The part of the chapter I'd like to focus on is beginning there in verse number 1 where the Bible reads, "I charge thee therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ who shall judge the quick and the dead at His appearing in His kingdom, preach the Word. Be instant in season, out of season, reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long-suffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers having itching ears, and they shall turn away their ears from the truth and shall be turned unto fables.
The title of my sermon this morning is this: Why We Need Hard Preaching. Why we need hard preaching. Unfortunately, it's not something that we're getting today in most places, and it's not something that you're going to find in most churches, but yet the Bible commands it. Why do we need it? There are all kinds of scriptures we're going to turn to to see this, this morning, but first of all, let's just go through this passage here in 2 Timothy chapter 4. It says, "I charge thee therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ who shall judge the quick and the dead at His appearing in His kingdom ... "
The first thing I want to point out there is that preaching this way is not optional. He says "I charge thee, Timothy. I am commanding you. I am ordering you to preach the Word and to be instant in season, out of season." What does it mean "in season, out of season"? In season is when it's popular. In season is when people like to hear the truth. Out of season is when they don't want to hear the truth, but we need to be instant as preachers, or ready to preach the truth whether it's in or out of season.
Then he says this: "Reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long-suffering and doctrine." What does reprove mean? To tell someone that they're wrong. What does rebuke mean? To tell someone that they're wrong in stronger terms than a reproof. Exhort with all long-suffering and doctrine. Exhort is to motivate them or to try to compel them to do what's right. It says with all long-suffering and doctrine. Doctrine is teaching the Bible.
Is says in verse 3, "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers having itching ears, and they shall turn away their ears from the truth and shall be turned unto fables." That is the day in which we are living today, where people want to turn their ears away from the truth, and they want teaching and preaching that is according to their own lust. What does that mean? What they want to hear. They want to come to church and find a pastor that will tell them what they want to hear, not what they need to hear, not what the Bible says they should do, but rather just come somewhere that's going to tel them what they already wanted before they walked in that door. They know what they wan. Where can I go to get it?
There are plenty of places out there who's service is geared toward just giving people what they want. I mean, literally, if you look at this movement by Bill Hybels, Rick Warren, etc., when they teach their young preacher boys, if you can even call these effeminate queer little sissies preacher boys, but they teach their young preachers that the first step in starting a church is to send around a questionnaire to see what people want in a church in that particular area. Did you know that?
Read the "Purpose-Driven Church." No, don't read that garbage. Read the Bible. But in these books, that's what they tell you. You send around a questionnaire, what type of music do you want? What type of preaching do you want? How do you want the pastor to be dressed? It's just you have itching ears, you have lust, we want to fulfill your lust for what you want to hear. Just tell us what you want and we'll give it to you just as long as I can drive a fancy car, have a fancy church building, be on TV, I will tell you what you want to hear today. That's the philosophy behind most of these big fun centers today that are called churches.
Go to Isaiah chapter 30. We are living in the day where people have turned away their ears from the truth. We are living in the day when most people do not want to endure sound doctrine. They would rather hear fables that make them feel good. The Bible commands me as a preacher to preach the Word, to be instant in season, out of season, and to preach negative sermons. The Bible says reprove, rebuke, exhort. Exhort is the positive. Reprove and rebuke is the negative. There's twice as much negative there as there is positive. Read the Bible. Twice as much negative as there is positive.
Don't turn there now, but go to the book of Leviticus and find the place where God gives the blessings on doing what's right and the curses on doing that which is not right. The curses are twice as long as the blessings. Go to Deuteronomy and find where they go on Mount Ebal and Mount Gerizim and give the blessings upon those which would do right and the curses on those that will disobey God's commandments, and you will find far more than double curses than blessings.
You see, the Bible is a book that contains both positive and negative, and God is commanding preachers to, yes, exhort the people, but also to reprove and rebuke them. Look at Isaiah 30 verse 8. We need hard preaching today. Verse 8: "Now, go, write it before them in a table, and note it in a book that it may be for the time to come forever and ever that this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the Law of the Lord, which say to the seers, 'See not,' and to the prophets, 'Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things. Prophesy deceits. Get you out of the way. Turn aside out of the path. Cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us.' Thus saith the Holy One of Israel, 'Because you despised this Word and trust in oppression and perverseness and stay thereon, therefore this iniquity shall be to you as a breach ready to fall swelling out in a high wall who's breaking cometh suddenly at an instant.'"
The Bible tell us that it's a wicked and adulterous generation that says to the preachers, that says to the prophets, "Don't preach us what's right, preach us what is smooth. Teach us smooth things." By the way, here God uses smooth preaching and lies synonymously. Did you notice that? He said, "Prophesy smooth things. Prophesy deceits." Why? Because those are one in the same.
A smooth sermon is a lying sermon, because the Bible's not smooth. The men of God in the Bible were not smooth men. Elijah wasn't smooth. John the Baptist wasn't smooth. Jeremiah wasn't smooth. Jesus wasn't smooth, and that's why the Bible is telling us here that smooth preaching is lying preaching, and he says people today they want oppression and perverseness, and they hate the Word of God. They don't want to trust in this Word right here, and they want preaching that will tickle their fancy, and he says "This iniquity," in verse 13, "shall be to you as a breach ready to fall, swelling out in a high wall whose breaking cometh suddenly at an instant."
What that means is that there's a buildup of wickedness. I believe this applies to our nation today. Picture a dam that's holding back a great powerful body of water. Imagine if that dam just started swelling. You could see the pressure building up and it starts to swell and swell and swell, and then all of a sudden it just ... Bam! It just comes crashing down and just ... That's how the judgment of God is going to come upon our nation some day. That's how it always is in the Bible.
God is long-suffering. God is slow to anger. He's of great mercy. He gives people a chance to change their ways. He gives them time to repent and do that which is right, but eventually the dam of God's wrath just bursts. The iniquity gets too great, and it just comes down like a ton of bricks.
Turn, if you would, to Ezekiel chapter 16. The iniquity of our nation is great today. The sin of our nation is very great. I blame the preaching in the pulpits of America for why our country is in the condition it's in. Let me just give you a little sampling of what condition our country's in today. I got these statistics from the Internet here. These are some pretty recent statistics. Let me just read you some statistics about our nation just to show you the effect of a lack of hard preaching.
The type of preaching that we have at this church, and the type of preaching that goes on in other Bible-believing churches that preach hard and that hate sin and that are not afraid of offending, it's getting very rare today even amongst the independent fundamental Baptists. It used to be if you went to an independent fundamental Baptist church, you expected some hard preaching. Not anymore. It's rare. Your average independent fundamental Baptist church today has gone so soft and so watered down, it's a joke. It's ridiculous.
I'm to the point where it's almost like you look at these independent fundamental Baptists and you ask yourself, "Why even go there? Why don't you just go to the liberal mega-church anymore?" They're getting so close to that. The only difference is, there's less people and they're singing hymns instead of rock-and-roll. The preaching isn't that different. It's just a soft watered-down preaching. I'm going to get into what that is. The effect of that, the effect of the fact that preachers are not preaching hard on sin anymore has caused sin to just become rampant in our nation.
The problem today is not in the White House, the problem is in the church house. The Bible says, "If my people which are called by My Name shall pray and humble themselves and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will hear their land." God says that His people need to change their ways. His people need to get right with God. Forget what the heathen are doing. Forget what the atheists are doing. Forget what some false religion like Catholicism or Islam is doing. If just the Bible-believing Christians today, if just the churches that actually believe the gospel would start preaching hard on sin, our country would be a very different place today.
Because there's no preaching on sin, virtually, in most churches, this is the country we're living in. Let me give you some statistics. Did you know that approximately 1/3 of the entire population of the United States, which would be about 110,000,000 people, currently has an STD according to the Center for Disease Control. Did you hear that? Out of all the people in our nation today, 1/3 of them are carrying an STD, which is a you-know-what transmitted ... A disease that's transmitted by fornication, basically, or adultery. This statistic says that 1 out of 3 are carrying that.
What have we become as a nation? Every single year there are 20,000,000 new STD cases in America. America has the highest STD infection rate in the entire industrialized world. Americans in the age 15 to 24-year group account for about 50% of all new STD cases each year. United States has the highest teen pregnancy rate in the entire industrialized world. According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, there are 747,408 registered you-know-what offenders in the United States. There are 106,216 registered offenders of you-know-what in the state of California alone, 106-some-odd-thousand.
Thirty percent of all Internet traffic now goes to pornography websites, and it has been estimated that 89% of all pornography is produced in the United States. [Singing 00:11:59]. Look, today in churches all across America, Independent Fundamental Baptists, "Yeah, America. Bless America. God bless ... One nation under God. Can you believe they're taking "under God" off the money. Let's fly the flag. Let's pledge allegiance, and I'm so proud to be an American." We lead the world in pornography. We lead the world in dope consumption. We lead the world in filth and smut and fornication and abortion. It's disgusting today. We need to light this nation on fire with preaching of God's Word from the housetops and every church house, rebuking the sin and filth of our nation.
Instead, we parade the politicians and have "I Love American Sunday." If you love America, you'll preach on sin. Get that mayor, that dirt bag politician, the police chief, the fire ... Get those jerks out of there. Get a hair-legged man of God behind the pulpit to actually preach on sin if you love America. You want to fly a bunch of flags everywhere to show you love America, then why don't you preach to America today what America needs to hear? But instead we just become patriotic, America's wonderful, everyone else bad, we're good. I wonder what the rest of the world thinks about us when they read these statistics? What must they think of us?
I love the people of our country. That's why I started this church. I wanted to be a foreign missionary. I was learning a lot of foreign languages. I spent 4 months on the mission field as a teenager, and I wanted to be a foreign missionary, but I figured out that our country was going down the toilet so fast, and somebody needed to stand in the gap and make up the hedge and preach hard. That's what I'm dedicating my life to doing.
You say, "If you preach hard like this, you're going to lose people." I didn't dedicate my life to building a big church. Not interested. I'm not dedicating my life to see how I could be the fastest-growing church, start the biggest church. Not interested. I am here to preach the Word of God what needs to be preached, and our country needs hard preaching. You say, "Why not just soften it up?" We tried that for a few decades now, it doesn't seem to be working. Because when I was a kid, they preached harder than they do now. The typical Independent Fundamental Baptist church preached about 5 times as hard when I was a kid as what they do now.
They looked like a Baptist and they talked like a Baptist and they acted like a Baptist. They weren't trying to copycat Cornerstone Christian Center down the street. They were actually trying to be different than the world. They were actually trying to make a difference in people's lives. They're actually trying to preach hard on sin so that people won't commit sin.
Listen to this. The marriage rate in the United States has fallen to an all-time low. In the United States, more than half of all couples move in together before they get married. Not surprisingly, an all-time low, 44.2% of all Americans in the 25 to 34-year-old age bracket are married at this point. America has the highest divorce rate in the world by far. According to the Pew Research Center, only 51% of all American adults are currently married. Back in 1960, it was 72%.
For women under the age of 30, more than half of all babies are being born out of wedlock in America today. At this point, approximately 1 out of every 3 children in the United States lives in a home without a father. Not even saying 'his' father. Just in a home without a father. What about the unbelievable unspeakable murder of more than 56,000,000 American babies since Roe vs Wade was decided in 1973? Approximately 1/3 of all American women will have had an abortion by the age of 45 years old.
The United States has the highest abortion rate in the Western World. It has been reported that a staggering 41% of all New York City pregnancies end in abortion. One very shocking study found that 86% of all abortions are done for the sake of convenience, 86% of abortions. Planned Parenthood performs more than 300,000 abortions every single year and, of course, our federal government gives hundreds of millions of dollars every year to Planned Parenthood, but they tell them like, "Don't use this for abortion, though." They take that money, though, for their organization and they murder over 300,000 babies per year.
I have a lot more statistics here about just how sinful and wicked our nation is becoming. Why? Do you think that that's just happening for no reason? You know what the Bible says, "The curse causeless shall not come." Did you hear that? "The curse causeless shall not come." There is always a reason why things like this happen. This didn't happen by accident. This happened because preachers have stopped preaching the Word of God. Then when preachers do preach the Word of God, people get offended and they leave and they go down to Smooth Baptist Church down the street where they can get their ears tickled. Let me tell you something. You need to get in a church that's preaching hard against sin and quit being so offended. Why don't you get offended by this? Get offended by the disgusting condition of our nation.
You know what really blows me away? You'll see people that have children and teenagers get offended by hard preaching and go to a soft-spoken church. Their children are going to have almost no chance of doing what's right without this kind of preaching. I'll tell you what kept me straight when I was a teenager, and kept me away from drinking and away from fornication and those things, and kept me on the right path, was this kind of preaching. I thank God that I heard some leather-lung preaching when I was growing up that made sin exceedingly sinful, and it caused me to have the fear of God and to not go out and live a life of wicked sin.
Are you in Ezekiel 16 there? Let's sample some Bible preaching. "Well, it's just your style." Let's sample God's style. Let's get some Bible preaching. Look. We're in Ezekiel. We could go to Matthew and listen to a sermon by Jesus. It'd be the same way. We could go to Isaiah. We could go to Jeremiah. We could really go all over the Bible. There's so much hard preaching in the Bible to give us an example. This is just 1 example.
While you're there, just let me read to you from Proverbs chapter 8. The Bible reads, "The fear of the Lord is to hate evil. Pride and arrogancy and the evil way and the froward mouth do I hate." We need to hate sin today. We need preachers who hate sin. We need church members who hate sin. We need Christians who hate sin. I remember praying a prayer when I was a teenager. I think I was probably about 15-16 years old. I got on my knees before God, and I prayed to God, and I said, "Lord, I don't hate sin." I said, "Lord, I'm trying to live the cleanest life that I can right now, but it's only because I know if I don't, You'll punish me. It's only because I know that if I don't, You're going to chasten me and chastise ... " Because the Bible says "Whom the Lord loveth, He chasteneth, and scourges every son and we receive it."
I just prayed to God and said, "God, I know that if I commit sin, You're going to discipline me. You're going to chasten me. But, God, I don't hate sin. I desire to sin." I said, "God, help me to hate sin." I just prayed, "Lord, please just cause me to hate sin. Help me to learn to hate sin, Lord, because I know that the Bible says I should hate sin, and I don't." I just confessed that before God as a sin, that I had a wrong attitude toward sin. I said, "God, help me to hate sin." You fast-forward 17 years, and I'm known as one of the most hateful preachers in America. You know what? God answers prayer.
I'm saying, honestly, I do hate sin. I'm glad I prayed that as a teenager. I was just being honest with God, and I'm just being honest to you right now, that I prayed that to the Lord. We should hate sin. It should make us upset. We should not love it. We should not take pleasure in other people committing sin. We shouldn't turn on the TV to watch other ... Well, I'm not going to do it, but let's watch other people do it on TV, commit sin, commit fornication, commit adultery, commit murder, commit blasphemy, all these different things and delight in it.
Look at Ezekiel 16:20. It says in verse 20, "Moreover ... " This is Bible preaching, Bible preacher named Ezekiel, "Moreover, thou hast taken thy sons and they daughters whom thou has born unto me, and these hast thou sacrificed unto them to be devoured. Is this of thy whoredoms a small matter that thou hast slain my children and delivered them to cause them to pass through the fire for them? And all thy abominations and thy whoredoms? Thou doest not remember the days of thy youth when thou wast naked and bare and was polluted in thy blood? And it came to pass after all thy wickedness? Woe, woe unto thee saith the Lord God, that thou has also built unto thee an eminent place and has made thee an high place in every street. Thou has built thy high place at every head of the way and has made thy beauty to be abhored and has opened thy feet to everyone that passed by and multiply thy whoredoms."
Now look. If a preacher today in America preached that in 2014, people would be offended. People would quit the church and say, "I'm not coming back to this church. That preacher doesn't have love. That preacher's preaching [inaudible 00:21:44]." But you know what the Bible says? It says, "This is love that we walk after His commandments." The loving preacher tells you the truth. He speaks you the truth in love. The loving preacher's not afraid to offend you if it'll help you, if it'll tell you the truth.
Somebody sent me an email recently and said, "Hey, my daughter ... " They were from a distant part of the country and they said, "My daughter has applied to Arizona State University and if accepted will be moving out there. She's trying to find a good church to go to while she's out there," so they asked some questions about the doctrines of our church. I wrote back and said, "You know what? We'd love to have your daughter come to our church if she comes out here. But you know what? I hope your daughter doesn't come to Arizona State University. I hope she doesn't go to any state university, because I said that school is run by Satan himself.
I attached a little JPEG of the devil with the horns and the pitchfork of ASU. That's the logo of ASU. Somebody correct me if I'm wrong. Is Satan not the mascot of ASU? I attached a little picture and I said, "Look." I said, "I love you. I'm not trying to offend you," but I said, "That school is filled with drunkards, whores, whoremongers, and sodomy." I said, "The teachers in the classroom teach according to atheism." I said, "Your daughter statistically will probably not attend church anywhere once she comes out here to go to that school." I said, "We at our church believe that women should marry, bear children, and guide the house, for some are already turned aside after Satan." I Timothy 5:13-14.
I said, "Look. We'd love to have her come if that's what she decides to do, but I just want to tell you the truth about that school that you want to send your daughter to." You know what? You think that she or her daughter is ever going to darken the door of this church? Probably not, but at least somebody told them the truth. I could've just said, "Oh wonderful! Great! Yes, send your daughter to beer pond university. Great! It's going to be great! You know what? Do you want to know what we believe doctrinally? Let me just make sure and tell you what you want to hear. What's the answer you're looking for? What are you looking for?"
The question was about communion. What kind of communion do you want? We'll give it to you. Let me just frame my answer just right just to make sure that you know that I'm going to tell you whatever you want to hear and give you what you want. No! Tell people the truth. You say, "Oh, but your church will grow fast ... " You don't get it yet. It's about integrity. It's about preaching the Bible. It's about telling people the truth. That school is not a place to send your single daughter.
Look. It doesn't matter. You say, "Oh, you're not going to have anybody in church to preach to." Look around. It looks like a full house to me. Let me tell you something. Somebody needs to tell the truth today. Somebody needs to tell people what they need to hear and not what they want to hear.
The Bible says ... Let's keep reading. So far, I've counted the word "whore" 3 times. Let's keep counting. Verse 26. "Thou hast also committed fornication with the Egyptians, thy neighbors, great of flesh, and has increased thy whoredoms to provoke me to anger. Behold, therefore, I have stretched out my hand over thee and have diminished thy ordinary food and delivered thee unto the will of them that hate thee, the daughters of the Philistines, which are ashamed of they lewd way.
Thou hast played the whore also with the Assyrians, because thou wast insatiable. Yeah, thou hast played the harlot with them yet could not be satisfied. Moreover, multiplied thy fornication in the land of Canaan unto Chaldea, and was satisfied herewith. How weak is thy heart saith the Lord God seeing thou doest all these things and the work of an [imperious 00:25:45] whorish woman, and that thou buildest thy eminent place in the head of every way and makest thy high place in every street and has not been as an harlot and that thou [inaudible 00:25:55] hire, but as a wife that committed adultery would take a stranger instead of her husband. They give gifts to all whores ... "
I'm not even preaching. This is just reading. We're just reading. The Bible says, "Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine." In the front of the King James Bible it says "appointed to be read in churches." Let's read it. Let's keep going. What verse am I in? Somebody help me out. I'm losing my place. "They give gifts to all whores ... " Oh, I can't believe you'd say that. I didn't say it, God said it. "They give gifts to all whores, but thou givest thy gifts to all thy lovers and hirest them that they may come unto thee on every side for thy whoredom. And the contrary is in thee from other women in thy whoredoms, whereas none [inaudible 00:26:45] with thee to commit whoredom and that thou givest a reward and no reward is given unto thee. Therefore, thou art contrary. Wherefore, O harlot, hear the Word of the Lord."
Look. Is this the kind of preaching that you would ever hear today in the average Baptist church? No! Because this isn't the book that they're reading. They're reading commentaries. They're reading the sermons of Charles Haddon Spurgeon, Morning and Evening Devotional, the popular preacher who had the biggest church in England at that time. How'd he have the biggest church in England without being an apostate? How did he have the biggest church in America without being an apostate and a compromiser? Because woe unto you when all men speak well of you, for so they did of the false prophets.
Let me tell you something. This kind of preaching is foreign today. That's why we have this. That's why these statistics exist. We have got all these soft words, and let me tell you something, words matter. That's why I'm King James only. Because words matter, and when you start softening up the language of the Bible ... Even if you say the same thing but you just soften it, you lose the meaning. Because when you read the NIV, when you read the New American Standard, when you read the New Living Translation, the Voice, the Message, there's often a softening up of God's Word.
For example, they delete "hell" most of the time. 3/4 of the time, the word "hell" is removed. That softens the Bible. They removed the word "damnation" 100% of the time in the New King James. They removed "damnation" 100% of the time. That softens it. They removed "fornication." For example in Revelation 21:8 when it talks about whore-mongers, they changed that to "those who are immoral." That doesn't have the same effect as whore-monger.
Today, we want to soften the language about sin. We want pastors to soften the language. They say, "Well, but if you love people, you'd soften the language." No. I believe Ezekiel was a loving man. I believe God is a loving God. He is Love. The Bible says, "God is love," and yet God speaks this way. I believe that Jeremiah was a loving man. He was the weeping prophet, and he preached hard on sin, and he used this type of language.
Isaiah, I believe, was a loving man. Jesus and his apostles were loving men. The apostle Paul wrote with a tear in the eye, but he preached hard against sin. You see, that is love because if you love your children, you want them to abstain from wicked lifestyles that will destroy their life. If you love your country, you'll preach against the sins of our country so that our country can come back to God and be blessed and be safe and not be invaded by foreign troops, not be racked with pestilence and disease, not be wracked with all of the punishments that God promised to send upon a wicked nation. That's love when you do what's best for people. When you tell them the truth. The goal is not to offend. The goal is to get people to change.
The goal is not for people to say, "Oh, Pastor Anderson doesn't like me because I'm a whore." No, the goal is for you to stop being a whore. "Pastor Anderson doesn't want me around. He calls me a drunk." Quit being a drunk. Let me tell you something, people don't use the word "drunk" anymore. Alcoholic. I mean they don't use "drunk" as a noun. They use it as an adjective. He's drunk. But they don't call somebody a drunk. A drunkard.
See, we need to use biblical words like drunkard, whore ... How many times? I lost count. I know we got into the 2 digits. Whore, whore, whoredom, whoredom, harlot, harlot, harlot, harlot, but yet today it's just, well, you know, she's made some mistakes. She's a little loose. A little bit promiscuous. No, the Bible says whore, harlot, lewd, fornicator.
By the way, it's not just women, it's men. Men, who live that type of lifestyle are called a whore-monger. Here's the goal. You say, "Why do we need hard preaching? What's the goal of preaching a sermon like that?" You know what the goal of preaching this sermon is? Is that every little girl who's listening to me right now, and every teenager will hear this preaching and say, "I don't want to be that. I don't want God to call me lewd and disgusting. I don't want to be a whore. I don't want to be a harlot. I'd better keep my purity and save ... " That's the goal of the preaching. I want every young man to think, "Oh man, I don't want God's wrath on me. I don't want to be a whore-monger. I don't want to be someone who God is rebuking with this hard preaching. I don't want to be a drunkard," and it keeps them from sin.
Let me just tell you something, and I'm not just saying, "I think so." I'm telling you I know so. I've been at this thing for a long time. I've been pastoring for over 8 years and I've preached for a long time before that. This kind of preaching works. It works. I preached a sermon called "Drunkards and Winebibbers" I don't know how many months ago, and it was probably one of the hardest sermons I've ever preached. The CD's are back there, by the way, for free. We never sell anything here.
I preached that sermon. I cannot even tell you how many emails I got from people. So many emails saying, "I have never drunk alcohol since I listened to that sermon." Not just 1 person. I mean, person after person, person after person after person said, "You know what? I used to drink. I heard that sermon. I don't drink anymore. I have not touched it since I heard that sermon." Why? Because when you listen to that sermon, you're like, "I don't want to be like that guy."
It's not me, it's all the Bible verses that I quoted in that sermon. When you preach hard on sin, it works. It keeps people pure. It keeps them from committing fornication. It keeps them from committing adultery, having an affair. The Bible doesn't call it having an affair. Affair is when you have a tea party or something. We're having a little affair. We're going to dress up and have tea together. No. It's called adultery. It's called being a whore. It's called being a harlot.
The Bible uses these type of strong words, and today they want to soften the language and, as a result, it makes sin seem like it's not that bad. When you soften the language ... I mean, look. Immorality doesn't sound as bad as being a whore, being an adulteress, being a whore-monger, being a drunkard. These are biblical terms, and they make sin exceeding sinful, and that's what we need today so that we will leave a clean and godly life.
Where did we leave off? Somebody keeping track for me? We're going to finish this chapter. Don't make me start over. I'll go back all the way to verse 20 if I have to. Where did we leave off? Does anybody know? Here we go, verse 35. "Wherefore, O harlot ... " I mean, look. That's not a nice way to address someone, but what does the Bible say? "Wherefore, O harlot, hear the Word of the Lord. Thus saith the Lord God, 'Because they filthiness was poured out and thy nakedness discovered through thy whoredoms with thy lovers and with all the idols of thy abominations, and by the blood of thy children which thou didst give unto them, behold, therefore, I will gather all thy lovers with whom thou hast taken pleasure and all them that thou hast loved, and with all them that thou hast hated, I will even gather them around about against the ... "
We're halfway through verse 37. "And will discover thy nakedness unto them that they may see all thy nakedness. I will judge thee as women that break wedlock and shed blood are judged. I will give them blood and fury and jealousy, and I will also give the end of their hand, and they shall throw down thine eminent place and shall break down thy high places. They shall strip thee also of they clothes and take thy fair jewels and leave thee naked and bare. They shall also bring up a company against thee, and they shall stone thee with stones and thrust thee through with swords, and they shall burn thy houses with fire and execute judgments upon thee in the sight of many women, and you're going to live your best life now." Is that what He said?
I added that part in. "Burn your house with fire. Execute judgments upon thee in the sight of many women," verse 41 halfway through, "and I will cause thee to cease from playing the harlot and thou also shall give no hire anymore, so will I make my fury toward thee to rest and my jealousy shall depart from thee, and I will be quiet and will be no more [inaudible 00:35:12]." It's not that God's not giving any hope here. He says "I'll stop being mad at you. I'll stop being angry, but you have to stop being a whore. Then I'll accept you. Then I'll stop being angry at you."
He says in verse 43, "Because thou hast not remembered the days of thy youth but has fretted me in all these things, behold, therefore, I also will recompense thy way upon thine head, saith the Lord God, and thou shalt not commit this lewdness above all and abominations."
Go to 2 Corinthians 7 verse 1. Now let me say this. This message this morning has nothing to do with salvation. Right now, I am not preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. Right now, I'm going other biblical preaching against sin, because the Bible's a big book. It's not just about the gospel. It's actually about all manner of subjects. I want to say this. I'm not preaching about salvation, and my sermon this morning has nothing to do with salvation. Nothing. Because to be saved, all you have to do is just believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.
By the way, this type of preaching is geared toward people that are saved. You should never talk this way to somebody who's not saved and just go up and start railing on them and say, "Well, you know, the apostle Paul said when he was amongst the unsaved, he said, 'I determined not to know anything among you save Jesus Christ and Him crucified.'" You know, when we go out to the lost, we want to bring the gospel. We want to bring the Good News. We want to tell them how to be saved. We want to tell them about Jesus dying on the cross for their sins, being buried and risen again. They don't have to turn away from their sins to be saved, or else none of us would be saved, because none of us has turned away from our sins.
I just want to clarify this sermon's not about salvation, but after you're saved, after you're one of God's people, after you're one of God's children ... And by the way, this chapter, Ezekiel 16 that we just read, is talking to the saved, because he talks about them being saved. He talks about their salvation in the beginning of the chapter, and he's saying, "you got saved, and then you went out and did all this stuff and became a whore and a harlot," again, showing that people can do this kind of stuff even after they're saved, of course.
People that are unsaved need the gospel of Jesus Christ, but how many people in here ... just let's get a raise of hands. Who in here is saved? Look around everybody. Now does anybody have any questions about why I'm not preaching on salvation this morning? Anybody have any questions about why I'm not preaching the gospel this morning? Because 99% of the people here are saved. That's why we're preaching a message towards the saved, which is a message of clean up your life. Clean up your life. Don't be a drunk. Don't be a whore. Don't be a whore-monger. Don't go down this road or God will pour out His judgments upon you and will discipline you.
Where'd I have you turn? 2 Corinthians 7:1? Look at 2 Corinthians 7:1. "Having, therefore, these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves ... " So we're talking to people that are saved. "Let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God." That's what God wants us to do. He wants us to fear Him, and he wants us to clean ourselves of all the filth of our flesh, of our spirit, and He wants us to perfect holiness in the fear of God. He wants us to leave a clean and godly and righteous life. This kind of preaching is going to help you do that. That's why it's in the Bible so much. That's why we picked 1 chapter, Ezekiel 16, and I just thought ... That chapter was brought up to me this week. I could've picked any n umber of other chapters.
The title of the sermon is "Why Do We Need Hard Preaching?" This is why we need it. And you know what? A lot of the people participating in this sin right here are Christians, are people that are saved. But let me just finish the sermon by defining for you what is hard preaching? Because, remember, the title of the sermon is "Why We Need Hard Preaching." What is hard preaching? I have 4 points. That was all introduction. No, I'm just kidding.
I have 4 points on what is hard preaching. Flip over to Acts chapter 4. Let me just give you ... Quickly, I'm just going to blast through 4 points of the definition of hard preaching. Look, what is missing from 99% of churches today? What is missing today in the pulpits of independent fundamental Baptist churches? What's missing today? Okay, let's figure out what's missing. What do we mean by hard preaching? Because you know what? You talk to these guys, you call them on the carpet and say, "Why don't you preach hard on sin?" We just got to love people, brother. I just love people. You liar. You love yourself. You love yourself.
Somebody told me when you start a church, spend the first year just loving the people. Don't preach hard. That's an oxymoron, because if you love people, you preach hard, because you know that hard preaching works, soft preaching doesn't work. It doesn't work. It doesn't accomplish anything. Hard preaching is transformational. Soft preaching, you know, it's like you're using a butter knife and you're trying to saw through logs with it. Hard preaching is an ax that you just keep slamming it down and you chop through the wood. In about 5,000 years, your people will have grown into good Christians as you saw through those logs, because you know what? There are branches of our life that need to be purged and trimmed out of our life.
These pastors are going up to these branches with their little butter knife and going ... and they're working hard, but they're not getting anything done. They need to get out a big battle ax. That's going to actually chop off a branch. Now you're getting somewhere. What gives you the right to preach hard? The example of every single preacher in this book from Genesis to Revelation that preached hard.
Anyway, look at Acts 4:31. Let's get a quick definition of hard preaching. Point 1: Hard preaching is bold preaching. Bold preaching. Look at Acts 4:31. "And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together, and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the Word of God with boldness.' Go to Acts 20 verse 20. "They spake the Word of God with boldness when they were filled with the spirit." You know what that tells me? Preaching that's not bold is preaching that's not filled with the Spirit.
A pastor who preaches bold is filled with the Spirit. A pastor that's holding back part of the message because of fear cannot be a Spirit-filled preacher, because the evidence of being filled with the Spirit is boldness. Think about that. Let me ask you this. Didn't the Holy Spirit write this book? Because the Bible said "Holy men of God spake as they were moved by the ... " Let's say you have a pastor that decides to leave out part of this book. Is he being led of the Holy Ghost to do that? Why would the Author of this book lead a pastor ... "Oh, don't preach that part. Leave that out." He's the Author. He likes it all. He wants it all preached. Therefore, He says, "Preach Ezekiel 16. Preach Matthew 23." He says, "Preach it all," because He's the Author and He commanded us to preach the whole counsel of God.
When you see a preacher hold back, meaning there's something that needs to be preached, it's on his mind, he believes it, but he won't say it publicly, he's not Spirit filled. He's not bold. That's the wrong kind of preaching. Look at Acts 20:20 "And now I have kept back nothing that was profitable unto you." Now stop. Doesn't the Bible say "All scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable?" Basically, he's saying "I didn't hold back any of the Word." He says, "I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have showed you and have taught you privately, those of you that were more mature believers, I did it on Sunday night when the mature believers are back. I did it on Wednesday night with the mature ... I did it in a special meeting of the leadership, people that could handle the strong meat." No. He says, "I taught you publicly."
We need to preach all the Bible publicly. There's not a part of the Bible that needs to be done privately. No. Preach it all publicly. Sunday morning. Sunday morning, preach it all. He says, "I've taught you publicly and from house to house. I didn't keep back anything that was profitable unto you." Number 1: Hard preaching is bold preaching.
Number 2: Hard preaching is preaching that is not vague. Vague preaching is the opposite of hard preaching. Go to I Corinthians 14. While you're turning to I Corinthians 14, I'll read for you from Isaiah 51:1. The Bible says, "Cry aloud." You say, "Why do you yell when you preach?" Because the Bible says cry aloud. "Cry aloud. Spare not. Lift up thy voice like a trumpet and show my people their transgression and the House of Jacob their sins." He says "cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet," but he doesn't stop there. He says, "Show my people their sins." Show them their sins.
A lot of people mistakenly believe that hard preaching is just loud preaching. They think loud preaching is hard preaching. The Bible does say to get loud, but I'm giving a Biblical definition of hard preaching. Number 1: Bold preaching. Number 2: Preaching that's not vague but actually shows you your sins. You can get up and preach loud, but it's not hard preaching. If it's vague, vague preaching is what I'm talking about. That's watered down.
Let me give you an example. Let me give you an example of preaching loud, but it's not hard preaching because it's so vague. Sin is wrong. I said sin is wrong. It's getting quiet in here now. You heard me when I said sin is wrong, huh? You don't like it? That's loud, but is anybody really going to be offended by that? Is anybody going to say like, "Oh man, wow, that was an intense sermon." I don't care whether you like it or not, I said that the devil is bad and sin is wrong. Whoa! But that's not hard preaching, because you're not saying ... Nobody disagrees that sin is wrong or that the devil's bad.
I even heard this. I heard people say, "I don't care what anybody ... Homosexuality is still a sin. Aah!" Wow. Really? What are you going to tell us next? Water's wet? Or that the sky is blue? What I'm saying is, hard preaching, it's bold, but also it gets specific. Not just vagueries of just Jesus died on the cross. Sin's bad. Do right. I've heard whole sermons that are just telling you like "Put God number 1. Put Him first. Live a good life. Do the next right thing that comes along. Do right till the stars fall. Do right. Do right. Don't do wrong. Don't be bad. Don't commit sin. Do good!"
Anyone on the planet would agree. An atheist is going to agree with "Do right. Don't be bad. Be good." But this is a type of vague preaching. But what happens when you get specific and start mentioning specific sins? That's where you separate the men from the boys. When you have not this vague preaching, but actually a preaching that shows people their sins. By the way, not just preaching against people out there, but actually preaching things that apply to the people in here.
Again, of course, we never single anyone out, or do anything like that. That would obviously be rude and inappropriate, but what I'm saying is preach on stuff that hits home with people in this room. Like, for example, the Bible talks about in Romans 1, it does talk about the Sodomites, the homos, and it says, "Who knowing the judgment of God that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same but have pleasure in them that do them, therefore, thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest, for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself, for thou that judgest, doeth the same things," he says, "But we are sure that the judgement of God is according to truth against them which commit such things."
We look at that scripture. We're not turning there for a second time, but not only does he condemn the homos, but then He turns around and says, "What if you take pleasure in them? You're in sin." Hold on. Now how about this? What happens when you go and watch TV and watch a bunch of homos on TV. What about that? Then what if we start naming the specific musicians that are homos, and naming the specific actors that are homos, and then let's talk about all the movies that they're in and how you go and watch those movies.
See, now all of a sudden, the preaching is hitting home where you live. That's not vague. There's nothing vague about me saying that Leonardo DiCaprio is a Sodomite, and that if you go and watch Leonardo DiCaprio's movies, you're taking pleasure in a Sodomite, and you're showing your children a Sodomite to be a Mr. Cool guy on the screen, Leonardo DiCaprio. How about Keanu Reeves, also a Sodomite? How about the music? REM, the lead singer of REM is an open Sodomite. "Oh, he's just bi. They're all bi." Don't give me this worldly term.
Hey, let's throw all the worldly terms out. Bi, gay. I don't use the term "gay." That term offends me. I find that offensive. They're faggots. They're queers. They're Sodomites. They're perverts. "I'm offended by that ... " No, I'm offended by them. There's 2 kinds of people: There are people that are offended by the word "faggot," and people that are offended by faggots. You can figure out which category I'm in.
I don't care what you call them: Sodomites, queers, faggots, whatever. Nothing offends me except gay. I will not tolerate that offense term in my presence. Gay is a Bible ... Gay means happy. But look, what happens when you're listening to the music of Elton John? What are you doing? Taking pleasure in some pervert. What happens when you watch The Lion King with your children? They're having being sung to sleep by a pervert, by a pedophile, Elton John. Think about it. Now all of a sudden it's like, "Oh man, that kind of preaching ... " That's hard preaching when we actually get specific and show what the Bible says, then we apply it.
You say, "Oh, just preach the Bible." No. If we just preach the Bible, we just read it and pray and go home, but God wants us to expound it, and God wants us to show His people their sins, and God wants to take a Bible principle that says "Do not take pleasure in Sodomites," and then, okay, let's apply that, then. Should we idolize the Hollywood stars and musicians that are Sodomites? Help me out, folks. Give me some musicians that are Sodomites. Help me out. Let's preach against them. Come on, O worldly ones. Help me out here.
Katie Perry? Ricky Martin? Some of you are like, "Oh no, I'm crushed. He's so cute." Yeah. Right. He's not interested in you, honey. Ricky Martin. Who else? Help me out. Lady Gaga, "Born This Way." I wonder what that album's referring to? I saw that at the store like Walgreen's or CVS or something. I'm serious. Because you got to go get all the drugs for your STD. You buy the CD at Walgreen's ... They must sell that CD at the drugstore, because you'll listen to it, go out and get a bunch of STD's and then they'll get more business. How else do you explain Walgreen's and CVS selling Lady Gaga "Born This Way?" Their pharmacy business is going to go through the roof once you get on that garbage.
I just had a major epiphany right now while I was preaching. I just uncovered a major conspiracy about why Lady Gaga "Born This Way" is being sold at the checkout of drugstores. But I'm telling you, look, this is the music that the kids are listening to at ASU. This is the music the kids are listening to in the public fool system. They're listening to all ... What are they listening to? I don't know the modern ... I don't want to just preach on the 90's all the time, you know what I mean?
Somebody help me out. Beyonce. Come on help me out. I want a flood of actors. Nicki Minaj. Never even heard of it. Miley Cyrus. You know, Justin Bieber. I don't know if he's come out openly, but if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it's probably a duck. You can go down the list of people that have done ... That are homos, that are disgusting, let alone the ones that are in the closets, and actors, the Heath Ledger, the Batman, and he died or whatever. That guy, Sodomite, Broke Back Mountain movie or whatever. I don't know. I'm at a loss. Man, I'm just ... Maybe I'm actually living a clean life and I'm not watching all this stuff or something. Maybe that's why I can't think of it. I haven't been to the movies in a while.
What I'm saying is that we need to ... When you find out that some musician is a homo, how can you ever listen to that music again? Especially because it's all a bunch of love songs. You don't want to hear that. Then you go to the movies and you watch a movie and, look, these guys are in a lot of movies. Leonardo DiCaprio, I'm sure he's still in movies, Keanu Reeves. These guys acted in Sodomite porn. Keanu Reeves, for sure, acted in Sodomite porn before he became a mainstream Hollywood actor.
Isn't that wonderful when you go and watch ... I don't know what, Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure? Okay, I'm dating myself here, you know. I'm sure he was in a lot of movies after that. But all I'm saying is you got to get to the point where we preach specific sin and point out, "Hey, don't watch Ellen Degenerate. Don't watch these sitcoms with homos. Don't watch the Hollywood movies that have homos." When you go to the movies and the homo character is introduced 60 minutes in, it's too late. You're already exposed to the filth. That's not vague preaching. Hard preaching's number 1, bold. The wicked flee when no man pursueth, but the righteous are as bold as a lion, and a lot of pastors are fleeing when no man pursues. They don't even preach as hard as their church can handle. They're running scared. They're scared of their own shadow. They're babies. They need to go suck on the baby bottle of God's Word and let a man get behind the pulpit who's gonna rip some face. Number 1: Bold preaching.
Number 2: Preaching that's not vague. Number 3: We need preaching that's heavy on Bible. If you put enough Bible in a sermon, you can't do a bad sermon. I mean, I've been to some sermons that weren't that great, but if they were packed with Bible, I always got something out of it. You never walk away feeling empty when you go to a church and you hear a sermon that's packed with Bible. The Bible has power, so that's a powerful sermon. That's why it said in 2 Timothy 4:2, "Preach the Word." That's what we need to be preaching when we reprove, rebuke, and exhort.
Fourthly and lastly is this: Hard preaching is preaching that names the names. Everybody get that? Number 1: Bold preaching. Number 2: Preaching that is specific and not vague. Number 3: Preaching that is heavy on Bible. Number 4: Preaching that names the names. I'm not just talking about naming the names of the Hollywood Sodomites, but also naming the names of false prophets and false teachers. If we look in the book of Paul and the books of John in the New Testament, they named a lot of names. Names like Phygellus, Hermogenes, Hymaneus, Philetus, Diotrophes. They listed the false teachers of their day. They said, "These guys are false teachers. Here's the preaching that they're doing."
Today you have Baptist preachers who won't even name Billy Graham as being an apostate, even when he said that Muslims and Hindus are going to heaven. You've got preachers that don't even want to preach about Joel Osteen. I downloaded a sermon recently from an independent fundamental Baptist church. He didn't even want to name the Mormons. He's like, "There's a certain false religion. I don't want to say who it is. I'm not down on them. I don't want to attack them, but they have this false doctrine ... " He wouldn't even name the Mormon prophet. He won't even name Joel Osteen. They won't even name Billy Graham.
Let me tell you something. I'm going to name Rick Warren. I'm going to name Tommy Barnett right here in town. Put that in your pope and smack it. Tommy Barnett at the Phoenix First Assembly is a lying false prophet. He's buddies with the faggart, Ted Haggard. He brought in Ted Haggard to work on his staff, who was caught being a Sodomite. He brought him in and had him on his staff for 1 year counseling people in his church. Preaching lies. Preaching that you can lose your salvation. Preaching another gospel.
John McArthur is a false prophet. Denies the blood of Christ. Promotes all these false Bible versions, is a hyper Calvinist, teaches work salvation and recently, go on You Tube and see for yourself, recently John McArthur, the man who denies the blood, one of the most popular preachers in America, okay, he recently stated that if you take the mark of the beast during the tribulation, you can still be saved. When is this guy going to stop? When are people going to stop listening to this guy? He's popular. They love him. He's one of the architects of the pre-trib rapture. He's one of the ones that promotes it the most, and he literally said ... Are you listening to this? John McArthur said, "Take the mark of the beast and you could still be saved. You could still go to heaven."
If that's not satanic ... Well, we already knew he was satanic when he said the blood of Jesus doesn't wash away your sins. We already knew he was satanic when he was preaching works salvation, but look, he's popular. I will name the names. I'm not afraid to preach against him. I'm not afraid to preach against Tommy Barnett. I'm not afraid to preach against the false teachers of our day. I'm not afraid to call them out by name, because Bible preachers called them out by name, and if that's a little too hard for you, and you're looking for a softer church, smooth, something that goes down cool, refreshing, crisp, clean-type preaching, go to New Spring. If you live in South Carolina. That's kind of a hard drive if they live in Phoenix.
Anyway, listen. We have such a great church. 90-some percent of the people ... If you hate this kind of preaching, you're in a very small minority this morning because 90-some percent of the people in this room right now love this kind of preaching because they know it's biblical, because they've read the Bible and they've seen how it can change their life and the lives of other people, and they've seen the result of namby-pamby sissified watered-down preaching.
Let me tell you something. If you're here now and you're just ... Maybe somebody here this morning is just angry right now. "Oh, I can't believe this guy," and he has no love. I preached on love last week. You just weren't here. In fact, I preached on love in the morning and at night. Part 1 and part 2. Two hours of love. I did. But you know what? The difference is that I'm going to preach the whole thing. I'm going to preach both.
Let me say this, the problem with most churches is not what they will say, it's what they won't say. If you're that person this morning that's angry and infuriated and this guy has no love, this guy's a jerk. I can't believe this guy. This guy's out to lunch. I'm never coming back to this church. You will have no trouble finding another church to go to. I'll be easy. Open the phone book, go to "independent fundamental Baptists," close your eyes, and just put your finger down, and you'll have a really good chance of finding what you're looking for. It'll be watered down. It won't be bold. It'll be vague. It'll be lean on Bible. It won't name the names, and you can sit back and relax and enjoy having your ears tickled today.
I'm telling you, it won't be hard to find the church you're looking for if you want to a church that's nothing like our church. I hate everything about this sermon. It'll be so easy to find the other kind of preaching because it's everywhere today. That's why this is everywhere. Maybe you're visiting from out of town and you're just here for the day. Let me tell you this. You need to go home and you need to find some leather-lung Baptist church. You need to find a church that will rebuke sin so that you can live a clean and godly life so that you can bring visitors and help them get cleaned up as well.
Let's bow our heads and have a word of prayer. Father, we thank you so much for our church, Lord, and we thank you for the people that are here, and we thank you for your love and compassion that we talked about last week. Lord, we also thank you for the warnings and the hard preaching that you give us. Because you do love us, you don't want us to get all filled with disease and to have a bunch of kids out of wedlock, and to become drunkards and whore-mongers, Lord. Thank you for giving us this kind of preaching just to help motivate us to do what's right, Lord. God, I pray that no one will be offended because honestly I love people. I don't want them to be offended, Lord. I pray that they would just let these things sink down into their ears. I pray that the one who's daughter was going to be going to ASU, I pray that she would rethink that as a result of the scripture that I sent and go down a more godly path. In Jesus' Name we pray. Amen.