Prophets Or Professors?

The Bible speaks plainly of a great falling away before Christ comes to the planet earth for the second time. During our lives we are witnessing a great paradigm shift in our culture, and apostasy is indeed boldly entering the church. I have noticed that even on Christian radio programs and talk shows, scriptures are not referred to like yesteryear. Pastors, especially in the so called emerging church, are often compared to CEO’s rather than spokesmen for God. Their “gospel” is often peddled on man’s terms, rather than seeking true conversion and genuine conviction over sin. If you are a senior citizen, you remember pastors coming to the local school or public premises when a crisis occurred. Back in those days there was a real desire to seek the Lord and His remedy. Now we have the rank and file secular psychologists who come to the challenging situation with man’s ideas rather than God’s. “Psyc” literally means mind, and “ology” means study of. Hence man studies our minds in order to solve our problems. So much for man being a creature made in the image of God with a conscience at the seat of his being. No wonder psychiatrists have the highest suicide rate of any vocation or occupation! They rely on man and not God to solve our problems. [Matthew 15:14b “…And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.” Jesus Christ of Nazareth, 32 A.D.] Norman Vincent Peale introduced the Power of Positive Thinking back in the 1960’s. (Too bad he couldn’t have given an autographed copy to Job). Robert Schuller, the famous universalist of the Crystal Cathedral, was mentored by Peale. Robert Schuller in turn later mentored Rick Warren. The Word, sin, the cross, the blood and the need for repentance are downplayed, while man himself is built up, and in the eyes of many becomes his own boss and his own savior. Pastors’ Conferences no longer excel in the scriptures, but have drifted off to marketing, methodology, seeker sensitivity, and the study of statistics. Today’s church is focused on becoming a comfortable country club rather than the holy vessel for which God Almighty intended. Seeker friendly is a good strategy for Starbuck’s Coffee but not the church of God. We expect the world to be offended by the cross (Galatians 5:11b) but when the church is offended by the cross, then the world has come into the church! True prophets of God are becoming extinct. When was the last time that ANYONE came up to you and asked if you were saved, and volunteered the Gospel message to you without apology? Even the church often discourages this kind of “radical” activity. We are suppose to slowly nurture people, befriend them and build them up over a length of time, and then perhaps one day they will be ready to hear God’s Word. That is modern American folklore religion, psychobabble, and intended to simply exonerate the fearful from sharing the Word of God with sinners. I have been admonished in the past for running people off by exposing their sins. I make no apology for this, because pointing out folks’ shortcomings is what leads to repentance! I have seen too many blatant and unrepentant sinners feel comfortable in the local church for WAY TOO LONG, simply because no one seems to want to offend them. There is no Biblical precedent for people to be burped and coddled into the kingdom. The Bible is a sword and not a butter knife. We are engaged in spiritual warfare and not a weenie roast. Today’s church seems to want to follow Dale Carnegie’s format of Winning Friends And Influencing People. The church that will totally submit to the full counsel of God is the only church that will experience true revival and these bodies of believers are as rare as hen’s teeth. The dearth of the submission to the Word of God in today’s church is the reason that our once great nation is coming apart at the seams. When people are confronted with their sins they will walk down the aisle or walk out the door. One is as good as the other because unrepentant sinners are symbolized in the Old Testament by leaven and a little leaven can spoil the whole lump! Our goal should not be to gain everyone as a church member…….it is to boldly proclaim the whole Gospel and then leave the sorting to the Lord. There are way too many members who are saying “here am I” before they have said “woe is me.” (Isaiah 6:5a, 6:8b) We need more Elijahs in our day, and not these promoters of cotton candy Christianity which is nothing but an anemic and insipid imitation of the real thing. If any preacher is 100% faithful to the Word of God, he would be given his walking papers in over 90% of our churches! Today’s church has lowered the bar, the prophet has become a professor, and his study has become an office. We advance the secular more than the spiritual. We say we believe in the whole Bible until we actually read the scriptures and realize that we are not applying them to our lives. Nothing convicts like the Word of God. The true church will be one of love, obedience, repentance, exposing sin, discipline, full of truth, forgiveness, mercy, grace, joy, peace, longsuffering, faith and kindness. The true church is a constant standard to be reached by inquirers as they come to God on His terms, not a bar to be lowered so everyone can join. In the true church, no one is turned away. Many, however, will go away because they have no desire to repent and get right with God. Do you know something? I am glad when they leave (although we would all rather they repent of course) and I will tell you why: I John 2:19 “They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.” Who in their right mind would want these sons of Belial to stay? Blessings, Pastor Steve


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