I’ll share this illustration with you that I use quite often.
A pastor takes a church and discovers there is a member living out somewhere and he hasn’t been to church in about five years and let’s say it is in Alabama where everybody is a Christian
and so he goes out there and knocks on the door. The guy opens up the door. He has a beer can in his hand.
“I am the new pastor. Can I come in?”
Oh, he hides the beer can. He is so polite. He has been taught to be so polite.
“Oh, pastor, I am sorry about this nasty old thing. Sure, come on in. Let me turn the television set off.”
And the pastor begins to talk to him and says, “You know, you haven’t been in church in a long time.”
“You are right, pastor. I haven’t been in church. I just… it is just that, you know, I love football and, you know, just Saturday night out carousing and, you know, I just love that Saturday… I just need to put that filthy stuff away and I need to do the right thing. I just need to come back to church.”
“I understand you have been in drunkenness.”
“You are right. This old nasty drink has just got a hold of me. I love it. I just need to put it away and I just need to do the right thing and I just need to stop it.”
“And I hear you have been running around with women all over town.”
“You are right. It is just something that has a hold of me. I just love it, but, I tell you, pastor, I just need to put it away. I need to do the right thing and I need to come back to church.”
And so he comes back to church and everyone praises God because a sheep has come home. No, a goat has just returned to the fold, because do you know what he is saying? I will tell you exactly what he is saying.
“You are right, pastor. I need to stop doing all the wicked things I love and start doing all the righteous things I hate so that I can save my skin.”
There is no change. Are you like that? Or is there a life that has been given to you that causes you to desire the things of God? Is there a reality in your heart at all? Is there? Now that is the question.
Young people, let me ask you a question. When your parents are no longer your guardians will you run wild like a dog in the yard because there is no inward life of Christ in you?~Paul Washer
What are you really…when you think no one can see? Changing your morality for appearances, even if part of you believes that morality, is worse than a poor substitution for regeneration. Religious morality…as we see in regard to the Pharisees in Jesus’ day…are nothing more than tombs whitewashed for their own utter destruction. Where do you run like a wild dog in the yard? Works without faith are dead. Faith without works is dead. And a person who is pretty much like the one described by Pastor Washer (pick your own “loves”) is one dead mess, rotten with no hope for anything but self deceit.
How incredibly sad is that? 😥
And pastors…either do the job that Christ has set before you, or get out of the pulpit. And for those who mislead the flock by any devise…it would be better that you had never been born.