What does it profit a man if he should gain the whole world and lose his own soul? (Mt 16:26) The answer to this question is a simple one: NOTHING! Yet, why are Christians seeking solutions to their problems from wicked politicians and not the Word of God? Why are we seeking to save the world by cleaning the air, water, and food supply while neglecting the spiritual needs of the saints? Why are we seeking to increase the moral values of a wicked nation while neglecting to teach our own children the moral values of God? Why do Christians seek to pass laws to prevent immorality as opposed to teaching and preaching God’s morality? Why are we trying to save the world while losing the church?
Liberal minded brethren seek to bring in denominational programs and ideas to the church for which Christ died. The elaborate schemes of some of the larger sponsoring churches to send men to build hospitals, schools and establish “missions” have resulted in nullifying and claim to return to the Bible for authority. When a man goes into a field to preach and is supported by a centralized arrangement unknown to the New Testament, he is hindered from the start in getting people to “speak where the Bible speaks and to be silent where it is silent.” When he plunges the church into every conceivable kind of enterprise not taught in the Bible, while preaching “back to Jerusalem” his claim is inconsistent.
When brethren use false teachers in their efforts to build up the kingdom of God, they are trying to save the world while losing the church. Every generation has had its share of heretics, such as Hymenaeus and Philetus in the Bible. There are preachers who do not believe that instrumental music is wrong who are being used freely in meeting work among the churches who profess to be “on the march.” In fact, they are now using instrumental music in their worship and see nothing wrong with it. Why? Could it be the use in denominational commentaries and authors which have influenced many preachers and teachers? And now arises the specter of teachers in some of the colleges who believe evolution can be harmonized with the Bible. Is it any wonder why this nation legalized gay marriage when many in the church believe that gays and lesbians were born that way, as opposed to it being their own choice? When men of this kind are allowed to occupy the pulpit and are respected by those who use them we are losing the church while trying to save the world.
The increase of worldliness among the professed saints of God nullifies our efforts to reach the lost. They cannot hear what we say because the conduct of members has caused them to lose respect for the church. Cheating, lying, drinking, dancing, foul language, immorality, adultery, homosexuality, transgenders, immodesty and such like hinder the progress of the gospel.
There is a growing attitude of softness and tolerance for error. Preachers who use “great plainness of speech” are unwelcome in many pulpits. To call the names of false religious systems and point out their error is unpardonable in the estimation of some. Hell has been banned from being preached in the pulpit as if it were a curse word and not a place of punishment for the wicked. Pleasant little talks with moral overtones, or sensational subjects have hypnotized many. The church can be no stronger than the kind of preaching it receives. The cries for 20 minute sermonettes filled with poetry and human wisdom and the criticism for men who “quote too much scripture” are symptoms of losing the church. The mania for “Doctors,” college presidents’ and world travelers to fill the pulpit in preference to an ordinary man of God who knows the Bible and is not ashamed to preach it is another straw in the wind.
We are losing the church when we concentrate only on baptizing folks only to leave them as babes in Christ without going to work to edify them (2 Tim 2:15 f; Heb 5:12-14). The teaching program of many congregations is inadequate. Teachers are selected who are untaught or else unconverted. All of this weakens the church and sets it back in trying to win the lost.
While many are in the field of politics and government trying to save the world, only a remnant remain in the field of teaching God’s Word. “Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few: pray you therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth laborers into his harvest” (Lk 10:2). While Christians are out there trying to save the world, they are neglecting the true work of God to: “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry” (2 Tim 4:2-5). This world will perish, but God’s word endures forever (1 Pet 1:23-25). Therefore, let us not consumed with the affairs of this world, but rather let us be consumed the affairs of God (Rom f; Col 3:2)!