Wheaties For the Soul
Last weekend I was in Grand Rapids at the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals conference on eschatology , “These Last Days – A Christian View of History.” I was able to hear superb messages from D.A. Carson (on Rev. 12), Alistair Begg and Cornel Venema (on 2 Thess. 1). True expository preaching when done well (centered within the text, thoughtful, theologically informed, structured, balanced and delivered with conviction with the help of the Holy Spirit) reminds me how God’s word does not need antics, hysterics or gimmicks to reveal to people the inherent power and majesty of the Gospel. The music was traditional but the congregational singing was superb with no smoke machines, light shows or androgynous “American Idol” cloned worship stars. There is nothing like joining in with hundreds of other believers in robust praise! I experienced once again what Jonathan Edwards stated regarding praise on earth in his sermon on Rev. 14:2:
“Let it be considered that the church on earth is the same society with those saints who are praising God in heaven. There is not one church of Christ in heaven, and another here upon earth…the church of God on earth ought to be employed in the same work with the saints in heaven, because they are the same society: as they are but one family, have but one Father, one inheritance; so they should have but one work. The church on earth ought to join with the saints in heaven in their employment, as God hath joined them in one society by his grace…How disagreeable will it be with such a hope, to live in the neglect of praising God now! We ought now to begin that work which we intend shall he the work of another world; for this life is given us on purpose that therein we might prepare for a future life…If we begin now to exercise ourselves in the work of heaven, it will be the way to have foretastes of the enjoyments of heaven. The business and the happiness go together.”
Worship, we could say, is our happy business, our joyful work and exercise which is a foretaste of what is to come.