The church today is so full of the world, compromise and sin, not to mention that the gospel being preached is in most cases either motivational speaking, pure heresy or dead sermons!! But the Apostle Paul says in 1 Corinthians 2: 1-4: I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power.
My intention in this article is not to criticise the church nor ministers of the gospel, for in many cases they stand condemned themselves as reflected in 2 Peter 2: 1-3 & 18-20: But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber.
2 Peter 2: 18-20: For when they speak great swelling words of emptiness, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through lewdness, the ones who have actually escaped from those who live in error. While they promise them liberty, they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by whom a person is overcome, by him also he is brought into bondage. For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning.
I should know as I was one such preacher not many years ago, I am ashamed to say. But fortunately the grace of God came to me through a dear brother and I could begin to see that the state of the church was a reflection of the “men of God”. I was in a mess and the gospel I preached and heard from all over the world had a form of godliness but had lost the power to change lives after salvation (2 Timothy 3:5).
The gospel that the Apostle Paul preached was a gospel that he lived and it was directly connected to the cross of Jesus. Paul was identifying fully with the sufferings, crucifixion, death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. This was his life, not just his message which is why it was and is still today so powerful and life changing. Phil 3:10 & 11, 17-19: That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. Brethren, join in following my example, and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern. For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame—who set their mind on earthly things.
Very few preachers preach Christ and Him crucified and they can’t as this is not a message you can preach without losing your life. Jesus made this very clear in every gospel:
Matthew 16:24 & 25: Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.
John 12:24 – 26: Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain. He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor.
Preachers, come guys, repent, fall on the rock before it falls on you (Luke 20:18: Whoever falls on that stone will be broken; but on whomever it falls, it will grind him to powder) and may we cry out to the Lord to become true servants of God – broken, moulded and formed into his image through our identification with Jesus.