What would happen if every preacher preached the fullness of what the Bible says? Today I want to look at five things some preachers don’t want to preach about.
#1) Demons Influencing Believers
It makes us feel good to think that demons could never have any influence on Christians, but it’s also naive. It’s true that we can rest in the protection of Father God, but that doesn’t change the fact that we’re in a spiritual war. When we walk out of the Lord’s protection, it’s like walking out of a military tank in the middle of a gunfight. I have seen far too many instances of believers ignorantly falling victim to attitudes, thought-patterns, and temptations rooted in the influence of demons. It’s time that we as believers embrace the truth and cling to Father God rather than trying to fight demonic influence in our own strength.
#2) Spirit-led Finances
We do talk about money in the church, but we often rob the Holy Spirit of His voice in the matter. Churchgoers are often told to “Give God the 10% that belongs to Him and then decide how much more you want to give above and beyond.” Unfortunately, this tends to put people into a mindset that says, “90% of all I earn is mine to do with as I please.” Not true. In reality, 100% of all you earn and have belongs to God. The Holy Spirit should be the decision-maker in all your financial decisions because every penny you have belongs to Him. When you’re thinking of buying a house, you need to ask the Holy Spirit if you can use His money on that. When you’re at the grocery store, you should be asking the Holy Spirit whether or not you should be buying the kinds of food that you’re buying. In everything you do, and in every financial decision you make (even the small ones), look for the approval of the Holy Spirit.
#3) Healthy Sexuality
Some preachers like to preach about sexual sin, but how often do we inform people of the healthy alternative? Healthy sexuality within the context of the marriage covenant between one man and one woman is a powerful spiritual weapon. It was the first spiritual weapon that God gave mankind–He said, “Be fruitful and multiply, fill the earth, and subdue it.” To subdue the earth is to take control of it. Remember that when Satan and his angels were cast out of heaven, they were cast down to the earth. Even though God could have destroyed the devil with one word, He instead gave Adam and Eve the weapon of healthy sexuality to raise up an army of God-fearing children who would put Satan in his place. I believe that if more Christians understood the power of this spiritual weapon, they wouldn’t be as careless with it. Misusing the God-given weapon of marital sexuality is like beating an atomic bomb with a hammer.
#4) Mutual Accountability
While the topic of accountability often comes up in the Church, it is often presented from a perspective of hierarchy–the lower people are accountable to the higher people, and so forth. Unfortunately, this tends to always leave one person at the top of the pyramid who is only “accountable to God” (whatever that means). Real accountability happens in the context of relationships; and as we know, a typical web of relationships is usually far too dynamic and fluid to define with an organizational chart. Those with the most prominent ministries should still be accountable to the newest Christian. I’m not saying “baby Christians” should be counseling pastors, but I am saying that a pastor should not be afraid to be real and transparent with the family of believers.
#5) True Sacrifice
We’re pretty good about preaching on sacrifice when it has to do with giving up sin. But is it really a sacrifice to give up something that shouldn’t be ours in the first place? In Second Samuel 24:24, David refused to offer God a sacrifice that cost him nothing from his own pocket. True sacrifice comes with a price tag. What would happen in our churches if we talked about sacrificing our daily coffee so we could use the money to feed a child in Africa? What would happen if we talked about sacrificing the watching of sporting events so that we have more time to devote to the Kingdom of God? What would happen if we talked about sacrificing our favorite television shows so that we could have more time to read the Bible? True sacrifice costs you something. (Read Luke 9:23-26 and 57-62.)
It’s all about pride and control.
- As a preacher, if I talk about demons influencing believers, then that means demons could influence me. That might require me to sometimes humble myself before my listeners and say that I don’t always make the right decision.
- As a preacher, if I talk about Spirit-led finances, what happens if the people supporting me financially suddenly feel led by the Holy Spirit to sell all their possessions and give everything to the poor? Where would I get my next paycheck?
- As a preacher, if I talk about healthy sexuality, I might offend the high percentage of my listeners who want to live together outside of marriage or view pornography or simply lust in their hearts. If I offend them, they might leave.
- As a preacher, if I talk about mutual accountability among all believers, I might lose my influence over people when they find out about my struggles; and they might choose to follow someone else who actually is more holy than I am.
- And as a preacher, if I talk about sacrifice, it would not only scare away my nominal supporters, but it will require sacrifice of me.
Now, whether you’re a preacher or not, I want to challenge you to do something. Right now, ask Jesus if these potential consequences are healthy or unhealthy for His Church.
Act on His answer.