I have to say, sometimes — MANY TIMES — I feel like Jeremiah, who was known as the “weeping prophet.” I do not claim to be a prophet, but I know what I know, and I cannot UNknow what I know… Life would be much easier, I suppose, if I were to simply tune out and live like the rest of the world; focused on sports, worldly entertainment, easy living and comfort. But I know God’s Word and I see what is coming upon this Earth, and surely, the judgment of God is coming soon, to all those who now live in ignorant bliss. I feel such an urgency to sound the warning signal and call people to return to God in repentance, seeking Him with all their heart, NOW, while He may still be found.
As we read in 1 Peter 4, “It is time for judgment to begin with God’s household; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God?” Yes, my friends, God’s judgment will BEGIN with those who claim to be a part of His Church… Jesus said that “Wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few ever find it.” The truth of the matter is, MOST of those who sit with you in church every week will one day be VERY SURPRISED to learn that Jesus never knew them. I wonder how many professing Christians are, in reality, walking that broad road, all the while believing they are safely and soundly “saved,” because they have been purposely misled by cowardly, people-pleasing preachers.
We live in a day and age of such deception and delusion, the likes of which I have never seen before in all my years. If we cannot hear the truth of Satan’s lies exposed in our Christian churches, WHERE, I ask you, CAN we? We are now two, if not three generations past the time when people had even a modicum of Biblical literacy. Those days are long past. Moses warned: “Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, while you lie down and when you get up. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates…”
The words we were to hold onto so securely — AND TEACH TO OUR CHILDREN — included the knowledge, wisdom and understanding of God’s Holy Word. I dare say that today, most households in America probably contain numerous copies of the Bible, but they are rarely, if ever, opened. Most church-goers no longer even bother to go through the motions of carrying them to church. After all, the Scripture the pastor has chosen, to prove his point, is placed up there (for our convenience) on the big TV or projection screen. It seems, in our churches today, there is no more need for the Bible.
Thus we have a generation of people so far removed from the truth of God’s Word we don’t even know what we don’t know. A wealth of knowledge and wisdom — all the ancient Holy Scriptures, the very words of GOD HIMSELF — lay there at our fingertips, yet most cannot be bothered to even look, much less study. We rely on what the “pastor” tells us; and sadly, most of the sermons preached in our modern American churches today PURPOSELY EVADE the whole counsel of God, lest one in the congregation might be offended.
One man recently asked the very serious question: “Why must I go outside the church in order to get the truth?” He was referring to the recent Wisconsin Christian News Ministry Expo and Conference in which we featured expert speakers to directly discuss the topics of Islam, Homosexuality, the God-ordained Family, Apostasy in our churches, Biblical Illiteracy, Political Correctness, and what is required for true salvation in Jesus Christ. We addressed these most important issues HEAD ON — to standing-room-only crowds of people — hungry for truth that they will NEVER hear in their churches. We had people attend our conference from far and wide — coming from all over Wisconsin, at least 7 other states AND CANADA… yet the local pastors in the area actually BOYCOTTED our event, and would not even announce it to their congregations.
This man asked this question (“Why must I go outside the church in order to get the truth?”) of his pastor, and his pastor’s pastor, and several men in leadership at his church. None would answer. They consider him a trouble-maker because he presses for answers they are not willing to give. The senior pastor even implied he might be “happier” at another church…. a “polite, non-offensive” way of asking him to leave. This after years of faithful attendance.
I’m becoming convinced that the seminaries MUST have special training courses to teach new pastors how to evade the hard topics completely, lest someone be offended; how to be “people-pleasers,” how to run a successful money-making business, and how to be popular and well liked. It seems that’s all they know… but there is such a HUNGER AND THIRST for the WHOLE counsel of God — for the WHOLE TRUTH AND NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH… and many people are not getting it in their churches today.
After the terror attacks on 9/11, churches nationwide were packed with people… they came to find truth and they came to find answers. They came seeking God, but He wasn’t there…. And so within a month, the churches were emptier than before. Those who were sincerely seeking God had to go OUTSIDE the churches in order to find Him. I am sad to say that we have turned Christianity into a mere religious exercise, and our pulpits are mostly filled with “hirelings,” as we read about in John, Chapter 10: Jesus said, “I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. The hireling is not the shepherd who owns the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. The man runs away because he is a hireling and cares nothing for the sheep.”
Am I too harsh? Sorry, those were Jesus’ words. Not mine. Most of today’s pastors love to be praised by the people; they love to be popular and well liked. I’ve said it before, but in case you missed it: PLEASE, show me ONE MAN OF GOD in the Bible who courageously spoke the truth — the whole counsel of God — who was well liked and popular among the people. Such a one does not exist.
The writer of Hebrews tells us what REAL MEN OF GOD accomplished for their Lord, and what they endured throughout the Scriptures — and what REAL CHRISTIANS should EXPECT to endure even today: “they conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; they shut the mouths of lions, quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength, and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies…. Others were tortured, refusing to be released so that they might gain an even better resurrection. Some faced jeers and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were put to death by stoning, they were sawed in two, they were killed by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated…” Now I ask you: how many of US are willing to endure such things in order to follow Christ today? And perhaps more to the point, how many of our PASTORS would be willing?
Sadly, most today are afraid to even mention the hard things that are deemed “politically incorrect,” for fear of someone taking offense…much less consider enduring any sort of hardship — or fighting for righteousness.
A case in point: I recently warned a pastor that there were people in his congregation who were embracing and promoting the apostate movie “The Shack,” in which God is portrayed as an African woman, in which Jesus states He does not want people to become “Christians,” but rather, ALL religious paths lead to God’s acceptance and forgiveness; and the Holy Spirit is portrayed as another woman with a Hindu name. These regular church-goers said it was by far the best “Christian” movie they’d ever seen and were highly recommending it to others. I warned their pastor — “You MUST speak on this! This is apostasy of the highest degree and people in YOUR church are being led astray by this false teaching!” But the pastor refused to address the issue in any way…. because some might be offended if he attacked the sacred cow of this Hollywood heresy.
Last summer I attended a funeral, where the pastor openly declared from the pulpit that “God needed another angel,” thus the untimely death of the deceased. SURELY this pastor knows that people are not transformed into angels when they die… yet he purposely led all those people astray, with false doctrine about a false future… he may as well have said, “every time a bell rings and angel gets its wings!” That’s about the depth of the theology we are receiving in our modern American churches today.
I am most concerned about our children. Scripture tells us that there is ENMITY between the seed of the serpent (Satan) and the seed of the woman (Christ and our children)… Satan goes after our kids the hardest, because they are his greatest of trophies. If he can steal the hearts and minds of our children, he can destroy all of mankind. I believe we are seeing this come to pass in these last days, right now. Our kids spend 6-8 hours a day, five days a week in government schools, better described as Liberal, Socialist indoctrination centers. Then, a scant FEW will spend an hour or two in a church once a week, where they are taught Bible STORIES, as if they were fairy tales.
We have just recently observed the Easter season. I received at least a dozen sets of photographs from people in various places; images from Easter celebrations at churches where they live. The pictures showed senior pastors dressed up like clowns, movie characters and of course, the Easter Bunny. The same thing happens at Christmas, when churches mix Santa Claus in with the birth of Christ. We’ve turned HISTORY, wisdom and knowledge, found in God’s Word into fairy tales… all to attract kids to our Establishment churches… and then we rejoice when so many kids show up for the Easter egg hunts, the bounce houses, the face painting, the jugglers and clowns…. we measure the success of our Easter “services” by how many kids came out and collected candy-filled eggs, after which they heard a short candy-coated message about a ficticious “Jesus.” How can we be SO BLIND?! Look what we are doing to our kids. If only we could see the millstones we are heaping around our own necks as we deceive our own children.
I’ve heard it said that “Church is not supposed to be a museum for saints, but rather a hospital for sinners.” I beg to differ. THE CHURCH, (the one of which the gates of hell will not prevail against), is the BODY OF CHRIST…. unrepentant sinners will NEVER be comfortable there. Church is SUPPOSED to be the House of God, but we have turned it into a worldly, carnal social club, designed to make everyone feel comfortable and accepted in their sin. But Church is supposed to be a gathering place for the children of God — and contrary to popular belief, not EVERYONE is a child of God. If you are not saved by the blood of the Lamb, then you are at ENMITY with God. You’re His ENEMY… you are a child of the devil. For what fellowship can light have with darkness? Yet many churches today, LITERALLY entice the unsaved in with darkness and carnality….
Is it any wonder, then, that there is now emerging a REMNANT — those who take the Lord and His Word SERIOUSLY… they are COMING OUT of these carnal social clubs and as Jesus said they would be, they are scattered — sheep without a shepherd — because of the wolves, and the hirelings that refuse to speak the truth. Church should be a place of discipleship and growth, where shepherds teach their flocks to GO OUT and make disciples, teaching them to OBEY all Jesus commanded. Not a place of entertainment and indulgence. Our kids see through the hypocrisy clearly, and want no part of it, if that’s what “Church” is all about. “Christianity,” they say, does not “work” for them…. thus they choose instead, the false doctrines of demons, if they follow any spiritual path at all.
You see, they’ve been taught that the Christian life is one of peace, prosperity, comfort and ease. Free candy when they’re kids and comfort and ease when they grow up. We, as adults, often believe just the same. We are never challenged to study and dig into the Word of God ourselves. We’re rarely asked to DO anything at all. We simply come and sit, and pay our “dues,” and listen to a comforting message that makes us feel good about ourselves.
Contrast this to what Peter spoke of regarding what the REAL Christian life is like: “Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ…If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you…If you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name. For it is time for judgment to begin with God’s household.”
Jesus does not call us to a life of comfort and ease, indulgence, carnality and acceptance of sin. He calls us to repent, to go OUT and make disciples, teaching them all He commanded. That REQUIRES us to be politically incorrect in this world filled with demonic delusions and lies. Those who follow Christ will NOT be popular or well liked. But neither will they hear those awful words one day, “Depart from Me, you worker of iniquity… I never knew you.”
Audio CDs and transcripts of this message are available when you call Wisconsin Christian News, (715) 486-8066. Or email Rob@WisconsinChristianNews.com and ask for message number 196.