Having forsaken an unabridged straightforward Gospel message, many of today’s pulpits are inebriated with the drink of popularity and ego. No cost is too high in making certain that no one is unduly “offended” by a perfect and Holy God, and so the Gospel of Jesus Christ has been carefully altered to meet the growing demand for a gospel that neither commands morality, labels anything as sin, or incurs judgment of any kind for wickedness and evil doing. Sounds like a pretty tall order, right? Hey if you just promise to keep planting your faith seeds they will “guarantee your satisfaction” and preach anything you want to hear because it is your feelings and your money, not your soul, that is most important to them. Believe me when I tell you that the number of egregious heresies being woven through many pulpits today is growing faster than the national debt. Pulpits that are teaching that everyone is a child of God and everyone is therefore going to Heaven.
As best as a country boy preacher like myself can, let me tell you in very plain language what the Bible actually says about this. It says that we are God’s children ONLY when we repent of our sins, ask forgiveness, and receive Jesus Christ into our heart as our personal Lord and Savior. A working, established faith in Christ and and what He accomplished upon the Cross on our behalf with a complete surrendering of ourselves into His hands are the only things that make a person a “child of God.”
As did the Philippian Church you and I too live in a godless generation. In fact we could xerox what the Apostle Paul wrote to the people at Philippi and it would be a perfect fit for the church today. Paul wrote that he was praying for four things to happen to them: (1) He wanted their love to abound more and more. (2) He wanted them to approve things that are excellent. (3) He wanted them to serve God with sincerity. (4) He wanted them to be filled with the fruits of righteousness. Paul wanted the Philippian church to make an impression for Christ in a Godless generation, and to such must be the aspiration of the Church today. To that end we have two things to aid us in accomplishing that. 1) We have the Bible (through which God speaks to us), and 2) we have Prayer (whereby we speak to God). And through these two things power comes to us to influence others, and indeed the world, for Christ.
God bless you,