One of the most common philosophies for ministry argues that a church must be relevant to attract a crowd. Of course, relevancy is defined in this approach by the desires of the unchurched and not by the Bible. In response, a church must follow Walmart’s lead by gathering data on their consumers to find trends in their purchasing habits. Then, the church implements the non-Christians’ preferences. The downside to this approach is that it requires keeping up with the trends of culture. An unbeliever’s desires for a church in 2017 will look differently in comparison to 2027. In summary, this type of church trusts in the magnetic power of relevance to attract sinners to Jesus instead of Jesus Himself.
What does the Bible say? In John 12:32, Jesus said, “And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” Jesus speaks these words a few days before his crucifixion. Some of the Greeks who gathered in Jerusalem for the Passover asked Philip if they could meet with Jesus. Based upon Jesus’ response, they apparently asked about the way of salvation. In the dialogue that followed, Jesus tells us that His death on the cross will draw people to Himself.
In this passage, the Greek word for “draw” means “to pull or drag, requiring force because of the inertia of the object being dragged” (Louw and Nida, 207). Christ’s death will pull people. It will drag people to Him. Why? They will see their wicked sin before a Holy God. These sinners understand their desperate need for a Savior. When they look to Christ, His beautiful death as the innocent God-man for the ungodly is attractive. It is at the cross where they will find forgiveness of sins and peace with God. They are drawn by Jesus’ sacrifice to Jesus.
Notice that the sinners are not drawn to a thing. They are not primarily drawn to a church building, body, or program. They are not pulled to a denomination. Their hearts are grabbed by their maker. His glorious sacrifice brings the lost sinner to Him.
Here is a quote from Charles Spurgeon which summaries why sinners are drawn to Jesus.
A part of the attraction lies in the wonderful blessings which come to us through Christ’s death. We were drawn to Him because we received pardon through His wounds. We came to Him because we found eternal life through His death upon the tree. Jesus bore the sin of His people, He died in our place and, by doing so, He put away all our iniquities, blotted them out, cast them into the depths of the sea! Only as He was lifted up upon the cross could that be said to be the case. But when He was crucified, He finished transgression, made an end of all, and brought in everlasting righteousness. Beloved, this is a great attraction to perishing sinners—it is a drawing of love to which they must yield. When Jesus thus attracts us, we run to Him because pardon and eternal life are to be found through His lifting up on the cross. (Sermon No. 2338)
Does your church believe that Jesus Christ is powerful enough to draw sinners to Himself? Or does your church trust in gimmicks, inventions, marketing, and consumer research to draw a crowd? Has your church replaced Jesus Christ as the main attraction of the service?
Spurgeon warns us again to keep Jesus as the center of our worship services.
No man ever comes to Christ unless Christ draws Him and the only magnet that Christ ever uses is Himself. I do believe that we slander Christ when we think that we are to draw the people by something else but the preaching of Christ crucified. We know that the greatest crowd in London has been held together these 30 years by nothing but the preaching of Christ crucified. Where is our music? Where is our oratory? Where is anything of attractive architecture, or beauty of ritual? “A bare service,” they call it. Yes, but Christ makes up for all deficiencies! Preach Christ and men will be drawn to Him, for so the text says, “I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto Me.” They are held back by Satan, but the cross will draw them. They are held back by despair, but the cross will attract them. They are held back by lack of desire, but the cross will breed desire. They are held back by love of sin, but the cross will make them hate the sin that crucified the Savior. “I will draw them. All sorts of men I will draw unto Myself,” says the crucified Christ. (Sermon No. 2338)
Magnets work by having opposites attract. If Christ is a holy savior, then He will attract individuals who see themselves as desperate sinners in need of cleansing. However, if a sinner sees himself as basically good, then he will not see the appeal of Christ. Then, how will the church attract this unchurched man? The leadership has two options. First, they can wait upon the sovereign Lord to change the self-righteous sinner’s heart by the convicting ministry of the Holy Spirit. Or, second, they can change magnets. Instead of using the crucified savior to attract people knowing that it will repel the self-righteous, the church uses the magnetic field of relevance to draw people into the building.
We can learn from this passage that the magnet a church uses to draw someone is at the same time the object to which a person is drawn. If your church trusts in Christ to pull sinners to the services, then they will be drawn to Christ. At the same time, if a church uses entertainment, rock concerts, giveaways, watered down preaching, etc., then the sinners will not be drawn to Christ but to these gimmicks.
By putting one’s trust in relevance to fill church buildings, a pastor dishonors Christ. He actions are saying, “Jesus is not powerful enough to attract sinners.” This comment undermines the words of Scripture and attacks Jesus’ character. Is Jesus omnipotent? Then, we should trust in preaching Christ crucified and not trust in having wooden pallets leaned against the back of the stage with candles and mood lighting to create a rustic atmosphere to attract sinners. By not trusting in Christ to build His church, a pastor is saying, “Christ is not beautiful enough. He does not have the glitz, glamour, or cool factor to bring in a crowd. We need to have other attractions in addition to Jesus.”
Friends, this is like a father who desires for his son to have friends. His son is a high schooler, but he does not get along with the people in his class. The father decides to talk to some of the boys to see if they will hang out with his son. When he approached two of his son’s classmates, he said, “Will you please be friends with my son?” One of the boys retorted, “No way! He is hard to be around. I don’t like him.” The Father sweetens the deal, “If you start coming over to our house, I will make it worth it. I will buy my son a Ford Mustang. I will let both of you drive it. Also, our farm has 4-wheelers. You will be able to come over and ride on them. Our house has NFL Sunday Ticket. You can watch the games in the basement on the 6 plasma screens. We will also have pizza. You can have all of this if you will be my son’s friend.” The boys look at each other and see that it is worth it. They become friends with the lonely son.
Did the boys become friends with the son because they liked the son? No! They started to hang out with him in order to satisfy their desires for material possessions. By offering the bribe to the classmates, the father was saying, “My son does not have an attractive enough personality to friends on his own merits.”
In the same way, churches are treating Jesus Christ like this son. They do not think that He is attractive enough through the beauty of His sacrificial death to draw people to Himself. Therefore, the church offers bribes which aim at the sinners’ fleshly desires to bring them into the building.
What are preachers to do? Heed Spurgeon’s advice. Trust in the gospel to draw sinners.
But if you say, “Now, to get a congregation, I must buy an organ.” That will not serve you a bit. “But we must have a good choir.” I would not care to have a congregation that comes through a good choir. “No,” says another, “but really, I must alter a little my style of preaching.” My dear friend, it is not the style of preaching, it is the style of feeling! People sometimes begin to mimic other preachers because they are successful. Why, the worst preachers are those who mimic others whom they look upon as standards! Preach naturally. Preach out of your hearts just what you feel to be true and the old soul-stirring words of the gospel will soon draw a congregation! “Where the body is, there will the eagles be gathered together.” (Sermon No.139)
Through medical advancement and specialized care, death has been segregated in our society. Most of the individuals in first world countries expect to live into their 70s and 80s. When a person is diagnosed with cancer or dies in a car accident in their teens, we are shocked that death has interrupted our expectations for a long life. In the event that a person does reach their eighth or ninth decade, usually their declining health requires them to be sequestered in a nursing home where death’s approaching day is out of sight and out of mind of the community.
Our culture’s expectations about death are a recent development in human history. In the medieval period, the people in Europe lived with sub-par medical care in the midst of the black plague. Death saturated their culture. Timothy George writes about how the preachers at this time used the fear of death to insist that the congregation be spiritually prepared to die.
A Franciscan friar, Richard of Paris, once preached for ten consecutive days, seven hours a day, on the topic of the Last Four Things: death, judgment, heaven, hell. He delivered his sermons, appropriately enough, in the Cemetery of the Holy Innocents, the most popular burial ground in Paris. Hardly less dramatic was his contemporary John of Capistrano, who carried a skull into the pulpit and warned his congregation: “Look, and see what remains of all that once pleased you, or that which once led you to sin. The worms have eaten it all” (Theology of the Reformers, 23).
The most dramatic displays in the modern era would be preaching at a funeral with an open casket for all to see the reality of death. However, the increasing popularity of cremation and closed casket viewing has helped to scrub out the stench of death.
Despite the insistence of our culture to think that “death touches everyone but me”, the church must preach on the subject. Even if many of the young people dismiss the topic, pastors must plead with them on the relevance of being prepared to die. It is like a banker warning someone about their excessive college, car, credit card, and mortgage debt. If the man does not change his habits, then the bank will repossess his car and home. However, the man does not take it seriously because someone has always bailed him out. He does not think the rules apply to him.
In the same way, the church is most relevant when preachers preach that death is real. You will die. Here are five reasons from Scripture on why preaching death is relevant.
1. Life is short.
James warns his readers that we should not sin presumptuously by assuming that we will be alive to perform our plans for today or tomorrow. He writes, “Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit’— 14 yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.”
Every person needs to be warned that our lives are temporary. They can suddenly end without us planning on it. Therefore, we must be prepared to die today since tomorrow is not promised.
2. Sin is the cause of physical death
What could be a more relevant question than, “Why do people die?” Theologically, we die because of the fall of Adam and Eve in the garden. Adam as our representative sinned on our behalf. Therefore, the sin nature is passed down to every single human being.
Besides this inherited sin, we die due to our actual sins. Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death…” Through our willful disobedience, every person has earned death through his law breaking. James 1:15 says, “Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.” Our desires lead to actual sins which will bring the consequence of physical death for both saved and lost.
3. Death is followed by judgment.
Hebrews 9:27 says, “And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment.” All of us are like a milk carton. We have an expiration date. The difference is that we do not know what the date is. When that day comes, we will be judged by God. We will either go to heaven or hell. Hence, it is imperative for every individual to think about death now before it is too late. Therefore, if the church loves her neighbors, then we should warn them about the judgment to come even if it is not popular.
4. Salvation comes to those who look to Christ.
In Acts 7, Luke writes about the first martyr who is named Stephen. Before the mob rushed at him to throw stones, Stephen looked to the sky. God gave Stephen a glimpse of heaven. He saw Jesus Christ sitting on the throne. This narrative is an example to follow. Pastors should instruct sinners to look to Christ in life and in death. He is the only hope to avoid the judgment of condemnation to hell and later the lake of fire. We are only saved by trusting in Christ’s atonement on the cross to pay for our sins and grant us eternal life.
5. Christ’s resurrection guarantees resurrection for the believer.
By bleaching the pulpits from all references to death, the pastor fails to offer the hope of the resurrection. Paul writes to the church in Corinth, “But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive” (1 Cor. 15:20-2). The brethren need to be reminded that the sting of death has been removed by Jesus’ resurrection. He has defeated death. Therefore, we have hope of eternal life in both the spirit and the body.
This message prepares the cancer patient, who has been given only three months of life, to die. He may face death with his hope set on the unfailing promises of God. 2 Timothy 1:10 says, “and which now has been manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel…” Since Christ defeated death and promises eternal life to all who believe in Him, then the cancer patient can praise the Lord as he passes from this life to glory. However, how is a Christian to be prepared to die if the pulpit is silent on death?
One of a pastor’s responsibilities as a shepherd is to prepare the flock for not only their death but the death of a loved one. What is more relevant than teaching a widow on how to grieve in a godly way? She does not grieve for her deceased believing husband as one who has no hope (1 Thess. 4:13). Yet, she should not be a stoic who tries to push away all emotions. Jesus gave us an example by weeping for Lazarus (John 11:35). Instead, she should grieve knowing that her husband lives because Jesus’ tomb is empty.
Brethren, preach on death, because the Bible teaches on it. Besides taxes, death touches every single life. Therefore, be relevant by saturating the pulpit with urgency and reality of death. Then, you will be faithful in preparing the saints and in calling lost sinners to faith and repentance in Jesus Christ.
Imagine a young woman approaches her manager to ask for time off. She says to him, “My biological father died yesterday. Can I have Friday off so that I can go to the funeral?”Her manager replies, “I am so sorry to hear about your loss. Of course, you can have the time off.” The young woman responds by thanking him. Before she turns to walk out of the room, the manager asks, “How old was your father?” The young woman immediately looks flabbergasted. “I don’t know.” “Oh,” replied the manager. “Were you and your father very close?” The young woman said, “Since I was adopted as a baby, I did not grow up with my father.” The manager responded, “I see. How do you come to know him?” “Well,” the young lady said, “He contacted me several years ago. He wrote me letters but I never took time to go meet him.” The manager said, “So you got to know him through the letters. What was he like? What did he do?” The young lady became sheepish. “I did not spend much time readying his letters. I read a few lines here and there, but I mostly put the papers in a file and never looked at them. But I know that he loved me and I really loved him. I felt so close to him when I received the letters in the mail. It is an experience that I will never forget.” “I don’t understand,” said the manager. “If you really loved your father, then why didn’t you take the time to get to know him?”
Many of the churches in America are like this young woman. The people in them claim to love God. They gather on Sunday morning to worship Him. Yet, few know more about the Lord beyond ubiquitous Christian clichés. How many Christians could explain the Trinity? How many could explain the two natures of Christ? How many could briefly differentiate the ministry of the Holy Spirit from the ministry of Jesus? How many Christians can define the word, love, according to God’s character? How many people could define omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent?
Why are people ignorant to God’s character and nature? The pastors are not focusing their preaching on God. If we meet together to worship the Lord, then shouldn’t we focus on knowing the Lord we worship? In an effort to be relevant to the culture, some churches have become discipled by the culture in order to reach the culture. The leaders desire to be “a church for the unchurched.” They assume that the lost do not come to church because the church is too churchy. The culture is foreign to them. Therefore, the leadership changes the church to embrace the culture of the society so that the church will attract non-Christians. The music in the service becomes based upon the stylings of the culture. Even secular music is played by the worship band to make individuals feel comfortable. The sermon is condensed to 30 minutes on a relevant topic: money, marriage, parenting, and addiction. As a result, the church practice becomes man centered as it tries to reach the unchurched man. What is the consequence? God is not the audience for our worship. Instead, the unchurched man is. The leadership seeks his approval and not God’s.
By being “relevant,” these churches have thrown overboard the eternal truths of God. In part two of the blog series, we will examine seven reasons why preaching about God makes the church relevant.
1. God is the creator.
What is a more relevant question than this: Where did I come from? Colossians 1:16 says, “For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.”
2. God has revealed Himself to man.
God showed His character to Moses in Exodus 34:6-7. “The Lord passed before him and proclaimed, ‘The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation.’” Since the Lord has revealed Himself, a person disrespects God by not studying Him. Besides this, with more light through the availability of God’s Word, we have greater responsibility for not learning about Him.
3. Christians are to be like Christ.
1 Peter 1:14-17 says, “As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” How are we to strive to grow in becoming more like Christ if we do not know what Christ is like? We must learn about God’s character so that we know what true holiness is. Then, we pursue it by the grace of God.
4. God’s Character brings comfort.
Since God is omnipresent, a Christian cannot be separated from God’s love. (Romans 8:35). Since God is omniscient, a Christian knows that His Word is true (Isaiah 46:9-10). Since God is omnipotent, a Christian can trust that He can accomplish His will (Matt. 19:26; Rev. 1:8). Since there is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus, a Christian can trust that he is forgiven (Romans 8:1). Since God does not change, a Christian ground his life in the promises of God’s Word (Hebrews 13:8). What could be more relevant to every second of every minute of every hour of every day of your life?
5. God’s Character reveals our sin.
John Calvin wrote in The Institutes, “Here, again, the infinitude of good which resides in God becomes more apparent from our poverty. In particular, the miserable ruin into which the revolt of the first man has plunged us, compels us to turn our eyes upwards; not only that while hungry and famishing we may thence ask what we want, but being aroused by fear may learn humility.”
The more we learn of God’s perfection, beauty, and holiness, then we see our wicked hearts. We join Isaiah by shouting out, “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!” (Isaiah 6:5).
6. God’s Character reveals how He will judge.
Revelation 21:8 says, “But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.” Unrepentant sinners will not inherit the kingdom of God. God will show His justice by rightly condemning them to the lake of fire. Henceforth, since God’s law flows from His character, then learning God’s character shows us the perfect law by which all men will be judged.
7. God’s Character reveals His mercy.
1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” His forgiveness is only accomplished through Jesus Christ’s substitute sacrifice on the cross. He spilled His precious blood for His people. 1 Peter 1:18-19 says, “knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.” What could be more relevant than learning about the Savior who bought you with His precious blood? What could be more pertinent than studying that salvation can only come through Jesus Christ?
God is the most relevant topic for all people. As we gather to worship every Sunday, our services should intentionally proclaim the glory of God’s character. I would challenge pastors to preach God centered expository sermons. In addition, plan a sermon series on God’s attributes. For example, Pastor Curt Daniel preached 55 messages at Faith Bible Church which I would highly recommend.
As we discuss the topic of relevance, we must ask, “What is relevant from the vantage point of eternity?” In 100 years from now, no one living today will find a movie clip incorporated into a sermon as being germane. But every soul, who has died and gone to heaven or hell, will see the relevance of knowing the God of heaven, earth, and hell.
American churches continue to pursue cultural acceptance. Many pastors think that the culture must view the church as being relevant in order to grow their congregation. Unfortunately, some evangelical churches use the term “relevant” as a synonym for cool. For them, relevance means appealing to surface level concerns and desires by using culturally hip methodology.
Here are six examples. Create a sermon series on the family which uses TV sitcoms: All in the Family, The Cosby Show, and Married with Children. Start a church coffee shop to signal to the culture that we know Folger’s is an anathema. Have the pastor ride a Harley on stage with the song, “Born to be Wild,” thundering from the speakers. Begin the service by singing songs from the 90s bands “Boyz II Men,” “New Kids on the Block,” and “Backstreet Boys” with synchronized dancing by the praise band. Reject the inerrancy of Scripture to accommodate the modern man’s views of evolution, truth, and sexual ethics. Finally, refuse to address the cultural sins of the society out of fear of pushing people away from church. As a result, the pulpit is silent where God speaks.
In this blog series, I will define relevance differently. Relevance is not making the culture think that the church is cool and tolerant. Instead, relevance goes below the surface level to address the core issues about God, man, sin, death, salvation, and purpose. These topics matter to every person of every country of every age of every time period in history. As a church, our task is to proclaim the truth even when society does not see the relevance. Their opinion does not make it irrelevant. Instead, it shows their blindness. Therefore, by teaching God’s eternal Word, we trust the Holy Spirit to awaken lost sinners to the pertinence of these truths.
Having reviewed the wrong ways to pursue relevance, what is the solution?
1. The church must be a prophetic voice.
A prophet in the Old Testament had two tasks. Through the ministry of the Holy Spirit, he would forewarn of future events. For example, Jeremiah predicted the fall of Jerusalem to the Babylonians. Prophets would also forewarn the people by putting them on trial for breaking God’s law. In Jeremiah 7:9, the prophet confronts the people for breaking the Ten Commandments: theft, adultery, swearing falsely, and making offerings to Baal. By calling the church to have a prophetic voice, I am using the second purpose of the role of prophesy. The church must preach the Biblical truth and call people to repent and believe.
Paul wrote in 1 Timothy 3:15, “if I delay, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, a pillar and buttress of the truth.”
God has authority over the church which is the gathered body of believers. He has entrusted the truth of the Gospel to the body. The church is to protect the good news of Jesus Christ from distortion. This task requires the church to speak out against error. Immediately following this section in chapter 4, Paul rebukes the false teaching which forbids marriages and requires abstinence from foods (4:3).
In Acts 20:27, Paul testifies to the Ephesian church “for I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God.” The word, shrink, means “to cease doing something of presumed positive value because of adverse circumstances or fear.” Paul taught comprehensively. He did not let the fear of rejection silence him from teaching God’s truth.
In addition, Paul exhorted Timothy to “preach the word; be ready in season and out of season (2 Timothy 4:2). The Apostle commands his mentee to preach without regard to the cultural climate. In this context, “season” refers to convenience. The Bible must be preached when the culture cheers the message or when it rejects it. Society’s response does not change the church’s teaching. On the contrary, pastors are commanded to preach the whole counsel of God, because it is God’s revelation. Therefore, all of it is relevant.
As the Scriptures have shown us, pastors cannot be neutral. We are required to preach every issue which God’s Word touches. God did not give us the authority to edit His Word through silence. We cannot avoid preaching on the hot button sins of society. Instead, God has commanded us to warn sinners that they are headed to hell if they do not repent. God has spoken. Your action is a sin. You are condemned before God. However, the good news is that Jesus Christ has come to save sinners. He died on the cross to save lawbreakers from God’s wrath. All people who turn from their acceptance, approval, and celebration of their sin and believe on Jesus Christ for salvation will be forgiven and saved.
What are the consequences of the church not being a prophetic voice?
1. Ironically, the church is not relevant by being silent on cultural sins.
When the pulpit does not address the culture’s acceptable sins, then the church loses its voice. By avoiding the discussion which is promoted on TV, internet blogs, and books, the church shows that it is irrelevant.
2. The church’s silence escalates sin.
After Solomon’s death, Israel split in two. The wicked king, Jeroboam, led the northern kingdom of Israel while Solomon’s son, Rehoboam, sat on the throne of Judah in the south. Jeroboam instituted idolatrous worship in order to keep the people from going to the temple in Jerusalem. He desired to break affection for the temple worship. In response, the godly Jews from the north moved to Judah. 1 Chronicles 11:16 says, “And those who had set their hearts to seek the Lord God of Israel came after them from all the tribes of Israel to Jerusalem to sacrifice to the Lord, the God of their fathers.” Their presence strengthened the kingdom of Judah for three years. As a result, Israel did not have a prophetic voice to warn the people of their false worship towards goats and calves. Their migration removed the conscience from the land.
In the same way, if the church does not speak prophetically, we are like the Jews who moved from Israel to Judah. However, our failure to speak does not come from relocation but fear. When the church is silent, the sons of the devil fill the void by proclaiming lies.
3. The church fails to disciple the sheep.
How are the sheep to know proper sexual ethics if the pulpit remains silent? As the culture bombards Christians with lies, the sheep will be led astray if the shepherds do not teach the truth. Jesus does not give the church permission to be silent. In the Great Commission passage from Matthew 28, Jesus says, “teaching them to observe all that I commanded you.” In practice, everything Matthew includes in his gospel should be taught to disciples.
Does Jesus address marriage? Yes (Matthew 19:1-12). Does He teach on murder? Yes (Matthew 5:21-22). Does He instruct on lust? Yes (Matthew 5:27-30) Does He warn against greed? Yes (Matthew 6:24) Does He warn against false Christians? Yes (Matthew 7:21-22) Does He teach on hell? Yes (Matthew 13:41-43)
Brethren, pastors must disciple their people on the whole counsel of God or the world will disciple our people with Satan’s lies.
What issues should the church address?
2500 babies are killed daily. We must preach the sixth commandment, “You shall not murder” (Exodus 20:13).
Jesus defined marriage as a covenant between one man and one woman (Matthew 19:1-12). Any other definition is an aberrant fraud.
3. Sexual Ethics
Sexual relations are only reserved for the marriage bed. Therefore, the church must speak against fornication, co-habitation, adultery, and homosexuality (1 Corinthians 6:9-11).
Proverbs 1:7 says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Churches need to teach that the Lord is the foundation to any education. Unfortunately, many kids are following two separate antithetical discipleship programs simultaneously. On the one hand, Christian parents along with their churches desire to see their children become faithful followers of Jesus Christ. On the other hand, public schools instruct from an atheist perspective with the goal of implementing a secular worldview. Should we be surprised that so many young adults leave the church?
Jesus says in John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” Truth does exist. Everything is not relative. Truth cannot be found in a person’s feelings or desires. It is only found in Jesus Christ.
Americans are obsessed with material possessions. Regardless of economic class, our society covets more and more stuff. We must proclaim the tenth commandment, “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.” (Exodus 20:17)
The universe does not revolve around you. It centers on God. He is on the throne. Jesus Christ is being worshiped in heaven by the angels and saints. The culture promotes self-esteem which puts the Napoleon complex on steroids. Besides this example, the transgender movement teaches that a human is a little god who can determine his gender regardless of his anatomy. The church must proclaim that God is the creator. He made us to worship Him and to serve Him. Come! Die to yourself and follow the Lord Jesus Christ!
May the Lord use the local church to trumpet His truth courageously. May the Lord use the proclamation of His Word to instruct the flock and warn sinners that God has a universal moral law. May we beg our family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers to flee God’s wrath by finding safety in the incarnate Word of God, Jesus Christ.
Pastor Brandon was born and raised near Springfield, IL. He graduated from Illinois College in 2007 with a B.A. in History, from Moody Theological Seminary in 2010 with a Master of Divinity, and a PhD in Historical Theology in 2021 from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City. He is also an ACBC certified Biblical counselor. He is married to Karise with whom they raise Ian, Elizabeth, and Patrick. He is interested in history, especially Charles Spurgeon, and has a heart for street preaching and evangelism.