John’s Christian Rant: The Trouble With Today’s Churches
Too many of today’s churches are diminishing the Word of God, if they even teach the Word at all. The Apostle Peter warned that some would distort Scriptures, as he reinforced what he had apparently learned from Paul: “As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which some things are hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they also do the rest of the Scriptures.” 2 Pet 3:16 The prophetic words of Peter are certainly describing today’s nature in many churches.
The word “gospel” means “good news,” and Jesus certainly is the good news spoken of in the New Testament, actually even going back into the Old Testament. Churches today diminish Jesus’ deity and what He accomplished on the cross for you and me.
Do you attend a church where the word “sin” is totally absent from any sermon? Where the mention of hell is only as a passing word when it appears in a Scriptural passage? Where 1 Corinthians 6:9,10, Galatians 5:19-21, Ephesians 5:3-5, and other passages are never read and commented on as warnings? The Apostle Paul speaks throughout his letters about living in the spirit, not in the flesh. You can’t have it both ways as “these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.” Gal 5:17
I heard a preacher recently preach that the obvious warning of “…will not enter the kingdom of God” is not talking about heaven and hell, separation from God, but instead only an absence from this present-day “kingdom of heaven on earth” and His blessings here on earth. The Apostle Paul warned, “Do not be deceived!” I am not sure that God is happy with the aforementioned teaching….
Heaven and hell? (See my post on heaven and hell.) Does it exist? Not according to many teachings, and many modern churches don’t want to approach the topic; better to ignore and keep the flock blind from the truth.
I’m a “salvation” guy. I know what it was like when I was once destined to the eternal torments of hell! I love Jesus and thank Him so much every day for my role in the mission field He has planned for me. But salvation to many of the new modern churches, many with multiple thousands of members, means that heaven has come down to earth to give you whatever you want; salvation means healings, unlimited prosperity, new Cadillacs, no trials or tribulations, on and on. Don’t get me wrong, I am a prayer warrior and believe in supernatural healing that only comes from God and that God can and does answer prayers, but the emphasis is no longer on what Jesus has done for you and how you need to thank Him, worship Him, serve Him, and honor Him., but instead, what He can do for us. He doesn’t need to do anything for us; He already did it by shedding His cleansing blood on the cross, and giving us hope through His resurrection from the dead. “It is finished.”
Jesus Himself taught more on the dangers of falling into eternal hell than entering heaven. Please heed, “Enter by the narrow gate, for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and many go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way that leads to life, and there are few who find it.” Matt 7:1314 Sadly, there will be many who don’t make the final judgment in good standing with our Lord. Not my opinion, but the Word of God.
Too many of today’s preachers in the churches don’t go near the “fear of the Lord” references in the Bible, the phrase found a minimum of fourteen times in Proverbs alone. When they do, it is often softened to, “fear means reverence….” While that may be true to a point, we have reverence knowing that God has all authority to judge our eternal destiny, and He can cast us into hell, into the “outer darkness where there will be wailing and gnashing of teeth.” OUCH! is an understatement. Strong’s #3373H, 3374H uses these words to define the word fear: “fearful, afraid, dreadful, exceedingly fear.” I think we understand those words.
“It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” Heb 10:31 Doesn’t sound like reverence is meant there, and that’s New Testament!
Sin? One cannot be convicted by the Holy Spirit if they don’t know what sin is, and if they don’t think any sin is in their lives. Forget about what the Bible says about repentance; that, apparently isn’t necessary anymore, either, as it doesn’t seem to be necessary to mainstream teaching.
Despite denials, many of today’s sermons are psychological feel-good messages lacking much depth of the true Word of God. True prophetic gifts from God are instead “taught” by church teachers who are “trained” in prophecy. The Bible says some have gifts of prophecy, proving they cannot be taught. Those who “graduate” from these teachings prophecy “good news” over people, giving them emotional encouragement, and giving them hope. Encouragement is good, but call it what it is, encouragement from man, not from God.
“Beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves.” Matt 7:15 There is a difference between praying over someone and for someone than prophesying over a person. Prayers are petitions to God for His glory to be revealed by answered prayers, at His will. If someone claims prophecy and it doesn’t come true, then guess what? That person is a false prophet; no excuses, no apologies allowed.
When one reads the Bible, it’s revealed that most of the prophetic messages were not good, but instead, warnings, coming destruction, famine, and so forth. The exceptions, though, are the 356 prophetic messages of a coming Messiah, Jesus Christ! Other than that, no where do we read prophetic messages like, “I see great wealth coming into your life,” “your cancer will be cured,” “your family will be reunited,” etc. Bummer, huh? Today’s trained prophets are instructed that if they do receive a negative message from God about someone, don’t dare say it–we want POSITIVE predictions and reinforcement from our prophets, with our people! Important to repeat: PROPHETS CANNOT TRAINED!
When you read the Old Testament, did you see any references that Isaiah, Elijah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Jeremiah, or any other of the prophets, major or minor, being told to go to a prophecy school before they received their prophecy credentials? No, I you don’t have to answer that. Don’t misunderstand me, there may be prophets today, but they are gifted from God, from a church church.
Another thing the modern churches do is try to emulate or copy “successful, growing churches.” God wants His churches to grow, but in truth, His truth, through His Word. Many churches begin their services with high-tech rock concerts, flashing lights, fog machines, and then suddenly the “Holy Ghost’s presence” becomes evident in feathers, glitter and gold dropping from the rafters, and fog pouring out from the floor. Then comes the ceremony of begging for money, the “more you give, the greater your blessings, thirty, sixty, hundredfold….” My friends, God’s blessings cannot be purchased nor bartered for; they are not for sale, but are poured upon us according to His will.
Churches need to sustain themselves, with gifting, or tithing from fellow members, and the preachers should receive compensation, see 1 Tim 5:17, 18. How much is not really clear in Scripture. Many new churches want to go back to being like the original Apostolic churches, yet they build gigantic buildings with gaudy amenities. My friends, Jesus traveled with nothing, the disciples sold all they had and went out on their missionary crusades, and their “churches” were tree groves, hillsides, shorelines, and primitive buildings where the Word of God was supreme.
Rant, rant, rant. Believe it or not, that’s all for now. Have I stirred up anything in your spirit? Well, what do you think? It’s your turn to turn the table and let me know what you think. Looking forward to hearing from you. May the God of all grace, mercy, peace, and love bless you abundantly.