(Photo: The Christian Post/Leonardo Blair)
St. LOUIS, Mo. – Internationally acclaimed pastor, medical doctor and author who sold more than 10 million books worldwide, Dag Heward-Mills, warned Christians on Sunday to avoid evil distractions and stick to Jesus' mandate for the Church by preaching John 3:16.
Heward-Mills, who is based in Ghana but has planted nearly 1,300 churches globally including 63 in 24 states in the U.S., issued the advice at the "Global Welcome Gathering" of attendees at the Christian Booksellers Association's (CBA) International Christian Retail Show, which began at the America's Center in St. Louis, Mo., on Sunday. It continues until Wednesday June, 26.
"Jesus Christ did not come into this world to make us rich or to make us have safety and security, more houses, more money," said Heward-Mills to the gathering.
Unfortunately, he explains, riches had "become the theme of the church today. Not only in America but all over the world."
"You go to church and you wonder whether you are in a bank or you are in some kind of motivational school," he noted.
Before making that statement, however, Heward-Mills teased his audience with the distracted concept of the Church that has become so familiar.
"God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whoever believes in him should have a big car and dream houses," he began as the audience erupted in laughter.
He then declare: "That is not what the Bible says. No. God so loved the world and gave his only son that whoever believes in him should not perish and have everlasting life. The purpose of the church is John 3:16."
The charismatic preacher then urged Christians to remain focused and ensure that the message of preaching the Gospel remains and is maintained as the central message of the Christian Church.
"I want to encourage us all to remember why we are here. You know in war, as taught by the American military and the British army, the very first principle of war, first out of ten principles taught to all soldiers is selection and maintenance of the aim," he said.
"You cannot change the aim of the war. The church as a whole must apply this principle if they are going to win the war that we are fighting. A war which I suspect they are currently losing," explained Heward-Mills.
"We are losing ground to many, many foreign and evil forces. And it is because we have set aside a very important principle of war, which is selection of the aim and the maintenance of the aim," he noted.
"The Bible says Christ Jesus came into this world to save sinners. Jesus did not come into this world for any other reason. He did not come even to heal everybody, to eradicate poverty, if he did that, he failed, he failed miserably," said Heward-Mills.
"Jesus said, his very last words were 'Go into the whole world and preach the Gospel' and I'm sure every one of you here, if you were dying, you would say something important," he added.
Pastor Heward-Mills' latest book, The Art of the Follower, was released this year.