Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. -- 1Corinthians 15: 1-2 (NIV)
Take this next question very seriously beloved. Upon what Gospel are we taking our stand? Look at what the Apostle Paul is saying here! It is only by the actual Gospel that people are saved! Otherwise you have believed in vain! How many people sit in the pews every week believing in vain? Goats trying to act like sheep as Paul Washer likes to say. Do we hold firmly to the Word or do we nod and wink and look the other way? How loose is our hold on the Gospel message today? I dare say it is quite loose and growing looser every day. When we think that it is more important to defend man over the integrity of the Gospel I would say that it is not just loose -- it has fallen to the floor.
Dear Lord, just look at what we have accepted in the body of Christ! Rob Bell once led a congregation of 15,000 people and now he thinks hell doesn't exist! Mark Batterson is teaching people to redo their prayer life based upon a fictional, non biblical character who petulantly dismisses the sovereignty of God! The Easter Bunny on the altar of God so we can appear "relevant" to a dying culture! Prosperity preachers milking the body for cash in the name of Jesus. Faith healing frauds and false signs and wonders disguised as a "move of the Spirit." Jesus Culture indoctrinating our youth with nonsense not seen since the Holy Laughter debacle of the 1990's. Self-help and motivational speaking passed off as Christianity. Grace alone doctrine designed to tickle the ears and consign countless to hell. No fear of God. No reverence before God. Gold dust, gem stones, angel feathers and glory clouds. This isn't a game. The eternal destination of the souls of men hang in the balance and we need to treat it like so.
It does not give me any pleasure to name names. I am comforted however by the key verses which clearly indicate that Biblically we are in fact supposed to call out by name those who would preach a Gospel contrary to the truth. Expositing the key verses we start with a simple statement we all need to remember every day as ministers of the Gospel. Work hard so we can present ourselves to God for His approval. There is so much meat there. It starts with working hard. No one said this calling was going to be easy. But look at WHY we work hard. We do not work hard to be approved by man. We do not work hard so we can expand our congregations and build bigger churches. We do not work hard so we can have a television show or write a best selling book. We work hard so that God might approve of us:
And so it was with me, brothers and sisters. When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God's power. -- 1Corinthians 2: 1-5 (NIV)
This is Paul explaining to the Church at
Next in the key verses we see that we should absolutely be ashamed if we do not correctly explain the Word of God. Please, I am not talking about perfection. I am not talking about inconsequential disagreements. If this one prefers hymns and that one prefers modern worship that is fine as long as it brings glory to God. If this one believes in being slain in the Spirit and that one doesn't, fine. Why? Because no one is going to remain unsaved because they believe in being slain or they do not. But someone who says a quick and dirty prayer without the weight of the burden of their sin driving them to repentance? Sorry, but all the seeker friendly nonsense in the world is not sending that person to heaven. Jesus Christ is our Savior. That means He needed to save us from something. That something is not cultural irrelevance or a life of insignificance. That something he saves us from is our SIN. He saves us from the one thing that separates us from God! How do we lose sight of that so easily? Because it is not preached anymore. Instead we see churches routinely engaging in foolish, worthless talk that only leads to more godless behavior. Sermons designed to make people feel better about themselves when they need to feel better about God. Beloved -- if this is our best life now then by definition we are going to hell.
When carnality is what is embraced in the pulpit then carnality is what is being taught. Naming names is how you stop the foolish and worthless talk. Turning a blind eye to it does not serve Christ. The key verses warn us very plainly that talk like this spreads like cancer. Don't believe God? Just look at the seeker friendly, purpose driven model in