Let's Come To The Real Feast!

A few years ago, I was reading an article on the Internet about a denominational church in Indiana that decided to sponsor a festival or “Funfest.” The festival consisted of carnival rides, food, and other entertainment designed to “reach out to unchurched friends and neighbors.”

To this writer, it’s indeed sad (though not surprising), that more people would be attracted to a church by the promise of games, food, and entertainment rather than by the preaching of the saving gospel of Christ (John 6:24-27; Romans 1:16). But what seems even more sad, is that people who identify themselves as disciples of Christ would be interested in attracting people by such worldly means (cf. Romans 12:2; 1 John 2:15-17). For a moment, let’s try to imagine Jesus’ apostles drumming up a crowd to hear Him speak by offering to play carnival-like games with people, or to provide other types of entertainment for them. We would definitely have to imagine it, because we won’t read about it in the inspired Scriptures.

The true irony lies in the use of the word “carnival.” This word comes into English derived from the Latin “carnelevare” which literally means, “to remove meat.” When we think of that phrase in terms of the life of Jesus, we might think about the forty days He spent in the wilderness without meat before beginning His preaching ministry. When at the end of that fast Satan approached Jesus with a proposal to use His divine power to manufacture food to satisfy his hunger, our Lord replied: “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God’” (Matthew 4:4). To Christ, the word of God mattered more than the eating of food. It’s unfortunate when those who would claim to be His followers do not share His priorities (cf. Matthew 6:33; John 6:26).

Beloved, the gospel of Christ is the “power of God to salvation” (Romans 1:16). It may not be much of an entertainment vehicle, but then God never intended it to be. There will always be those who seek signs and worldly wisdom (1 Corinthians 1:22) — even in the form of carnival games — but as members of the Lord’s church, we have nothing to offer the world except to “preach Christ crucified” (1 Corinthians 1:23). Whoever desires that alone, can skip the carnival games and come to the real feastthat which is spiritual (1 Corinthians 5:7-8 – see commentary; cf. John 6:27,35,45-51,58).

Mike Riley, Gospel Snippets