Charles Spurgeon (the Prince of Preachers) said, "I do not believe that any man can preach the Gospel who does not preach the Law ... Lower the Law and you dim the light by which man perceives his guilt; this is a very serious loss to the sinner rather than a gain; for it lessens the likelihood of his conviction and conversion. I say you have deprived the Gospel of its ablest auxiliary [most powerful weapon] when you have set aside the Law. You have taken away from it the schoolmaster that is to bring men to Christ ...They will never accept grace till they tremble before a just and holy Law. Therefore the Law serves a most necessary purpose, and it must not be removed from its place."
I agree with Charles Spurgeon where the Gospel will have no affect on an unrepentant sinner without clearly expressing the following:
- Each person has sinned and fallen short of God’s glory (Romans 3:23)
- Anyone who strives to keep all of the Ten Commandments and fails in keeping one, is guilty of breaking all of them (James 2:10)
- The Ten Commandments (the law) is good if it is used lawfully (1 Timothy 1:8)
- The law is our schoolmaster, or tutor, for bringing us to Christ that we might be justified by faith (Galatians 3:24)
A sinner is helpless when it comes to not making the grade according to the Ten Commandments, but we are not left hopeless.
The Bible, particularly the Ten Commandments, is our tutor that assists in the declaration of God’s justice for sin.
The apostle Paul writes about his journey to Greece where he held nothing back from those who listened to him preach publicly that was helpful, going from house to house declaring, “repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Acts 20:20-21).
The prophet Jeremiah tells us what the Lord has said when he asked Him why there would be misfortune among the land, "And the Lord said, "Because they have forsaken My law which I set before them, and have not obeyed My voice, nor walked according to it, but they have walked according to the dictates of their own hearts and after the Baals, which their fathers taught them." (Jeremiah 9:13-14). (Baal, a Phoenician deity).
Oh how people would realize what a good thing God has done to redeem us from our sin! Oh how they should realize what God has done to punish sin in His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ and not allow us to suffer His wrath! "Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?" (Romans 2:4). Or can you say as the apostle Paul said to the Galatian church, "I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain." (Galatians 2:21).
A person is not justified by God because of their efforts to keep the Ten Commandments, no, a person is justified in God's sight by their faith in Jesus Chirst, because no person on earth can be justified by their effort to prove their obedience to the Ten Commandments apart from faith in Jesus Christ. (Galatians 2:16).
Any congregation should be deeply concerned when the whole counsel of God is not declared as it should be (Acts 20:26-27). I would fear the following being said by Christ himself to those who “thought they were saved,” saying, ‘I tell you I do not know you, where you are from. Depart from Me, all you workers of iniquity.’ (Luke 13:26-27).
How sad it would be for a person who believes that just because they give thanks to God for food before meals, who teach even the slightest bit to others God’s ways when they knew only half of what they should truly know from His Word? How tragic that would be for the supposed saint who may be headed straight for hell instead of Heaven? And it would be an even greater tragedy for the minister who thought they were building God’s kingdom with saints when they were not born-again nor even converted to enter the Kingdom of God, just as Jesus said (John 3:3-5, Matthew 18:3).
A friend of mine from church commented about a letter to people pleasing pastors I had posted and shared with them (see below) saying, “I always wonder what happens when we soft peddle the Gospel to people. We give them some of the truth, but not all of it, some of His love, but little of His judgment. Instead of being born-again and experiencing transformation, they end up smug and self-satisfied, certain that they are saved, when in reality they are not.”
Ministers of the Gospel, evangelists, every born-again Christian should not be sowing to the flesh which only reaps corruption. Ministers, evangelists, every born-again Christian should to sow the Spirit of the Word of God into the lives of others that reaps everlasting life (Galatians 6:8).
In a commentary by Matthew Henry regarding Isaiah 30:8-18, he writes, “If men will not repent, turn to God, and seek happiness in his favour and service, their desires will but hasten their ruin. Those who make God alone their confidence will have comfort. God ever waits to be gracious to all that come to him by faith in Christ, and happy are those who wait for him.”
“The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul;” David writes in Psalm 19:7. The law of God, His Ten Commandments, is perfect to convert anyone from the way of darkness and sin into the light of life, but many are afraid to use what is perfectly established by God and instead create a way that is comfortable and more suited to a way that appears to be effective, but not biblical.
To all people-pleasing pastors, preachers, and gospel workers:
I have noticed that you speak of how many souls you have seen “come to the Lord.” The thought of it makes you feel accepted. May I ask a question? How many have you seen come to repentance? You may rejoice, but the angels in heaven only rejoice when sinners repent (Luke 15:10). Please allow me to remind you about the rich young ruler who ran and knelt before Jesus and walked away just as quick. You can find that in Mark 10. Sir/Madam, don’t you see this is what many are doing? They may have “come to Jesus” but when they come face to face with Him they “go away sorrowful” because they never knew Him.
I am a street preacher. I deal with many of whom you have helped “lead to Jesus” on the streets while they are in a drunken stupor. I persuade men and women to turn from sin and obey Jesus, yet they tell me they are saved. They have come to your revivals, suppers, and BBQs. They enjoyed the “fellowship” with all the talk of fishing, cars, and sports, almost as equally as their sin. I pour out tears of anguish praying they would repent and be converted, while you glory in “a job well done.” I put my reputation and life aside to persuade men and women to flee from the wrath that is to come, while you gain stature and reputation. You kiss babies and hug children, while I get spat upon and called names by your “converts.” If you only knew the pain and frustration you have caused Christ, you would tremble in shame.
I tremble and fear at what you have done. My heart explodes in pain at all the souls you have helped on to Hell. You vaccinate sinners to the Truth. After you have inoculated them with self-confidence, they now smile at where they are spending eternity. Oh, how little do they know when they get to eternity they will lift up their eyes in torments. I pleaded with them to repent, but you had told them they only needed to confess. Why do you do this? Do you hate Christ? Do you hate men and women like me? Do you glory in the pain and trouble you have caused us?
I weep when I think about you standing at the Judgment Seat of Christ. Sir/Madam, don’t you know that in Proverbs 17:15 it says, “He that justifieth the wicked” is an “abomination to the LORD?” Is that what you have done? You tell men and women that they are saved, while they wallow in wickedness. You say, “welcome to the family.” The Bible teaches that if you live in sin you are of the devil (1 John 3:8). Are you in their family?
Do you have no power in prayer? Do you just “believe in yourself?” Are you just a puppet on a string? When the people pull, do you just follow? Why, why do you do this? I beg and plead with you not to comfort people in their sin. They will perish if they do not turn from sin. Your “business” may flourish, but they will perish! Please, do not do this anymore. I ask you from the depths of my being; stop pleasing men more than God. Please just preach the Bible. Please just preach and let the Spirit confirm. Please, I plead with you, stop this insult to all righteousness. You may not listen to my words, but please at least listen to Christ weeping over your pathetic excuse of preaching.
Weeping and travailing,
A Street Preacher (copied from http://gnnteam.blogspot.com/2007/09/powerful-message.html)
Finally, Tony Cappocia posted a critique about the Purpose Driven Church written by Michael J. Penfold (www.webtruth.org) who says, “When holy living, Spirit empowered preaching, loving unity and faithfulness to truth doesn’t seem to bring ‘results’, turning to the new methods advocated by Warren will only spell disaster. There will be results – but all of the wrong kind. A generation ago A.W. Tozer wisely said, “One of the most popular current errors, and the one out of which springs most of the noisy, blustering religious activity in evangelical circles, is the notion that as times change the church must change with them.” Since faithfulness to God’s word, as opposed to what evangelicalism calls success, will be the standard of reward at the judgment seat of Christ (1 Cor 2:4-5), obedience to the command to preach and teach, without trimming our sail to the wind of the world, is the most pressing need of the hour.”
Penfold, M.J. (n.d.). The purpose driven church (a critique). Retrieved September 8, 2007 from http://www.biblebb.com/files/pdc-critique.htm
Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.