I just heard a wonderful sermon on revival. Yes, we need revival – we’re in desperate need of revival, but God’s not going to bring it, until we as Christians, clean our own homes first.
You ask, “What the heck are you talking about pastor? My house is just fine – we’r careful about what we watch on television, we listen to Christian radio, we read our Bible every day, we pray together – so what are you talking about?”
So what? You’re doing what you’re supposed to be doing – but let me ask you, are you tolerant of others? Just how tolerant are you?
Do you, for example, have a friend or relative who might be a homosexual? What are you doing to show them the errors of their ways?
I know a pastor who lives down the street who told me the other day, that he’ll dedicate a child born our of wedlock, and invite the mother to be with the child, but not the father.
Why? They’re unmarried, and this is against what God commands – the child should be raised in a family with a married father and mother. It’s not the fault of the child that it was born out of wedlock, and it should have the support of the church family to grow in the Lord – but we, as a church, and certainly as pastors, do not support or condone promiscuity or premarital sex.
This is intolerant – yes, but also biblical. The mother and father should be married first, before bringing children into the world. There is a mother and a father – not a mother and a “Baby Daddy” – there are too many children born out of wedlock today. We, as Christians, should be encouraging marriage – and demanding it when it comes to church benefits.
Want to be a church member, or maybe you wish to be in some leadership or other position? If you’re cohabiting with your opposite-gender partner, you cannot be a member – get married first. You cannot live in sin, and serve in the church – or be involved in any way except to be a visitor.
That’s not intolerance, that’s keeping satan out of the church.
A small testimony – I did this! Years ago, I was living with someone while serving in the church. God took care of that and forceably removed me from this church – and the relationship, and put me in a place where I needed to get into repentance – and repent, I did.
Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. (Galatians 6:7)
The church today is too tolerant of sin today. Pastors aren’t preaching sin, heaven and hell anymore – for the most part. There are still a few out there, like my pastor friend down the street, but most aren’t doing it anymore.
I can call out churches in my own area:
- One church around here permits homosexuals to serve in the church. I wouldn’t even allow them to serve as sexton or janitor, let alone usher or greeter or any other position. This just invites satan into the church.
- A few churches I know of locally here, wink at sin – lest they lose their offerings, and “butts in seats”. I’m sorry, I’d rather have a clean church with a handful of people, than a megachurch full of permeating sin.
- Several pastors have no problem having their wives, and their girlfriends, sitting in the front row.
These are but a few examples. I can hear some of you now – “but pastor, it happens all over, how can we keep on top of it all?”
We don’t excuse sin! We love the sinner, we hate the sin! God hates sin – and so should we. Jesus called out sin – we see in John, chapter 4, the woman at the well in Samaria. After Jesus speaks to her, he (lovingly) called out her sin:
Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come here.”The woman answered him, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You are right in saying, ‘I have no husband’; for you have had five husbands, and the one you now have is not your husband. What you have said is true.” (John 4:16-18)
The woman caught in adultery – John, chapter 8 – Jesus called out the sin, but lovingly sent her on her way, knowing full-well that she was set up by the Pharisees, but also with an admonishment:
Jesus stood up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.” (John 8:10-11)
We, as preachers of the Word of God, cannot allow sin to permeate our ministries and churches. We can’t allow promiscuity, cohabitation, and homosexuality to exist within our church walls.
Allow them to visit – yes, by all means! Give them a witness and hope that hey want to learn – and be saved.
But never, ever, ever, allow them to serve in any capacity. The one church I know of who has a gay man as an usher, can infect any other member of the congregation – satan works in mysterious ways too!
Tolerance is also tolerating other faiths and religious beliefs within our churches. One of the biggest today is called Chrislam – a combination of Christianity and Islam. How this came about, is beyond my comprehension, as the two are diametrically opposed to each other.
There are well-known pastors who are espousing this garbage. One of them is Rick Warren, the author of The Purpose Driven Life and The Purpose Driven Church. He works with Islamic groups such as ISNA – The Islamic Society of North America. He even speaks at their conferences!
Rick Warren, and others like him, are apostate!
Consider, Islam teaches that God never had a son – that Jesus was merely a prophet. But if God didn’t have a Son, then who is our Savior?
Yeshua – Jesus – is, the Son of God and our Savior, and to teach any differently from the pulpit, is heresy and false teaching!
And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life. (1 John 5:20)
So, who do you believe, Rick Warren. or the Word of God?
Islam teaches that one must harm – do violence – against infidels and unbelievers. It’s in their Qu’ran:
“So when the sacred months have passed away, then slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them captive and besiege them and lie in wait for them in every ambush, then if they repent and keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate, leave their way free to them.” (Sura 9:5)
“Fight those who do not believe in Allah or in the Last Day and who do not consider unlawful what Allah and His Messenger have made unlawful and who do not adopt the religion of truth from those who were given the Scripture – fight until they give the jizyah [unbeliever’s tax] willingly while they are humbled. (Sura 9:29)
Given that we don’t believe that our God, and “Allah” – are one-in-the-same, given that Allah didn’t have a son, and therefore, we would have no savior, then they should do violence against any unbeliever, including Christians.
We see ISIS doing this in Syria and Iraq today. People say that their version of Islam is a “perverted” version – actually, it’s pure, unadulterated, 7th Century Islam. Islam was conceived in the 7th century A.D. by Mohammed, their prophet. If one reads their Qu’ran, you can see similar stories in the Bible, but with drastically different outcomes.
This kind of garbage is infecting our churches. We’re infecting them with programs, not solid and sound Bible teaching.
We’re not teaching that there’s a HEAVEN and a HELL – and that if you’re saved, you’ll be in HEAVEN with Christ for eternity, and if you’re not saved, you’ll be eternally tormented in HELL.
Pastors are too afraid to offend people by talking about anything negative – however the eternities of the flock, depend on some negativity!
Same goes for calling out sin. We, as pastors, need to tell (not suggest, but tell) people – in private first – that the sin needs to go, and they need to repent.
This means moving out if they’re cohabiting, and if they wish to continue the relationship, marrying after living apart for a period of time, and after some sound pastoral counseling.
This means ending a homosexual lifestyle choice – and living as God would have us live.
This means repenting of any other sin that may be permeating our lives.
And we, as pastors, need to watch these people carefully, looking for that good fruit that Jesus speaks of:
So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit.Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. (Matthew 7:17-19)
If the good fruit shows, great – and of not, if there’s no repentance or changing of ways, or if he person refuses to repent – then as it says in verse 19 – figuratively in this case, put them out of the church – throw the fruit into the fire.
Refuse them entrance – yes, don’t allow them to even come to a service, until they repent.
Yes, that’s intolerant – it’s also our jobs as leaders and shepherds of our flocks.
Pastors – you are the leaders of your church. Not your Boards, not your Congregations – YOU. You set the tone for what will be permitted, and not permitted, within your churches.
If you are being pressured to permit sin, or other unbiblical garbage to infiltrate the church, then you must put a stop to it. or you have to question whether you belong in this church, or even the pastorate.
I appeal to you, brothers,. to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive. (Romans 16:17-18)
So decide pastor, are you serving the Lord, or are you serving your Board? It better be the Lord – the eternities of your Congregation, and the neighborhoods you serve depend on it.
All Quoted Scripture is from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Permanent Text Edition® (2016). Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.