When I arrived here @ 70 West church of Christ, I made a change in my life. While I was raised on the King James Version (KJV) with my mom being my primary teacher, as a minister I had used almost exclusively the New King James Version (NKJV). Upon moving to Hot Springs, I noticed that the Bibles given to new Christians and High School Seniors along with the pew Bibles were English Standard Version (ESV). I had never owned a copy of the ESV, but I quickly made that purchase and have been using that version for my preaching and classes ever since. In the last year or so there has been a move to the NKJV being the version given out and used, thus as of today I’m going back to the version I have used for most of my preaching career. I will be preaching and teaching primarily, both online and here at the building, out of the NKJV.
When a preacher decides to preach through a book in the Bible, like I’m doing now with Mark, there are definite pluses and minuses. A plus would be no need to worry about what text you will preach on the next Sunday because the text has already been selected. A negative would be the difficulty of some passages. Doing a series through a Bible book makes it hard to avoid the hard passages. This morning’s passage is one of those difficult passages not because I don’t agree with it (I totally agree with the teaching of our Lord), but the passage is difficult because it impacts many of my friends. I am reminded of a sermon I preached many years ago on the dangers of alcoholism. As soon as the closing prayer was prayed, I saw a member making a beeline for me. I knew he had often battled with alcoholism and wasn’t sure how he would take the lesson I had just preached. When he reached me, he quickly grabbed my hand and thanked me for the lesson. He said, “I only wish I had heard that lesson when I was 16.” I hope the same sentiment is with all of us today. No matter how the lesson hits us, let’s look at our young people & see how this lesson is so important for them to hear today.
Please don’t forget to pick up on the podium exit stands the next batch of study guides for FUNDAMENTAL OF THE FAITH. We are currently averaging about 200 students per class from a total of 11 countries & counting. These study guides make it SUPER EASY to have a family styled Bible study/devotional. It doesn’t matter if you are a family of ONE or a family of a DOZEN, Fundamentals of the Faith has something to offer YOU.