Last Wednesday night I was too sick to go to church (much better now!), so I took advantage of the quiet time at home to listen to a message online from the church I used to go to when I lived in Greenville. It’s funny, but I can remember one incident when I was a child in which we couldn’t go to church for some reason, and my mom had us kids gathered around the radio to listen to a message, saying if we couldn’t go to church we could at least hear a sermon. I guess that has stayed with me all these years. I didn’t always follow that practice in my youth, but in the last several years, if I have to be home from a regular church service, I try to listen to a message on the radio, or, more recently on the computer.
My husband downloads messages from Mt. Calvary to listen to while driving for work. He mentioned listening to a really enlightening one on the Deity of Christ, so I looked that one up (I can’t get a direct link to it, but you can go here and scroll down).
Even though this is something I have believed for years, this study really opened up and made crystal clear this truth from the Bible. I wrote an earlier post about a study I had done on the claims of Christ in response to hearing someone say that Christ never claimed to be God. Pastor Minnick pointed out in John 5:31 that Jesus said, “If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true.” He explained that that didn’t mean “true” in the sense of the opposite of false — He wasn’t saying He would be lying — but He was saying His witness would not be valid, hearkening back to the OT admonition that things be established in the mouth of two or three witnesses. He then goes on in the rest of that chapter to refer to four witnesses to His Deity — John the Baptist, His works, God the Father, and the Scriptures. Though I have read that chapter many times, I hadn’t put it all together like that. As I said, it was enlightening!
There was much, much more to the message. It was full of doctrine without being textbookish. I highly recommend it! I need to listen to the second message on this topic some time.
Also, Romans 10:17 came to mind while listening to this message: “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Just hearing those passages laid out so clearly inspired and increased faith.
It’s kind of fun to listen to messages on the computer. I had a Word document open to take notes and the Bible GateWay program opened to look up passages and copy some into my notes. I was actually working on something else while I was listening (at home if I just sit still and listen to a message, I fall asleep — I often get more out of it if I listen while doing something else with my hands. But at church that would be distracting) so I would roll my desk chair back and forth from the table where I was working to the computer to jot notes.
I want to add, too, just so there is no misunderstanding, I’m not advocating listening to messages at home rather than going to church unless you can’t get to church for some reason. There are other reasons for church besides just listening to a sermon, though that’s a big one. But I’m glad we have alternatives when we do have to stay home.