The attempts today of the modern Church to win the world to Christ go to such great length to assure that there be no reprisals, no rejection. It seems quite honest to me that the Church would much rather be accepted by the world then to see the world be accepted by God.
When the sinking ship of the worlds acceptance starts to go asunder, the rebuking against sin is the first to go overboard to assure that the worlds acceptance stays afloat. The hell-fire preaching is far to heavy, weighs far too much, and will certainly bring about the sinking of the ship. So it must, not in part but in whole, go overboard to secure the acceptance of the world.
If we are to win the world to God we are not to do it just any way that works, we are to do it God's way as revealed in the scripture. God's way has always been by going into all the world to preach the gospel to every creature (Mark 16:15). God's way has always been to verbally preach and not merely witness in action as we know that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God (Romans 10:17). God's way has always been to preach "that people should repent". (Mark 6:12). God's way has always been by preaching in the streets, in the market places, in the squares outside of the synagogues, and at the entry gates of the cities. Wherever the sinners are is where the gospel needs to be. But God's militancy has been replaced with selfish complacency, so that the only outreach most Churches have is when they merely invite the world to come to them rather then themselves going out to the world.
"Is this effective? Is this effective" is the constant cry of the Church that has been infected and polluted with the worldliness of business. "Is this biblical? Is this biblical? is the constant cry of the man who will be despised and ridiculed by both the world and the Church.
As I preach open-air rebuking sin and exhorting sinners to flee from the wrath to come I continually hear "Is this effective" coming from professing Christians who would much rather cuddle sinners into the Kingdom. "Is this effective?" My response is, "it doesn't matter." We are not to concern ourselves with being effective at all, we are to concern ourselves with being biblical. We are to preach whether the lost hear or whether they refuse (Ezekiel 2:7). It doesn't matter if it's plowing season or if it's harvest season. We are to preach the Word in season and out of season, to convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching." (2 Timothy 4:2).
Often I hear, "Your turning people off, your turning people off"? "No! They were already off. The world hated God before I had preached. The world was living in sin before I showed up! They are already off". The fallacy of the neutrality of the sinner was a concept the Lord Himself shattered when he said, "He who is not with Me is against Me" (Matthew 12:30). A person is either for God or is against God, there is no neutral ground. The whole concept of "turning a sinner off" because of preaching the Word is entirely unbiblical and it just further evidence of the drifting away from scripture of the modern Church.
When King Herod arrived to the open air meeting of John the Baptist, did John stop his preaching to give Herod a hug? No! John rebuked the Kings adultery and said, "it is not lawful for you to have her." (Matthew 14:4) Six months later John was beheaded. If many of the modern Christians were there I wonder if they would have confronted John and said, "Is this effective? John, don't you see how you turned Herod off?"
When Jesus spoke with the proud rich young ruler, who wrongfully thought he had kept all of God's commands from his youth, Jesus pointed out his sin of love of money which resulted in the man walking away sorrowfully without hearing a word of grace. (Matthew 19:22). I wonder what the modern Church would have said had they been there. "Jesus, why did you only tell the man about the Law? Don't you know we are under a new covenant and the Law doesn't matter? Jesus, don't you see how the man went away sorrowfully because you turned him off?"
When Paul was before Felix, did he elaborate on the wonderful plan and the deep of love that God had for him? No! Paul knew that the fear of God was the beginning of knowledge, not the love of God (Proverbs 1:7). So Paul "reasoned about righteousness, self-control, and judgment to come, Felix was afraid and answered, "Go away for now; when I have a more convenient time I will call for you." Would the modern Church have said to Paul had they been there, "Paul, you should have talked about God's love before you talked about sin and God's judgment. Don't you see how you have turned Felix off?"
Church, we must get away from the concern of "being effective" and must back to the concern of being biblical. We must get back to calling sinners to repent to flee from the wrath that's to come (Matthew 3:7). Men and women of God, it's time to rise up and boldly proclaim the uncompromising truth of God by life or by death. It's time for the Church to forsake the world with all of it's ways and methods and seek to go God's way at any cost. It's time that we prefer the foolishness of God over the wisdom of the world and take back our societies for the glory of God. As the Church has sat comfortably in padded pews, having fellowship dinners and getting fat on itching ear preaching, the world around us has been crumbling to powder being hammered by sin and the devil. As the Church has been asleep in the light the world has remained dead in it's sins. As the Church has sought to be friends with the world, the world has ever increasingly become the enemy of God. Our country is on a greece slide down to hell and it's time for men and women of God to hit the streets with the solid truth of God, exalting His righteousness, His holiness, His justice, His mercy, His grace, exalting His son.
Will you go?
For the Audience of One
Taking the Gospel where it belongs