In his landmark bestselling book, “Think and Grow Rich”, Napoleon Hill had this to say regarding religious leaders of the future:
“Religious leaders of the future will be forced to give more attention to the temporal needs of their followers in the solution of their economic and personal problems of the present, and less attention to the dead past and the yet unborn future.”
This, according to Napoleon Hill, is what people should be looking for in religious leaders and religious leaders should be conforming to this model.
I hate to say it, but that is where we are right now.
Let’s face it: whenever we walk into a church and listen to a sermon, what is the sermon usually about?
- How to deal with stress according to the Bible.
- How to be a better parent according to the Bible.
- How best to use your money according to the Bible.
- How to be a great Christian co-worker
The list goes on. It’s all about self-help. It’s all about how to solve our day by day problems.
I have had very few moments in church where the overall message that the pastor has preached has given me hope for the future, assurance of my salvation, conviction of sin, or encouragement to awaken a passion for heaven on earth.
I find myself hearing sermons just like the ones listed above. And it is a shame.
The church is meant to be a place where the Gospel is preached, sinners are convicted, Christ is openly displayed, God is magnified and glorified, and we worship the Almighty.
Church is meant to be a place where we peace for our souls and confidence in the future, not a place where our everyday stresses and worries are alleviated.
My Father’s house is supposed to be a house of prayer, not a building dedicated to self-help gurus.
We soften the Gospel, water it down, make it user-friendly so that we don’t scare away the new comers. We make it easier to swallow and turn it into a step-by-step self-help manual.
We make the Gospel weak and powerless, unable to save, unable to do anything that God intended it to do, because we want to be politically correct.
Pastors and ministers, preach the Gospel! Preach it loud and clear! Preach Christ crucified!
Preach the fires of Hell and the joys of Heaven! Preach in the Spirit! Save souls!
Do not water down the Gospel! Do not be ashamed of it! Do not fear ridicule and condemnation! Preach what the Bible teaches and stand with few who still believe that the Bible is the truth of God!