The cry among many believers today is
"Make it relevant." They want the worship services relevant to the
way society is today. They want the preaching to relate to societal problems.
Is the preaching relevant? Do we have to change our worship in order to meet
the needs of today's culture?
Let us answer these concerns by a few
observations. What could be more relevant to an immoral, ungodly, humanistic
society than Jesus Christ and Him crucified? The message of the cross must have
been related to the society of Paul's day. In some ways it was even worse than
today’s society. Paul stated regarding his preaching: “For if I preach the
gospel, I have nothing to boast of, for necessity is laid upon me; yes, woe is me
if I do not preach the gospel!" (1 Cor. 9:16) Was Paul's preaching
relevant? On another occasion Paul stated: "For do I now persuade men, or
God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant
of Christ." (Gal. 1 :10) Paul condemned just preaching what men wanted to
hear. He also indicated he was in trouble if, in that immoral, ungodly Corinth,
he didn't preach the gospel!
When Paul preached the gospel, what did he
preach? Paul was first of all consistent in what he preached. A preacher who
changes with the wind is not what God wants. Notice what Paul said about
himself; “For this reason I have sent Timothy to you, who is my beloved and
faithful son in the Lord, who will remind you of my ways in Christ, as I teach
everywhere in every church." (1 Cor. 4:17) Notice Paul's consistency in teaching
everywhere in every church. This is also indicated in 1 Cor. 7: 17: "But
as God has distributed to each one, as the Lord has called each one, so let him
walk. And so, I ordain in all the churches." Again notice "in all churches."
Paul's message was the same everywhere he went.
We know some of what Paul taught. In Acts
19 he taught the brethren their baptism was wrong. They then obeyed the gospel.
Was his preaching relevant? Was it fulfilling the needs of that day? To the
church at Corinth Paul preached and "many of the Corinthians, hearing,
believed, and were baptized." (Acts 18:8) Did Paul preach what was
What could be more needed or more relevant
today than the good news or gospel of Jesus Christ? To cure loneliness, we need
Christ. To help broken homes, we need Christ. To help failing marriages, we
need Christ. To stop murder, suicide, etc. we need Christ, not a social gospel,
not a felt needs message. We need Christ. If all individuals go to worship for
is to be entertained, they are going for the wrong reason. We should go to be
edified and built up in the Christian faith. This will help us to stand against
the wiles of the devil. (Eph. 6:11) If we are after entertainment, there are a
lot of places to go. If we want to be built up spiritually, we need to worship God.
The worship needs to be such as pleases Him. If worship is done decently and in
order and not spontaneous and unexpected, God will be pleased (John 4:23,24;1
Cor. 14:33). If Christ is preached, and the gospel taught the message will be
relevant. If this occurs Christians should be strengthened and become more faithful
as a result.