10 Reasons Churches Need to Tell the Truth

pastor-1847334_1920Several years ago, a large church informed a visiting choir that they would not be allowed to sing “Amazing Grace” as it portrays man in a lowly light. The successful church explained that their priority is to make people feel good about themselves and let them know how much they are loved and cared for by God. This methodology appeared to work well for them as they boasted thousands of members, millions in assets, and served host to some of the biggest stars in the ministry and secular markets.

Each year, throngs of Church leaders crowd into expensive Church growth seminars, boot camps and coaching sessions which often teach that the number one rule to grow a large congregation and ministry is to avoid offense at all cost. After all, we can’t lead people to Jesus if they are not here. Right? They are frequently told to avoid topics such as sin, repentance and the law.

The concept is very attractive on a number of levels:

● Most pastors I know feel called to love and care for people. We want to bring comfort and encouragement whenever we can.

● Most of us sincerely want you in our churches so we can live life – and worship – together.

● Few pastors enjoy offending people. I can’t tell you the number of times I have gone over the way I said something in my mind and repented for not saying it better. I bet a lot of other pastors do also.

● It may sound crazy, but Pastor’s want people to like them as much as anyone does.

● There is great deal of pressure on pastors from modern church movements, their peers and their Board Members to adopt current methodologies and grow large congregations.

The approach is not without challenges however, consider the following 10 reasons churches need to tell the truth:

1. Jesus teaches us to confront sin and expect forgiveness

“Take heed to yourselves. If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him.” (Luke 17:3 NKJV)

2. The law is necessary for us to understand sin

“I would not have known sin except through the law.” (Romans 7:7)

“I don’t believe that any man can preach the gospel who does not preach the law. The law is the needle, and you cannot draw the silken thread of the gospel through a man’s heart unless you first send the needle of the law to make way for it.” – Charles Spurgeon, 1800’s. British Baptist Pastor

“Great peace have those who love Your law, And nothing causes them to stumble.” (Psalm 119:165)

3. Love tells the truth

“Open rebuke is better than love carefully concealed.” (Proverbs 27:5)

“Before I can preach love, joy and peace I must preach death, sin and Judgment.”

“Preach ninety percent law and ten percent grace.” – John Wesley, 1700’s, Founder of Methodist Church

4. Revelation is the predecessor of restoration

“Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness…” (Galatians 6:1)

5. Failure to speak the truth in love may cost someone the Kingdom of God

“For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.” (Ephesians 5:5)

6. Jesus gave strong warning to those through whom temptation comes

When churches tell people that they don’t have to worry about sin, people feel free to sin.

“Temptations are inevitable, but what sorrow awaits the person who does the tempting.” (Matthew 18:7 NLT)

7. Disobedience causes people to stumble. We need to know how to obey.

“They stumble, being disobedient to the word, to which they also were appointed.” (1 Peter 2:8)

8. The cross by its very nature is offensive and we must preach the cross

“The cross is an offense because it says to the world, ‘You’re a sinner.’ The cross said to the thief who was dying on the other cross, ‘You’re a sinner. You’d better repent.’” – Billy Graham, “Why Does the Cross Offend People”

“For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.” (1 Corinthians 1:22-24)

9. If we don’t follow His teachings, we cannot know truth

“Jesus said to the people who believed in him, ‘You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.’” (John 8:31-32 NLT)

“The highest service to which a man may obtain on earth is to preach the law of God, because it will drive sinners to faith in the Savior, to everlasting life.” – John Wycliffe, 1300’s, Bible Translator

10. Without the full gospel, we risk creating false converts who end up in Hell while believing they are going to Heaven

“I would not have known sin except through the law.” (Romans 7:7)

“The first duty of the gospel preacher is to declare God’s law and to show the nature of sin.”

“If you do not use the law in gospel proclamation, you will fill the church with false converts.”

“Satan, … has raised up a sect such as to teach that men should not be terrified by the law, but gently exhorted by the preaching of the grace of Christ.” – Martin Luther, 1500’s, German Reformer

“Evermore the law must prepare the way for the gospel.  To overlook this in instructing souls is almost certain to result in false hope; the introduction of a false standard of Christian experience, and to fill the church of false converts.  Time will make this plain.” – Charles Finny, 1800’s Revivalist

I am currently working on a book that outlines several ways that the church has strayed from its course and mission. I would be interested in hearing your thoughts and stories.

Blessings in this New Year!

2 Replies to “10 Reasons Churches Need to Tell the Truth”

  1. I believe what the Bible tells us. I want to hear about the cross and how Jesus expects us to live.It is very difficult to find a church that teaches the Word of God. A church that will love you and help you grow in your walk with God. I pray that the church will wake up and teach Jesus and not what people just want to hear to feel good. Thank God that He had given you the talent and the drive to help other pastors.

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