How many faithful church members will spend an eternity in Hell, right beside a Pastor who based the subject of every sermon on its effect on tithes, offerings and church attendance? How many human beings have been damned to a Devil’s Hell by the purveyors of Church Growth Seminars?
That which will grow a church will often damn its members.
A “Good Preacher” today, can start with 12 members and grow a church of 5,000.
Jesus started with 5,000 and ended up with 12.
I am convinced that there are churches with 5,000 members where less than 12 will make it to Heaven.
God is Love but God hates. To preach the love of God but never mention the Wrath of God is to condemn real men and women to eternal punishment.
We preach acceptance and tolerance, we would never offend. Jesus called the Governor a fox, a lady asking for his help a dog, and the most righteous men of his day, “Whitewashed Tombs, full of dead men’s bones” and children of the Devil.
Scripture talks about “speaking the truth in love.” We interpret that, “Never speak the truth if it might offend.”
John 3:16 speaks of God’s love. John 3:18 speaks of condemnation. A sinner who understands John 3:18 will be desperate to find salvation in Christ. A sinner with no understanding of John 3:18 will think of John 3:16 as a “nice thought” but hardly necessary.
If you teach a man to praise God but never speak of the gravity of sin and the need for repentance, you create a strange being who will praise a God he does not know, pay his tithes, make big offerings and go to Hell when he dies.
The same God who said that He will bless you coming in and going out said that if you disobey him, He will curse you and everything you lay your hands on. No, that blessing is not based on your tithes and offerings, it is based on obedience, repentance, salvation and the Spirit of God. You can make huge offerings but insist that that which God calls sin is not really sin, continue in a sinful lifestyle and bust Hell wide open when you die.
No, I am not speaking of Judaistic Legalism. I am speaking of agreeing with God that what He calls sin is really sin, asking forgiveness when you fall and accepting God’s help in overcoming. I am talking about taking up your cross and following Jesus. I am talking about fixing your eyes on the Author and Finisher of our faith. I am talking about doing what He does and not doing what He does not and would not do. I am talking about a very real relationship with a Living God.
It is better to end up with twelve members who are all going to Heaven than 5,000 members who are all going to Hell. It is better to work a secular Job in order to eat and take people to Heaven than to live luxuriously off of tithes and offerings and take people to Hell.
Call Sin, sin and evil, evil, but don’t get hung up with a single sin. If you spend more time condemning homosexuality than you spend condemning gossip, you are out of balance and in danger of falling. Is the homosexual act a sin? Yes, of course but a Gossip in your church will do more damage than ten thousand homosexuals on the street.
If you are willing to offend, if you are willing to call sin, sin, if you will preach the Wrath of God, you will find that those you preach to feel the need for a Savior and come willingly to Jesus. If you refuse to preach the whole Gospel and preach only messages that will fill the pews and the offering plates, you will end up with a church full of very happy, Hell bound sinners…