For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires; and will turn away their ears from the truth, and will turn aside to myths. 2 Timothy 4:3-4
I have a good friend of mine who works with churches to help them design and build new facilities. It’s a calling from God for him, but he was lamenting about the fact that so many churches today seem more concerned with production, entertainment, and style than they do with preaching, praying and heart-felt worship. He told me that the new wave is for pastors to preach a 15 minute “feel good” sermonette. Some very popular preachers on TV today rarely mention sin, or the cross, or the core message of the Bible. YIKES!
A MARK OF THE END TIMES
If you pastor a church or preach regularly, you need to be sure you are aware of this fact. One of the tell-tale signs we are living in the last days is the abandonment of the preaching of the Bible, the very Word of the living God.
I believe we are seeing an increasing number of preachers who appear to be more concerned with popularity and political correctness than they are with faithfulness to preach the whole counsel of God. Peter and John could have gotten along just fine with the Jewish Sanhedrin IF they had only stopped preaching in Jesus’ name … but they would not do that! They were called to be His witnesses, even if their witness meant prison and death. As the viciously attacked beauty contestant, Carrie Prejean, so aptly said after she gave her “controversial” answer to the gay marriage question at the Miss USA pageant, “I would rather be biblically correct than politically correct.” Would to God that every preacher in America had the courage and conviction of Peter, John … and even Carrie Prejean!
EVERY PASTOR’S CALL
Paul emphatically and clearly told young Pastor Timothy, “Preach the Word!” We are not to preach pop psychology or “feel good” theology … we are to preach His Word. Now, it is true that we must make it culturally relevant and be as approachable and winsome as possible so people will be able to hear the message, but we are to ‘preach the Word!’ Why? Because the devil works hard to get us to turn away from the Word. The devil knows that the Word of God is milk (1 Pet. 2:2), bread (Matt. 4:4) and meat (Heb. 5:14) for our souls. He knows that there is nothing more important for us TO HEAR AND TO DO than God’s Word. It is the Word of God that produces faith (Rom. 10:17). If the devil can get us to water down the Word, compromise the Word, lay aside the Word, or, God forbid, disbelieve the Word … he has us right where he wants us.
OUR CHALLENGE FROM GOD
The Bible challenges us to be people who tremble at His Word (Is. 66:2). May you and I ALWAYS hold to the clear teachings of the Bible, even if those clear teachings go against the grain of political correctness and the world’s warped understanding of “love.” Make no mistake about it; real love kindly but firmly tells people the truth, even if it is unpopular and unpalatable to their ears.
Remember, truth is not what you may think, or what you may feel, or what may seem right to you … truth is what God says (Jn. 17:17). We would do well to cling to His Word. God will always honor the person who honors Him (1 Sam. 2:30).
Dr. Jeff Schreve
From His Heart Ministries
Pastor, First Baptist Church, Texarkana, TX