One of the sickest things that has overcome, overwhelmed, and made useless the Church in the United States is the practice of preaching a censored and sterilized Gospel. Happy Sermons, limited to happy verses…
Much of Scripture is written in triplets and Revelation 12:11 is no exception. You can listen to a hundred sermons on that verse and in ninety eight of them, you will hear only two thirds of the verse.
- The Blood of the Lamb
- The Word of their testimony
But there are three things that bring them the victory, not two!
Revelation 12:11 They conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they did not love their lives in the face of death.
- The Blood of the Lamb
- The word of their testimony
- They did not love their own lives in the face of death.
If you leave out number three, you turn the Word of God into a lie.
Number three is unpleasant and unhappy to preachers who have not yet embraced the eternal. Death, to most preachers today, seems to be the end. To find a preacher who has a real and vibrant faith that goes beyond the grave is rare indeed, and so number three is never read or talked about.
Preachers Love John 3:16 and 17,
16 “For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world that He might condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.”
But no modern preacher in his right mind would ever teach on verse 18-22,
18 Anyone who believes in Him is not condemned, but anyone who does not believe is already condemned, because he has not believed in the name of the One and Only Son of God.
19 “This, then, is the judgment: The light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than the light because their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone who practices wicked things hates the light and avoids it, so that his deeds may not be exposed. 21 But anyone who lives by the truth comes to the light, so that his works may be shown to be accomplished by God.”
How many times have you heard 2 Chronicles 7:14 quoted and preached on?
14 (If) My people who are called by My name humble themselves, pray and seek My face, and turn from their evil ways, then I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land.
Can you remember hearing 2 Chronicles 7:19-22 quoted or used as the subject of a sermon?
19 However, if you turn away and abandon My statutes and My commands that I have set before you and if you go and serve other gods and worship them, 20 then I will uproot Israel from the soil that I gave them, and this temple that I have sanctified for My name I will banish from My presence; I will make it an object of scorn and ridicule among all the peoples. 21 As for this temple, which was exalted, everyone who passes by will be appalled and will say: Why did the Lord do this to this land and this temple? 22 Then they will say: Because they abandoned the Lord God of their ancestors who brought them out of the land of Egypt. They clung to other gods and worshiped and served them. Because of this, He brought all this ruin on them.
These are just two examples but it is a systematic heresy. This is based on Church Growth books and seminars, and it has led to an apostate church and the point where the vast majority of American Christians have a warped and twisted understanding of God, Jesus Christ and the Gospel.
We love sermons on how the angels led Peter and James out of prison… past the locked gates… but no one talks about John the Baptist losing his head with Jesus just down the street. No one talks about Stephen being stoned, no one talks about James and Paul losing their heads or the years Paul spent in prison, cold and hungry.
We love the verse, Philippians 4:13, and we twist it to make it say things it never did…
13 I am able to do all things through Him who strengthens me.
How many times have you heard that verse preached in context?
10 I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that once again you renewed your care for me. You were, in fact, concerned about me but lacked the opportunity to show it. 11 I don’t say this out of need, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. 12 I know both how to have a little, and I know how to have a lot. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being content—whether well fed or hungry, whether in abundance or in need. 13 I am able to do all things through Him who strengthens me. 14 Still, you did well by sharing with me in my hardship.
I can learn to be content in all circumstances? I can learn to be content with little? Wow… that isn’t what I want to do through Christ! Paul was content in all circumstances? What kind of circumstances was Paul content in?
- many more imprisonments,
- far worse beatings,
- near death many times.
- Five times I received 39 lashes from Jews.
- Three times I was beaten with rods by the Romans.
- Once I was stoned by my enemies.
- Three times I was shipwrecked.
- I have spent a night and a day in the open sea.
- On frequent journeys, I faced
- dangers from rivers,
- dangers from robbers,
- dangers from my own people,
- dangers from the Gentiles,
- dangers in the city,
- dangers in the open country,
- dangers on the sea,
- and dangers among false brothers;
- labor and hardship,
- many sleepless nights, hunger and thirst,
- often without food, cold, and lacking clothing.
(2 Corinthians 11)
Are these the things I can do through Christ who strengthens me? Why didn’t the Preacher ever tell me?
If you only know the happy verses, what are you going to do when they come for you, Christian? What are you going to do?