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Today I want to show some things from Scripture that those who preach only positive avoid. Those who avoid things things do great harm to the cause of Christ. In Matthew 22:29 Jesus told the religious leaders of His day “Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.” The same thing can be said of those who only preach the Love of God and only teach a positive message.
Those who criticize those who preach against false doctrine and false teachers are called names like hatemonger and fear monger. They say we are judgmental and that we are not to judge others. Think about this for a moment. What are they doing? Are they not being judgmental? Are they not judging us?
I don’t claim to be perfect, nor do I claim that I can’t be wrong on some things. If I am wrong I want to be corrected, but if you think I am wrong and want to correct me, you must do so with the Scriptures. Don’t twist the passages you use and don’t take them out of their context (2 Peter 3:16).
Let’s look at some passages that may shock some of you who believe that we are only to preach a positive message:
God Gets Angry
Proverbs 7.11 “…God is angry with the wicked every day.”
Wickedness does anger God. Wickedness will result in the wicked spending eternity in the Lake of Fire (Revelation 20:11-15).
Ephesians 4.26 “Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:”
God tells Christians that there is a place for anger. We are to be angry at some things and yet we are not to sin. There are things we are to challenge, but we are to do so in the right way. We are to speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15).
Yesterday I spoke of the work of the prophet. The prophet is told by God to speak out against falsehood and evil. He is to warn people of the dangers. Some people think that person doesn’t love because he preaches coming judgment. NO! It is the exact opposite. He preaches coming judgment and warns about false teacher because he loves. It is because he cares for the souls of those he warns he must warn of danger. The prophet is driven by the love of God and the love of neighbor.
Psalm 5.5 “…thou hatest all workers of iniquity.”
This is talking about God. Not only is God angry at the wicked, He hates all those who work iniquity.
David, in Psalm 139:21-22, said: “Do not I hate them, O LORD, that hate thee? and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee? I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies.”
You may think that the Bible is all about love and peace and that we are not to preach anything that is judgmental. Did you know this was in the Bible?
Proverbs 13.5 tells us that “A righteous man hateth lying…”
There is a place for hate of things that are wrong and evil. This is an example of hating those things that are contrary to the precepts of God’s Word.
Some of you will say that this is Old Testament. Your right, it is. However, it is the New Testament that tells us that all Scripture is profitable (2 Timothy 3:16).
John the Baptist Rebuked The Religious Leaders
Matthew 3:7 says, “But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?”
John calls them vipers. This typifies two things; 1) Satan is represented by a snake, 2) a viper’s bite is deadly.
Let us take a look at how Jesus Christ dealt with the false teachers of His day. Notice the language He used against the religious leaders of His day.
Jesus heals a blind and dumb man and Pharisees say he does it in the power of the Devil
In Matthew 12:34 Jesus says,”O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.”
Notice that He used the same language as John, He called them vipers. Does this sound like He only love, joy, and peace?
During His Last Week At The Mt. of Olives.
In Matthew 23 we see the following:
- Five times Jesus called these Religious Leaders Hypocrites
- Four times he called the Blind Guides
- Twice he called them Fools
- Once he called them Vipers
Matthew 23:13 “But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!”
Matthew 23:14 “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows’ houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation.”
Matthew 23:15 “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!”
Matthew 23:16 “Woe unto you, ye blind guides…”
Matthew 23:17 “Ye fools and blind:..”
Matthew 23:19 “Ye fools and blind:…”
Matthew 23:23 “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!…”
Matthew 23:24 “Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.”
Matthew 23:27 “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness.”
Matthew 23:28 ?Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.”
Matthew 23:33 “Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?”
When the house of God was abused
John 2:15-17 “And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables; And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise. And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up.”
You will notice that He made Himself a scourge and He drove them out and overthrew their tables. Why? Because they were making the house of God a house of merchandise. We see the anger of the Lord in this passage.
We find that the epistles also teach that we are to stand against error and name the names of those who propagate it.
Paul taught this
Ronans 16:17 “Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.”
This means we are to point out, to identify, those who teach false doctrine. It is a preachers job to tell those he preaches to what the false doctrine is and who is teaching it. He is to warn them to stay away from it because it is wrong and it is dangerous.
1 Timothy 6:3-5 “If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.”
Notice the language here. We are told that those who teach that which is contrary to the wholesome words of Scripture are proud, they know nothing, they are perverse with corrupt minds, they are destitute of the truth. These people think that gain is godliness. We are to separate from them.
These people are in the higher halls of learning. These are the ones that have all the doctors degrees and all of the education. They have made friends with the world and have prestige. They look down their noses at those who are still standing for the Word of God. They can’t rebuke the world for its sin because it would cost them their prestige. Because of this they make the Gospel gentler and kinder. You can’t preach judgment, we must promote that God is love, and so on.
They see themselves as the elite and learned ones. Is this not the same attitude that we see in the Pharisees in the New Testament? The teaching of these elites is disseminated into the pulpits of America.
Let me point out something before I end this article. Those who say we should just preach love should consider the following passage:
Romans 2:4 “Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?”
There is a place for preaching about the goodness of God. This would include teaching about His love. In fact, the goodness of God is not just about His love. It is about His holiness. It is this holiness that leads people to repentance. When one sees his unholiness in the light of God’s holiness it shows the seriousness of our situation. This leads us to repentance.
I would like you to note that it says that this leads to repentance, it does not cause, or work, repentance. There is only one thing that will actually work repentance in the heart it is found in. 2 Corinthians 7:10 which says “For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.”
It is godly sorrow that works repentance to salvation. Godly sorrow comes from seeing the holiness of God, understanding our unholiness, and understanding that we deserve Hell. It comes when we not only understand God’s judgment, but when we understand that it is a just judgment.
This creates a fear of God and causes a person fall on their knees before God and beg for His mercy. It is only the preaching of God’s judgment that will cause this kind of sorrow that causes true repentance.
This ministry will not tickle your ears. It will step on your toes. This is the kind of preaching that is missing in most of the pulpits of America. This is the kind of preaching that will turn our country around.
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