As pastors in California are wondering what the next step is, God's Word is crystal clear - preach the full counsel of God. Pastors… make no mistake about it: we play an enormous role in shaping the direction of the country. We can no longer remain silent while sin goes unchecked.
Deep repentance must take place at the individual and national level; our consciences have been seared. Our job is to preach the totality of God’s word, including those things that are hard to hear, so that both conviction and comfort take place. “We need more prophets in our pulpits and less puppets” (Leonard Ravenhill).
Change will not occur until we confront sin rather than hide from it.
We must stop focusing only on encouragement in our sermons. We all need encouragement, that's a given, but most people feel beaten down because they’re not hearing more about repentance - “repent and experience times of refreshing from the presence of the Lord” (cf. Acts 3:19).
To truly help people, we must preach the difficult truths as well as the joyful ones; preach the cross and the new life; preach hell and preach heaven; preach damnation and preach salvation; preach sin and preach grace; preach wrath and preach love; preach judgment and preach mercy; preach obedience and preach forgiveness; preach that God “is love,” but don’t forget that God is just. It is the love of God that compels us to share all of His truth.
We must also stop asking, “Will this sermon topic offend my audience?” and start asking, “Will my silence offend God?” A paraphrase that is often attributed to Alexis De Tocqueville—a Frenchman who authored Democracy in America in the early 1800s, helps to better understand this point: “I looked throughout America to find where her greatness originated. I looked for it in her harbors and on her shorelines, in her fertile fields and boundless prairies, and in her gold mines and vast world commerce, but it was not there...It was not until I went to the churches of America and heard her pulpits aflame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her success. America is great because she is good, and if America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.”
Here is a recent message that may be illegal in California very soon: https://youtu.be/SSi6V7pu4xI
Also check out these 2 Fox News clips to show how far many have drifted from the truth:
CA bill looks to force pastors to embrace pro-LGBTQ ideology https://video.foxnews.com/v/6053601980001/
Abortion & faith: Would Jesus agree with abortion? Madonna thinks so https://video.foxnews.com/v/6053613819001/
Video courtesy: Westside Christian Fellowship
Photo courtesy: Getty Images/Baona
Shane Idleman is the founder and lead pastor of Westside Christian Fellowship in Southern California and the WCF Radio Network. More can be found at ShaneIdleman.com, including free downloads of his eBooks. Visit him on Facebook and Twitter. Subscribe to his new podcast, Idleman Unplugged.