From the pulpit: Beware the messenger you follow

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Many times we see church ads advertising well-known athletes, singers or other entertainers that will be speaking at their services.

What advantage does a celebrity have over the pastor or another preacher?

First, I must concede that a celebrity will probably draw a larger number of people.

I have heard people say that perhaps a celebrity could reach the lost where maybe the pastor or preacher could not.

Is this really true?

I remember reading about these two men that died. One was rich, one was poor.

The poor man named Lazarus went to a place of comfort.

The rich man was tormented. The rich man wanted Lazarus sent to warn his five brothers about this place of torment. He was told that they had Moses and the prophets.

But the rich man thought that if one went unto them from the dead, they would repent. (Luke. 16:19-30)

Would one from the dead be more effective than Moses or the prophets?

And he said unto him, &8220;If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.&8221;(Luke. 16:31)

If one rose from the dead he certainly would be a celebrated figure, would he not?

But the above scripture teaches us he would be no more effective than Moses or the prophets. &8220;It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.&8221; (John. 6:63)

Beloved, God is able to bring his people to faith in Christ Jesus through the means that he has provided.

He is not dependent upon celebrities but rather celebrities are dependent upon him.

&8220;For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to naught things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence. But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.&8221; (1 Cor. 1:26-31)

&8220;For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal? Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man? I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.&8221; (1 Cor. 3:4-7)

&8220;Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.&8221; (John. 14:6)

Beloved, since it is the Lord that calls the unregenerate, gives them the gift of faith and imparts spiritual life in them, it is quite evident that the Lord is capable to take his pastors and preachers and equip them for the purpose that he has called them.

Not that we are sufficient of ourselves but our sufficiency is of God who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.

Beloved, celebrities are not the answer.

Lee Roy Dutton is the pastor at Sovereign Grace Baptist Church.