Indictments Against the Modern Church in America
(Revival Conference) -
By Paul Washer
Let us go to the Lord in prayer.
I come before you in the name of your Son, Jesus Christ. Lord, you know
all things. They are all before you like an open book. Who can hide
their heart from your presence and your eye? The deeds of the most
clever men are exposed before you. Your omniscience knows no bounds and
if it were not for grace I would be of all men most terrified, but
there is grace, abounding and glorious, poured out upon the weakest of
men and abounding to your glory. Father, I praise you and I worship you
and I thank you for all that you are and all that you have done. And
there is no one like you in the heavens or the earth or under the
earth. You are king and there is no other. You are Savior and you share
that glory with no one.
Father, this night you know me and my great
need of grace. Why am I here except that you called the weakest among
men, the most ignoble among brothers and that by your grace, often
times, the lesser teaches the greater? That is always my case and I
praise you. I worship you.
help us tonight. To the wind with
eloquence, to hell with the brilliant intellect, Father. Let the truth
go forward. Let me be changed that the state of your Church be more
glorious. I pray for grace upon grace and mercy upon mercy for myself
and for the hearers who are present here. Help us, oh God, and we will
be helped and we will boast in that help in Jesus’ name. Amen.
is a great privilege for me to be here this evening, an astounding
privilege to stand here before you and to speak about things such as
revival, reformation, the working of God among his people and among
men. But tonight I am going to share with you an indictment, an
indictment, but it is an indictment of hope.
through what I should do in this series of meetings I came to a great
conclusion, a great burden that was laid upon my heart. We need
revival. We need an awakening, but we cannot simply expect the Holy
Spirit to come down and clean up all the mess we have made. We have
clear direction from the Word of God with regard to
what he has done
through Christ, how he expects us to live, how he expects us to order
his Church. And it does little good for men to cry out for extra
biblical manifestations when biblical principle is violated all around
I want you to know this. There is little need
for the devil
and evil men to oppose a man praying for revival unless he is also
laboring for reformation. We have been given truth and we cannot simply
do what is right in our own eyes and then expect the Holy Spirit to
come down and bless our labors.
As we look into the Old
Testament we see that Moses is given very, very detailed explanation
how to build the temple. Now was that given for Moses’ sake or for the
Church’s sake? I think that what is being explained here is that God is
specific in his will and that we are not to presume that we can take
the smallest detail and ignore it.
Now I know that I am frail man
and I know that I am buffeted by many weaknesses, but I have an
indictment and I can’t call it my indictment because who am I to indict
anyone. And I dare not call it God’s indictment for how can I presume
upon his name. But I will say this. As I look around at the Church and
compare her to Scripture, I see that there are certain things that must
I am not Martin Luther. This is not 95
nailed to Wittenburg’s door, but this is a burden on my heart and I
must share it. I must share it.
Now let me say this. What I am
going to say will anger some of you, but let me warn you. It may be
true that you will be able to accuse me of arrogance. It may be true
that you do not like my delivery. I have many times been arrogant and I
have many times delivered truth in a wrong way, but don’t allow that to
be an excuse for you. The question is. What I am saying, is it true
whether it is delivered through a faulty messenger or no?
of you will be rejoicing in what you hear and you will want to say,
“Amen,” and maybe pump your arms. But don’t do that because all of us
bear a measure of guilt. And if you have attained to some spiritual
state, then I would say what my brother has said. “What do you have
that you have not received and if you have received it, why do you
Would it not be better to worship God in
you are a younger minister, I do not want you to get caught up in these
truths and take them back and storm your church without love. I would
make one suggestion. See to it that your knees are bleeding before you
begin any sort of reformation. And if you are an older minister serving
the Lord for many, many years I beg you not to be arrogant.
An old foolish king can learn from the weakest
of his servants.
1 See 1
also I beg you this. Have the courage to change everything even if it
is the last day of your life, at least you can go into glory knowing
that you attempted a reformation that was biblical.
And I will
say this as a warning to the older men. Now, listen to me carefully. I
know the admonition in 1 Timothy chapter five of the way I am to
address you and so I address you this way, but there is a great
awakening going on in this country and not only in this country and
Europe where I have been and in South America and many other places, I
young men going back to the rock from which we were cut. They are
reading Spurgeon and Whitefield. They are still listening to Ravenhill
and Martin Lloyd-Jones and Tozer and Wesley and it is a great,
incredible movement. Just because popular media and Christianity today
hasn’t discovered what is going on, I want you to know that I would
have never dreamed 15 years ago that I would see the awakening I am
seeing, not through my ministry, but as I go to different places and
see what God is doing without any of our ministries.
is Holland, a thousand young men declaring, “Things have to change,”
crying out all night in prayer for the power of God and the truth of
Scripture or South America recognizing that they have been so
influenced by psychology and all sorts of superficial techniques coming
from America with regard to evangelism and now weeping and broken are
going back and evangelizing their churches, or the inner city of the
United States where I have sat up at times until two and three in the
morning discussing theology with young African Americans in the hood
whom God is going to raise up to do more preaching than anyone will
ever be able to imagine on this day.
There is an awakening.
I am going to say this with tenderness. Most men over 40 don’t even
have a clue about it. Many of the young people who are turning back to
the old men and the old ways and to truths that have brought awakening
time and time again in this world, most of these young men are quite
young. And they will go to their pastors, they will go to their leaders
and say, “Look at this, what we have discovered. Look what happened in
Wales. Look what happened in Africa. Look at this and look at this and
look at this teaching. It is absolutely amazing.”
And most of
them will either turn it away or say, “It is nothing any different than
what I have been preaching for 25 years,” when, in fact, it is
completely different than what they have been preaching in 25 years.
so we need to be very, very careful to understand that God is doing
work. And he who began a good work will finish it2
people have the idea that they are going to pray in a revival. And
other people say, “Revival will come whether you pray or not.”
2 See Philippians 1:6
am not in either one of those camps. But I know this. When I see men
and women and young people all over the world praying for an awakening,
to me that is the first fruits of revival. And I can count on the fact
that he who gave those first fruits will bring in the full harvest.
Now I want to look at 10 indictments, if we have
time, things that I
believe that we must change.
first indictment: a practical denial of the sufficiency of Scripture,
especially my denomination, a practical denial of the sufficiency of
2 Timothy 3:15 and on says:
that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able
to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is
in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for
teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;
so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.3
the last several decades there has been a mighty battle with regard to
the inspiration of Scripture. Now some of you have not been a part of
that battle, but many of us in more liberal denominations most
certainly have, a battle for the Bible.
But there is only one
problem. When you come to believe as a people that the Bible is
inspired you have only fought half the battle because the question is
not merely is the Bible inspired, is it inerrant. The major question
following that that must be answered: Is the Bible sufficient or do we
have to bring in every so called social science and cultural study in
order to know how to run a church? That is a major question.
sciences, in my opinion, have taken precedent over the Word of God in
such a way that most of us can’t even see it. It has so crept in to our
Church, our evangelism and our missiology that you can barely call what
we are doing Christian anymore. Psychology, anthropology, sociology
have become primary influences in the Church.
Several years ago,
many years ago when I was in seminary I remember a professor walked in
and he started drawing footprints on the blackboard. And as he marched
them across the blackboard then he turned to all of us and said only
this. “Aristotle is walking through the halls of this institution.
Beware, for I hear his footsteps more clearly than those of the apostle
Paul and the team of inspired men who were with him and even the Lord
Jesus Christ himself.”
We have come to believe that a man of God
can deal in certain tiny areas in the life of the Church, but when it
really gets tough we need to go to the social experts. That is an
absolute lie. It says here in Scripture that the man of God may be
equipped, adequate, equipped for every good work.
.3 2 Timothy
does Jerusalem have to do with Rome? And what do we have to do with all
these modern day social sciences that were actually created as a
protest against the Word of God? And why is it that evangelism and
missions and so called church growth is more shaped by the
anthropologist, the sociologist and the Wall Street student who is up
on every cultural trend?
All the activity in our church must be based
upon the Word of God, all
the activity in missions upon the Word of God.
missionary activity, our church activity, everything we do ought to
flow from the theologian and the exegete, the man who opens up his
Bible and only has one question. What is thy will, oh God?
are not to send out questionnaires to carnal people to discover what
kind of church they would attend. A church ought to be seeker friendly,
but the church ought to recognize there is only one seeker. His name is
God and if you want to be friendly to someone, if you want to
accommodate someone, accommodate him and his glory whether it is
rejected by everyone else. We are not called to build empires. We are
not called to be excessive. We are called to glorify God.
And if you want the Church to be something other
than a peculiar
people, then you want something God does not want.
want you to listen to Isaiah just for a moment, chapter eight. Listen
to what he says. “When they say to you, ‘Consult the mediums and the
spiritists who whisper and mutter... This
perfect [?] and the church growth gurus and everything else because
every two or three years all their major theories change. Not only on
what is a man or how you fix him, but what is a church and how you make
it grow. Every two or three years there is another fad coming down the
line of what can make your church into something super in the eyes of
Just recently one of the greatest or most well
church growth experts said that he discovered that he was entirely
wrong on all his theory. But instead of turning them to Scripture on
his knees broken and weeping, he goes out to find another theory.
give no clear word. It says here in Isaiah, “Should not a people
consult their God? Should they consult the dead on behalf of the
Should we as churchmen, as preachers, as
pastors, as Christians, should we go out and consult the spiritually
dead on behalf of those whom the Holy Spirit has made alive? Absolutely
not, absolutely not.
indictment: An ignorance of God.
4 Isaiah 8:19
At times I am asked, “Brother Paul, please come
and do a week long
series on the attributes of God.”
many times I will say this. “I am... Well, brother, have you thought
this through?” He said, “What do you mean have I thought this through?”
“Well, it is quite controversial, the subject
that you are putting...
you are giving to go teach in your church.”
say, “What do you mean it is controversial? I mean it is God. We are
Christians. This is a church. What do mean it is controversial?”
said, “Dear pastor, you listen to me. When I begin instructing your
people on the justice of God, the sovereignty of God, the wrath of God,
the supremacy of God, the glory of God, you are going to have some of
your finest and oldest church members stand up and say something like
this. ‘That is not my God. I could never love a God like that,’ because
they have a god they have made with their own mind and they love what
they have made.”
Thus says the LORD, "Let not a
wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his
might, let not a rich man boast of his riches; but let him who boasts
boast of this, that he understands and knows Me.6
Psalms 50. “You thought,” God speaking:
thought that I was just like you; I will reprove you and state the case
in order before your eyes. Now consider this, you who forget God, Or I
will tear you in pieces, and there will be none to deliver.7
what is the problem here? There is a lack of the knowledge of God. Many
of you, possibly think, “Oh, talking about the attributes of God and
theology, it is all high, ivory tower stuff that has no practical
Listen to yourself speak saying the knowledge of
has no practical [?]. Do you know why all your Christian bookstores are
filled up with self help books and five ways to do that and six ways to
be godly and 10 ways not to fall? Because people don’t know God. And so
they have to be given all sorts of trivial little devices of the flesh
to keep them walking as sheep ought to walk.
6 Jeremiah 9:23-24
7 Psalm 50:21-22
Page 6 of 39
Corinthians 15:34. “Become sober-minded as you ought, and stop sinning;
for some have no knowledge of God. I speak this to your shame.” 8
Why the rampant sinning even among God’s people?
A lack of the
knowledge of the God, of God.
let me ask you a question. When was the last time you attended a
conference on the attributes of God? When was the last time, as a
pastor, you taught for a solid year on who God is? How much of all the
teaching that goes on in America all week has anything to do with who
And then we wonder. Isn’t it so easy to go with
the flow, to
just follow everybody else and then one day you hear something like
this and all of the sudden you go, “I can’t even remember when anybody
taught on the attributes of God”?
No wonder we are a people as we are.
know him, that is what everything is about. That is eternal life. And
eternal life doesn’t begin when you pass through the gates of glory.
Eternal life begins with conversion. Eternal life is to know him. Do
you honestly think you are going to be thrilled about swinging on gates
of pearl and walking down streets of gold for an eternity? The reason
why you won’t lose your mind in eternity is because of this. There is
one there who is infinite in glory and you will spend an eternity of
eternities tracking him down and you will never get your arms even
around the foothill of his mountain.
Start now. So many
different things you want to know and do and all the books. Get out a
book on God, this one, and study it to know him, to know him.
morning, because of all of this, I would submit to you that it would be
better not even to have a Sunday morning. Sunday morning is the
greatest hour of idolatry in the entire week of America because people
are not worshipping the one true God—the great mass at least—but are
worshipping a god formed out of their own hearts by their own flesh,
satanic devices and worldly intelligence. They have made a god just
like themselves and he looks more like Santa Claus than he does Yahweh.
There can be no fear of the Lord among us
because there is no knowledge
of the Lord among us.
indictment: A failure to address man’s malady.
I look at the book of Romans which is one of my favorite books of the
Bible, it is not a systematic theology, but if you could say any book
in the Bible was a systematic theology the book of Romans would be the
closest. Isn’t it amazing that Paul spends the first three chapters of
that book seeking to do one thing? Bring all men into condemnation,
bring all men into condemnation.
8 1 Corinthians 15:34
it is not that condemnation is his great sunum bonum in his theology.
It is not his end or his final purpose. It is a means to bring
salvation to his readers because men must be brought to a knowledge of
self before they surrender self over to God. Men are made in such a
fallen manner now that you must cut away from them absolutely every
hope in the flesh before they may be brought to God.
It is as
important in everything, but it is especially important in evangelism.
I remember. This was... I was 21 years old and had just been called to
preach and I walked into an old store where they would sell suits to
ministers for half price. They had been doing it for 50, 60 years. And
I walked in there and I was looking for a suit in Paducah, Kentucky and
all of the sudden the door opened. I heard the bell ring. It closed.
There was an old, old man standing there. I never caught his name, but
when he walked in he looked right at me.
He said, “Boy, you have been called to preach,
haven’t you?” I said,
He was an old, old evangelist. He said, “You see
where that building is
right outside this building?”
I said, “Yeah.”
He said, “I used to preach there. The Spirit of
God would come down and
souls would be saved.”
I said, “Sir, please tell me about it.”
said, “There wasn’t anything like this evangelism today.” He said, “We
would preach for two and three weeks and give no invitation to sinful
men. We would plow and plow and plow and plow the hearts of men until
the Spirit of God began to work and break their hearts.”
I said, “Sir, how did you know when the Spirit
of God was coming to
break their hearts?”
he said, “Well, let me just give you an example.” He said, “Many
decades ago I walked into this store to buy a suit. Someone had handed
me $30 and said, ‘Preacher, go buy you a suit tomorrow.’ And when I
walked through the door the young clerk taking care of the shop turned
around and looked at me and when he looked at me he fell down on the
floor and cried out, ‘Who can save a wicked man like me?’ And I knew
that the Spirit of God had fallen upon the place.”
Now we just
walk in and talk to them, give them three exploratory questions and ask
them if they want to pray a prayer and ask Jesus to come into their
heart and we make a two fold son of hell who will never again be open
to the gospel because the religious lie that we, as evangelicals, have
spewed out of our mouth.
I will say something that Leonard
Ravenhill used to say. “Now you understand why I preach in a lot of
places once.” But that is the truth.
When we treat sin
superficially, first of all we are fighting against the Holy Spirit.
“And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin.”9
are very popular preachers today who are more concerned about giving
you your best life now then they are eternity. And they brag about the
fact that they do not mention sin in their preaching. I can tell you
this. The Holy Spirit has nothing to do with their ministry lest he be
working against. That would be the only thing.
Why? When a man
says he has no ministry dealing with the sin of men, the Holy Spirit
does. It is a primary ministry of the Holy Spirit to come and convict
the world of sin. And so know this. When you do not deal specifically,
passionately, lovingly with men and their depraved condition, the Holy
Spirit is nowhere around you.
Also we are deceivers when we deal
with the malady of men lightly like shepherds of Jeremiah’s day. “They
have healed the brokenness of My people superficially, Saying, ‘Peace,
peace,’ But there is no peace.”10
We are not only
deceivers, but we are immoral, like a doctor who denies his Hippocratic
oath because he doesn’t want to tell someone bad news because he thinks
that person will be cross against him, will be angry with him, will be
sad. And so he does not tell them the news most necessary to save their
I hear preachers today, they say, “No. No, no,
no, no, no.
You don’t understand, brother Paul. We are not like the people of the
day of John and Charles Wesley. We are not like the culture that
Whitefield addressed or Edwards. We are not as hearty as they are. We
are broken. We don’t have as much self esteem. We are feeble. We can’t
bear such preaching.”
Listen to me. Have you ever studied the
lives of these men? What they preached their culture couldn’t bear it
either. No one has ever been able to bear the preaching of the gospel.
They will either turn against it with a fierceness of an animal or they
will be converted.
And to give you a thing about us being more
feeble and not having the self esteem, our country and this world is
overrun with this disgusting malady of self esteem. Our greatest
problem is that we esteem self more than we esteem God.
We are also thieves when we do not speak much
about sin. We are thieves.
9 John 16:8
10 Jeremiah 6:14
me ask you a question. This afternoon, this morning, where did all the
stars go? Did some cosmic giant come by in a basket and pick them all
up and throw them in and carry them someplace else? Where did all the
stars go this morning? They were there, but you couldn’t see them. But
then the sky grew darker and darker and darker and as that night turned
black as pitch the stars came out in the fulness of their glory.
you refuse to teach on the radical depravity of men it is an
impossibility that you bring glory to God, his Christ and his cross
because the cross of Jesus Christ and the glory thereof is most
magnified when it is placed in front of the backdrop of our depravity.
loved much because she has been forgiven much and she knew how much she
had been forgiven because she knew how wicked she was.11
we are afraid to tell men of their wickedness and they can never love
God because of it. We have robbed them the opportunity to boast not in
self, but to follow the admonition, “Let him who boasts, boast in the
indictment: An ignorance of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
want to submit to you tonight that this country is not gospel hardened.
It is gospel ignorant because most of its preachers are. And let me
repeat this. The malady in this country is not liberal politicians, the
root of socialism, Hollywood or anything else. It is the so called
evangelical pastor of our day and preacher of our day and evangelist of
our day. That is where the malady is to be found. We do not know the
gospel. We have taken the glorious gospel of our blessed God and
reduced it down to four spiritual laws and five things God wants you to
know with a little superstitious prayer at the end and if someone
repeats it after us with enough sincerity we popishly declare them to
be born again.
We have traded regeneration for decisionism.
of all I am amazed after I talk about what I am going to talk about for
just a few minutes here how many godly believers of 30 and 40 years
walking in the faith come up to me with tears saying, “Brother Paul, I
never heard this before in my life.” And yet it is the historical
doctrine of redemption, of propitiation.
You see, when you talk
about the gospel, my dear friend, let’s set it up just clearly. The
gospel begins with nature of God and it goes from there to the nature
of man and the fallenness thereof. And it goes from there, those two
great columns of the gospel come to set up for us what should be called
and known as, in every believer’s mouth, the great dilemma. And what is
that dilemma? If God is just he cannot forgive you.
11 See Luke 7:47
12 1 Corinthians 1:31
greatest problem in all of Scripture is this. How can God be just and
at the same time the justifier of wicked men, when Scripture throughout
the Bible says—especially I will draw from one text in Proverbs—“He who
justifies the wicked is an abomination to God.” 13 And yet all our
Christian songs boast about how God justifies the wicked.
the greatest problem. That is the acropolis of the Christian’s faith so
said Martyn Lloyd-Jones and Charles Spurgeon and anyone else who has
read Romans three. You see, you have got to fit this before people. The
great problem is that God is truly just and all men are truly wicked,
God to be just must condemn wicked man. But then God, for his own
glory, put a great love with which he loved us, sent forth his Son who
walked on this earth as a perfect man. And then according to the plan,
the eternal plan of God, he went to that three. And on that tree he
bore our sin and he became, standing in the law place of his people,
bearing our guilt, he became a curse.
“Cursed is every man who does not abide by al
the things written in the
book of the law so as to perform them.”14
Christ redeemed us from the curse becoming a
curse in our place.
many people have this romantic, powerless view of the gospel that the
Christ is there hanging on the tree suffering under the wounds of the
Roman Empire and the Father did not have the moral fortitude to bear
the suffering of his Son so he turned away.
He turned away because his Son became sin.
so many when he is in that garden and he cries out, “Let this cup pass
from Me,” 15 people speculate, “Well, what was in the cup? Oh, it is
the Roman cross. It is the whip. It is the nails. It is all this and
I do not want to take away from the physical
of Christ on that tree, but the cup was the cup of God the Father’s
wrath that had to be poured out on the Son. Someone had to die, bearing
the guilt of God’s people, forsaken of God by his justice and crushed
under the wrath of God, for it pleased the Lord to crush him. 16
was in German a while back or in a Germanic seminary in Europe a while
back and this book The Cross of Christ, now it wasn’t John Stott’s
book, it was another. I pulled it off and began to read it and this is
what it said. “The Father looked down from heaven at the suffering
inflicted upon his Son by the hands of men and counted that as payment
for our sin.”
13 See Proverbs 17:15
14 See Galatians 3:10
15 Matthew 26:39
16 See Isaiah 53:10
That is heresy.
that physical suffering, that nailing to the tree, that was all part of
the wrath of God. It had to be a blood sacrifice. I will take nothing
away from that. But, my friend, if you stop there, you don’t have a
And let me ask you. When the gospel is preached
and when it is shared in personal evangelism today do you ever hear the
things I have just said? Almost never. It is never made clear that
Christ was able to redeem because he was crushed under the justice of
God and having satisfied divine justice with his death God is now just
and the justifier of the wicked.
Gospel reductionism. We wonder
why it has no power. We wonder why... What happened? I’ll tell you.
When you leave the gospel behind and there is no longer any power in
your supposed gospel message, then you have got to go to all the little
tricks of the trade that are so prominently used today to convert men
and we all know most of them, all of them do not work.
friend, let me say this. Several years ago graduating from seminary I
had to make a decision whether I was going to go for my Ph.D. God, in
order to save my spiritual life sent me to the middle of the jungles in
Peru as far away from the academic world as I could get. And there I
began to realize something.
As Spurgeon said, “Greater men with
greater minds than I have approached this doctrine of the Second
Coming, but to no avail. It is a great and mighty doctrine.” He said,
“I will set myself to this: seeking to comprehend something of Jesus
Christ and him crucified.”
Let me tell you this. This is what...
It makes me so angry when men treat the glorious gospel of Christ as
though it was the first step into Christianity that only takes about 10
minutes to counseling and after that you go on to greater stuff. That
shows you how pathetic we are in our knowledge of the things of God.
friend, on the day of the Second Coming you will understand absolutely
everything about the Second Coming, but you will be in eternity of
eternities of heaven and you will not even begin to comprehend the
glory of God in Calvary. It is what everything is about.
man, young preacher, listen to me. Go after Him on that tree, what it
means. You will need nothing to build strange fires in your oven, if
you only catch a glimpse of what he did on that tree, what he did on
I love to say this. I have said it a million
Abraham takes Isaac up that mountain, his son, his only son whom he
loved. Do you suppose the Holy Spirit was trying to tell us about
something future? And that son put up no struggle, but laid down and
when that Father gave his will in to the will of God he brought that
flint knife to pierce his own son’s heart. But his hand was stayed and
it was told the old man that God had provided a ram.
Christians think, “Oh, what a beautiful end to that story.” It is not
the end. It is the intermission. Thousands of years later God the
Father laid his hand upon the brow of his Son, his only Son whom he
loved and took the flint knife out of the hand of Abraham and
slaughtered his only begotten Son under the full force of wrath.
do you know why that little gospel you preach has no power? Because it
is no gospel. Get to the gospel. Spend your life on your knees. Get
away from men. Study the cross.
indictment: An ignorance of the doctrine of regeneration, an ignorance
of the doctrine of regeneration.
dear friends, and I am going to say this bluntly, I know that there are
Calvinists here and I know that there are Arminians here and I know
that there are all sorts of strange animals in between, but I want you
to know this. Although I am leaning more toward—I guess I call myself a
five point Spurgeonist—I want you to know this. Calvinism is not the
issue. No, I am going to get in a lot of trouble when this goes on the
internet. Calvinism is not the issue. I’ll tell you what the issue is.
Regeneration. And that is why I can have fellowship with Wesley and
Ravenhill and Tozer and all the rest because regardless of where they
stood on the other issues they believed that salvation could not be
manipulated by the preacher, that it was a magnificent work of the
power of almighty God. And with them, therefore, I stand, that I was a
work of God.
There is a greater manifestation of the power of
the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit than in the creation of the
world, of the universe, because he created the world ex nihilo out of
nothing. But he recreates a man out of a corrupt man.
paralleled with the very resurrection of our Savior from the dead. If
you are a preacher I understand that in preaching there is teachers and
preachers and expositors and this and that and all of them are very
necessary for the health of the Church. But you must understand this.
As old G. Campbell Morgan, I have heard of him that when he would go up
that majestic tower to preach he would quote to himself, “As a lamb led
to the slaughter, as a sheep before his shearers.”17 He knew that apart
from a magnificent manifestation of the regenerating work of the Holy
Spirit, everything he said would be dead. It is the Spirit that gives
life and in that sense every one of us that proclaims must proclaim as
What do I mean by that? We are always, we are
Ezekiel standing in that valley of dry bones and they are very dry. And
we walk out there and what do we do? We prophesy. We say, “Hear the
Word of the Lord.” And we know that the wind of God must blow on these
slain or they will not rise again. And when you have fully grasped that
in the innermost part of your being, you will no longer give yourself
to the manipulation that is so often carried out in the name of
evangelism in this country. You will proclaim the Word of God. You will
17 See Acts 8:32
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The doctrine of
regeneration. Look at the Wesleys. Look what they had to face for a
moment and my dear Whitefield. What was he? Everybody believed they
were Christian, thoroughly Christian. Why? Well, they were baptized as
infants, brought into the covenant. They were confirmed. They lived
like devils. Regeneration was traded for a type of credalism that was
given authority by the religious leaders of the day.
And then here
comes the Wesleys. No. It is not right with your soul. You are not born
again. There is no evidence of spiritual life. Examine yourself. Test
yourself to see if you are in the faith. Make your calling and election
sure.18 “Ye must be born again.”19
Here in America because of the
last several years, several decades of evangelism the idea of born
again is totally lost. It only means that at one time in a crusade you
made a decision and you think you were sincere. But there is no
evidence of a supernatural recreated work of the Holy Spirit in your
life. If any man, not if some men, if any man be in Christ he is a new
And now it is the same today. What do we face? I
tell you what we face. It is not a sort of infant baptism necessarily
most of the time. It is not a high church confirmation by an
ecclesiastical authority. What we face is the sinners’ prayer. And I am
here to tell you, if there is anything I have declared war on it is
You say. “Brother Paul...”
Yes, in the same way that infant
baptism, in my opinion, was the golden calf of the Reformation, for the
Baptists and the Evangelicals and everyone else who has followed them
today, I will tell you, that sinners’ prayer has sent more people to
ell than anything on the face of the earth.
You say, “How can you say such a thing?”
with me to Scripture and show me, please. I would love you to stand up
and tell me where anyone evangelized that way. The Scripture does not
say that Jesus Christ came to the nation of Israel and said that “The
time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand, now who would
like to ask me into their hearts? I see that hand.”
That is not what it says. He said, “Repent and
believe the gospel.”21
men today are trusting in the fact that at least one time in their life
they prayed a prayer and someone told them they were saved because they
were sincere enough. And so in their salvation if you ask them, “Are
you saved?” they do not say, “Yes, I am because I am looking unto Jesus
and there is mighty evidence giving me assurance of being born again.”
No. They say, “One time in my life I prayed a
18 See 2 Peter 1:10
19 John 3:7
20 See 2
21 See Mark 1:15
they live like devils. But they prayed a prayer. And some of them... I
heard of one evangelist who was coaxing a man to do that thing. Finally
the man felt so uncomfortable the evangelist said, “Well, I’ll tell you
what. I will pray to God for you and if it is what you want to say to
God, squeeze my hands. Behold the power of God.”
the idolatry of decisionism. Men think they are going to heaven because
they have judged the sincerity of their own decision.
came to the Church in Corinth he did not say to them, “Look, you are
not living like Christians so let’s go back to that one moment in your
life when you prayed that prayer and let’s see if you were sincere.”
No, he said this, “Test yourselves, examine
yourselves to see if you
are in the faith.”22
I want you to know, my friends, salvation is by faith alone. It is a
work of God. It is a grace upon grace upon grace. But the evidence of
conversion is not just your examination of your sincerity at the moment
of your conversion. It is the on going fruit in your life. It is the
ongoing fruit in your life.
Oh, my dear friends, look what we
have done. Isn’t a tree known by its fruit? What 60%, 70% of America
thinks it is converted, born again. We kill how many thousands of
babies a day? We are hated around the world for our immorality. Yet we
And I lay this squarely, the blame, at the feet
of the preacher.
indictment: An unbiblical gospel invitation.
have touched on it a bit. I want to go further. Look how we do it
today. I mean, now listen to me. The more... I have seen this
everywhere. The Calvinist, the Arminian, a lot of them share something
in common. It is this, the same superficial invitation. They talk a lot
of talk about a lot of things and then they come to the invitation and
it is almost as though everyone loses their mind.
Walk up to someone says, “God loves you and has
a wonderful plan for
your life.” Can you imagine telling that to an American?
“Sir, God loves you and has a wonderful plan for
22 See 2 Corinthians 13:5
God loves me? Well, that’s great because I love me, too. Oh, this is
wonderful. And God’s got a wonderful plan? I got a wonderful plan for
my life, too. And if I accept him into my life I’ll have my best life
now. This is absolutely wonderful.”
That is not biblical evangelism.
Let me give you something in its place. God
comes to Moses and he says
LORD, the LORD God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and
abounding in lovingkindness and truth; who keeps lovingkindness for
thousands, who forgives iniquity, transgression and sin; yet He will by
no means leave the guilty unpunished .23
The reaction of Moses: “Moses made haste to bow
low toward the earth
begins with the nature of God. Who is God? Can a man recognize anything
about his sin if he hath not a standard with which to compare himself?
If we tell him nothing but trivial things about God that tickle the
carnal mind, will he ever be brought to genuine repentance and faith?
do not begin with, “God loves you and has a wonderful plan.” We begin
with a discourse of the full counsel of who God is. And we tell him
from the start it may cost him his life.
After that we have exploratory questions. “Hey,
you know you are a
sinner, don’t you?”
like years ago my mother died of cancer. It is like the doctor walking
in on today and say, “Hey, Barb, you know you got cancer, don’t you?”
We treat it so superficially. No weight, nothing
“Sir, there is a terrible malady upon you and a
Because if you just tell a man, “Sir, you know,
you are a sinner?” Go
ask the devil if he knows he is a sinner.
will say, “Well, yes, I am. A mighty good one at that... Or a mighty
bad one depending on how you look at it. But, yes. I know I am a
The question is not do you know you are a
question is: Is the Holy Spirit so at work in your heart through the
preaching of the gospel that a change has been wrought so that the sin
you once loved you now hate and the sin you once desired to embrace,
you are wanting to run from it as though you were running from a dragon?
23 Exodus 34:6-7
24 Exodus 3:8
And then the question: Do you want to go to
is the reason I would not let my children go to 98% of the Sunday
schools and vacation Bible schools in evangelical churches because some
well meaning person stands up and says, “Isn’t Jesus wonderful,” after
showing the Jesus film. Yes. “How many of you little children love
“Oh, I do.”
“Who wants to accept Jesus into their little
“Oh, I do.”
they get baptized. And they may walk a little bit because they have
been.... They are being raised in a Christian culture, sort of, a
church culture anyway. And then when they turn 15, 16, when they have
the strength of will they begin to break the bonds. They begin to live
in wickedness and then we go after them saying, “You are Christians.
You are just not living like it. Stop your backsliding,” instead of
going to them biblically and saying this. “You made a confession of
faith in Christ. You professed him even in baptism, but now it seems as
though you have turned away from him. Examine yourself. Test yourself.
There is little evidence of any true conversion in you.”
then when they are 24, 25, after college, maybe 30, they come back to
church and they rededicate their life and they join right in with that
pseudo Christian morality that encompasses churchianity in America and
in the end they hear this: “Depart from me you worker of iniquity. I
never knew you.”25
You say, “Brother Paul, you are so angry.”
Have I not right to be? Somebody must be. Crying
out for revival, but
we haven’t even got the foundations straight.
that revival would come and straighten our foundations. But would we,
while we have open eyes and open ears and have Scripture in front of
us, should we not correct these things?
Would you like to go to heaven?
dear friend, everybody wants to go to heaven. They just don’t want God
to be there when they get there. The question is not do you want to go
to heaven. The question is this. Do you want God? Have you stopped
being a hater of God? Has Christ become precious to you? Do you desire
That is what political theory is all about, my
Everybody wants to go to heaven. But men are haters of God. So the
question is not do you want to go to a special place where you will no
longer hurt and you will get everything you
want. The question is: Do you want him? Has Christ become precious to
25 See Matthew 7:23
Often as a person prays they are told after
that, “Would you like to go
to heaven?” “Well, yes.”
“Well, then, would you like to pray and ask
Jesus into your heart?”
my dear friend, let me say this. There are people who get saved using
that methodology, but it is not because of it. It is in spite of it.
“Sir, do you desire Christ? Do you see your
sin?” “Oh, yes, yes, I do.”
let’s look at a few Scriptures here that lay out for us what repentance
looks like, the Spirit bearing witness that this is happening in your
life. Do you see brokenness? Do you see the disintegration of
everything you fought and now your mind is filled with new thoughts
about God and new desires and new hope?”
“Yes, I see that.
“Sir, that may be the first fruits of
repentance. Now, throw yourself
upon Christ. Trust in him. Trust in him.”
then listen to me. You have the authority to tell me the gospel. You
have authority to tell me how to be saved and you have authority to
teach men biblical principles of assurance. But you have no authority
to tell men they are saved. That is the work of the Holy Spirit of God.
But when you take them through that little
thing, “Did you ask Jesus
into your heart?” “Yes.”
“Do you think you were sincere?”
“Do you think he saved you?”
“I don’t know.”
course he saved you because you were sincere and he promised that if
you asked him to come in, he would come in. So you are saved.”
they walk out of the church after five minutes of counseling and they
evangelist goes to Denny’s to eat, and the man is lost. The man is lost.
unbiblical invitation. If they ever doubt, if they ever doubt their
salvation again, here we go again. If they ever doubt their salvation,
“Let’s go back to a point in time. Was there ever a point in time in
your life when you prayed and asked Jesus to come in?”
“Were you sincere?”
“I think so.”
“That’s the devil bothering you.”
if they live without growth even in the context of a church without
growth in continued carnality, no fear. We blame it on the lack of
personal discipleship and we write it off as the doctrine of the carnal
The doctrine of the carnal Christian has
destroyed more lives and sent
more people to hell.
Christians struggle with sin? Yes. Can a Christian fall into sin?
Absolutely. Can a Christian live in a continuous state of carnality all
the days of his life not bearing fruit and truly be Christian?
Absolutely not or every promise in the Old Testament regarding the New
Testament covenant has failed and everything God said about discipline
in Hebrews is a lie.
A tree is known by its fruit.
we work with men in conversion... I have seen preachers who understood
much about the things of God, but when the come down ever after an
exemplary gospel presentation they will enter, once again, into this
Let me give you a story and then we will go on
next indictment, but a story that is one of the most precious moments
in my life as a Christian.
I was preaching in Canada just...
Actually they told me it was like 30 kilometers from Alaska. There were
more grizzly bears in the town than there were people, really. It was a
little church of about 15, 20 people and I was preaching. And right
when I got up in the pulpit this mountain of a man walked in in his
60s, early 70s, but just a mountain of a man. He could have whipped
every one of us in this building.
And as I preached, as I saw
his face, I just threw everything away and started preaching the
gospel. He was the saddest human being I have ever seen. Just gospel,
gospel and when I got done I walked right from the pulpit to him.
I said, “Sir, what is wrong. What is troubling
your soul? I have never
seen a man so sad and down hearted in all my life?”
he pulled out a manila envelope and it had some x-rays which I couldn’t
understand, but he said this. “I just came from the doctor. I am going
to die in three weeks.” That is what he told me. “Now I have lived all
my life on a working cattle ranch. You can only get there by float
plane or riding horses across the mountains and all this stuff.” He
said, “I have never been to church. I have never read a Bible. I
believe there is a God and one time I heard somebody talking about some
guy named Jesus.” He said, “I have never been afraid of anything in my
life and I am terrified.”
I said, “Sir, did you understand the message,
He said, “Yes.”
what would have a great majority of preachers done at that moment?
“Well, would you like to ask Jesus to come into your heart?”
That is what they would have done.
I said, “Sir, you understood it.”
said, “I understood it, but is that it? Is that just...” He said, “A
child could have understood that. Anybody. Is that all it is that I
understand it and I pray or...?”
I said, “Sir, you are going to
die in three weeks. I have to leave tomorrow. I will cancel my plane
ticket and we will stay here over the Scriptures wrestling and crying
out to God until you are either converted or you die and go to hell.”
so we began. I began in the Old Testament, the New Testament, every
verse of Scripture dealing with the promises of God regarding
redemption and salvation, over and over, time after time, reading John
3:16, praying for a while, crying out to God, questioning the man
regarding repentance, regarding faith, regarding assurance, working
till Christ be formed in him.
And then, finally, just exhausted
that evening there was no breakthrough, there was nothing. And I said,
“Sir, let’s pray.” And we prayed.
I said, “Sir, read John 3:16 again.”
He said, “We have read this a million times.”
I said, “I know, but it is one of the greatest
promises of salvation.
Read that text again.”
I will never forget. He had my Bible on his lap in those big
mountainous hands of his and he said, “Ok.” He said, “For God so loved
the world, that He gave ... 26 I’m saved. I’m
saved. Brother Paul, all my sins are gone. I have eternal... I’m saved.
I said, “How do you know?”
He said, “Haven’t you ever read this verse
was going on? A working of the Spirit of God instead of those little
tricks you try. What you want to go eat. What you think preaching is a
spectacle and after that you go back to the hotel? No, after the
preaching is when the work begins. Dealing with souls. People come
forward in meetings for counsel by someone who shouldn’t be counseling.
Five minutes, they are given the... Quick, give the card to the pastor
and the pastor says, “I would like to present to you a new child of
God. Welcome him into the family of God.”
How dare you?
you are going to present him, say this. “This man tonight has made a
profession of faith in Jesus Christ. And because of our fear of God and
our love for the souls of men we will now be working with him to make
sure that Christ has truly been formed in him, that he truly has a
biblical understanding of repentance and faith and great assurance and
joy in the Holy Spirit. That is what we are going to do.”
Look what we have done. I plead with you. Look
what we are doing. And
this is not some cult. This is us. Stop it. Stop it.
Sixth indictment: Ignorance regarding the nature
of the Church.
has only one religious institution. It is the Church. It is the Church.
And our ultimate goal and the ultimate product of revival will be the
planting of biblical churches.
I have the greatest fear that the
local church today is despised. Tell somebody you are an itinerant
preacher, that you have a world wide ministry and they all bow down.
Tell someone you are a pastor of a group of 30 and they make you sit in
the back during the conference.
He is not the prince of itinerant preachers, he
is the prince of
years ago Bill Clinton had a slogan during the election. “It is the
economy, stupid.” My pastor, Jeff Noblett, one of the elders in our
church, the primary teaching, preaching pastor, he said to me one day,
he goes, “You know, I’d like to have a bunch of shirts made up.”
“What would they say, brother Jeff?”
26 John 3:16
“It’s the Church, stupid.”
gave his life for the Church, a beautiful virgin, pristine Church. If
you want to give your life for something in the ministry, give it to
the Church, to a church, a body of believers, a local congregation. It
is the Church.
Now let me say this about the Church. I want you
to listen well. There is not a remnant of believers in the Church. We
all know about the remnant theology, you know, that throughout all the
course of Israel there was Israel the people of God and a remnant of
true believers. That is not true about the Church. There is not a
remnant of believers or a small group of believers inside a larger
group called the Church. The Church is the remnant.
And I want
to say this. If pastors have ever come to close to blaspheming it is
with regard to this. I hear theologians, itinerant teachers, pastors,
this and that saying these sorts of things. “There is just as much sin
in the Church as out of the Church. There is just as much divorce in
the Church as out of the Church. There is just as much immorality and
pornography in the Church as out of the Church.” And then preachers
say, “Yes, the Church is acting like a whore.”
I want you to know this. You ought to be very
careful calling the bride
of Jesus Christ a whore.
will tell you what the problem is. Pastors and preachers don’t know
what the Church is. I want you to know that the Church of Jesus Christ
in America is beautiful. She is frail at times. She is weak. She is
buffeted. She is not perfect, but I want you to know she is broken. She
is humbly walking with her God. The problem with you is you don’t know
what the Church is.
Today because of the lack of biblical
preaching the so called Church is filled up with carnal, wicked people
identified with Christianity. And then because of all the goats in the
midst of the lambs, the lambs are blamed for all the things the goats
are doing and then the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles
because of us.
Have you ever read... Let’s just.... I know we
are running out of time, but just go quickly with me, just go quickly.
I want to show you something. Go to Jeremiah 31, thank you. Verse 31 of
Jeremiah 31. “‘Behold, days are coming,’ declares the LORD, ‘when I
will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of
Now I do not want to take away anything from the
called Israel, but this text is also applied to the Church. Understand
that. I don’t want to get into any battles on eschatology, but in the
Bible, in the New Testament, the book of Hebrews it is applied to the
people of God.
27 Jeremiah 31:31
“Not like the covenant
which I made with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to
bring them out of the land of Egypt.”28
preachers saying all the time, “Well, when you look back and you see
Israel, you see a bunch of godless, idolaters, people. And in the midst
of them there was a tiny remnant of true believers.” That is true, but
don’t apply that to the New Testament Church because he says, “I am
going to do something different,
Not like the covenant which I made
with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out
of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, although I was a
husband to them," declares the LORD. "But this is the covenant which I
will make with the house of Israel after those days," declares the
LORD, "I will put My law within them.”29
just given you, if you are converted, he hasn’t just given you a stone
tablet of laws. He has supernaturally, through the doctrine of
regeneration, written those laws in your heart. And because he has done
that, “I will be their God, and they shall be My people.” 30
look what it says. “"They will not teach again, each man his neighbor
and each man his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they will all
know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them,’ declares the
LORD, ‘for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember
Again, the doctrine of regeneration. God
is doing a new work these last 2000 years. We don’t have a lot of
churches in America. We have a lot of really nice brick buildings on
finely manicured lawns.
Just because someone says they are of
the Church or they are Christian doesn’t make it so. Look what he says.
They will not even have to teach one another.
Now that doesn’t
mean there won’t be teachers and preachers, but there will all be an
outstanding knowledge of God among them, particularly with regard to
their sins having been forgiven.
Quickly just jump. Look at 32,
chapter 32 verse 38. “They shall be My people, and I will be their
God.”32 He doesn’t say, “I hope so, maybe, if I get lucky, oh, if I can
get enough evangelists to work with me, maybe this will all come out
He says, “I am going to pull a people for me, a
that I am going to give to my Son.” And he says, “They shall be My
people, and I will be their God. ”33
29 Jeremiah 31:32-33
30 Jeremiah 31:33
31 Jeremiah 31:34 32 Jeremiah 32:38
Look at this. “And I will give them one heart
and one way.”34
don’t be angry with me, any angrier than you already are at least. But
listen to me. The 70s and 80s and all the Jesus marches and everyone
weeping and crying, “The Church is so divided. The Church is not one.”
dear friend, let me tell you something. If the Church is not one there
is a prayer out there that God the Father did not answer for his Son.
And this new covenant promise assailed.
So I want to redirect you a little bit. I want
to submit to you, the
Church is one. She has always been one.
you ever sat down on an airplane or maybe met someone in a marketplace
you didn’t even know and you being maybe Baptist or Mennonite or this
or that, but truly evangelical, truly Christian, you talk to him for no
more than few minutes and you discover, “He is a believer. This is a
And at that moment you would give your life for
him. You would give
your life for him.
remember one time we were in Departamento Amazonas in Peru and it was
during the time of the Sendero Luminoso and the civil war that was
going on there. We rode 22 hours up in the back of a grain truck under
a black tarp and at about midnight we pulled the tarp off, the truck
stopped and we jumped off into the jungle. We stayed the night just at
the edge of the jungle and made our ways up to a place called [?].
About half way up we got lost in the dark the next day so we were
praying, me and my dear friend Paco, we were praying, “Oh, God, give us
some direction. We are lost. If we are found in here the terrorists own
the place. The military wouldn’t even go in.” We cried out, “Oh, God,
give us some direction. Help us.”
We heard a bell. And then we
heard somebody talking. It was a strange conversation at first we
thought. Then we realized it was a little boy coming in from the fields
with his burro and he was talking to his burro. And so we got behind
him and we followed him. Then we stood on the edge of the town, a
little village, huts, adobe homes and I said,
“Paco,” I said, “You know, if terrorists own
this thing we are dead.”
“Yeah, but we have got to somewhere.”
we got down, walked up to a man who was drunk in the dark and said, [?]
“Are there brothers here?” Because everybody knows what that means in
the mountains? It means a real Christian.
And he said, [?], “The old woman over there.”
34 Jeremiah 32:39
I went over there. There was an old Nazarene woman and I knocked on the
door. I said, “I am an evangelical pastor. Please help me.”
old woman reached out with that lantern. She grabbed me. She pulled me
inside. She grabbed Paco, took us down. Her house was cut out of a kind
of a cliff in the mud
and took us down in the basement where
there was some hay and chickens and things and she sat us there and she
lit a lamp and then a little boy came in and she called to him and
said, “Go get the other brothers.” And they started bringing chickens
and yucca and everything else, risking their life. Why? Because we are
Stop saying all these silly things that you are
the body of Christ is divided and it is a mess and it is full of sin. I
would not talk about the bride of Christ that way if I was you.
you have got is a bunch of goats and tares among the sheep. And because
very little biblical, compassionate Church discipline is practiced,
they live among the sheep, they feed on the sheep and they destroy the
sheep and those of you who are leaders in the Church are going to pay a
high penalty when you stand before the one who loves them because you
did not have enough courage to stand up and confront the wicked.
a matter of fact, listen to me. The average scenario in North America
with regard to churches by and large, the churches are democracies. And
I don’t want to get into the ifs and pros or cons of that. But here is
what happens. Because the preaching of the gospel is so low, the church
is basically the majority of it are carnal lost people and because it
is a democracy they by and large govern the direction of the church.
And because the pastor doesn’t want to lose the great number of people
and because he has wrong ideas regarding evangelism and true
conversion, he caters to the wicked in his church and his little group
of true sheep that belong to Jesus Christ are sitting there in the
midst of all the theater, in the midst of all the worldliness, in the
midst of all the multimedia going, “We just want to worship Jesus and
we just want someone to teach us the Bible.” And pastors are going to
pay for that.
I have.... It is true. It is just true.
You are saying, “Oh, you are just angry.”
dear friends, do you know what it costs me to say this? It is true.
Trying to keep together a bunch of wicked people while a little flock
in the midst of them are starving to death and are made to go in
directions they don’t want to go with the carnal majority.
me. If my wife was at Walmart late one night and you walked by as a man
and you aw that two men were abusing her, three, four, five, then men
were abusing her and hurting her and you put your head down in the name
of self preservation and you walked by, I want to tell you something,
my friend. I will not only look for those 10 men, I will look for you.
Page 25 of 39
is the bride of Christ and she is precious to him. It is going to cost
you to serve to Jesus. It could cost you your church, your reputation
and your denomination, absolutely everything. But the bride of Jesus
Christ is worth it.
Look what it says. I love this. Look, 39. “I
will give them one heart and one way.”35 And what is that way? It is
Christ and it is holiness.
Every true believer I have ever met spoke
much of Christ and had a longing desire to be more holy than they were,
more conformed to Christ. And, look. “I will give them one heart and
one way, that they may fear Me always, for their own good and for the
good of their children after them.”3
Oh, what a text that is. But
let’s just go on really quickly. “I will make an everlasting covenant
with them that I will not turn away from them, to do them good.”37
we just read this and so many people who are wicked, who are lost, they
just go to church on Sunday. They hear this verse. “Yes, God has made
an everlasting covenant with me. He will never turn away from me,
never, never. I am secure because of God’s grace.” But they fail to
read the second part.
And look what it says. “I will make an
everlasting covenant with them that I will not turn away from them, to
do them good; and I will put the fear of Me in their hearts so that
they will not turn away from Me.”38
The evidence that God has made
an everlasting covenant with you, sir, is that he has put the fear of
God in you so that you will not turn away from him and if you turn away
from him and he does not discipline you and you continue turning away
from him, it is evidence that he has not put his fear in you, you have
not been regenerated and you have no covenant with God at all.
Oh, it’s true.
indictment—and we will just rush through this—and I know
that this is misunderstood today and so I am going to define it: A lack of loving and
compassionate Church discipline.
Most evangelical pastors in America today ought
to take Matthew 18 and
rip it right out of their Bible.
You can’t do that, sir. You have got to take the
37 Jeremiah 32:40
Page 26 of 39
pastors, their theology gets left behind when they come out of their
office, out of their study. They are theological in conversation. They
are theological in their office, but when they step out, they run the
church by carnal means.
I am not an elder at my church and so—and
have not been there very long—so I can say this without boasting. It
practices church discipline. It is a very large church, about 1000. And
they estimated they have saved 30 marriages in the last several years
through loving, compassionate church discipline that does not begin
with excommunication. It begins with, “Ye who are spiritual...” 39
We say, “Oh, I am too loving. We can’t practice
discipline. We just...
we are just too loving.”
You are more loving that Jesus? He is the one
who commanded this.
“Yeah, it will cause so much problems.”
you’re right. Maybe that’s why there’s not a whole lot of problems
between the church and culture today because we are not confronting
And we don’t confront culture just by going out
picketing Hollywood. We confront culture by obeying God. Noah built the
ark and condemned the world. You don’t have to have a protest sign.
Just walk in obedience and the world will hate you.
My dear friend,
“If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he
listens to you, you have won your brother.”40 Oh, what a wonderful
thing. “But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with
you, so that by the mouth of two or three witnesses every fact may be
It is not that these guys are on your side. They
going to listen and judge. Maybe you are the one that is wrong. Maybe
your brother is not in sin. Maybe you are overcritical and legalistic.
And listen. “If he refuses to listen to them,
tell it to
the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be
to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.”42
My dear friend, I
believe that we need to hear this. We can either start obeying God and
disciplining ourselves or we can have God do it for us. And maybe the
hour is coming and now is when that is going to happen.
I am not
talking about critical, legalistic, hateful men. There’s enough of
those. I am talking about a man, a group of elders, leaders who love
enough to lay their life on the
39 Galatians 6:1
40 Matthew 18:15
41 Matthew 18:16
42 Matthew 18:17
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because they know this is not a game. This is not something that we do
just for this life, that eternity is at stake, the salvation of souls.
Look at all these Christian bookstores. Look at the old books of the
old days of the Wesleys and the Whitefields and on and on, the Puritans
and the Reformation. Most of those books dealt with what is the gospel,
how do you preach it, how do you bring someone to Christ, how do you
discern true conversion, how do you be a doctor of souls.
joined Rome in this matter. Rome: The baby is baptized, the baby is
Christian. The baby is Rome’s. Never again deal with conversion. Just
create all sorts of worldly means to try to keep them in the Church.
have done the same. Pray a little prayer with them after two or three
minutes of counseling, after a half an hour of preaching, 25 of which
was very funny stories and then drawing the net after five minutes.
Counsel them for a little bit and then declare them saved and then
spend the rest of their days discipling them and wondering why they
I want to submit to you, I believe in personal
one discipleship, but, my dear friend, the Church got along for a
thousand or more years without it, without what we know as personal,
one on one, discipleship with all the books and all the different
I want you to think about this. One on one
became gigantic in the late 70s and until today. What was the cry? Just
as many people are going out the back doors, coming in the front door
and the reason why that is happening is because we are not discipling
No. The reason why it is happening is because
getting converted, because his sheep, they hear his voice and they
follow him, whether you disciple them or not.
Now we ought to
disciple, but that is not why they are leaving. They went out from us
because they were not of us. 43 And they hardly got a chance to be of
us because they never heard a true gospel and no one ever dealt with
So we spend a fortune discipling goats, hoping
become sheep. You can’t teach a goat into a sheep. A goat becomes a
sheep by the supernatural working of the Spirit of almighty God.
Church discipline... I moved my family to this church because they
practice Church discipline, because I need to be under Church
discipline, the watchful care of elders and other members who take this
seriously. I want my children, if they are converted one day, they are
all tiny right now, but if they are converted or they make a profession
of faith and then go awry, I want to know that my children will be
brought before the Church, if necessary for the salvation of their soul.
43 See 1 John 2:19
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of you in here would get so mad if a pastor walked up to you and said,
“Honestly, I have been praying about your child and I fear that they
You would get so mad you would rally up a group
have that pastor kicked out instead of realizing, “Oh, praise God, we
have got a man of God here.”
A silence on separation.
is a void of serious teaching about holiness. My dear friend, general
teaching on holiness, everyone agrees. Let’s be holy. We need to be
more holy. Let’s have a holiness conference.
But when you get specific about what that means,
that’s when everything
turns into a turmoil.
“Pursue peace with all men,” the writer of
Hebrews tells us, “and the
sanctification without which no one will see the Lord.”44
Does anybody believe this?
You say, “Brother Paul, I have been blamed so
often for teaching, you
know, works religion.”
to me. Listen. Again, it goes back to regeneration and the providence
of God. If God truly converts a man he will continue working in that
man, through teaching and blessing and admonition and discipline. He
will see to it that the work he has begun will be finished. And that is
why the writer says, “Without sanctification, without holiness no one
will see the Lord.”45
Why? Because if there is no
growth in holiness, God is not working in your life. If he is not
working in your life it is because you are not a child.
Look at the difference between Jacob and Esau.
“Jacob I loved ... Esau
I hated.”46 Yet
God fulfilled all his promises to both of them. Jacob was blessed. Esau
was blessed. How did God demonstrate his judgments and wrath against
Esau and his love toward Jacob? I will tell you how. He let Jacob run
wild. He let Esau run wild, no work of discipline, no work of
godliness, nothing. But he beat Jacob to death almost every day of his
The loving discipline, the correction of God to
bring us to holiness.
44 Hebrews 12:14
45 See Hebrews 12:14 46 Romans 9:13
there is so much teaching on this, but let me just say this. “Therefore
I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a
living and holy sacrifice.”47 Romans 12:1 and then go on to two.
bodies. Why does he say “body?” I think to avoid all this super
spirituality. “Well, I have given Jesus my heart and you can’t judge a
book by its cover.”
Well, as a matter of fact, you can judge a
book by its cover. Jesus never said you couldn’t just a book by his
cover. He said you could. “You will know them by their fruit.”48
if you think that you have given him your hear, then he will have your
body. And I will tell you why. The heart, my friend, is not some blood
pumping muscle or some figment of a poet’s imagination. It refers to
the very essence or core of your being. Don’t tell me Jesus has the
very essence and core of your being and it doesn’t affect your body. It
is just not going to happen.
And so what do we do? We go through
Scripture, what, legalistically? No, drawing inferences? No. Just
standing on the commands of Scripture.
not agree with everything the Puritans said, but I love the Puritans
and one of the reason why I love them because I believe they honestly
made an attempt to bring everything in their life under the lordship of
Their minds, because they wrote 800 page books
what should I think about according to the Scriptures. What should not
enter into my mind according to the Scriptures? What should I do with
my eyes? What should go in these ears and what should not go in these
ears? How should the tongue be ruled? What should be the direction of
And yes, I am going to scare you to death. How
should I dress?
here I am going to be careful here. I don’t want to draw inferences and
things. My dear friend, my wife says it this way. If your clothing is a
frame for your face from which the glory of Christ springs forth, it is
of God. But if your clothing is a frame for your body, it is sensual
and God hates it. Enough said?
Now I can’t go through everything
of holiness and holiness isn’t just outward expression, but we have
become to be a people that uses the interior work of the Spirit as an
excuse to say nothing is ever going to happen on the outside. And that
is not true.
47 Romans 12:1
48 See Matthew 7:20
of you young men, you cry out probably more than I do that the Spirit
of God would fill you and work in you, but it only takes one half hour
of television to so grieve him, he will be miles from you.
Ninety-nine percent pure, 1 % sewer I am not
time I was struggling and Leonard Ravenhill was talking to a dear
friend of mine who was saying, “Brother Leonard, a young man, brother
Paul, he is really struggling.” And he sent a tract. I still got that
tract. I will never, never part with that. It said, “Others can, you
I don’t necessarily agree with everything.
Young man, listen to me. I don’t go to malls. I
don’t, not because I am
more holy than you. It is because I know what I am.
is the story of one of the finest, greatest violinists in Europe
playing his final concern, an old man. And when he finished a young man
walked up to him, violinist and said, “Sir, I’d give my life to play
And the old man said, “Son, I have given my life
to play like me.”
“I want the power of God on my life.” Then
something has got to go.
“I want to know him.” Then some separation has
me tell you something, young man, everyone else is running around, all
their little retreats and all their conferences and getting together
with group hugs and singing Kumbyah and everything else. Maybe you need
to get alone in the wilderness with God and fast for seven days on your
knees studying the book of Psalms, just being alone with God, belonging
To be a man of God there has got to be a sense
sometimes even your wife who is of your own flesh, one with her, she
looks you in the eye and she knows she can’t go where you are going.
is silence on separation. I think, “Do not be bound together with
unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and
lawlessness?”49 Nothing. “Or what fellowship has light with
darkness?”50 Nothing. Darkness is the opposite of God’s revelation.
At what harmony Christ was [?]. Nothing. Or what
has the believer in
common with the unbeliever? Nothing.
49 2 Corinthians 6:14
Page 31 of 39
says, “Come out from their midst.”51 Come out from the midst of what?
Come out from the midst of lawlessness, darkness, satanic devices and
the life and worldliness of the unbeliever. Come out from it.
and this is very important to me as an older man with a young family. I
didn’t get married until I was 30. My had something of a little brain
tumor for the first eight years. We couldn’t have children and then,
oh, praise God, a child was born and then another and then another and
then, who knows?
sociology have replaced the Scriptures with regard to the family.
dear friend, pastors, leaders, think about this. Our churches or our
Sunday morning services—better said—are so cosmetic. Just because there
seems to be beautiful worship and the sermon went well and people seem
to be moved, that is not evidence. I will tell you what evidence is.
The home, the marriages, the families.
Judges 17:6. “In those days there was no king in
Israel; every man did
what was right in his own eyes.”52
I talk to people because I go for all kinds, I find a godly man who has
raised godly children and I go and I latch on to him. But in most cases
do you know what I find out? The people I talk to in church all of it
is wive’s tales and sociology and this and that and every other thing,
what is right in their own eyes and can’t give me one biblical verse.
But every once in a while I find a man and a woman who set themselves
to set their family according to Scripture and the difference is
When I am on an airplane I love to do this. Men
will sit down beside me
and they will go, “What do you do?”
I go, “Oh, I’m a husband.”
They go, “Oh, what else do you do?”
“Oh, I’m a father.”
“What else do you do?”
“Well, if I have any time left over I preach a
does it matter if a man win the whole world and lose his family? And
let me just put it to you this way. Based upon what are you raising
your children and loving your wife? Based upon what? If you can’t start
going into Scriptures right now and pulling them apart and showing me
how your family is founded upon it, I can assure you, you are a captive
of psychology, sociology, the whims and the lies of this age.
51 2 Corinthians 6:17
52 Judges 17:6
You see, you don’t have the right to do... You
have no authority, sir,
apart from the Word of God.
at Genesis 18:19. “For I have chosen him, so that he may command his
children and his household after him to keep the way of the LORD by
doing righteousness and justice, so that the LORD may bring upon
Abraham what He has spoken about him.”53 What a
listen, Romans chapter 12 verses one and two. Well, verse two tells us
that the will of God is perfect. So if you ever come up with this idea
as a man of God, “I am sacrificing my family for the sake of the
ministry,” I will tell you, you are a bald faced liar. You are
sacrificing your family for the sake of the little kingdom you are
trying to build because the will of God is perfect. That means I do not
have to violate the will of God with regard to my family in order to
fulfill the will of God with regard to the ministry.
God doesn’t need you. He does desire that you be
obedient, that you be
just want to give you two examples. Now before... It is like when
someone asked me one time, “Brother Paul, are you against evangelism?”
I said, “Yes and no. I am not against biblical
evangelism, but I am
against the way you are doing it.”
“Are you against Sunday school and youth groups?”
“Yes and no.”
want to explain something to you. Now, for some of you I am not going
to be enough and for some of you I am going to be too much. I just want
to use these two things to point out what is wrong with us.
school. No matter what denomination you are a part of, if you are a
part of some denomination that is kind of organized I can assure you
that your denomination spends multi millions of dollars on Sunday
school material, multi millions of dollars of conferences, on teaching
teachers how to teach Sunday school, on doing everything in the book to
promote Sunday school. I know that for a fact.
Let me ask you.
How much money does your denomination spend and how many conference and
man hours are put in to teach fathers to teach their children? So now
you have found it, haven’t you? God doesn’t have a plan B. He has a
plan A. You circumvent plan A, plan B won’t work.
53 Genesis 18:19
I am not saying that children can’t come together in groups and be
catechized or be taught or anything, but if that ever even begins to
hint to supplant the ministry of the Father in the home, blow it to
Do you see what I am saying? Look at just that
instance. Everything for Sunday school, everything for Sunday school.
But there is hardly a conference in this entire country to teach men
how to teach their children. And most of the time in the Sunday school
it is nothing more than entertainment because the Sunday school teacher
doesn’t have the authority to discipline your child. And even if they
did they wouldn’t do it because they don’t believe in it.
That’s just one tiny instance. Let’s look at
“Well, youth need to be together. You know, they
need to be together.”
Ok, well, let’s look. Proverbs 13:20. “He who
walks with wise men will
be wise, But the companion of fools will suffer harm.”54
ever told you youth ought to be together? Who ever told you that? I’ll
tell you who told you that. 1960s psychologists, generation gap. Youth
are to be with adults so that they stop acting like na´ve fools and
join adulthood and put away foolishness which leads to destruction.
Now I am not saying you can’t bring youth
together, but I submit if you
do, have all their parents there.
And you say, “Well, what about the lost youth
that come into our
what are they seeing now? The lost youth come in to your Christian
youth in Church and they see almost the same thing they see in their
own home, no parents, kids teaching kids. Or one guy a little bit older
with mousse in hair teaching your kids.
But what would happen if
lost youth came into your church and they saw the children there, the
youth in a loving, wonderful relationship collectively with their
parents and they would go, “Whoa. I have never seen anything like this
before. His dad, look at him. He loves ... I mean he loves his dad. I
mean look at the... So is this Christianity?”
You see, my dear
friend, let us say... I am no doctor, but a man comes up to me with a
bleeding forehead and he says, “Brother Paul, I have been everywhere.
No one can diagnose my problem.”
And I say, “Well, I am no doctor, but I’ll
follow you around for 24
54 Proverbs 13:20
I notice that every time the hour strikes if it strikes one he hits
himself in the head with a brick one time. If it strikes two he hits
himself in the head twice with a brick. If it strikes 12, he hits
himself 12 times in the head with a brick.
After observing this,
cautiously and carefully, taking notes for 24 hours, I come up to him
and I say, “You know, I think I have figured out your problem. I am no
doctor, but I think I have figured out your problem.”
It is that pathetic among us, church. Why do our
children do what they
do? Why is everything...?
is like one old dear saint, someone asked him one time, he wouldn’t let
his teenage son go out with a young lady to be in some private place.
And they said, “Don’t you trust your son?”
He said, “No, I don’t trust my son. What ever
made you think that? I
don’t trust his dad.
wouldn’t put his father alone with a woman that wasn’t his wife and yet
I have much more to lose than boy. I have much more control of my will
than a teenager with raging hormones. So what would you... What would
make you ever think I would do that?”
We violate biblical principle after biblical
principle after biblical
principle and then we wonder why everything is a mess.
just real quick turn with me... You know when I say real quick I am
speaking an allegory or something. Go to 1 Timothy. I was listening a
few months ago as to all the horrendous things that are happening to
our—I don’t know what you would call them anymore: republic, democracy,
country, I am not really sure, socialistic state—and I was so burdened
as I sat there listening and I was saying, “Oh, God, what can I do? I
would, right now, Lord, honestly with all that is in me I will jump in
the middle of the fire. I will... If there is a charging rhino I will
jump in front of it. Just tell me what to do. Do you want me to go to
Washington and just stand in front of the White House and preach until
they throw me in jail? I am tired of just preaching to Christians and
in churches and all of this. God, just... The country is going to hell.
Just throw me. What do you want me to do? Just throw me at them.”
one of chapter four. “But the Spirit explicitly says that in later
times some will fall away from the faith,”55 1 Timothy 4:1, “paying
attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons.”56
he goes on to basically tell young Timothy that all hell is going to
break lose in culture, that everything is just going to be maddening,
men as beasts.
55 1 Timothy 4:1
I was with
Conrad and Mbewe a few months ago and I heard him preach. They call him
the Spurgeon of Africa and rightly so. If you get a chance to listen to
him, listen to him. He is one of my favorite preachers in the world.
And he said this.
He said, “In Africa we no longer fear of beasts.
We don’t run from beasts. We fear men and run from men.” He was
talking, of course, about depravity.
But he said here that, “Just the world is going
to come unglued,
what does he say, too? Verse six. In “In pointing out these things to
the brethren, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, constantly
nourished on the words of the faith.”57
And right there this
text just started unraveling for me. Paul, yeah. The world has lost its
mind. Everything is going to happen. It is under my providence, but
listen to me. Here should be your reaction in the midst of all hell
breaking loose, in the midst of apostasy, in the midst of persecution.
Here is what you need to do. Be constantly nourished on the words of
run out there and do something.
We want to fix something. God is seeking men of character, polished,
swords. First of all, son, be “constantly nourished on the words of the
faith and of the sound doctrine which you have been following.”58
“you have been following” is very important. I think it is indicating
to us that a simple intellectual study of Scripture will not, will not
achieve the goal that God has for his men. They must obey it. They must
begin following. You cannot learn doctrine well until you follow the
doctrine you learn.
And then he says this. He says, “But have
nothing to do with worldly
fables fit only for old women.”59
dear friend, let me tell you something. All this Emergent Church stuff,
much of the Church Growth stuff, all of the cultural sensitivity,
throwing out the window biblical sensitivity, it is just a bunch of
little boys wanting to play church without the power of God on their
life. And I will stand on that statement.
It is a lesser than David trying to fit himself
in Saul’s armor. To the
wind with it.
The more you trust in the arm of the flesh, the
less you are going to
see of the power of God.
He says this, “On the other hand, discipline
yourself for the purpose
57 1 Timothy 4:6
59 1 Timothy 4:7
of God, you want revival. So do I. We need an army, though. If powerful
swords, if mighty, flaming pipes and swords and weaponry are to be
dropped out of heaven for us to fight, then we must be the caliber of
men who can yield those things and wield those things and fight with
them with sound character. We should discipline ourselves to the
purpose of godliness.
Young men, discipline yourself to prayer.
Discipline yourself to the systematic reading of Scripture from Genesis
to Revelation over and over and over and over again. Discipline
yourself in your speech. Discipline yourself in the company you keep.
Discipline yourself in when you go to bed and when you rise up. This is
a war. Discipline yourself.
Young men, I can tell you this. Unless
you are some exception, being born in the age that you have been born,
if you are under 30, yea, even under 40, you probably lack discipline
because you have never been able to work. You have never had need to
work for your food and your fathers never made you work so hard that
your bones cried.
The men who have accomplished much and been used
of God have been men of labor in the ministry. This is hard and it will
cost you everything.
And by the time you are an old man you will be
broken, but strong in
the things of God.
yourself for the purpose of godliness; for bodily discipline is only of
little profit, but godliness is profitable for all thins, since it
holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. 1
my dear friends, who cares about your best life now? Eternity. The day
you stand in those granite halls before the Lord of glory and kings and
the greatest men on earth are divided and split and culled, some cast
into eternal hell and some invited into eternal glory live for eternity.
Olympians, how majestic they are, but only for a moment. They start
training when they are four and five years old. They never do anything
but train until they are 22. They run a nine second race for a medal
they hang up and that’s it.
Cannot you give equal for eternal things?
of the greatest men of God have been men very limited in their bodies.
In their abilities they were so limited that they had to focus
themselves into one thing. It is the ministry.
“For bodily discipline is only of little
61 1 Timothy 4:7-8
62 1 Timothy 4:8
Page 37 of 39
is a trustworthy statement deserving full acceptance. For it is for
this we labor and strive, because we have fixed our hope on the living
This is not some martyr thing in which we
our lives to nothing only to be pulverized with out hope. No. We serve
God and God will honor us. We affix our hope on that and that gives us
Oh this life is a vapor. I am 47, but
yesterday I was 21. Where did it all go? It is a vapor? While you have
strength, preach. I praise God that in his providence as a young man I
spent myself in the Andes Mountains and in the jungles of Peru doing
what I no longer have the strength to do.
While you are a young
man, while there is strength in you, labor with all your might. Take
those stupid video games of yours and crush them under your feet. Throw
the TV out the window. You were made for greater things than these.
If you are a child of the king nothing on this
earth can satisfy you,
nothing. “Prescribe and teach these things.”64
there is so much here, but look at 15. “Take pains with these things;
be absorbed in them, so that your progress will be evident to all.”6
say that on a wooden table my child spills a glass of water. And by the
consistencies of nature, the laws that God has placed in her, the water
heaps up a bit on the table, so much that you can see it as a pool. You
walk by it and you say, “There is water spilled on the table.” It is
evident to all.
But then I come by and I take a towel and I lay
it across the spilled
pool of water and I lift it up.
And you say, “I no longer see any water. Where
is it?” It is absorbed
in the towel.
you are to be absorbed in these things of godliness and character. Men,
I plead with you. Listen to me. This is so important. You are not
errand boys. You are not to spend your days wiping the noses of carnal
churchmen. Get yourself in your study. Drink deep. Be so absorbed in
the knowledge and the knowing of God that people say, “Where is he? He
used to be such a man about town, such a friend to everyone, such a
personable fellow. Where is he?”
He is absorbed in these things.
63 1 Timothy 4:9-10
64 1 Timothy 4:11 65 1 Timothy 4:15
are men of God. We are ministers of the most high. There should be an
otherness about us. We should have a distant gaze in our eyes towards a
distant [?]. The greatest thing we can do for our people is to be men
of God absorbed in the things of God so that when we open our mouths
the Word of God comes out.
Where I go to church Jeff Noblett is
the main preaching pastor. He has always given himself to study, but
when I got there I talked to him and I talked to other leaders. And any
time someone asked me something I said this. “Please do this one thing.
Take as much of the burden off of brother Noblett as we possibly can
and let him live in that study with God because I have got children out
here. And the greatest gift that man could give to me is to study to
show himself approved and to come out in that pulpit in the power of
the Holy Spirit and proclaim, ‘Thus saith the Lord,’ correcting and
rebuking, giving great promises and warnings. Please do that for me.”
please do that for your people because he says, “Pay close attention to
yourself and to your teaching; persevere in these things, for as you do
this you will ensure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear
I want... Let’s just finish with this. This
almost nothing in the evangelical community today. How many pastors do
you think and preachers take it seriously, “I need to pay close
attention to myself to insure salvation for me and for those who hear
I have a question, pastor, when was the last
examined your own life to see if you were in the faith, to see if you
really know him.
You see, my dear friend, I have great assurance
when I study my own conversion, when I discuss it with other men, when
I look over the...
66 1 Timothy 4:16
Church P.O. Box 10608
San Antonio, TX 78210
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