For the past few weeks, I have been working through the Books of Jude and Titus for our Wednesday evening studies. Doing this has helped me understand just how closely America is to those early church nations being written to. A moral decay eroding all sense of what is right and wrong has seeped into the leadership of churches across the county. No longer is it simply preach from God’s Word with a purity of heart and mind. Now, those delivering God’s Word are cautioned to only make people feel good. And this is wrong.
The true salvation message is uncomfortable and messy. It causes us to look deep into ourselves and find and faults and flaws we have hidden away for so long and lay them bare at the Cross, pleading out for forgiveness. Simply giving lip service to biblical salvation is not enough. Titus writes:
To the pure all things are pure, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure; but even their mind and conscience are defiled. They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work. (Titus 1:15-16)
So many preachers today are doing just this, professing to know God but not letting their works back this up. We see these false teachers everyday on TV and online. We hear them make comments like “I want my congregation to leave happy” or “I don’t preach about sin because it is not what people need to hear”. WRONG!
The Gospel we are to preach is the Gospel which Jesus taught, and it is very simple:
From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
Then He said to them, “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.”
“I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”
False teachers do not teach the true Gospel message because of one thing and one thing only: it is not profitable to their bottom line. In order to live in their mansions and fly in their private jets, they must be able to keep the money pipeline flowing. Jude puts it this way:
These are grumblers, complainers, walking according to their own lusts; and they mouth great swelling words, flattering people to gain advantage.
These flatterers are not just on TV, but right in your home town as well. Look around at the churches that embrace sin. Look at the churches that openly allow adulterers and homosexuals to serve in a leadership capacity. Look at the churches who require you to fill out financial disclosure forms or even go so far as making your turn in your taxes as a requirement for membership. THESE are the churches Jude is speaking of.
It is time for biblical Christians to really show discernment in how we worship and in how we witness to others. We MUST begin to “contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.” (Jude 1:3) We must begin to stand for the true Word of God. We must not allow the watered down, glossed over, socially acceptable version which is flowing through the churches of today to continue. It is our duty to Jesus Christ to let everyone we know what is real and what is false.
We are called to go into the world and spread God’s Word. But means God’s True Word. Not some cliff notes version. Sin and repentance lie at the heart of coming to know Christ. It is time we stop playing church, and start being the church the Bible calls for us to be.