but to his shock, he realized that for the most part, they saw it as a traditional profession and didn’t actually believe all that was written in the Bible! He however did, and with great struggles and much prayer was able to finish the Seminary and eventually found his footsteps leading to this particular church and to this particular moment.

Without looking behind him at the great clock which hung upon the wall above the Christian flag, he knew that for today it would be enough and so he closed the large Bible which lay open before him on the pulpit and asked the people to join him in prayer. As they all stood up, some were stretching themselves as though they were letting him know that they didn’t care for his sermon but it didn’t bother him in the least. They had something to think about now!