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The Incomplete Disciple
by Steve Countryman
12/26/2013 / Church Life
I have watched and listened over the years to preachers, teachers and pastors in person and on TV preach on how Christians are to live. Where their messages were good and mostly Biblically founded, they all lacked righteous living advice. Some teachings would go deeper than others but even they would still miss the mark. The messages from the pulpit lack conviction. They lack hard line truths. They lack courage and boldness required to preach tough love. They lack righteous offense! Jesus offended people everywhere He went. It was an expected reaction to His messages of truth. His audience would always react one of two ways. They either accepted His Word, put their faith in Him and followed Him or they were offended by His Word and the sin exposed in their lives. So much so that those people wanted to kill Him!
There is such a fear of people getting up and leaving in the middle of a message or not returning to their church because they don't like what they hear that the pastors omit the most important parts of their messages. Omitting Biblical truths from their messages and from the Word of God! They fear quoting some scriptures so they ignore them. It is such a common place practice that it has overtaken the church, the congregations, the church leaders and worst of all the Sheppard of God's flock, the pastors. Preaching the whole gospel truth is not acceptable pulpit practice nowadays. Political correctness, tolerance and diversity are substituted for God's truth. Seeker friendly churches feel it more important to offend God rather than offend the people!
In the New Testament Paul wrote 13 books. These books were made from letters that he wrote to the different churches and groups of new Christians. In these books he warned them about false teaching and false prophets. He warned about mixing traditions of men, other religions and religious practices and of the old covenant with the new covenant. He warned the people not to give in to unrighteous living, drunkenness, sexual immorality, lewd behavior, gossip, adultery, homosexuality and all forms of fornication. He warned about hanging around with people who are not Christians or who think nothing about sinning as a lifestyle. Paul covered so many different areas of sinful behavior in his letters that the Bible is considered "hate speech" in some countries and even in parts of America! Strange how we have a lot of the same issues that Paul was teaching against going on in our churches today! Amazing that in all of the scriptures it does not say anywhere to hate the sinner. It does say to love the sinner but to hate their sin! How can that qualify as "hate speech"?
The problem with most of the messages that you hear today is that without the whole truth of the Bible most disciples are doomed to repeat their sinful ways. A disciple is "A person who is a pupil or adherent to the doctrines of another. One who embraces and assists in spreading the teaching of another. Any follower of another person." To help clarify, we believers are disciples who call ourselves Christians. The main purpose of Christ's church is to disciple the believers. From the Word...to instruct, rebuke, encourage, equip, admonish and discipline the believers/disciples. To leave out the warnings and teachings of the Bible "so as not to offend" is to do a major disservice to today's believer! How can the Sheppard/pastor hope to help guide his flock in the paths of righteousness if he isn't willing to point those paths out to his flock? Those who are unwilling to turn from their sinful lifestyles are the ones who will always be offended at anything or anyone that criticizes their sinfulness.
I am blessed to be part of a church where the pastor is more concerned about what God thinks of his sermons than those who may be offended by them. The time is coming when pastors, preachers and evangelical ministers are going to have to change their messages. They cannot afford to continue to omit or be silent about the wicked sinfulness that is being forced down the throats of good Christian men, women and children! They can no longer condone in silence the teaching of foreign gods and religions to school children where the Bible is not allowed to be mentioned. They can no longer overlook laws that are passed making it illegal to share your faith or quote the Bible in public. They can no longer ignore the brainwashing of 5 and 6 year olds in our schools where they are taught about homosexuality. How can they stay silent about sex education that promotes promiscuity and hands out condoms to kids but will not teach abstinence? Why is it okay to allow "Planned Parenthood" to set up on our school campuses to encourage girls to have sex and when they get pregnant to have their unborn babies murdered/aborted and call it "choice"? For fear of losing their "501C non-profit status" most pastors continue to look the other way and ignore the evil knocking at their door! The time to change is upon you!
Haggai 2:6-9 6"This is what the Lord Almighty says: 'In a little while I will once more shake the heavens and the earth, the sea and the dry land. 7 I will shake all nations, and what is desired by all nations will come, and I will fill this house with glory,' says the Lord Almighty. 8 'The silver is mine and the gold is mine,' declares the Lord Almighty. 9 'The glory of this present house will be greater than the glory of the former house,' says the Lord Almighty. 'And in this place I will grant peace,' declares the Lord Almighty."
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