Signs of a Dead Church
By David J. Stewart
"And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write... I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead." -Revelation 3:1
I'll tell you right now... If your church has a PULPIT COMMITTEE--find another church! No true man of God would allow a committee to tell him what to preach. We've got enough sissified preachers in the world today. Where are the men of God? A man of God speaks from his heart, as the Spirit of God leads him (Jeremiah 20:9). Pulpit committees are a joke. Ask the pastor of the church you're visiting if he answers to a pulpit committee. If he does--move on to another church!
Prayer Books or Recited Prayers
There's something very wrong with a professed "Christian" who needs to read prayers out of a book, or from memory. I can't believe how naive people are today who repeatedly quote Luke 11:2-4, "Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth..." When Jesus directed us to pray in that manner, He didn't mean for us to recite it as a ritual. God wants us to pray from the HEART, of our own feelings and thoughts. Jesus was simply giving us an example to follow. The Bible condemns praying in vain repetitions (Matthew 6:7) as do the Catholics.
If you ever watch a presidential prayer breakfast or religious ceremony amongst the rich, prewritten prayers are ALWAYS read. God is not pleased with mechanical formalism. God is not impressed with our eloquent words; but with the condition of our heart. When rich men pray in public, they read their prewritten prayers to IMPRESS their guests, not to approach the God of the Bible for help or guidance. They might as well hang the SAME sign outside The White House that Paul observed in Acts 17:23... "TO THE UNKNOWN GOD." In fact, this is why Freemasons refer to their god as the "Great Architect"--because God is UNKNOWN to them, and they readily admit it.
If your church reads prayers from a book like Catholic and many protestant churches do--find another church! God is not the God of the dead, but of the living (Mark 12:27).
Churches that Use the NIV (New International Version)
The NIV bible is published by Zondervan, which is OWNED by Harper Collins, which also publishes The Satanic Bible and The Joy of Gay Sex. The NIV had more than one professed homosexual on the translating committee. Yet, hypocrites who claim to love the Lord defend the Damnable NIV. Why? I'll tell you why--because today's believers, and make-believers, are following men instead of God. Psalm 118:8 warns, "It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man." The NIV is clearly of men, and not God. This is why the word "Godhead" is completely removed. This is why the name of "Jesus" is removed in 38 places in the NIV. This is why Philippians 2:6 in the NIV teaches that Jesus is not equal to God. How could any professed "Christian" who loves the Lord, and believes in the deity of Christ, stab Jesus in the back by supporting the NIV perversion?
But you say, "Our church is getting people saved." Oh really! Romans 10:9 in the NIV teaches LORDSHIP SALVATION! They're leading people into Hell by teaching the damnable doctrine of Lordship Salvation. The King James Bible is trustworthy! The NIV has produced an generation of Lordship Salvationists who foolishly believe that a person cannot be saved without making Jesus Lord. Here's Romans 10:9 from the King James Bible, "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." Now here's Romans 10:9 from the perverted NIV... "That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." The Bible never requires us to make Jesus our "Lord" to be saved, only trust Him as our Savior (John 14:6). Peter shows clear evidence of this when he professed, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God" in Matthew 16:16. Peter never confessed "Jesus is Lord." Rather, Peter received Jesus as the Messiah. Genesis 15:6 simply states that Abraham, "...believed in the LORD; and he (God) counted it to him for righteousness." Romans 4:5 plainly states, "But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness." It is our faith upon Jesus as our Savior, because of the blood that He shed for our sins, that saves us (1st Peter 1:18,19).
Hypocritically, Lordship Salvationists will quote Scriptures about being saved by faith alone; but then require people to have some outward self-righteousness to validate their faith. Clearly they are confusing the ROOT of a believer's faith, which Paul speaks of in Romans; in contrast to the FRUIT of a believer's faith, which is spoken of by James. For more information please read, "Are We Justified by Faith and Works?" The NIV is from Hell, which is exactly where the Lordship Salvation gang is headed. Yes, this means John MacArthur is going to Hell. Don't be deceived my friend, if you believe that you have to do as little as give a cup of water to someone to be saved, you will burn in Hell for all eternity. The blood of Christ is what takes our sins away (not just the death of Christ), and ANY self-righteous efforts on our part is a total rejection of Christ's work of redemption.
If your church uses the NIV--RUN AWAY AS FAST AS YOU CAN!!!
Churches that Baptize Infants
There's NOT one Scripture in the entire Word of God that teaches infant baptism. This is a heathen practice. INFANT BAPTISM IS RESPONSIBLE FOR SENDING MORE PEOPLE TO HELL THAN ANY OTHER RELIGIOUS ERROR. It is a dreadful thing to baptize a baby and let him grow up believing that by baptism he has been saved and is on his way to heaven. Some protestant groups (such as Presbyterian) practice infant baptism, and do not teach that it brings salvation; however, they are deceiving many people with this false doctrine nonetheless. Why would you want to attend a church that is practicing something which is totally unbiblical? The reason why many Protestant churches still baptize infants is simply because it originated in the Catholic Church from which they came out. In other words... Protestants came out of the Catholic Church, but the Catholic Church DIDN'T come out of them. This is why you won't find one Protestant Church which doesn't teach SACRAMENTS. Sacraments are not mentioned in the Word of God, and are a false doctrine.
Martin Luther was a master of deceit. Please read, Can Infants Believe? Martin Luther was a heretic who taught baptismal regeneration until his death. He worshipped Mary, and led multitudes into Hell with him self. Lutheran Churches are of the Devil, because they follow the damnable teachings of Martin Loser.
If your church practices Infant Baptism--find another church!
Churches that allow Christian Rock Music
There is NO such thing as "Christian rock." ALL rock music is of the Devil. Look, if you want to live like the world, then go to a Rolling Stones concert or something; but don't bring the world into the church and profess to love Jesus Christ. 1st John 2:15-17 plainly warns believers to steer away from the world. We are commanded NOT to love the world, i.e., it's fleshly lusts, materialism, and sinful pride. 2nd Corinthians 6:14-17 commands all believers to come out "from among them" (the sinful world) and "be ye separate." The apostate Christian rocker says, "But how are we to reach the lost if we don't make church attractive to them?" The truth is that the world isn't coming to Jesus Christ, they're coming to worldly Christian rock music. The Bible is the most offensive Book on the planet to the carnal man! If God doesn't compromise and soften His Word to appease the wicked, then we shouldn't either. If the world won't come to Christ as He truly is, then what right do we have to distort Christ's character to impress the wicked? Do you really think the Lord Jesus Christ is impressed with these worldly so-called "Christian" rockers who appear on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno--who dress like the world, sing like the world, talk like the world, and act like the world? No way! God HATES Christian rock!
In fact, the entire CCM industry is controlled by wicked people who are sold out to Satan, greed, and immorality. Bill Gaither, considered by many to be the father of Southern Gospel music, endorses the ministry of Marsha Stevens. Miss Stevens is a flaming homosexual, married to another women, who operates the ministry BALM (Born Again Lesbian Music). The album covers of many CCM artists are saturated with New Age occult symbols. Tragically, many churches today allow, and even promote, this type of Satanic music to it's youth.
If your churches' time of music sounds like a BeeGees concert, or Olivia Newton John (a lesbian) singing--find another church that loves the Lord enough not to sing like the world. Churches should shun any type of sensual singing, music that is beat driven, or songs that could easily refer to a boyfriend or girlfriend instead of the Lord. A good rule of thumb is to watch how people respond to the music they are listening to. If the people in your church are closing their eyes, putting their hands in the air, and dancing to the music--find another church! The old-time proven hymns of the faith will always be my favorites--you can keep all this new garbage. By the way, I'm not talking about the CCM's version of the old hymns either. It's sickening how the CCM crowd has mocked and ruined some of those once precious songs. There's nothing any more precious than to hear those old hymns on an old piano.
Churches that Hide Their Finances, and Support Money-hungry Ministers
If the pastor is preaching the Truth of God's Word, has an excitement about serving the Lord, is an aggressive soulwinner, and is a go-getter--then the church may indeed need more money. This is good, because as the church grows it will need more money. However, there is something wrong with a professed man of God who continually asks for money, but produces little results with that money. It's called ROE in the investment world, i.e., Return-On-Equity. Simply stated... What am I getting for my money?
Please use wisdom here. I am not saying to leave your church simple because your pastor presents financial burdens to you as they arise. Money is often a concern in the ministry. The key here is to verify the need of the church, or ministry. You have every right to ask questions about how your money will be spent. A legitimate ministry has NOTHING to hide. Also, don't be satisfied just for a general breakdown of where the money goes. Ask for a detailed breakdown of all expenditures. Creflo Dollar is a charismatic minister, one of the most popular in America. Mr. Dollar (what a name for a preacher...lol) lives in a $5,000,000 home! He ought to be ashamed of himself. Covetous people buy all his books and materials earnestly trying to figure out how to get rich themselves. It's people's sinful covetousness that makes these sinister ministers filthy rich. And they dare call themselves men of God? Creflo is a big shark; but there are tens-of-thousands of little sharks just like him in the ministry.
Inquire as to how much your pastor's annual salary is? Also, what fringe benefits does he get from his ministry? A pastor might appear poor enough to be eligible for welfare, and yet be living high-on-the-hog milking funds from the church. This is a popular scam in America! You'd be surprised how many pastors buy household items (e.g., garden supplies, cleaning supplies, food, etc) and CHARGE it to the churches' budget, but then take it all home. As a donator, you don't see what goes on behind closed doors--so do your homework. I knew a Lutheran pastor who convinced his congregation to donate $500 a month to a mission for the poor. In exchange for the money, the minister of the inner-city mission gave several hundreds of dollars in donated food to the Lutheran pastor each month. They had a nice scam going--crooks! Those Lutherans had no idea that their pastor was receiving food in exchange for their tithes. And the folks who donated food to the mission had no idea that their food was going to the Lutheran pastor in exchange for cash (the Lutheran's tithes). This type of scam happens millions of times a year in America. And the people who give the donations gullibly sit at home patting themselves on the back for giving their money TO THE LORD.
If your church hides it's financial activity, or your pastor is living extravagantly--find another church!
Churches That Don't Go Soulwinning
The church in the Book of Acts was a soulwinning church. The Apostle Paul set the example by door-to-door soulwinning (Acts 20:20). This is called a Christian's "20/20 vision," because Acts 20:20 teaches door-to-door confrontational soulwinning. In Luke 14:23, Jesus said "Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled." Paul was a public soulwinner, and a street-preacher. It's time for churches to take the Gospel message outside of the church walls and into the world where it is most needed. Jesus confronted the woman at the well in John 4 with the Gospel message. Philip confronted the Ethiopian Eunuch in Acts 8 with the Gospel message. I once heard Robert Schuller (or should I say "Roberta") on the radio make the statement, "We don't have to offend people by dropping Gospel tracts out of a blimp, or wear big offensive Jesus Saves buttons. Rather, when they see our changed lives they'll come to the Lord." This is known as "Lifestyle Evangelism" and it's a copout. Yes, Matthew 5:16 does say, "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." However, the Bible also says in Proverbs 11:30... "The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise." Jesus said in John 15:5, "I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit..." The average Christian today has NEVER won a single soul to Christ. The reason is because they haven't tried, because most pastors are lazy or have their priorities wrong. I knew a minister who spent every waking moment of his day renovating his church building. The guy just loved working, which is admirable; BUT, he never spent any time reaching the lost for Christ. He spent much of his time at the hardware store, lumber yard, brick yard, etc; but, he never spent any time knocking on doors in the community, or evangelizing. His priorities were very wrong. Lifestyle Evangelism sounds good in theory; but in reality it's Confrontational Soulwinning that produces MUCH FRUIT in the power of the Holy Spirit, "...for without me ye can do nothing" (John 15:5c).
If your church is not concerned about winning lost sinners to Jesus Christ, or your pastor only talks about soulwinning but never does it--find another church!
Churches That Don't Preach Against Sin
It's hard to imagine a church that tolerates sin, but this is exactly what happened in the church of Corinth (1st Corinthians 5:1). This is extremely common today. 1st Timothy 5:20 states, "Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear." This Scripture is not saying that we should expose church member's sins publicly. What it does mean is that pastors should expose those within the church who are openly living in sin, i.e., it's obvious to the rest of the church what is going on. A pastor must never condone sins within his congregation. For example: If a young couple are shacking up together outside of marriage, and are coming to church as husband and wife, then the pastor should preach against fornication; but not call them by name. I believe the only time a pastor should call someone by name is when their sin is already obvious to the entire congregation, and is threatening the integrity of the church. This is common sense.
Many preachers are cowards, afraid to shell-the-corn and preach against sin. America is in desperate need of some leather-lunged Billy Sundays again. And may I say, preachers should call SIN BY NAME. The 700 Club and other apostate ministries will make vague references to "sin"; but they never define what sins they are talking about. Preachers should preach against Budweiser beer, against the homosexuality of Marsha Stevens (a professed Christian), against the Playboy photos of Faith Hill (another professed Christian), against the damnable heresy of the Catholic Church, against the evils of Las Vegas (Sin City), against the evils of the NIV bible, against the perpetuating sin of divorce, against the stealing and mass-murder within the Bush Administration, against honoring such as pig as Bill Clinton (a womanizing, scandalizing, murderous, draft-dodger), against women wearing pants, against Harry Potter's witchcraft, against Hellivision and Hollyweird, against the euthanasia (torture and murder) of Terri Schiavo, against the government atrocity of Waco, against the GLSEN program trying to homosexual America's children, et cetera. Preachers who only mention the word "sin"; but never call sin by name are a DISGRACE to their calling. This is what young people are dying for nowadays in our churches, a preacher who got some GUTS!
Of course, a man of God should strive to balance his hatred for sin with his love for people as well. You can't have one without the other if you're to win souls to Jesus Christ. People don't care what you know, until they know that you care. A pastor should preach against sin because HE CARES about his people, not just because he has something to get off his chest. A true man of God doesn't like to preach against sin, because he knows it is an unpleasant subject for his people--this is love. Yet, he preaches uncompromisingly against sin for the same reason--because he loves his people. Many people accuse me of being a hatemonger, but they are so wrong. I love people, which is why I have spent so many thousands of hours building and maintaining this ministry for the Lord. I don't like having a website like this, it steps on my toes too; but I love people enough to tell them the truth. It's ironic--you can have 1000 websites that speak of love, forgiveness, and mercy; but then a website like mine comes along that's IN YOUR FACE and the fireworks fly. I wouldn't have it any other way... because I love you, and there's nothing you can do about it. Is your church DEAD?
"And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write... I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead." -Revelation 3:1
"It would be a godsend if the Church would suffer persecution today; she hasn't suffered it for hundreds of years. She is growing rich and lagging behind. Going back." -Billy Sunday, The Need for Revivals, From "Billy Sunday: The Man and His Message", by William T. Ellis, Philadelphia: John C. Winston Co., 1914
"As Christians, we know that there is a literal hell and a lake of fire where the unsaved will burn for all eternity, therefore, we act upon this Truth without reservation and GO OUT into the streets and communities of America declaring the WORD OF GOD and proclaiming the GOOD NEWS.
We must go out to where the sinners are. We must go to those who would never come into our churches— to the atheists, to the religious, to the self-righteous, to the God-hating and win their souls to Christ.
For the Holy Scriptures declare in Romans 10, “How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent?”
For so long, we have allowed Satan to invade our communities through abortuaries, the entertainment and pornography industries, religious institutions, sexually perverse establishments, homosexual parades and other sin celebrations, without a word from the Christian therein. God has called us to “Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.” Isaiah 58:1
We must lift up our voice like a trumpet. We must go out into the world and declare the WORD OF GOD in front of the abortuaries and sexually perverse establishments, and at the homosexual parades and other sin celebrations and call them to repentance. Our light must invade the darkness!
Jesus said, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” If we love God, we will obey his commandments, and if we love our neighbours, we will go to them with the WORD OF GOD, so that they may be saved. For, “…faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” -MICHAEL MARCAVAGE
"It tears at my stomach and brings me profound sorrow to say it. But I must. George W. Bush is a hard-hearted, calculating killer who merely pretends to be a Christian. Believe it and be prepared for the worse." -Texe Marrs
"Who will rise up for me against the evildoers? or who will stand up for me against the workers of iniquity?" -Psalm 94:16
Why Are the Churches Silent?
"For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?" -1st Peter 4:17
"Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could only do a little." -Edmund Burke
You Need to Believe Some of the Things You Hear
Carrying You Cross
Satan Must Run His Course?
"Ye that love the LORD, hate evil..." -Psalm 97:10