[b]Puppets or Preachers[/b]
[i]Modern Day Marionettes[/i]
By Jesse Morrell
[i]If I yet pleased men, I should not be a servant of Christ. Galatians 1:10[/i]
The ways of God and the ways of the world are forever at an antithesis, being irreconcilable because they are entirely and utterly contrary. Only when a sinful man forsakes the ways of the world can he be reconciled unto the Holy God of Heaven.
As the Church, we must seek to reconcile the world unto Christ, not seek to reconcile Christ unto the world. The world must be made acceptable unto the Lord, not the Lord made acceptable unto the world. The world must change to meet the requirement of the Lord, not the Lord change to meet the requirement of the world.
God doesnt need to wear make-up. We are not to present Him in a way that will make Him look more pleasant or appealing to sinners then He really is. We are to present Him as He is, with all of His requirements, with all His demands, with all His conditions, and man must give up his rebellion and hatred towards Him.
The great call upon the entire body of Christ is to reach a dying world with the living Gospel. Despite popular belief, and despite popular preference, there is no Christian exempt from this high-calling. All of our shoulders must carry the burden and the blessing of the Gospel. We all must know both the pain and the power which goes with full-filling the Great Commission.
God forbid that the Churches desire for earthly comfort results in the eternal torment of the world, or that the Churches compromised desire to please the world results in the eternal agony and suffering of this world. NO! Rather, must lay down our lives with its comforts and pick up the cross with its pain to see souls saved. We must lay down our reputations and appearances, disregarding the praises and disapprovals of men, to preach the truth at any cost!
But compromise is the result of failure to pay the cost of the cross. The fearfulness of reprisal and frightfulness of rejection has crippled and paralyzed many a Christian, halting and even reversing the true preaching of the gospel, both to the world and to the Church. But when the Church is crippled and paralyzed the devils are enabled and empowered to stampede mercilessly over the souls of men, without resistance or opposition.
So only those Christians who are dead to the world, dead to its praises and acceptance, can actually be of any true benefit to the world. Only those whom the world finds useless for their purposes are those whom God can find useful for His purposes. So those whom are useless to the world are the only ones useful for the world! Only those who will not be used by the world can be used for the world. Those who are used by the world cannot be used for the Lord, and those who are used by the Lord cannot be used by the world.
There is nothing more pathetic then a puppet preacher, and nothing more grievous then a cowardice Church. If any man is to be fearless its a preacher, and if any group is to be courageous its the Church. If any message is to be declared boldly, without apology, its the true and pure message of the gospel!
But if we were honest today, we would have to humbly and shamefully admit, that much of todays popular preaching is nothing more then puppet preaching, when a preacher seeks to please men rather then God, being controlled by his employer, his supporters, his fan base rather then being controlled by the Spirit, preaching for the audience of One. What a pitiful thing it is when a person is controlled by the crowds rather then by conviction!
A great threat to the Kingdom of God, a major aid to the kingdom of darkness, a dominate reason for the moral depravation of America today, can be accredited to the puppet performance of preachers. Any moral problem is the pulpits problem; its a preachers problem! When the world is in darkness, those declared to be the light of the world are responsible! [i](Matt 5:14)[/i]
It both angers and saddens me when I hear preaching that can be spiritually discerned as purposefully man pleasing, because I know that preaching which is pleasing to the ears of men is more often then not displeasing to the ears of God. What our Holy God wants to say is not what sinful men want to hear! What God declares as freedom, sinners call bondage, and what God declares as bondage, sinners call freedom!
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears.[i] (2 Timothy 4:3)[/i] A man of God is one who lives to please God alone. A true preacher of God is one who preaches by and for God alone.
If we were honest today, we would have to humbly and shamefully admit that much of what is preached to the world, is a water-downed, manipulated and molded gospel, sought to avoid the disapproval of men, and thus secures the disapproval of God!
The preaching which the Lord delights in is the preaching of His unadulterated, sharp doubled sword. The preaching which the world delights in is the preaching which pats them on the back and tells them all is well.
What the Lord delights in is what the devil dreads and what the world dismisses. But what the world delights in is what the devil desires and what the Lord detests!
What the Lord requires is what the world rejects, and what the world accepts is what the Lord abhors!
The demand for being politically correct has resulted in being prophetically incorrect! The self-centered concern for being positive has overridden the God-centered burden for being truthful!
This generation always wants to hear and talk about Gods love for the world but never want to hear or talk about Gods wrath for the world. Multitudes are reminded of the goodness of God but not the severity of God! [i](Romans 11:22)[/i] Scriptures show us that Christ preached more about Gods wrath then He did about Gods love! Would anyone dare to be Christ-like in this age? Would any Church or community be willing to accept him?
There is a problem when the Jesus of the scriptures doesnt fit into the Jesus stereo type, when the Jesus of the scriptures does not match up with the Jesus taught at certain Seminaries! Scriptural illiteracy within the Church is a dangerous thing! A Church that doesnt know its bible is a deadly thing!
The Lord wants to convict the consciences of sinners, making them uncomfortable in their wickedness. What is worse then being under condemnation is being comfortable in it! But condemnation is seldom, if ever, preached about to the world, resulting in their comfort and ease!
When the Lord wants men to feel a very real condemnation, there are Christians today who talk to them in such a way as to result in sinners feeling a false and imaginary carnal security.
Telling the world, God accepts you as you are will never provoke change or repentance! And that is a message that is completely and utterly denying the truth which our Lord declared, Unless a man is born again, he will not see the Kingdom of God. [i](John 3:3)[/i] While you come as you are you must leave differently! Its because God does not accept a sinner into Heaven as he is that the sinner must come to God to get cleaned up in the first place!
But repentance has been neutered from the gospel by many, being found too hard to preach and too hard to live. Few travel the narrow road, even fewer preach it.
It is a poor sermon that gives no offense; that neither makes the hearer displeased with himself nor with the preacher. [i]George Whitefield[/i]
We must see men changed, not see men pleased! If a Christian pleases all men there is something wrong with him. Woe unto you, when all men speak well of you! for so did their fathers of the false prophets. [i](Luke 6:26)[/i] A Christianity which pleases a Christ-rejecting world is not a Christianity that has Christ in it.
If we were to look back upon much of the ministry which has been done in America over the past hundred years, we would see the horrible sight of the promises of God being preached without the conditions of God. Heaven has been promised to the hell-bound and pardon has been preached to the unrepentant!
If we were to look back, we would see the straight gate to Heaven being made broad, so that one no longer has to strive to enter in, and we would see the sharp word of God being made dull, so as not to offend a sinful world which is an offense to God!
The conditional has been declared unconditional, the required has been declared unnecessary, and many still wonder why our country at large hasnt been changed, being left almost entirely unaffected as a whole by the power of the Gospel.
And anyone who thinks contrary about the state of America is dreaming, looking with their eyes wide shut upon the moral degeneration of our country, where homosexuals can adopt innocent children, mothers can murder their own babies, and children can play simulated games of unspeakable violence. America is on a grease slide down to hell, and few are willing to even admit it, let alone try to save America from it.
And at the root of all this compromise is a love of the world, a desire for acceptance, a rejection of the cross, and a wondering from the foolishness of God over into the wisdom of the world.
The prison cell of pleasing man is a dark cell indeed, yet first appears to be bright and promising. A deadly trap it is which can drain the body of Christ of the Spirit and Truth of God.
God calls the Church to preach to the world, not to seek to please the world. We must preach what God says, not what men want. Its not what men want to hear, but what men need to hear, which God calls us to declare.
May we live to please the Lord alone,
Knowing this world is not our home
May we please the Lord in all we do!
To walk the narrow with the few
A true Christian is one who is entirely controlled by the Lord, one who is wholly detached from the course of this world, seeking to please and bring praise to the One who alone is worthy to be praised. Whos praise is not of men, but of God. [i](Romans 2:29)[/i]
A true follower of Christ is one who can be spoken of as Christ was, when they said of him, we know that thou art true, and teach the way of God in truth, neither cares thou for any man: for thou regards not the person of men. [i](Matt 22:16)[/i]
There is a need today for the fear the Lord and the Lord alone. The fear of God excludes the possibility of fearing man. A preoccupation with pleasing God excludes the possibility of being dictated by pleasing man. We must have a single heart of devotion, a singleness of fear, a singleness of service, if we are to produce anything worthy of the name Christianity.
We can either change the world or allow the world to change us. We have the choice of being the fearful puppets of the world, the lying puppets of the devil, speaking whatever pleases men, or we can be the true servants of God, speaking what is pleasing and acceptable unto the Lord, not allowing our light to become darkness, but overcoming the darkness with the light.
[i]And He that sent me is with me, the Father has not left me alone, because I always do those things that please Him. John 8:29[/i]