The majority of the largest churches today are where itching ears and sweet teeth abound. Messages are candy-coated. Words are sugary. Everything must sound nice with spice, pleasant without pain, and affirming with approval. Extra caution is taken not to offend or upset anyone, lest they and their money leave the church. Too many preachers are being deceitful, flattering for favors, and failing to give the full counsel of God.
But notice what the Living Bible says about our responsibility to properly handle the Word of God:
“We do not try to trick people into believing—we are not interested in fooling anyone. We never try to get anyone to believe that the Bible teaches what it doesn’t. All such shameful methods we forego. We stand in the presence of God as we speak and so we tell the truth, as all who know us will agree” (2 Cor. 4:2).
When is the last time you heard an authentic message on the judgments of God? I heard Francis Chan recently say that he went through his Bible marking every verse on judgment with a pink highlighter or pen and every promise of God with blue. To his surprise, he found pink dominated blue by quite a margin. He discovered that the ratio was approximately 2-1. Why does hardly anyone preach on God’s judgments? Why does that seem like a dirty word when the Word is full of it?
Jesus spoke often of death and the judgment to come. He spoke of hell quite a bit, too. And the frequency by which He spoke of these things agrees with the pattern of the entire New Testament. Actually, there are 234 references of death, hell, and judgment in 260 chapters of the NT. Isn’t it disturbing that so few preachers today preach on these vitally important themes? We’ve practically taken them out of the gospel.
Contrary to popular opinion, Jesus did not come preaching love and acceptance as so many Biblically illiterate people tout. He preached this: “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel” (Mark 1:15).
What about the fear of the Lord? His severity? The all consuming fire of His holiness? The Lord spoke to me years ago saying that there had been a diabolical silence on holiness, and then I wrote a book (The Real Spirit of Revival) on these lost themes and understated truths. It’s still a great need in today’s church.
Let me ask you a few other questions: When was the last time you heard a message that was highlighted by correction, reproof, and rebuke?
When was the last time you were deeply convicted of your sins or some form of idolatry or lust in your life?
When is the last time you walked out of a church service with a holy consciousness of God gripping you?
Have you heard a message on sexual sin in any recent time? No wonder pornography, fornication, adultery, homosexuality, and divorce continue to rise.
What about a message on the blood, the cross, or hell?
Friends, by neglecting to preach on these vitally important themes, we are equipping a generation for popularity and training them for reputation. We’re fueling their appetite for fame, fortune, and fashion, while depriving them of holy fire that schools their senses to discern between the love of this world and the love of the Father.
Much of this generation likes pomp and pageantry, but they don’t like their hearts pricked with conviction. They enjoy having their egos stroked rather than poked. They like hearing how wonderful they are without ever having their feelings hurt. They enjoy having their consciences soothed with smooth sermons, but not scorched with Spirit-filled scoldings.
WOE UNTO YOU
This generation counts their likes and follows on social media more than they count how many days its been since they’ve actually prayed and waited on God. Social time always trumps Bible time. They love the praises of men, but despise the chastening of the Lord. They sing and wave their streamers, flags, and banners on Sunday morning in church, but never weep, groan, and travail for the sinful condition of those outside of church.
We are clucking too many for the cruise ship, but not building them up for the battle ship. We are pampering too many for the party life, but not preparing them for Christ’s purpose. We are breeding them for peace and ease, but not schooling them for the conflict and the struggle.
This generation is obsessed with popularity, but not prepared for persecution.
Have we forgotten the Lord’s own admonition: “Woe unto you when all men speak well of you” (Luke 6:26).
The spiritual diet of this generation must be greatly altered or here’s what we will see in the very near future:
- Living together outside of marriage (fornication), adultery, and divorce will continue to rise in the next generation.
- The trend in the church (if not altered) is that most of our children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren will attend a church that says you can be a gay Christian.
- Evangelical pastors will vote for a gay president sooner rather than later. Already some are defending Mayor Pete’s lifestyle.
- Instead of the preaching of the cross, social justice and a happiness gospel will dominate the sermons of most evangelical pastors.
- Theological schools will become more and more corrupted with seducing spirits and doctrines of demons. Their graduates will become twice the child of hell their professors are.
Do you want to survive or thrive in this decade? You must take an uncompromised stand for truth and righteousness. Please get my new book, The Tumultuous 2020s and Beyond, to discover all that’s at stake in the coming years. We must be bold, fearless, and strong in the Lord.
For more of the same please make some time to listen to the Charisma podcast interview I did this past week. Thank you for your love, prayers, and support!