The Death Of A Church

By David J. Stewart
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"For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith..." —1st Timothy 6:10

       There's nothing sadder than watching a once great church slowly die. It hurts. History has evidenced that every institution eventually becomes apostate, but it's hard to stomach the fast rate at which some of today's biggest churches are turning aside after Satan. The problem is apostate pastors, whom God has entrusted to shepherd the flock, but are increasingly coveting after money and are erring from the faith.

It's a frightening thing when a church forms an orchestra, and installs giant overhead projection screens, and has money to splurge on trips to the Holy Land, and all of the staff members drive brand new cars, and money becomes the main issue of the pastor's preaching. Woe unto that congregation, because covetousness has caused more pastors to go down a wrong path than any other sin.

“I've been preaching a long time, and I've watched a lot of things happen. To me the saddest thing that I've watched in my life, apart from my own country going to the Devil nearly, has been the change of preachers and churches. I find myself amazed and stunned with near disbelief, as I see men who once stood who don't stand anymore ... I know every week I cry some, I mean cry, I mean tear cry, because of preachers who are turning.”

SOURCE: Pastor Jack Hyles, from the 1972 sermon titled, I SHALL NOT BE MOVED

As Christians, we must be loyal to principle and truth over organizations and institutions. This is rare. Tragically, most people can easily be led away from the faith by an apostate pastor. This is because people by nature are loyal to organizations and institutions. Most people are afraid to confront the man they've been taught to idolize. A pastor who foolishly teaches that the Bible is no longer inspired, and that a godless Communist U.S. President is a saved man, and that the main topic in the Word of God is money—has erred from the faith.

Our churches were much better off when we didn't have padded pews. Our churches were better off when we had preachers in the pulpit instead of pastors. We were better off when our churches used to have revivals instead of pastor schools. We were better off when pastors used to trust God instead of hounding the working man with false teachings on tithing. We were better off before theologians told us that we were ignorant. We were better off when preachers used to call the Pope “The vicar of Hell,” instead of praising him to cater to Catholics. We were better off when simple country preachers used to utter, “God ain't stopped inspiring hid Word,” than today's eloquent pastors who deny the inspiration of the King James Bible. God deliver us from those who would shake our faith in the King James Bible as God's inspired Word.

America's Bible colleges have replaced their prayer closets with icecream parlors. Our Bible Colleges have replaced devotional time with skit night. Making a living in the ministry has become the selling point of many Bible colleges who are trying to recruit new students, instead of recruiting young people who are willing to bear a cross for the Lord. Our praise of God has been replaced with the praise of men. Our faith in the Bible has subtly been replaced with faith in the pastor. Statues are erected in honor of men. Church members are badgered continually for more money for church ministries, while the pastor and his wife enjoy the best of living.

As a ministry grows, it eventually comes to the place where it can no longer grow without making compromises, such as breaking away from the King James only position in the English language. Although the ministry may continue to grow, it advances closer toward religion and further away from Biblical Christianity. Most religious work today is done in the flesh. Jesus said in John 15:1-7 that we must abide in Him, and His Word abide in us, if we are to bear genuine fruit in the Lord. When pastors stop preaching the inspiration of the King James Bible, they are attacking the very Seed by which men are born-again, for without Christ we can do nothing, and Jesus is the Word of God (John 1:1-3; Revelation 19:13).

When a pastor denies the inspiration of God's Word, he has begun a path to the darkside. When money becomes the main focus of a pastor's teachings, his judgment becomes clouded and compromised. After awhile, the church ends up in apostasy and denial. It is a shame when tens-of-thousands of people are influenced by a man who denies the inspiration of our preserved King James Bible. It is a cancerous tumor that weakens that church, and lefty untreated will ultimately lead to the death of that ministry.

"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

“Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression...” —Isaiah 58:1

Evangelist Billy Sunday

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