Hypocrisy and the Preacher

Hypocrisy and the Preacher

Guilty as charged.

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No minister is worthy of his calling.  Every preacher is vulnerable to the charge of hypocrisy.  In fact, the more faithful a preacher is to the Word of God in his preaching, the more liable he is to the charge of hypocrisy.  Why?  Because the more faithful a man is to the Word of God, the higher the message is that he will preach.  The higher the message, the further he will be from obeying it himself.

From The Holiness of God by RC Sproul.

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What Happened to Our Tears?

What Happened to Our Tears?

The following is from the late David Wilkerson.  I pray you will be moved to repentance at the hardness of your heart as I was mine.

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As I walked up Broadway during rush hour and looked into the faces of the passing crowds, a thought struck my soul like a thunderclap: “Almost every person passing by is going to hell.”

I realize this may come across as harsh or presumptuous.  You might think, “Surely some of those passersby know the Lord.  Certainly many in that massive crowd had seen or experienced religion of some kind.”

With every block I walked, I was hit again and again with the thought: “They’re lost.  They’re going to spend eternity without Jesus!”  Finally,I tried comforting myself with the thought, “But our church has seen thousands of people converted.  Times Square Church is one of the largest congregations in New York City.”

Still, something nagged at my soul.  I had to acknowledge before the Lord, “Oh, Father, I don’t have the burden I once had.  I don’t weep the way I did when I first came to New York City!”

In 1958, Gwen and I were living in Philipsburg, Pennsylvania, a town of around 1,500.  In those days, I would walk into the woods near our home and weep for hours over the souls in New York.  I owned a little green Chevrolet, and each week as I drove to the city to minister, I wept during the entire three-hour drive.

Today I preach in one of the most beautiful theaters in the world, the historic Mark Hellinger Theatre.  Yet, I wonder how many in our congregation and how many reading this feel the way I felt walking up Broadway.  I had to stop and ask myself: “How long has it been since you wept for the lost?  Do you still have the Lord’s burden to reach them with the gospel?”

Are you able to work alongside your colleagues, greet your neighbors, talk to your unsaved family members and never once be concerned for their souls?  Is your mind occupied with simply surviving — providing for your family?  Are you no longer burdened, witnessing, reaching out to the lost and dying world?

“They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.  He that goeth forth and weepeth,bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him” (Psalms 126:5-6).

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The Abiding Believer

The Abiding Believer

“If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love” (John 15:10).  Jesus faithfully obeyed every commandment of His Father and He called that abiding.

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Some Christians think they can pick and choose which commandments of Christ to obey.  If they don’t like what is commanded, they simply ignore it or explain away their disobedience with, “I just don’t see it that way; I don’t believe it like that.”  If people do not like a pastor’s call to be holy, they just leave and go looking for a pastor who will accentuate the positive.  That is why the terrible plague of apathy is sweeping over the church today.  We have been so afraid of works, so riled up about legalism, that we have given obedience a bad name.

How is it possible for a branch in Him not to abide?  Jesus said: “If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned” (verse 6).  Can it be any clearer?  Abiding includes rest and responsibility.  It is possible to be in Him, connected to the vine, and not have a flow of life with which to bear fruit.  Abiding has to do with absolute obedience to the commandments of Christ because every branch has a free will—a life force in it.  The branch is not passive; it must draw out the life from the vine.  “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you” (verse 7).  This brings out that the Word is the Father’s pruning knife.  How can any branch bear fruit if the Word of the Lord is ignored, unknown, neglected?

We see the fruits of dryness springing up all over the Lord’s vineyard— adultery, fornication, drinking, drugs— because the pruning process has stopped with so many.  The word of God is His knife, a two edged sword.  The majority of Christians today do not know the Word of God because they do not read it.  It is impossible to bear the fruit of righteousness without His Word abiding in you.  Neglect of the Word is causing barrenness and bringing a terrible withering to God’s people.

The abiding believer is one who loves and fears God, who hungers for the Word and trembles at His power of conviction.  He delights in having the Word prune away all hindrances, prays that the very life and likeness of Christ will be ever-increasing in him, and grows more and more mature in obedience and love.

By David Wilkerson (1931 – 2011)

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