THE SILENT, BUT DEADLY PULPIT
This paper is written not to offend, but to inform you, especially those in pastoral ministry. The apostle Peter, who Jesus charged to take care of His sheep Jn21:17, said ‘Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind’ 1Pe5:2.
If you disagree with this paper, there is a problem here; but if you agree, then you would realize the sad state many Christian churches are now in, and their lack of readiness before the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ! Jesus warned ‘..Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?’ Lk18:8. Jesus also said ‘..except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven’ Mt5:20.
The prophet Isaiah said ‘His watchmen are blind: they are all ignorant, they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark.. Yea, they are greedy dogs which can never have enough, and they are shepherds that cannot understand: they all look to their own way, every one for his gain, from his quarter’ Is56:10,11. The LORD said ‘My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee..’ Hos4:6.
Being a pastor, a minister, or watchman is not an easy job, and has tremendous responsibilities and even personal consequences. As a voice of God, they must preach the right things, ‘never compromising the Word’, and to declare the heart of God. If not, they along with their members will suffer and may even perish for not knowing or disobeying God’s will which is only revealed in His Word, the Holy Bible. It contains numerous warnings for people to get ready, to repent, to believe the Gospel, to turn to and to return to God. It is the pastor’s foremost responsibility to warn the flock of any impending danger coming their way, but many are not aware of them and are not doing so.
Many pulpits in churches today are silent and negligent in preparing their members for the Endtimes. The pastors do not speak against sin, the need for repentance and holiness; the soon return of Jesus Christ, severe judgment coming upon the earth, the Rapture; the rise of the AntiChrist system, the New World Order, the Great Tribulation, the Mark of the Beast, and of the end of the world. There is a general silence behind the pulpits to warn people to be watchful and to pray always to escape the coming trials and tribulation before Jesus’ return Lk21:36.
While Jesus rebuked the religious leaders of his days warning them ‘..to discern the signs of the times’, calling them hypocrites, wicked, and adulterous (unfaithful) Mt16:1-4, this also seems descriptive of many pastors today. Our pulpits have become not only silent regarding these matters and compromised by Satan, but also very deadly to the souls of the churchgoers. This paper is about the silent, but deadly pulpit!
Watchmen On The Wall- Warnings to Pastors
Essentially, a watchman in ancient times is like a pastor or shepherd today. Both are called to watch for danger, to sound the alarm, and to protect their flock. On Nov 20, 2005 while ministering in Cubao, Manila, the Lord gave this prophecy to my wife who scripted it on a note paper. This prophecy was regarding the Rapture, the return of Jesus Christ, and the responsibility of all pastors to broadcast this message:
‘God is calling a people unto Himself who are pure and holy to embark upon the most important event they were created for. It is the ‘come up hither event’, referring to the Rapture Re11:12, 1Th4:16,17. That is the message that Jesus’ coming is imminent, and we, who are called as watchmen must sound the message loudly. Many watchmen today are sleeping and no longer attentive to their jobs. They must be aroused. Many are tired and must be charged up again. Many watchmen have left their posts and must be persuaded to return.
But alas, Many Watchmen Will Be Cast Off Because God Cannot Use Them; they have gone back into the world where sin, Satan and their flesh will consume them. The worms have already begun to eat away at them Mk9:44,46,48 and the fires of hell will destroy them. The message is to ‘wake up, look at the signs around you’; the enemy is advancing, prepare for battle and watch the salvation of the Lord..’.
In churches, the pulpit is the perch whereby pastors should sound the warning loudly of the wiles of the devil and the dangers of secular humanism. If you are a pastor, then it behooves you to obey God and do His work correctly, not to be men pleasers Ep6:6, tickling ears, but to warn them of impending dangers and of deadly consequences. The apostle Paul wrote ‘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’ 2Ti4:3. It is not an easy job, but if you fail, many will perish in hell and God will hold you responsible. Sadly today, apostasy is growing in many churches as people are not being duly warned.
The 3 R’s in the book of Ezekiel– Repent, Return, and Remain
God used the prophet Ezekiel to prophesy and warn the watchmen or pastors to do their jobs. The 3 R’s in the book of Ezekiel are to Repent, Return, and Remain true to the LORD. In Ezekiel chapter 3, God harsh warnings were directed to 3 groups of people- the Wicked, the Backslider, and the Righteous Ez3:17-21; similar to the 3 groups Jesus mentioned in the Laodicean church– to the Cold, the Lukewarm, and the Hot Christians Re3:16. The LORD said ‘When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; BUT HIS BLOOD WILL I REQUIRE AT THINE HAND’ Ez3:18; also to the Backslider v20.
In the 1st and 2nd groups, the Wicked and the Backslider, both needed to REPENT or they would die in their sins. Also to the Backslider, unless he REPENTS, God will not remember any of his past righteousness. This goes against the incorrect belief ‘once saved, always saved’. In the 3rd group, Ezekiel said the Righteous shall surely live, only if he remained Righteous. The implication here is that only the Righteous who Repents, Returns, and Remains true to the LORD will be saved. Also, only after proper warnings by the watchman, the LORD said ‘..thou hast delivered thy soul’ Ez3:21.
Here, we see the importance of repentance in our lives, and for pastors to preach the Gospel of repentance along with salvation. Pastors should not compromise God’s Word. Pastors today must warn their flock against sinning and to always Repent. If not, people will perish in hell, but their blood will be upon their hands, meaning God will hold the pastors accountable. If pastors are weak, timid, carnal, compromising, reluctant, self-serving, sinful, backslidden, or negligent to warn the people, they too will be in danger of hell fire Lk13:3,5. Jesus said ‘As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and Repent’ Re3:19.
Jesus Preached the Gospel of Repentance and Salvation
When Jesus began his ministry, his first and most important message was ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: Repent ye, and Believe the Gospel’ Mk1:15. This message is still pertinent today. What is the Gospel? In the Bible, the Gospel means the good news of the coming kingdom of God, and of salvation. Repentance is important in order to enter into God’s kingdom. What is Repentance? It means to turn away from our sins, and to turn to God in our lives. To repent means to be sorry for our sins and to seek God’s forgiveness.
Jesus said ‘..except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish’ Lk13:3,5. Without repentance, there is no salvation. Without repentance, one cannot be ‘born again’. Jesus said ‘.. Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God’ and ‘Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God’ Jn3:3,5. Pastors should do likewise: preach against sin, and preach the Gospel of repentance and salvation.
Jesus warned of false prophets and pastors: ‘Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.. Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?.. then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity’ Mt7:15,21-23.
Paul’s Warnings to Pastors
The apostle Paul warned pastors regarding what they should be preaching. Paul said ‘I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ.. PREACH THE WORD; be instant in season, out of season; Reprove, Rebuke, Exhort With All Longsuffering and Doctrine. 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; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things.. do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry’ 2Ti4:1-5.
Paul spoke of a time coming when pastors would be slack in their preaching, not enduring the truth, but preaching only soft and positive things. This very thing is happening today. Church pulpits have become silent regarding sound doctrine and sin, and very deadly to the souls of its members. Paul said ‘For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation..’ 2Co7:10.
If Jesus Was Walking The Streets Today
If Jesus was walking the streets today, he would hardly be welcomed in the churches. As in time past, His messages would be too radical, provocative, unpleasant, and condemning for churchgoers today. Not only would he not be allowed to speak, but many would want to throw him out, or even seek to attack or kill him. The 4 Gospels are replete with all the hate and vilification Jesus experienced when he taught in the synagogues, and in the Temple. Many religious leaders hated him, and feared that Jesus would displace them. Jesus was in their way to power, money, and influence, and they sought to kill him.
Consider this: Would you be in the group that accepted Jesus as a prophet, or the group that shouted to ‘Crucify him’ Mk15:13,14, Lk23:21? Similarly, as Jesus was not readily accepted then, so will He not be accepted today. Things are very convoluted in these last days. Jesus prophesied ‘..when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?’ Lk18:8; ‘And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved’ Mt24:12-14.
Jesus also said ‘..ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake’ Mt24:9. Jesus said as in the days of Noah, so shall it be before his 2nd coming Mt24:37. America today has become a hedonistic, immoral, corrupt, and backslidden nation, and Biblical Christianity is fading fast.
Today’s Apostate Churches
Over the past 30 years, a new paradigm had emerged within the churches. It is the Seeker-Friendly (aka Emergent Church) movement, to have more people come to church, and also to enrich their coffers. Their focus is on the unchurched, rather than on the unsaved; how to have more people attending church by becoming more contemporary, entertaining with performances, plays, dances, and sermons being more palatable, and people-friendly. The Seeker-Friendly Church movement has caused an explosion in mega-churches with some memberships in the tens of thousands, and pastors becoming very wealthy.
Emphasis is placed on the individual’s personal needs rather than their spiritual needs; on self-edification than on personal salvation. These churches are often soft on sin, on fornication, on shacking up, on abortion, homosexuality, pornography, and on SSMs. Some even have homosexual pastors preaching, or creative gay people leading worship; using programs, dramas, sophisticated lighting and special sound effects, high-tech/multi-media support in their services, but often not preaching repentance, holiness, and the Gospel of Christ.
Sin and judgment are not being preached; holy living not advocated. Hell Is Never A Nice Topic To Talk About! There is more talk on fun and fellowship, surfing and sports, dating and marriage, raising children, support groups, health and weight loss, dieting, jokes, and Christian entertainment, rather than on the Gospel of Jesus Christ– on sin, judgment, repentance, God’s wrath, endtimes, what God is doing today, the lateness of the hour; how to be saved, how to pray, how to prepare for His coming; how to study the Bible, etc.
Humor and positive messages are used to make people feel good and entertained so that they will return each Sunday. While some programs are good, many attending may not be saved and ‘born again’ because the Gospel of Salvation was not preached! Today’s soft TV messages by wealthy televangelists are a very good example of the decadency and apostasy in today’s mega-churches, preaching prosperity and personal empowerment rather than personal repentance!
Why the Pulpits Are Silent, But Very Deadly
Like many businesses today, churches depend upon their membership base for financial support, survival and prosperity. While it is not fair to lump all churches and pastors into one big category, there appears to be a commonality in their approach in ‘doing church’. Most churches won’t speak against sin, against abortion, against premarital sex, immorality, homosexuality and SSM, about hell and damnation, the need for repentance and to be born again, and about holiness in order to remain saved, and to be taken in the Rapture.
They don’t want to offend their churchgoers with the truth. They avoid warnings about Satan, false prophets and false teachers, about the coming apostate One World Church, God’s impeding judgment, and the Endtimes.
Here are some reasons why the pulpits have become silent in preaching the Gospel, but very deadly to the souls of the church members:
- Many pastors don’t believe wholly in the Word of God; in repentance for the remission of sins Lk12:47, Ro1:18,28, 1Ti4:1, 2Th2:10.
- Many pastors don’t believe the end is near and that Jesus is returning soon. They don’t preach the need to prepare for the Endtimes Mt24:21.
- Many pastors don’t believe in Jesus’ warnings to be watchful and to be ready for the Rapture Mt24:13,42,25:13, Jn14:3, 1Th4:16-18.
- Many pastors don’t believe Satan is a real enemy who seeks to destroy us 1Pe5:8,9. They also don’t know about spiritual warfare Ep6:10-13.
- Many pastors don’t teach the importance of the Holy Spirit to lead, teach, guide, protect, and to perfect us in the Lord Ep4:13, Php3:15.
- Many pastors cherry pick their messages to soothe their listeners 1Ti4:1. They ‘having a form of godliness’, but lack God’s power 2Ti3:5.
- Many pastors fear loss of membership, income, and even gov’t intervention, so they compromise the Word of God.
- Many pastors are fulfilling the Endtime prophecy spoken by Paul of an apostate church- a great falling away 2Th2:3.
Finally, the watchmen are not watching, the pastors are not preaching repentance and salvation, and Satan has made great inroads into the churches. Jesus said ‘Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and Many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves’ Mt7:13-15.
Paul warned of preaching another gospel- one of compromise, convenience, and political correctness. He said if ‘we or an angel preached any other gospel than what we had preached.. let him be accursed’ Ga1:8. Paul warned in the last day many will have ‘a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof’ 2Ti3:5. Paul said ‘For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth..’ Ro1:16. He said ‘it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe’ 1Co1:21.
The pastor’s first and last order of business should be to bring people to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ Jn3:16-17, and to save them from hell. Anything short of this is a total failure! Only Jesus Saves!
Maranatha- the Lord Cometh!
Please also see Dear Pastors, Feed My Sheep