Hey Preacher…Stop Protecting Jesus!!

For a moment, I would like to address any preachers, teachers, bloggers or evangelists that may be reading this article.  For that matter, I would ask anybody who is discussing the Gospel with others, written or verbally, to take a moment to consider my plea.  My plea is this, Please stop protecting Jesus!  He does NOT need a bodyguard! 

Let me explain.  Most professing Christians, and especially pastors, would gladly admit verbally that Christ is sovereign, omniscient, and omnipotent.  But it seems the more I listen to sermons and read blogs, I keep encountering the same problem.  Their messages often don’t reflect their professions.  People are trying to protect Jesus…from Himself!  When Jesus says something in His Word very pointed and direct, the modern worker often tries to soften it so as not to offend the sensibilities of the modern audience.  When He says something that is an offense to our culture (perhaps something that chafes against the high esteem with which we view freedom and choice) we try to merge our culture with these teachings upon delivery.  We turn commands into choices and factual realities into mere analogies.  While the teacher acknowledges Jesus is all-powerful and cannot be harmed by man, their messages often show their view of His knowledge and wisdom is not as lofty.  So many feel deep down inside that they must carefully edit His Holy Word into something more palatable to the modern listener.  They are compelled to round off the pointed corners, so to speak.  In other words, there is a trend, a feeling they must change His poor choice of words (which were acceptable in primitive societies) into something that will draw modern men rather than alienate them.

Here are a few passages with profound meaning, that I have noticed are rarely addressed from the pulpit in the modern church.  I give them simply as an example.  Think back to the last time you have heard them preached.  Compare them (in context) to the conclusion of the sermon.  I would venture a very high percentage of those doing this little exercise will have to admit that these pointed passages have been softened during the course of a Sunday morning lesson.  I would also venture that quite a few people have never heard these addressed from the pulpit at all.  Take a look: 

So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.    Luke 14:33

except ye repent, ye shall all in like manner perish.   Luke 13:3  

Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.  On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’  And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’    Matt 7:21-23

He was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace    Isaiah 53:5

Do not be surprised, brothers, that the world hates you.   1 John 3:13

Every message is a seed.  Any Gospel message that has something added or subtracted to the Biblical gospel of Jesus Christ (repent & believe) has something foreign and man-made (which, by default, means tainted).  If it is not the seed of the pure, true, Biblical Gospel being planted, how can you be surprised when the plant that springs up is not pure & true either?  We hear alarming headlines concerning the church almost daily.  “Youth are leaving the church”, “Most Evangelicals Don’t Believe Jesus is the Only Way”, “Christianity is in Crisis,”.  May I submit to you it is the modern evangelical preacher, not the atheist or the Muslim, who has planted these seeds which have now grown to maturity and are producing fruit of their own.  Bad fruit.  If you plant Purpose-driven messages, you will eventually get purposed driven people, not humble people seeking the glory of god through the sharing of the Gospel.  If you plant seeds that carefully avoid a graphic picture of the sinfulness of man and the gruesome beauty of atonement, you will eventually see liberalism as a fruit. And if you plant seeds of good works rather than the gospel, Emergent Church apostasy is what will come forth. 

Instead of cowering in awkward fear and discomfort, we must become intimately familiar with the sound biblical doctrines as presented in Scripture.  We must present these doctrines in all our teachings and in all things present the true Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Jesus knew what He was doing on that Cross and He knew what He was doing when He told us what message we are to preach.  Who are we to take the authority upon ourselves to change the message we were sent to deliver?  We are to be preaching the Word of God, do you truly think to improve upon it?!?  Repent now of this prideful pragmatism, this compromise (and often a spineless shame of the message of which Paul had no shame) and then preach “repent and believe” boldly to all in your path.  The Holy Spirit will convict those whom He will convict and make the message relevant to those whom He wishes.  This is His work, not yours and mine.  We are to expect those in the World to hate us… doesn’t this mean if we successfully avoid their hatred that somehow the message has been compromised?  Surely it does. 

Please, folks, stop protecting Jesus!  He does not need the hindrance of our help.  He does not need to be protected from Himself.  Instead, preach the message you were commanded to preach!!!

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