What I am saying is that a lot of church members become disgruntled because they focus on their pastor's human imperfections, mistakes and humanity. In some cases, the pastor's confidence in Christ is mistaken for personal pride. A pastor who preaches with authority, having a like-it-or-lump-it attitude in the pulpit, can quite easily by mistaken for arrogance.
I preach with confidence, making bold statement, and take an uncompromising stand against sin and heresy.
Now that will seem like arrogance and puffed-up pride to someone who doesn't believe every word of the Holy Bible, but it is simply my confidence in the infallible, preserved, inerrant, perfect and inspired Words of God in the King James Bible. As born-again Christians, Jesus said in Matthew 5: A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. The same is true of me as a Christian. When Jesus walked the earth, He was the light of the world John 8: And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
The light of Jesus Christ has been shone into the darkness of the world; yet man comprehend it not, blinded by the god of this world, Satan 2nd Corinthians 4: That's where we come in as Christians, whom the Lord referred to as the light of the world in His absence.
It is our duty as believers to try to win souls, by preaching the Gospel good news of Christ crucified on the cross and risen. The Apostle Paul realized that preaching the Gospel was much more than just a privilege, it is the solemn duty of every born-again Christian, bringing eternal consequences if we shirk off our God-given responsibility. Satan has blinded the unsaved with the bogus lies of evolution, the philosophies of this world, manmade tradition, false religion and even a counterfeit form of Christianity that doesn't involve being born-again which is epidemic in our churches today.
I hear so many people talking about their decision to follow Christ, but there is no mention of the new birth. Salvation is not a process that involves reformation, rehabilitation or education; but rather, it is regeneration by the Spirit of God John 1: Salvation is not a philosophy that a person adopts. Many people think being a Christian means to join an organization, like Roman Catholicism. That is not salvation. Christianity is not an organization, nor is it a culture, nor is it a philosophy, nor is it a business as we have shamefully made it in the United States.
Salvation is a supernatural miracle of God in response to our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as our personal Savior, believing the Good News Gospel that Christ was crucified on the cross for our sins, buried and raised up three days later.
There is nothing else required to be saved, or stay saved. I'm tired of false prophets, such as Pastor Jason Cooley in Minnesota, teaching that you can't just believe the Gospel and then live the rest of your life unaffected. Cooley misunderstands Biblical repentance to mean a change of character and conduct to be saved. This demands that a sinner reform in order to be saved. Tozer said there cannot be regeneration until there has first been reformation, but it is the other way around.
Regeneration being born again comes first, and then the indwelling Holy Spirit changes the man. These folks are confused, lost, and downright hypocritical, stumbling around in the dark. Thus, not only does a lack of Christian conduct expose one as a hypocrite, it contributes to their ultimate downfall. It goes on the offensive.
Darkness attacks those living in it so that they become increasingly trapped in this realm of confusion and blindness. In a real sense what we do is what we become. How we live is who we are. If you truly love Christ, you will love His Church.
They too, have found that faith is not something you hold but someone who holds you. John of the Cross had some rare insight on walking through this "dark night of the soul.
One dark day it even came to Jesus, the Son of God Himself. What can you do to get out of this darkness? You get on your knees and tell God you don't feel so good. Early New Zealand railroad cars had no interior lights in the daytime, so when we entered a tunnel the car would become totally dark for a brief time. What have you seen of God in your own experience? And those lessons are basically:
The truth is that they will be doing quite sufficient if they have patience and persevere in prayer without making any effort. You cannot take matters into your own hands! If God does not bring you light, you must not make your own. But some have tried to do just that. If He won't show me the light, I will make my own. It cannot last and will only leave you blinded.
Don't make the foolish and futile mistake of lighting your own fire. If God has put you into the darkness, let it do its work in your soul. He got you in - and you can trust Him to take you out. If you light your own little match and then go and do your own thing, you will see in that man made light a destruction of much that God has for you. Walk in what God as already given you to do and remain faithful until new light comes.
How long will it last?
How come when I talk to Him He doesn't answer? Why am I not getting any revelation in my life? And those lessons are basically: Will you obey Him whether you feel like it or not?
Will you do what He asks you to do? Will you hold onto the truth He's given you, whether you feel He's there or not? You say, "Of course I will!
Some of you have convictions that God has written and locked into your heart. You think these are so strong, so unshakable that you will never, ever doubt them. Then the darkness comes and you start asking questions. Are these convictions really true or not? What you will find out is whether you really do believe them. The darkness will test your convictions. And the only thing left when the darkness lifts from your life is what you really do believe. How about your consecration?
You had a wonderful experience, perhaps in a church service one time. A totally incredible, miraculous, fantastic thing happened. You wish you had a movie so you could play it back every day of your life. On that day you said, "Lord, I know You've called me. I'm giving my life to You. Hear me, Lord, I dedicate my life to You. I'll never turn back. How long will the darkness last? But when the darkness has finished its work in you, everything that can be shaken will be shaken, and only what is firm, real, and solid shall remain.
Don't fret over your helplessness and your emptiness - they will be riches to you. God says, "I will give you the treasures of darkness. Early New Zealand railroad cars had no interior lights in the daytime, so when we entered a tunnel the car would become totally dark for a brief time. Do you know what happens in such darkness? The pupils of your eyes, which in the sunshine shrink almost to pinpoints, expand wider and wider in the darkness. And when the train suddenly bursts out the other side of the tunnel, the brightness of the world outside is astonishing!
And so with the darkness of God. We do not know or appreciate the brightness of the light we already walk in until we enter this discipline of God. We have absorbed so much that our spiritual perception has shrunk to a pinpoint. We have been given so much that we cannot appreciate what has been shown us.
And then God puts us like children onto His train and runs it into the darkness. But this darkness you are in is only a tunnel. The train is on a sure journey. It is headed without fail to the place you need to be, and the Engineer knows all of the way. This tunnel is not eternal. You will not remain in darkness forever. And ultimately you will come out of the darkness into a greater sense of light than you had when you went in. The darkness and the light are alike to Him Ps. There are treasures that can be found only in such darkness, for there He will show you things about Himself and about yourself that you will never learn any other way.
Remember, you will find wonderful things in that darkness! You will hear the voice of God at the end of the tunnel saying, "Well done, you good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of your Lord.