An Open Letter To My Pastor Friends

Posted: July 28, 2015 in Uncategorized

“There are 3 kinds of people who go to church: those who know Jesus, those who don’t know Jesus, and those who don’t know they don’t know Jesus.” ~ Leonard Sweet

As pastors we have no problem with the first two kinds of people, but my concern for some time now has been the third group. I am convinced that our churches are filled with people who don’t know they don’t know Jesus. The first question that comes to mind is how can that be? The second question is how can it not?

Blame it on the seeker sensitive nature of our churches if you like, but the reality is we are no longer preaching the gospel. At least we are not preaching the gospel that Jesus preached.

From John the Baptist all the way up to Peter’s sermon to the crowd on the day of Pentecost, the message was one of repentance. It was a message of self denial and taking up one’s cross to follow Jesus. Not once do we find Jesus or his disciples gathering the crowds and having them repeat a prayer to “receive” Jesus. Their’s was a message of turning from sin and surrendering their all to serve Jesus as Lord and king.

Today there is no talk of repentance. There is nothing to give up or turn away from. We are told to accept Him just as you are and as a result we have people who come to church on Sunday and yet there is no difference in lifestyle between them and those who know they don’t know Jesus.

In Matthew‬ ‭7:13‬ ‭(NIV) Jesus said,‬‬ “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.”

How many of these are sitting in our congregations with a false sense of security because the gospel was never explained to them?

“Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’” (‭‭Matthew‬ ‭7:22-23‬ ‭NIV‬‬)

Let me encourage you with this. “Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.” (‭‭2 Timothy‬ ‭4:2-5‬ ‭NIV‬‬)

I think it’s time we took a step back and perhaps do a little repenting of our own for not doing more to help those who don’t know.

  1. Thanks for this much needed message!


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