WARNING!Sugar coated preaching is dangerous to your soul!
I saw this as part of a picture posted on line. I believe it’s a message with merit. There is a movement in the church that says avoid talking about sin and stick to positive messages. After all, we don’t want to offend anyone!
Yet, our Lord Jesus said many hard things. He said we’re to deny ourselves and take up our cross and follow Him. The cross was a device of execution. In today’s terms it would sound like this; “Take up your electric chair and follow Me.” He told us the way to live is to die.
Jesus was a friend to sinners. He truly loved them. (As He loves all of us sinners!) But He always told them the truth. When He saved the woman caught in adultery from the stones of her accusers in John 8 he told her to “go and sin no more” (vs. 11).
Now I propose the obvious. If Jesus wanted the woman to “sin no more” then He needed her to know what sin is. Therefore, if we are going to be like Jesus then we must talk clearly and plainly about sin. The Holy Spirit uses such instructions to help each disciple to follow the Biblical admonition to, “cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” 2 Corinthians 7:1
Sugar coated preaching is partner to spiritual lies. Like the one that says, “The goal of church ministry is to get people into our church buildings and do everything we can to keep them there!” That way, we have something to brag about at the next Pastor’s Fellowship Meeting. Yet, Jesus seemed to do just the opposite. In his book, Radical, author David Platt writes,
“Whenever the crowd got big, (Jesus) would say something such as, ‘Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.’ Not exactly the sharpest church-growth tactic. I can almost picture the looks on the disciples’ faces. ‘No, not the drink-my-blood speech! We’ll never get on the list of the fastest growing movements if you keep asking them to eat you.’”
Something to think about!
But shouldn’t we love people? Absolutely! The problem is the church has fallen prey to another lie. It’s the lie that says “love is tolerant”. While the church was asleep the enemy successfully convinced society of the truthfulness of the “love is tolerant” message. And society bought the lie and now looks on those who hold to a Biblical morality as hateful intolerant bigots. This gave the enemy the strategy of using the power of public opinion to move the church from its Biblical foundation on morality. In light of the fact that some aspects of the church are accepting and approving of things God calls sin we would have to admit the enemy has been successful.
If we are to love as God loves then we must understand that the God of love hates sin. He doesn’t accept it. He never approves of it. He always judges it. And as people come to understand their horrific place as sinners before a holy God their hearts are prepared for God’s gracious solution in the cross of His Son Jesus Christ. This is what God has called us to do. And if we water it down and seek to build people up by only telling them positive things we rob them of the chance to find real life in the forgiveness and grace of Christ.
I believe we can find the balance of preaching against sin and warning of its awful destructive consequences and also “encourage one another and build each other up.” (1 Thessalonians 5:11) Indeed, this is what we must do if we are to obey Christ’s command to “go and make disciples.”