You have to be careful who you read and who you listen to. Not every preacher that says they preach the gospel is really preaching a Jesus centered gospel. Not every preacher that says they preach the Bible actually believes in the Bible.
Some preachers are controversial and they know it. Some preach Jesus for the money. Some use the name of Jesus to sell their latest book.
We want to glorify God in all things. That includes what authors we read and what preachers we listen to.
A recent article on freerepublic.com talks about how Joel Osteen has publicly stated his disapproval of Paul, Peter, and John, the three apostles who wrote most of the New Testament.
He disagrees with them saying that sinners will go to Hell. He disagrees with Paul writing most of Romans and John listing the types of people that will burn eternally in the lake of fire.
He thinks they are wrong. He says that God is for everybody.
He has said on more than one occasion that he does not preach about sin or hell because he does not want to offend anybody.
He does not talk about grace, conviction, obedience or sacrifice. He said that the word repentance is confusing.
In his latest Easter sermon, he did not talk about Jesus life, death on the cross, or resurrection. He did not talk about Jesus AT ALL. The only time Jesus was mentioned was at the end of a prayer at the close of the service.
When asked what his church was about, he said, “the people.” They approve everybody.
If you are a Christian, red flags should be going off all around you!
Why? He is preaching a gospel that does not include repentance? He doesn’t call his church to sacrifice, die to themselves and follow Jesus in complete devoted obedience?
A GOSPEL APART FROM THE LIFE, DEATH, AND RESURRECTION OF JESUS IS NOT THE GOSPEL!
For anyone to call into question the writers of the Bible, or more specifically to say they are wrong – they call into the question the writers’ salvation. They call into question the infallibility and inerrancy of the Bible.
FaithPoint, we believe that the Bible is not a book about what man thinks about God but it is a book from God to man. It is God’s holy, timeless, unapologetic, word to us. We believe that it is truth and we believe that the original manuscripts were free from error. We believe the Bible was written by men who were guided by the Holy Spirit. We believe, as Paul wrote to Timothy that 2 Timothy 3:16
For anyone to say that the writers of the Bible are wrong – they are in essence saying that God is wrong.
The gospel is offensive. It calls you to get over yourself. It calls you to come and die. The gospel is not about you. It is all about Jesus!
Luke 19:10 Jesus so believed in this mission that he was despised and ridiculed. He was called a drunk and a glutton.
Matthew 11:19 Jesus did not just tolerate sinners. He did not approve of their sin or try to excuse it away. He was their friend. He went to their houses, he ate with them, had wine with them, talked with them, knew what they did for a living, knew their kids and probably played with them. He was their friend.
Can you be accused of being a friend of sinners?
Not if you don’t know any.
Matthew 4:18-24 Jesus has his mind set on his mission. His mission – to seek and save the lost. He just recruited his first four workers to help him on his mission.
If you are a Christian – you are on Jesus’ mission. If you are a Christian – you are a fisher of men.
John 4:35 Open your eyes to see the fields is ripe for the harvest.
Notice that Jesus does not pray for lost people here. He looks out and sees the people wandering. They are chasing after things they believe to bring them fame, pleasure or happiness. This is not new. It goes as far back as Genesis.
Jesus prays for the laborers. Jesus prays for his disciples. Jesus prays for us to be his missionaries.
This sheds light on Matthew 28:18-20.
Apparently by Jesus’ statement in Matthew 9, there are people who call themselves disciples, followers, or Christians who do not engage people with the gospel of Jesus.
Proverbs 11:30 He who captures souls is wise.
The opposite of wise is foolish.
Foolish: vacancy of mind, lacks sense, stupid, complacent
Wisdom has to do with obedience.
The more you are obedient, the wiser you become.
The more you are disobedient the more you become stupid.
The reason most Christians do not share the gospel is because they have become consumers of the church instead of servants of Jesus. They believe that sharing the gospel is an irritation. It is an inconvenience, a bother.
Charles Finney said, “You are either a soulwinner or a backslider.”
I know that you might be thinking that it takes time to build a relationship and do life with someone. That is true. What about the people that you will never build a relationship with? What about the people you will never get to do life with? What about the people that you will only see once and then never see again?
How long did Peter know the centurion?
How long did Philip know the Ethiopian eunuch?
How long did Jesus know the thief on the cross?
Time does not always wait for you to build a relationship with everyone.
It boils down to whether or not you are obedient or disobedient. Are you wise or stupid?
You have two options here:
1) You can repent of your disobedience. You can repent of being a backslider and ask Jesus to allow the Holy Spirit to give you the eyes of Jesus and set your heart on fire and to cause you to share the gospel with people.
2) You can remain disobedient. Your heart becomes hard and you become more rebellious to the command to Go and Make disciples and the work of the Holy Spirit in your life.
As your pastor, I do not wish for any of you to have a hard heart or rebellious spirit. I pray for all of you to be passionate, devoted disciples of Jesus.
The decision is yours to make.