There are countless churches in America today that are growing massive without solid, gospel-centered preaching. It's a sad reality because the preaching of the gospel of Jesus Christ is one of the most vital counterparts in the church.
Without gospel-rich preaching and teaching, believers aren't being pointed to the whole message of Christianity, which is Jesus.
Jesus is everything, He's the cornerstone of the Christian faith. Growing a church without solid biblical preaching and teaching about Jesus, believers are being led astray.
For example, Lakewood Church in Houston Texas has an average attendance of 52,000 people. The preaching of Joel Osteen (Lead Pastor), is not biblically solid preaching. Osteen preaches the prosperity gospel--not the Jesus gospel--that if you believe in God, all your dreams will come true. You'll have financial freedom and endless happiness.
That's not what Jesus promises us when we commit our lives to Him, He promises to take care of us, and to provide for us. But He never says it'll be all rainbows and lollipops. Living the Christian life is hard stuff, you have to make sacrifices and you have to be dedicated. But if you're willing, Jesus will give you the strength you need to get through the difficult times.
I want to list three of the biggest issues with churches that grow large without solid preachers.
#1 Christians are being led astray
The biggest issue there is with preachers who aren't preaching the true gospel, is that they're false teachers. They're leading people to believe a lie as if it were true. The problem is that people are living a life in rejection to God all while thinking they're alright.
People are living comfortable, easy lives inside their comfort zones, but the gospel really calls us to live radically for the gospel of Christ (more on this in point #3).
#2 Christians are being taught that we are self-sufficient
Many churches are teaching believers that they're good enough in themselves to be saved, they're not teaching about grace. Grace is the backbone of Christianity, we're never good enough for ourselves. We could never be perfect, but Jesus reigns in us and through His death on the cross He is enough for us.
See, we're being taught that we have all the answers, that we're the ones who have earned our faith. But we're missing the whole point. It's all about Jesus and the grace he has for us, it's nothing we could've done on our own, it's everything Christ has done for us. This is truly amazing.
#3 The gospel isn't transforming Christians
Many churches are teaching a false doctrine that doesn't transform believers. People attend church, they hear the message, it affects them, but it's not changing them.
This can be a problem even in churches where the preaching is solid. People just aren't being changed by the gospel. Romans 12:2 says not to be conformed to the pattern of this world but to be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
If we're to be transformed by the gospel, we must be actively pursuing change. Transformation isn't something that happens overnight, it never is. We must pursue it with everything we have, we must see Jesus for who He is. We must give our lives to Jesus, trusting Him with everything we have, and we must do this every day to be transformed.
That's not what many preachers are teaching, though, they're teaching that your transformation happens in an hour during the upbeat worship and during the sermon that makes us feel good. The problem with this is that believers are being led to believe that church is all about the experience, it's all about the feeling you get when you're in church that changes your life.
No, church isn't about the vibe. It's not about having some mountain top experience. Church is where we go to to worship God by hearing his piercing word preached and proclaimed. Hebrews 4:12 says that the word is living and active, like a sword, piercing us to the division of joint and of marrow.
We can't go to church just to hear what we want to hear, we must go to church and listen to preaching that preaches what we need to hear.
That's what preaching is all about.
Zachary Pierpont is a blogger with a passion for Christ and writing. His blog is all about radically living the Christian life, His desire is to encourage and strengthen those who read his writing to chase with all their heart the mind-blowing wonder of Christ. He loves spending time with friends and family, playing drums and guitar, writing, and enjoying God's beautiful creation in Northern Michigan where he lives. You can read more on his blog, zacharypierpont.com. Subscribe to his newsletter by clicking here.
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