No one has ever come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ as Savior by the music ministry in a church, no one has ever been saved by just sitting in a pew but not hearing the message, not one person has ever received the Holy Spirit only because of your example, it has never happened and never will. The only way to the Father is thru the Son (John 14:6), and the only way that ever occurs is by the Word of God and the will of God. No one comes unless they are called (John 6:44), and not all that are called are chosen (Matt.22:14).
There are countless wonderful songs that lift up the name of Jesus, that glorify God and cause our hearts to soar in praise to Him as the tears well up in our eyes, but not one of them can in themselves bring a man to the knowledge of his need for repentance of their sins and life-long submission to the will of God, no matter what type of emotional response they evoke. Those who you have invited to church will not be counted as believers just because they show up and fill a spot in the pews, attendance in a building set aside for worship is not a requirement for salvation, it is an act that believers perform so that they can fellowship and worship the Lord as a community. The lost will see nothing there but hopefully, smiling happy people content just to be away from the cares of the world if only for a short period of time, for the business of the world has no place in the time of worship.
If a message of repentance of sin, of a Holy and Righteous God who is Sovereign and worthy of all praise is not preached, all they will hear is another story, and there will be no conviction of their soul by the prompting of God. If you believe that your example alone is enough to bring someone to Christ, then you are unaware of the truths of the Word of God, and for whatever reason you are either afraid, embarrassed, or ashamed to speak the words of grace and salvation to the lost. Your thoughts are amiss, and there will be no 30, 60, or 100 in your treasury house in Heaven.
It truly saddens me when not only those that I meet out in the world do no more than invite me to their church, but even worse is when I hear the same words from the one at their church that stands behind the pulpit. It is almost as if they desire to give their congregation a way out, as it were, telling them that all they need to do to be an effectual witness for Christ is to act appropriately and invite people to church. I am concerned that there are not only quite a number of people who are only acting like Christians, but pastors and preachers also. There are of course many different reasons for this phenomenon, but they all have a common ground that they stand on, a lack of faith in the promises found in the Word of God.
There are those that are told what they can and cannot preach, no one is to ever be made to feel as if they are not doing enough, convictions of commitment are not to be voiced, simple messages for emotional uplifting of their spirits is what they are to preach, and they do not do this against their will. If those in attendance are expected to obey the commandments of Christ and live their lives accordingly, they may stop showing up on Sunday morning, less people, less budget, less in the paycheck. Do not scoff at this my friends, it is happening more and more every day. These types of churches are becoming the norm. The entertainment value in most of them is of the utmost priority, if the congregation is not kept on the edge of their seats with laughter, then they will fall back in them fast asleep. The message of the saving grace of God thru Jesus Christ is no longer important, the enjoyment of those in attendance is. Friday night comedy clubs, food and beverage available at every service, raffles for donated goods and merchandise, even forms of what is called charitable gambling have invaded these buildings simply to get people to come thru the doors. The fellowship is fun, it is exciting, and it is spiritually dead.
Just think how simple some of these supposed leaders of the congregation have made it for all those who attend though, they are in essence informing them that all they need to do is invite people to the church, no awkward conversations of their spiritual need for a Savior, no Heaven or hell speeches, not even a mention of the word “sin” is necessary, just invite them to the Sunday service, give them the address of the building, and go on about your worldly business. What is even more insidious is that these “pastors” are making those who attend the church to feel as if they have just witnessed to someone, as if Christ is smiling down on them like they had just done a wonderful deed for Him. I do not know why some of these individuals are still behind the pulpit, maybe the pay is that good, perhaps they have no desire to seek employment elsewhere, it might be that it is just a sluff job that allows them extra free time for fishing or golfing. But it might just be that they remain because they like the attention. When you’re standing in front of a lot of people with a certain specific type of garment on every weekend reading the Scriptures, it doesn’t really matter what your discussion is on after that, as long as it sounds holy, you’ve got a gig for life. We all know there are certain cases where this is true, the only difference is that I have said it aloud.
When you look at the faces of those in attendance at these so-called churches, you can see that is exactly what they want, they want a god who will serve them. There are almost always nice, new vehicles in the parking lot, materialism and the things of the world that bring good feelings and emotions are the sought-after prize, and it is what they expect from the one behind the podium. Poverty is a sin, it means that God is upset with you, the goodness of His grace comes in the form of a large paycheck and high limit credit cards. Sin is what you make it, suffering for Christ is for those who do not attend their church. The examples they want to set are the ones that the preacher is expected to tell them they already have. The entertainment value, the prosperity of the world, the emotions of personal righteousness and elation, welcome to the world of the apostacy. Hell is a forbidden subject, no loving and caring God would ever send anyone to a lake of fire, it is only an allegory in the Scriptures. The effects of sin just mean you feel bad about something you shouldn’t have done, repentance is a word you only had to say once when you repeated those words the pastor said before you got baptized. Sin is not being nice to everyone you meet, thinking a bad thought about someone, not showing up for church, unless of course it was for something that was important. Jesus loves me all the time no matter what I do, the pastor said so.
There are three reasons for these letters on this website, the first is to Glorify God in the Highest, the second is to encourage, and you really need to look hard in some of them to find that, and the third is to convict. Only the Holy Spirit of God can do that, and if you attend a church like the one we have been speaking about today, or if you believe your example only or inviting someone to church is the way to salvation and this letter has not convicted you differently, wait a day or two, maybe the next one will. If you are not serving Christ with great humility and in complete obedience, no matter what your pastor says, then the only one you are serving is yourself.