The church was packed from the front to the back. The crowds had been done with praising the name of LORD. The songs had swayed the multitude into an excitement an anticipation. And now they all awaited as the preacher was about to step out and speak. The song leader backed away into a seat and the pulpit stood empty. The spot light shone down on it as if an angel was about to descend with a message direct from God.
But there had been some nervous enrgy in the front as the leaders fidgeted and poked each other. They had walked in and out of the service with phones to their ears and cowls on their faces. Finally the pulpit had an occupant. But it was not who they expected. Where was the Pastor? He was nicely dressed and all but he was not the Pastor. "I bet you are all wondering where the Pastor is." He coughed, cleared his throat and looked at the front row of leaders and off to the side where undoubtedly there were more leaders gesturing at him to delay or just stop. He determined to speak on. "Well, he left a letter and I intend to read it. And while it may not be an epistle, I think it wise that it be read." There was a dull hum of confusion from the crowd but they did not want to miss one word of the letter so as the voice read out the words the crowd hushed. "My beloved church. And whoever happens to find this letter. If you are reading this letter, as you can see, I am not in attendance today. It means I have finally gathered the courage to leave. I could no longer tell the lies. I could no longer give you a sense of hope when I myself did not believe what I was preaching." The narrator deliberatley, quickly carried on so that the crowd would stay listening. But you could hear the shock and the jaws drop in surprise. "It is not that I do not believe in God. No. I believe He is and that He loves each and everyone of us very much. I believe that He sent His Son to die for us and that He lives now and that He is coming again to redeem His own. This I know to be true. But it is everything else that I can't seem to continue to tell you. How can I continue to tell the people that God is love when I see the joy that comes from every time I say you will recieve a double portion. Or every time I say come recieve your blessing and I see you scramble over each other to be the first, striving with each other. When I hear Christ say He who is greatest would be a servant. Not that I do not believe God blesses. But his blessing extends far beyond material wealth. And if I told you this, I know many of you would leave. I see it in myself and in you, my beloved. The need for self-gain. The need for the next service to be more exciting than the last. If I was to shout to this crowd about a holy life, a life like Christ's this mega church would become as empty as a tomb. For the past couple of weeks I have been struggling with the voice of Jesus from the gospels. The picture of Him at Gethsemane. Would He struggle so much just so that I can use Him as an excuse to oppress or to take advantage of your pocket? As an excuse for you to continue to live as you please and not as God pleases and therefore live abundantly. A life content in Jesus. His cross shows me the true character of God. I can no longer tell you about a love that is equivalent to a sugar daddy. God has spoken to me and I thank God through Jesus Christ it is not about who you are going to marry or some money that has miraculously appeared in your purse. He has shown me His matchless charms on the cross and that now He talks on behalf of me, for my salvation. How can I not go and cry out, Prepare the way of the LORD. For He is coming! If I was to tell you this I know the smiles on your faces would disappear. And I couldn't bring myself to do it. I know I would have dampened your excitement. Those who want to find me will fail. But those who wnat to find what I have found, look to His Word, look to His Bible. Pray to Him. Seek Him while He may be found. Because this world will not last forever. He has searched my heart and I am glad I can not fool Him. He has bid me to go and I go. Please, beloved forgive my decption. i have lead the sheep of His pasture away. But if you are willing (at least some of you will be after your wrath has subsided), turn to Him. He will in no wise cast you out. Signed Your former Arch Mega Apostle Now a mere sinner saved by loving grace." A few hours later the arena stood empty. The pulpit had one corner chipped off in the babel that ensued but it stood, silently intact. One solitary figure, seated, stunned in contemplation. You hold your Bible with tears in your eyes as you read just how deep the Father's love is for us. It fills you more than any worship service ever has.