Word of Encouragement – 8/2/17

Please allow me to expand on comments made Sunday about the urgency for preaching that warns of impending doom for those outside of Christ.

Paul told Timothy that “…the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, will heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;” 2 Timothy 4:3.

I am afraid that in these last days, we have been guilty of watering down the gospel, majoring on “felt needs” sermons, talks about pop-psychology, social gospel — subjects that do not offend. Not that we intentionally want to be offensive, but when we deal with the whole counsel of God, with subjects like, God’s judgement falling on corrupt cities and nations, the reality of hell fire, how sin eventually ravages a life, and the chastening hand of God – just to mention a few.

But in the advent of the church growth movement, somehow we were sold a bill of goods that if we are going to get the unchurched to darken our doors, we are going to have to make church more palatable — make it comfortable for them. That wasn’t included in the Great Commission. Jesus has not mandated us to go into all the world and entice — to make people feel good — to give them a sermon that would not offend. To study the life of Christ is to see a life balanced with overwhelming love for the sinner, but hard messages for the legalist. John the Baptist minced no words when he called them a generation of snakes.

God forgive us as a church, if we made it our goal to make people feel good, and comfortable on their road to hell. If you visit the doctor, and he finds a malignant mass in your body as he studies the x-rays, he would not be much of a doctor if he tried to water down the diagnoses to you in order to make you feel good, and comfortable about your condition. You would expect to hear the hard truth in order to meet the illness head on. The church should do no less.

I do want to deal with the compassionate side of God as I preach, but I also have a grave responsibility to preach the whole gospel, and that includes telling the hard truth about the prospect of spending eternity without God.

I love each of you and am thankful to be called pastor of FBC Palmer.

Bro. Paul