Some Christians tend to think of the apostle Paul as super-human because of his powerful writings and his marvelous ministry. Yet if Paul wasn’t made of the same flesh and blood as we are — if he wasn’t subject to the same temptations and trials — he would have nothing to say to the church. All his epistles would have been written in vain.
Consider one of the most powerful promises in all of God’s Word:
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof….
In Mark 7, we find Jesus performing a great miracle. The whole dramatic scene takes place in just five verses:
"He said unto them...with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you: and unto you that hear shall more be given. For he that hath, to him shall be given: and he that hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he hath" (Mark 4:24-25).
Jesus knew these words might sound strange to non-spiritual ears. So he preceded his message by saying, "If any man have ears to hear, let him hear" (4:23). He was telling us, in essence, "If your heart is open to God's Spirit, you'll understand what I have to say to you."
A sincere Christian man asked me the following question in a letter recently: "Whom do we believe? Over the years I've read the works of many ministers who were convinced the end was near. Yet over and over they've missed it. I realize now that some were just trying to sell a book. But others truly thought God was telling them the end was upon us.
A crack-addicted mother killed her own six-year-old daughter, Elisa, suffocating her with a pillow.
Four-year-old Nadine starved to death in her mother's house in the Bronx. Police found the girl locked in a bedroom — shriveled, emaciated, curled up in the fetal position. All her cries for help had gone unheeded by her crack-addicted mother.
"They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters; these see the works of the Lord, and his wonders in the deep. For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof.
"They mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths: their soul is melted because of trouble. They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wit's end" (Psalm 107:23-27).
The devil does everything in his power to make his voice heard in this world. At one point he even had the audacity to interrupt Jesus while the Lord was speaking in the synagogue:
In just a few short years, the Spirit of God has raised up a strong testimony to the power of Christ — right in the heart of America's largest city — New York.
In the Mark Hellinger Theater, one of New York's largest, most beautiful theaters, God has established a church where hundreds of repentant believers from many nationalities are reaching out to the poorest and neediest in this crumbling city.
The press has been surprised by the continual growth and outreaches of Times Square Church. New York City papers ran stories about "Standing Room Only For Jesus On Broadway."
To be sermon-proof is to hear God's Word, claim to love it, claim to obey it, but not act on it! It is to become so hardened, the heart is no longer moved and is totally unaffected by what is preached. Some call it "gospel-hardened." Think of all the old Bible stories and Bible characters. Who do you think was the most sermon-proof? Who sat under the clearest, strongest Word and was totally unaffected by it?