Churches around the country rarely preach fire and brimstone. Pastors tend to only preach what the congregation wants to hear. The church cares more about bringing people in instead of sending them out. Christians should go to church on any given Sunday ready to feel the weight of their sin. Our sin gets in the way of being effective as we confront the sin and cultural upheaval we will soon face. The world easily can influence us when we not putting on the armor of God.
Ephesians 6:11-13 (NASB)
“Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything to stand firm.”
The fire and brimstone messages are meant to give us the full armor of God. It prepares not for just or every day battles but prepares us for the kingdom of God. Our sin makes us vulnerable against being manipulated and lead astray to the darkness. Leaders within the church need to point out specifically what sin is preventing you to withstand the forces of darkness. A football coach would not send a player on the field without a helmet. A player doesn’t take offense to a helmet. The coach doesn’t either. Yet a church member takes offense when their sin is pointed out. Also, leaders in a church are afraid to preach controversial topics. Sin leads to eternal death while playing without a helmet has a cost far less.
Churches have allowed the culture to create taboo topics to preach from the alter. There is nothing taboo when the goal is to lead people to the light. One of the greatest sins that people are afraid to talk about is sexual sin. This topic has many branches. Marriage, adultery, pre-marital-sex, porn, lust, and a bunch of other stuff. Sin makes us less effective in our witness to God. People need to see that we are set apart from the world.
Many people have a transactional view of what they hear on any given Sunday. They are sold a product that they find pleasing. This pleasing feeling produces a tip in the offering plate. “Tip” was used intentionally. If a member hears something convicting the product feels uncomfortable and they leave. The worst thing a Christian should feel is comfortable. We need to be constantly changing and refining. This comfort breeds complacency. It makes us not take upon ourselves the Great Commission. We shouldn’t hear that sin is bad in church. We need to see our sins pointed out and how it makes us ineffectual. The darkness understands sin while it never believes it is sinning.