STEWARDS: Wise or foolish?

Forever and ever, people will be tormented by fire without Christ ... who will tell them?

Forever and ever, people will be tormented by fire without Christ … who will tell them?

I would like to illustrate to you how church goers and those claiming Christ may appear to non-Christians who view their websites or their activities. I would like to do so through a series of photos; however, I would like to first share with you what is truly driving me to share these photos today.

The Bible says we will all give an account of what we have done with the life He has given to us one day at the judgment.  How wisely have we used the time and money He has given to us as individuals, as local congregations, and as the Body of Christ throughout the world?

If you have repented of your sins, believed on the LORD Jesus Christ, asked Him for His Holy Spirit, and recognized Him as your owner and master, then you have become GOD’s child.  What a blessing to go to heaven and to be a child of the Creator of the universe!

… but what about all those who haven’t even heard? Who will tell them?

“And He said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”  – Mark 16:15

Churches love to spend their time and money on the needful priorities?

Churches love to spend their time and money on the needful priorities?

One of the last things that Jesus told His disciples was the above message (known as the Great Commission) before He ascended to be with His Father. Jesus spent a large part of His ministry warning people about the flames of torment.

“And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.”   – Matthew 5:29

So if the flames of future torment of those without Jesus Christ is really that awful, then how will they hear unless GOD’s people tell them?

“How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a herald?” – Romans 10:14

Most pastors stay busy keeping the members happy to keep their job, so that the mortgage can be paid.

Most pastors stay busy with keeping their members happy in order to retain their job, so that the mortgage can continue to be paid and the banks made rich.

Jesus sent all of His disciples as heralds throughout the world to share the Gospel with those who have never heard.

Some of the tools that can be used for evangelistic outreaches to the community are hospitals, community centers, malls, educational institutes (like colleges and English reading classes), thrift stores and rescue missions, radio and television broadcasts, books, comics, tract ministries, bookstores, street-preaching, children’s clubs, door-to-door evangelism, movies, plays, theatrical auditoriums, theaters, orphanages, homes for the abused, city-wide rallies, evangelism campaigns, tent-meetings, camps (for families, teens, and children), flea markets, car shows, state fairs, hotels and motels, the internet, business men luncheons, business men outreaches like the Gideons International Bible distribution ministry, Bible studies at work and school, and much more.     The United States used to have a plethora of these type of activities such as the YMCA, the YWCA, the Sunday School, the Salvation Army, and colleges like Harvard, Yale, and Princeton.  Many of these have gone secular or wayward.   Today, American Christians still have Vacation Bible School, Children’s Evangelism Fellowship, some radio ministries, and other outreaches, but many have gone astray and are no longer teaching the Truth, but seeking after money.  In fact, most churches in America are now teaching morals and good works, and seeking for “market share” (aka money) instead of teaching the gospel of Christ and the need for repentance.  Other congregations are just social clubs that spend all their time paying the mortgage and finding reasons to exist.  If believers met in homes or in free or very inexpensive facilities such as some of their outreach buildings mentioned above (i.e. theaters, community centers, etc), instead of wasting money on massive mortgages for cathedrals, just think of how many more of the above-listed outreaches could be supported to further the Gospel.

Approximately 150,000 human beings will die today and go to their eternal home.  Jesus said that few find the narrow road that leads to eternal life.   Many of these people will be unprepared for eternity and will enter torturous flames forever and ever.  Meanwhile, those who profess Christ in the world today find excuses to have fun, maintain their clique, continue their cliches and traditions, and justify their waste of GOD’s valuable resources of time and money in the categories of “fellowship” or an indirect “testimony to the lost”, but will never reach their entire county for Christ with the Gospel (which is easily done with the time, money, and resources available to them, especially those in America).

The majority of churches spend their time and money ensuring their mortgage is paid, so why not build a bigger cathedral?

The majority of churches spend their time and money ensuring their mortgage is paid, so why not build a bigger cathedral?

Twelve men turned the world upside down with no technology, scarce resources, and a handful of disciples.  Why can’t an entire congregation of people at least reach their own county?

Excuses, blindness, and self-justification abound, but when viewing their lives as a body, one must question whether those who call themselves GOD’s people really care.  Do they feel spiritual for having visited their cathedral three times each week and for having fulfilled their pastor’s and fellow member’s expectations or for having followed the prescriptions of their favorite ministry?  Do they know what Jesus truly wanted them to do?  Do they know the Word of GOD?  If so, are they practicing it?

First Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas spent $130 million on their mega-cathedral and campus.  How many children could have been won to Christ through free scholarships to Christian schools with $130 million?

First Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas spent $130 million on their mega-cathedral and campus. How many children could have been won to Christ through free scholarships to Christian schools with $130 million?

“‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see. Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent.”   – Revelation 3:15-19

The "members only" basketball team also is another priority item for the time and money of members.

The “members only” basketball team also is another priority item for the time and money of members.

So what are the people who claim to be GOD’s children and heralds doing today to reach the lost?   Let’s take a look.  I have a few satirical photos and comments throughout this article and below. Most have been pulled directly from church websites. Many, many more could be published.

Why are the youth being taught today by their pastors that instead of teen soul-winning, they need white water rapids, lake time, rock concerts, fun, fun, fun, and more carnal fun?  What does this teach them about Christianity?  Are they teaching the youth that Christianity is about serving others, sharing Christ with others, and caring for brethren and the lost?  Or through their activities and emphasis are they saying that Christianity is about having fun and being entertained?

Cookouts and picnics are a vital part of church "growth"?

Cookouts and picnics are a vital part of church “growth”?

Christians will one day give an account of what they have done with the time, money, and “talents” that GOD has given to them.  How will these photos below look on Judgment Day?  Will these activities seem so important then as people are chained and cast into flames as human firebrands?

For a more in-depth look into other non-Biblical practices today that differ from the early believers, be sure to visit the article at this link.

Chili cook-offs and talent shows are an important use of time in this church's estimation.

Chili cook-offs and talent shows are an important use of time in this church’s estimation.

You will learn how the Scripture taught that we are never to invite the lost into our congregations.  If we want to have “fun times”, it is essential they are created for the lost in order to share the Gospel with them in a detailed and ongoing manner in order to disciple them and love them to Christ (not to get them interested in visiting our congregational meetings where Paul stated that they should not be involved).  Fun times, however, are not for “members only” and GOD’s money is not to be used for such frivolity, unless it is Mission-focused.  A ten-minute devotional at a sports game for lost community members (instead of ‘members only’) is great, but it must contain the plan of salvation.  Even then, many of the lost don’t even understand “five steps to heaven” and need far more extensive discipleship training.  That’s why there must be more robust educational programs created to teach the lost (as the Great Commission of Christ commands us to do).

Are they attending their favorite sports event as a church group in order to get the creative juices flowing, so they can plan how they will reach our city for Christ?

Are they attending their favorite sports event as a church group in order to get the creative juices flowing, so they can plan how they will reach their city for Christ?

Many of the things done in the name of “ministering to the lost” is focused primarily on members and is more about fun and very little discipleship of the lost takes place.  If fun times are to be had, they should be had on personal time, instead of using GOD’s valuable time and money to entertain ourselves at the exclusion of the lost and dying world.  Also, entertainment and fun are not the wisest way to win the lost.  The apostles didn’t share Christ by offering circuses and bread.  They wanted the people who truly were interested in learning more about the Gospel.

People drop like flies into the flames of hell, but that's depressing.  Let's have youth group fun for members only!

People drop like flies into the flames of hell, but that’s depressing. Let’s have youth group fun for members only!

One great way is to offer free private education at the school and college level to those without Christ where the Gospel can be taught in a more developed manner (instead of wasting the money on frivolities and mortgages).  Imagine what would happen if more ministries got rid of their huge mortgages, busy church activity schedules, sports leagues, entertainment and fun events, and focused instead on winning those who are falling into the flames of hell faster than we can tell them the Gospel.

Enjoying the same lascivious rock music as the world is only the beginning.  It can now become the centerpiece for the American church.

Enjoying the same lascivious rock music as the world is only the beginning. It can now become the centerpiece for the American church.

Imagine if they sold their huge cathedrals and met in houses or rented low-cost facilities with no fun times for members, but instead formed creative outlets in their city for sharing the Gospel or free private educational institutes (where they could also meet on the weekends in place of their expensive cathedrals) or pay their congregational leaders to devote themselves to going two-by-two as the apostles did to share the Gospel throughout their city (instead of paying a pastor and staff to run in circles keeping members pacified with activities).  A hundred years ago, the people of GOD had very wise ideas of how to win the lost.

A church book club is essential in reaching those who are destined for a torturous eternity.  In fact, why not bring the book club into the church and Sunday school services?   It's much more fun to hear someone talk about "biblical" and moral things than study the Bible, am I right?

A book club is a great way to meet lost people and share the Gospel with them, right?   Oh, that’s not what this photo is showing.  No, no, no!  This is a church book club for the members.  After all, teaching the Bible would be a bit convicting, and reading books in Sunday School and church is far more enjoyable, am I right?  After all, what does the Bible have to do with meeting with other believers? Can’t you just read what some other men think about the Bible?  Or better yet, can’t you just read a completely entertaining allegory and try to find some moral thoughts from it?

The Y.W.C.A and Y.M.C.A were created as community centers where Christianity could be promoted to young people.  Colleges were created such as Harvard and Princeton by clergy where young people could be told of redemption.  The Sunday School was created as a way to teach reading, and simultaneously the Bible, to children. The Salvation Army was created to share with the poor and win them to Christ.  The entire culture of America was about winning the lost in those days.  Today, most of these establishments are no longer anchored to Jesus Christ, but are drifting in a sea of relativism.  A few, like the Gideons who distribute Bibles around the world, still remain.  Most of the educational institutes, who still teach the Bible, teach a heretical version of it, and fail to share the Gospel with the students or basic doctrine, or do so in a very academic manner instead of inviting the youth into a relationship with Christ.

We must be wiser and more frugal in our use of what GOD has given us in time and money, because one day we must give account of our stewardship.  We must begin to once again reach out to those who have never heard the Gospel around us or they will be forever lost.

This church finds a boat club to be an essential part of their spiritual goals.

This church finds a boat club to be an essential part of their spiritual goals.

When I first saw this on a church website, I thought the "C" in "Change" was an opening parenthesis which would make it read"Drink Coffee.  Hang[e] the world!"  Sadly, that's about right these days ... drink coffee and let the world hang.

When I first saw this on a church website, I thought the “C” in “Change” was an opening parenthesis which would make it read”Drink Coffee. Hang[e] the world!” Sadly, that’s about right these days … drink coffee and let the world eternally hang by their necks.

One wonders what "seeds" and "spirit" are being emphasized to children in churches today.  Sunday School used to be about a walkthrough of the entire Bible.

One wonders what “seeds” and “spirit” are being emphasized to children in churches today. Sunday School used to be about a walkthrough of the entire Bible.

In the spirit of making every dollar and minute count as 150,000 people die each day (most burning in flames), the cathedral and big screen is essential.

In the spirit of making every dollar and minute count as tens of thousands of people fall into hell each day, the cathedral and big screen are essential. Plus, they can be used to show trips and church activity events (or announce more of the same).

The church carnival is an essential part of raising money for the church mortgage.

The church carnival is an essential part of raising money for the church mortgage.

A place to buy coffee, merchandise, and music is important to ensure the mortgage gets paid.  Did anyone else think about the Messiah with a whip cord in a temple?

A place to buy coffee, merchandise, and music is important to ensure the mortgage gets paid. Did this photo remind you of the Messiah with a whip cord in a temple also?

The family needing groceries next door must wait.  We have to make sure our church looks like Disneyland, right?

The family needing groceries next door must wait. They’re just “lazy bums” anyway. We must “pay our tithe” to make sure our church looks like Disneyland, right?

Big events and give-aways keep the members coming back for more.  How else will the mortgage get paid or how else will the pastor keep his position as chief entertainer and activities planner?

Big events and give-aways keep the members coming back for more. How else will the pastor keep his position as chief entertainer and activities planner if the funds aren’t generated for the mortgage?

Entertainment is essential.  Prayer services?  Not so much.

Entertainment is essential. Prayer services? Not so much.

We must have a good testimony and a multi-million building is just the thing to shine in the community, right?  All those other ideas such as building community centers where the Gospel can be shared, full-time street witnessing teams, mail-out campaigns of Gospel literature and resources, and such can wait.   Now, we have to plan how many other ways, we can spend millions of dollars to please the members, so that we can get more millions of dollars to please the members some more (oh, and also make sure the staff and "ministers" all get a fat paycheck too).

We must have a good testimony and what better way than to buy a multi-million dollar building?  Won’t that help you shine bright to the community, and especially the poor inner city families who need basic medical and nutritional assistance? All those other ideas such as building community centers where the Gospel can be shared, full-time street witnessing teams, mail-out campaigns of Gospel literature and resources, and such can wait. Now, we have to plan how many other ways, we can spend millions of dollars to please the members, so that we can get more millions of dollars to please the members some more (oh, and also make sure the staff and “ministers” all get a fat paycheck too). Oh, and that exotic fountain out front has to be maintained (oh well, we can cut back the budget for helping the needy, deserted widows in the congregation – oh, that’s right – that budget never did exist).

The thousands raised for the missions trip to Hawaii didn't go to the missionary after all.  Instead, it allowed the youth group to take an exotic trip to Hawaii! Woo hoo! First, they must help build them a cathedral like Americans have, share some Bible truths, take some photos for Facebook while doing such "alms", and then off to the beach for some swimming. Woo hoo!

The thousands raised for the missions trip to Hawaii didn’t go to the missionary after all. Instead, it allowed the youth group to take an exotic trip to Hawaii! The missionary really didn’t need it as much as the youth anyway, right? First, they must help build a cathedral for these natives like the Americans have, so they can stop meeting in homes and maintain a mortgage too. Then the missions team must share some Bible truths, take some photos for Facebook while doing such “alms”, and then off to the beach for some swimming. Woo hoo!

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