I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. 2 Timothy 4:1-5
One thing that really saddens me is when I hear of a minister who preaches something because that is what the congregation wants to hear. Our ministers should be telling us what God wants us to hear not what we want to hear. Jesus during His ministry stepped on a bunch of toes. He preached the truth and many times the truth is hard to hear, especially when it is an area of your life that you fall short in. When all we hear is what makes us comfortable we will never grow spiritually.
People tend to flock to churches that ask little of them but their time on Sunday. People are searching. The first thing they usually do is head to the latest fad, be it yoga, meditation, self help or plain old entertainment. They want to feel good and reach heaven on the cheap and on their own terms. They want to hear how good they are and how God welcomes everyone no matter what they believe into heaven. All they have to do is lead the best life they can. Do enough good and God will have to let them in.
Unfortunately, God tell us that it just does not work that way. God’s goodness demands justice. And believe me, justice is the last thing we want. I think this was put really well in the film Courageous. The older deputy was explaining to the rookie why having more good deeds than bad would not get him into heaven. He said what if someone murdered a love one and went before the judge and said that I have done many good things in life but only this one bad thing. What if the judge said yeas your good deeds outnumber your bad, you are free to go. Would that be justice? Of course the rookie said no. Our sins always deserve death, separation from God. God is holy and cannot have sin in His presence. This does not sit well with many people. They want Santa not God.
But, they will also flock to churches that teach God’s truth. All that other stuff they seek only leaves them empty. They want more and we need to provide them with the more they need. Sometimes we get so caught up in the numbers game that we forget that Christianity is not about numbers but about the individual. It is a one on one relationship with God not a popularity contest. God’s grace has provided a way back to him. Jesus’ death and resurrection paid the price. That grace and price is available to all who ask. As Christians we need to give others what they need not what they want. Then they will find out that what they needed is all they want.
Have a blessed day,