Pragmatism has become the god of this age. If it works, do it. Regardless of right and wrong, we live in an age dominated with the belief that the end justifies the means. There is an entire section in Christian bookstores dedicated to church growth. Rarely, do any of these books deal with prayer and preaching straight biblical truth. These books deal with discovering what unregenerate people want and then giving it to them so they will come to your church building. If they find preaching boring…shorten the sermon. If they find hell offensive…leave it out. If they want to be inspired …leave out the parts about sin. We have studied and learned what lost people want and as a result we cater to the lusts of their flesh. But, they come to churches around the country listening to watered-down preaching and an un-offensive gospel. If only the apostle Paul knew as much as we do (1 Cor. 1:17). He said the gospel he preached was offensive to unbelievers and that GOd Himself had to enable lost people to believe it (1 Cor. 1:18-25, 30-31).
I have been sucked into the lie of being more concerned about not offending people than being concerned with not offending God. I have feared man more than I have feared God. This is not right. I have repented of this and asked God to help me to fear Him more than man. I have asked Him to help me to preach all of His Word and to do it without apology. Prayer, biblical preaching, and biblical worship are not in style currently. The truth is that throughout time Satan has attacked these things and believers have been seeking the respect and approval of this world. Scripture says that we are citizens of heaven. Christ said that the world would hate us because we belong to Him. The apostle John said that if you love this world you don’t love God (1 John 2:15-17). James said that friendship with this world makes one an enemy of God (Jas. 4:4-5). Scripture says that the world is under the authority and influence of Satan (1 John 5:19; Eph. 2:1-3; 6:10-12).
We have believed the lie that we can convince spiritually dead people who are enemies of God and offended by the gospel to believe in Jesus Christ by speaking our wisdom to them and by entertaining them. God has chosen the method of believers verbally preaching the gospel to unbelievers and He alone is the one who enables them to believe an offensive gospel message. We gather as a church to pray, worship, and to sit under the preaching of the Word of God. As God’s Word is preached to us without apology, it will convict us, anger us, and break us. It will be uncomfortable at times as God speaks truth into our lives. God’s Word is essential for evangelizing lost people and for discipling saved people to Christ-likeness. There is no substitute.