I Corinthians, Chapter number 11. The part that I want to focus on is there in verse number 17 where the Bible reads, "Now in this that I declare unto you, I praise you not that ye come together not for the better but for the worse. For first of all when you come together in the church I hear that there be divisions among you, and I partly believe it. For there must be also heresies among you that they which are approved may be made manifest among you. When you come together, therefore, under one place this is not to eat the Lord's supper. For in eating, everyone taketh before other his own supper and one his hungry, another is drunk and what? Have you not houses to eat and to drink in or despise ye the church of God and shame them that have not? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you in this? I praise you not."
The title of my sermon tonight is simply this, "I Praise You Not." I praise you not. This sermon has to do with the phenomenon that we see today where people give people way too much praise or way too much affirmation, where no matter what anyone says or does they are affirmed or praised or told that they did a good job even when they didn't do a good job. You see, here, the apostle Paul is talking to people who are doing things wrong. They're committing sin. He says, "What do you expect me to do? Praise you for this? I praise you not."
If you would, flip over to Luke chapter 17. There is a time when praise is appropriate. For example, the scripture that we read this morning in Proverbs 31 about the virtuous woman said, "Her children arise up and call her blessed. Her husband also praiseth her. Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excelleth them all. Favor is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman that feareth the Lord she shall be praised. Giver of the fruit of her hands and let her own works praise her in the gate."
The Bible here is saying that it is quite appropriate for the virtuous woman to be praised of her husband and praised of her children. Why? Because she was virtuous, because she had done well. Today, we see this phenomenon of just praising everyone and affirming everyone whether they do well or not. Even when they do poorly they are told, "Hey. Good job, buddy. You're doing great." This is especially applicable when it comes to child rearing where children are never told that they've failed or that they've done wrong or that they need to go back and redo something. They're just constantly affirmed. "Well, you tried. You did well. You did good."
Look, if you would, at Luke chapter 17. I'll take you a step further. It says in verse 7, "But which of you having a servant plowing or feeding cattle, will say unto him by and by when he has come from the field, 'Go and sit down to eat,' and will not rather say unto him, 'Make ready wherewith I may sup and gird thyself and serve me until I've eaten and drunken. Afterward, thou shalt eat and drink.'" Watch verse 9, "Doth he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I trou not. So, likewise, ye when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you say, 'We are unprofitable servants. We have done that which was our duty to do.'"
Again, we see the attitude that says, "Thank me for doing that which is my duty, that which is my normal task. I want to be thanked and praised just for doing the minimum today." I've noticed this thing of parents thanking their child when they obey them. They'll tell their child, "Go do thus and so. Oh, thank you for obeying. Thank you so much for coming to mommy when she called." Wait a minute, that should just be expected. It's nothing to be thanked for because you went to work and did your job and did the minimum and what you were supposed to do. Praise is reserved for when you do something special, when you do something extra, when you go above and beyond. We've set the bar so low today and want to just thank everyone, praise everyone and affirm everyone no matter how poorly they do.
If you would, go to Genesis chapter 4. I was at the park not too long ago, and my kids were playing. There was a game of basketball that was being played. I watched a child. This wasn't a little kid. This wasn't a toddler who's just out there trying. This was a grown child, and they shot a basket and it was just a complete air ball. They just completely missed the basket. The parent said to their child, "Hey. That was a great shot." You could see in the child's face even that that child didn't appreciate complimented like that.
I mean, think about it. How would you like it if you shot an air ball and somebody said, "Hey, man. Nice shot." You'd feel stupid, right? Don't patronize me. You're making fun of me. You're making a fool of me. Parents do this constantly where they're just affirming and praising their child no matter how badly they fail. The child knows it's insincere. That was just a perfect example of this.
Look at Genesis chapter 4. I'm going to show you what this leads to. It leads to a generation that cannot be corrected. You tell them, "No," and they're not used to it. You tell them, "You've done wrong. You've made a mistake. You've failed," and they get really upset because they're just not used to that. See, it should have been when they were growing up their parents would have corrected them. The Bible says, "Correct thy son." They would have been reproved and rebuked throughout life. Because of this society that just affirms and respects everything, respect everyone, and praises everything and everyone, they're so used to being affirmed that they can't handle being told, "No." They can't handle. They've become like Cain.
Look at Genesis chapter 4, verse number 1. This is a great story showing the example of someone who failed to receive correction properly. It says in verse 1, "Adam knew Eve his wife. She conceived and bare Cain and said, 'I've gotten a man from the LORD.' She again bare his brother Abel. Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. In process of time, it came to pass that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD. Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. The LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering. But unto Cain and to his offering, He had not respect. Cain was very wrath and his countenance fail. The LORD said unto Cain, 'Why art thou wrath? Why is they countenance fallen? If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? If thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. Unto thee shall be his desire and thou shalt rule over him.'"
Here, Cain disobeys and does wrong. He's supposed to bring the sacrifice of the lamb. He's supposed to bring an animal sacrifice. Instead, he brings produce. He brings fruits and vegetables. His best. His idea. God just told him, "Good job, Cain. Good boy. You did well. You did a good job. That produce ..." No. God did not have respect unto his offering because he disobeyed. He told, "Go back and do it again. Get it right." That's what he's told. He's not just affirmed in his sin, affirmed in his disobedience.
His reaction is to get angry and let his countenance fall. God explains to him that if he would just do well, he'll be praised. If he'll do well, he'll be affirmed. He'll be accepted. If not, sin lieth at the door. God is not this all-affirming, all-praising God that just affirms and praises everyone no matter how poorly they do.
If you would, flip over to the book of Proverbs. I'm going to explain to you a concept in the Bible called flattery. Flattery is something that the Bible talks a lot about in a very negative light. Flattery is when you give someone praise that they don't deserve. It's insincere or it's excessive praise that doesn't fit. In the New Testament, there's a verse that says this, "For neither at any time used we flattering words." That's what the apostle Paul said. "Neither at any time used we flattering words as you know nor a cloak of covetousness. God is witness. Remember, this is the same guy who said, "Hey. Am I supposed to praise you? I praise you not."
We don't use flattering words. We're not just going to tell people what they want to hear or just affirm people as they do wrong. We're going to tell them that they're wrong. We're going to say no to people. Look at Proverbs chapter 2, verse 16. I'm just going to run through a lot of mentions of flattery in the book of Proverbs. Get ready to turn quickly. Proverbs 2:16, "To deliver thee from the strange woman even from the stranger which flattereth with her words." Again, this is giving you a warning about a promiscuous woman, an adulteress woman, who will flatter you in order to get you to commit sin with you. In order to take advantage you, she will praise you unduly.
Now, this is part of the danger of our society becoming a place where everyone just expects constant praise and constant affirmation. Then, they don't get enough of it from their husband or they don't get enough of it from their wife and now they're seeking it elsewhere. I've even talked to people who literally divorced their wife and said, "She never praises me." Here's the thing, obviously a wife should praise her husband and a husband should praise the wife. Just the fact that we live in a society where people are just demanding and hungry for all this praise is because they've been taught to expect constant affirmation and constant praise. From a child they're taught to receive that.
We should praise our spouse. No question about that. Here's the thing, you should praise your spouse for something that they actually deserve. Otherwise, it's just stupid. It's just foolish. You're patronizing. You're making a mockery of that person. It's not going to make them feel any better. In fact, it's insincere. It's disingenuous. I'm a strong believer in expressing love to your spouse. I think it's important.
You don't want the strange woman to come along and entice, or the strange man. We need to give praise that's due, that's sincere. Hopefully, you can find something that you like about your spouse to sincerely praise them for without having to just make things up that aren't true. Otherwise, why did you marry that person if you don't like anything about them? You find things that you like about your spouse. You find things that they're doing well, and you praise them for that which they excel at, for that which they've done well.
Don't say ... If you're husband's totally out of shape you don't tell him, "Oh, man. I just love your abs of steel," and he's got a beer belly. That doesn't make any sense, right? It's stupid. It's foolish. You know. Or to sit there and say ... Let's say if your wife isn't that great of a cook, "Oh, you're the best cook in the world." Look, praise her for the things that she's doing well. Let's say there's a part of the house that's not that clean. Don't tell her, "Wow. You really did a great job cleaning the kitchen." Not. It's ridiculous. It's silly. You should actually praise people for what they did well.
I know there are plenty of things that my wife does very well and plenty of things about my wife, about her appearance, about her works, that I constantly praise. I mean it. Honey, did you hear me? I mean it. I'm serious. I don't just pour on all this insincere flattery because that's what bad people do according to the Bible. It isn't right and it doesn't help the relationship.
I used to have a guy that I went running with a lot. Some of you know who I'm talking about. I would go running with this guy. He was a great running partner. It was really fun to go running with him. He's a really friendly guy. He meant well. He was sincere. He would praise everyone that we passed. We'd be running a long, we'd be jogging up in South Mountain or by the canal, and he would say to everybody, "Man, you're doing awesome. You're doing great." He meant it. The problem was, he would often say that to people who weren't doing that well. You know what I mean? I was often afraid people were going to take this the wrong way. We'd go by people, "Man, you are awesome. Yeah." I'm just thinking, "Oh, man. I hope this person knows that he means that," because they're going real slow. They're huffing and puffing or whatever. We're kind of blowing by them, telling them how awesome they are. I'm thinking, "Man. I hope these people don't come after us."
The point is, you don't want to praise people that don't deserve it. Praise people that have earned praise, not just as a matter of course. We live in the day of the participation trophy where you get a trophy just for showing up. You get your rear end kicked all over the field, and you get a trophy. Honestly, that trophy is just a mockery in the end. It doesn't ... Kids understand that it's not real. Let's move on.
In Proverbs, go to chapter 6, verse 24. He says the same thing about the strange woman. There's a lot about the strange woman flattering. Chapter 6, verse 24, "To keep thee from the evil woman, from the flattery of the tongue of a strange woman." Chapter 7, verse 5, "That they may keep thee from the strange woman, from the stranger which flattereth with their words." Same thing in verse 21 of the same chapter, "With her much fair speech she caused them to yield. With the flattering of her lips, she forced him." Go to chapter 20, verse 19, "Ye that goeth about as a tale bearer revealeth secrets. Therefore, meddle not with him that flattereth with his lips."
The Bible is just telling you to beware of people who are constantly praising you for things that you're not really even good at or are just giving you excessive or insincere praise. The Bible says ... If you would, flip over to chapter 28, verse 23. While you're turning there, I'll read you another verse. "A lying tongue hateth those that are afflicted by and a flattering mouth worketh ruin." Again and again, the Bible's telling us don't be a flatterer and beware of the flatterer. It's a bad person that flatters all the time and is just constantly praising people whether they deserve it or not. They usually have an ulterior motive.
Look at verse 23 there. It says, "He that rebuketh a man afterwards shall find more favor than he that flattereth with the tongue." You see, in the end people will love you more if you told them the truth and you actually warned them and rebuked them and reproved them than if you just flatter them and tell them what they want to hear all the time. See, in the short term, when you flatter people, tell them everything's great, tell them how wonderful they are when they're actually not, you might gain some favor in the short term. It says, "He that rebuketh a man afterwards shall find more favor than he that flattereth with the tongue."
If you would, flip back to chapter 9 of Proverbs. People, they're so used to being affirmed that they can't handle being rebuked anymore. They're not used to it anymore. It's foreign to them. Of course, the Bible says in the New Testament, "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'll not endure sound doctrine, but at their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers having itching ears. They shall turn away their ears from the truth and shall be turned unto fables." You see, we're living in a day where, because everyone has been so affirmed and just craves to be praised all the time ...
They're not used to going to church and hearing real preaching. Real preaching reproves you. Real preaching rebukes you. Real preaching exhorts you. All three of those words imply that you need to change something. Reprove means tell you you're wrong. Rebuke means tell you you're wrong strongly, sternly tell you you're wrong. Rebuke is basically just a stronger form of reproof. Exhort is to try to get you to do something that you should be doing that you're not doing, trying to motivate you, encourage you to get to work at something and get something done. Whereas reprove and rebuke is more like you're doing it wrong, exhort is like you need to start doing it. You need to get out there and do it. These are words telling you to change, but people want to go to church and just be affirmed. "I just want to be accepted for who I am." What does the Bible say? "If thou doest well thou be accepted." It doesn't just say, "Yeah, you'll just be accepted as you are."
Now, here's the thing. Thank God, when it comes to salvation we are accepted as we are in the sense that we're all sinners. All we have to do to be saved is believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. The Bible says, "Him that cometh to me, I will in no wise cast out." I don't want you to get the wrong idea here. Being saved is easy. Christ did the hard part when He died on the cross and was buried and rose again. Just as I am without one plea, but that Thy blood was shed for me and that Thou bidst me come to Thee. Oh lamb of God I come. Just as I am. That's salvation. That is not the Christian life.
Let me just illustrate it to you this way. Being saved is called being born again. You didn't have to do much to be born into my family did you Solomon, Isaac, John, Miriam, Rebecca, Anna, Steven and Boaz? It's pretty easy to be born into the family, wasn't it? Mom did the hard part when she gave birth to you. Pretty easy to be born into the family, right? You're accepted on no merit or anything of your own. You're just accepted in our family by virtue of being born.
Does that mean that I'm just going to accept their behavior no matter what it is and just accept any kind of disobedience or rebellion or attitude that comes out of them? I'm just going to accept everything? I'm just going to accept you as you are? No. I'm going to tell you that you need to change if you're out of line, if you're in disobedience, if you're rebellious, if you are disrespectful. You are going to be punished and told to correct it. You will be praised and affirmed when you do well. You will be corrected and rebuked when you do poorly. You will be thanked when you do something extra. You're not necessarily going to be thanked just for doing the minimum, "Thank you for brushing your teeth. Thank you so much for making the bed. Thank you for taking out the trash." It's overboard. It's not biblical.
It's the day that we live in. We're training a generation that can't be told no. I mean, to the point now where people can say and do the weirdest, stupidist things and society just affirms them in it. Some dude can say, "Well, I think I'm a woman inside." It's just like, "Let's affirm this guy. Let's just tell ..." Some boy says, "I want to put on a dress." The world will affirm that today, just affirm every stupid thought. Look, children have a lot of stupid ideas. The Bible says, "Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child." Affirm it. Is that what the Bible says? "Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child." When they express stupid things to you, just tell them, "That's so creative of you." No.
The rod of correction will drive the stupidity from them because foolishness, the modern word for foolishness, is stupidity. That would be our common vernacular. "Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child. The rod of correction will drive it far." We don't affirm stupidity. We don't affirm foolishness. We correct it. We rebuke it. We reprove it. We say, "Look. Fix it. Don't come at me with that kind of dumb question or dumb statement." Here's the thing. We live in the generation of, "Well, the only stupid question is the one you don't ask." What does the Bible say? "Avoid foolish questions." It says that repeatedly. Avoid foolish questions.
There's a question that's asked from Mr. I Praise Thee Not himself, the apostle Paul, in the same book, in I Corinthians chapter number 11 where he said, "I praise thee not." Just a few chapters later ... This wasn't in my notes, but in I Corinthians chapter 15 a question is asked that he thinks is a stupid question. He says in verse 35 of chapter 15 of I Corinthians, "But some man will say, 'How are the dead raised up and with what body do they come?' Thou fool. That which thou sowest is not quick and accept to die and that which thou sowest not that body that shall be but bear grain and made chance of wheat or of some other grain. God giveth it a body as it pleased Him and to every seed his own body."
The context here is that people are denying the resurrection of Christ or the resurrection of the dead in general just because they don't understand it. "Well, how could the dead be raised up? I mean, with what body do they come? I mean, we know their body decayed in the earth." Look, if God says that the dead are raised up, the dead are raised up. Case closed. If God can speak the world into existence in six days, I think that God can raise up the dead. That's why Paul preached in the book of Acts, "Does it seem marvelous to you that God would raise the dead?" Look at all the other miracles that He's done throughout the Word of God.
This idea that says, "Well, it's not scientifically possible for Christ to be born of a virgin." Yeah, that's why it's a miracle. That's the whole point. Or, "Well, you know, I mean with what body do they come when they are raised?" Did Paul say, "You know. That's a really good question?" He said, "Stupid." He said, "Thou fool."
Today, if you call anything or anyone stupid for any reason, you're told you're a horrible person. You're not loving. Here's the thing. Sometimes, when you love people you have to tell them, "You're being really stupid right now. That's a dumb question. You need to stop talking so crazy." I mean, we're to the point now where people want to come into church and tell you that the earth's flat. Then they want you to affirm them. "Good job for questioning everything. Good boy." No, no, no. It's more like, "Hey idiot. We've known for centuries that the earth is a sphere. The earth is round. It's proven everyday. Quit being an idiot."
Then people say, "Oh, you're not loving. You're so mean. You're not like Christ. You're not like the apostle Paul." Look, that just is a spirit of foolishness. It's a vain jangling. It's designed to make Christians look stupid. If you want to make yourself look stupid, go make yourself stupid somewhere else. Don't try to involve me in your foolishness of trying to teach that the earth is flat. Then the blasphemy is augmented when they say, "Well, the Bible says the earth is flat." Now you're blaspheming God because you're trying to make God look stupid. Go be stupid on your own. Don't bring the Bible into it. People get offended by this because we're in this politically correct, touchy-feely, don't ever insult anyone, don't ever criticize anyone ...
Look, I'm not saying to just criticize people at the drop of a hat. I'm not saying not to be nice. I'm not saying not to speak the truth in love. I've preached that in a bunch of other sermons. Tonight, I'm just trying to explain to you that we've gone overboard as a society where we just want to handle everyone with kid gloves, where people can just get pregnant out of wedlock and it's no big deal. We just kind of affirm them. People can just go out and commit fornication. They can go out and get drunk. They can go out and dress like a hoochie mama and a hooker and a whore. The dudes can dress effeminate and the skinny jeans and the sagging your pants. Why doesn't somebody tell these people, "Hey. Pull up your pants. Sick of looking at your underwear. Quit walking around with your pants down like you're some kind of a homo or something." If you said that you're mean.
Look, if people would say these kind of things then maybe people would get some smarts. There's a time. I'm not saying it's appropriate for me to just walk up to some stranger, but how about a parent telling their child that. That's where it ought to come from, from the legitimate source of authority. Obviously, it's not my place to correct strangers. I'm saying, you'd think somebody in that person's life would slap some sense into that kid and say, "Why don't you dress like a man?"
I remember ... You're not even going to believe this. Again, I'm keeping this anonymous. This pastor ... This is back in the '80s. In the '80s, rock bands and a lot of the new wave bands had this thing where a lot of the musicians would wear make-up. Remember that? Dudes would wear make-up. There was a pastor that we knew. His teenage son was really into The Cure. Who knows who I'm talking about, The Cure? All right? All right. God bless you. I see that hand.
Anyway. His teenage son is into The Cure. This is a pastor of a Baptist church. His teenage son started wearing make-up and having the hair punked out like Robert Smith from The Cure. They literally said, "You know," this is what they said to us, "Are we upset because what he's doing is wrong or are we just upset because he's embarrassing us? We ought not be ashamed of our own son. We ought to just let him kind of make his own choices. We're just going to affirm him in this." They just allowed their son to look like Robert Smith from The Cure. Just to wear ... I mean, in a Baptist church. This is a pastor's son. Can you imagine my son being allowed to, obviously my son would never do this, but can you imagine my son coming to church with make-up and his hair all punked out and me just saying, "Well, you know what? It's the heart that matters?"
We can't affirm that kind of behavior. Somebody's just got to say, "No." How can you even begin to allow that in your home? People are afraid to tell anyone, "No." Look at Proverbs 9 where I had you turn. It says in verse number 7, "He that reproveth a scorner getteth to himself shame. He that rebuketh a wicked man giveth himeslf a blot. Reprove not a scorner lest he hate thee." Watch this part, "Rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee. Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser. Teach a just man, and he will increase in learning."
The Bible's teaching us that we ought to be the type of people that can handle someone telling us that we're wrong. We don't just panic or freak out or get emotional when we are told that we're wrong or when someone corrects us or rebukes us. We need to be the type of person, if we're going to be a wise man, that when someone rebukes us we thank them for that. We appreciate that. We take it as a learning opportunity. We receive instruction. We grow. We improve.
Now, it's amazing to me how so many parents don't understand this. They'll come out with this modern new fangled parenting that says, "Well, we're just going to use positive reinforcement." Have you heard this? "Instead of negative reinforcement, we just use positive reinforcement." What they end up doing is, first of all, they're just disregarding what God said. They think they're smarter than God. When God said, "Withhold not correction from the child for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die. Thou shalt beat him with the rod and shall deliver his soul from hell." That just goes out the window that spanking is the discipline that God has ordained biblically.
Not only that, what they're doing then is they end up praising their child way too much. Not only are they withholding correction, which is bad enough, the fact that they're not spanking their kids. The Bible says, "He that spareth his rod hateth his son, but he that loveth him chasten him betimes." They're compounding the error by lavishing way too much praise on the child because by using positive reinforcement they're having to just constantly tell it how good it's doing even when it's not doing that great. If it just barely does ... "Oh, good job. Great work. Oh, yeah. That's so great."
It's creating an evil and perverse generation because they're not growing up with the fear of the Lord. They're growing up just expecting the Lord to praise them and thank them and affirm them as much as their parents did. I believe the reason why God says that if you beat him with the rod you'll deliver his soul from hell, I believe it's because children who grow up with a parent who actually brings down discipline on them, that parent is symbolic of God in their life. They look at their parent, and they get a view of what God is like, the heavenly Father. They'll realize that just as dad doesn't just put with anything, the heavenly Father's not going to put up with everything either.
Whereas children whose parents just bend over backwards to praise them and affirm them, they grow up and believe that there is no hell because a loving God would never have a hell. It's like, "Hell? He'd never create a place like hell." That's why you have all these people today telling you, "Hey, I'm a homo and Jesus loves me." Whatever. I mean, I was in Los Angeles, California less than a year ago. There was a billboard that had this girl in a tank top that just said like, "I have AIDS and Jesus loves me," or something.
Now look, obviously there are people who have AIDS and Jesus loves them. I get that. But what kind of a message are we sending here of just Jesus affirms everything and Jesus is just going to be nice to you. No. The Bible says that unto the froward He will show Himself froward. Unto the pure He'll show himself pure. The Bible says that unto the wicked, unto the froward, God will show Himself unsavory.
Whatever happened to it's a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God? What happened to our God's a consuming fire? What happened to fear and trembling? It's just this constant just affirmation of just the weirdest, sickest perverts saying, "Well, God just loves me and accepts just the way that I am." No, He doesn't. He's going to send you to hell forever. You filthy pervert. What does Romans 1 say? It says look, you don't want to retain God in your knowledge. That's why you're even a pervert in the first place. God gave you over to a reprobate mind to do those things which are not convenient.
Yet, today, we're told that God in heaven just affirms everyone, respects everyone, loves everyone, accepts everyone. It is false. It is not accept and affirm and love and reward everyone. Look, you say, "Well, I think you're wrong about that. I think you just went a little too far." No. I haven't gone far enough. You need to read your Bible. The Bible is crystal clear that beneath my feet right now, you go down about 10 miles and you will find fire and brimstone. Then it's fire and brimstone for another 9,000 some miles, almost 10,000 miles. Then there's another little thin layer of 10 miles of crust. It's in China. Right? That's what my parents told me that if I keep digging, I'll end up in China. Sorry flat earthers.
The point is, how can you sit there and say ... I don't understand the cognitive dissonance in people's minds where you'll ask them, "Do you believe in heaven and hell?" "Oh, yeah," but then they're like, "Oh, but God loves everyone. God never stops loving anyone." It's like, then why is He sending them to a torture chamber for all of eternity? Why do they go to a furnace of fire for all eternity if He just affirms and respects and accepts and loves them forever and ever?
No. The Bible makes it clear. The Bible says there are people that God hates. It says, "Him that loveth violence, his soul hateth." I could show you 22 verses right now if I had time where it talks about God specifically hating people. It's in there. It's in the Bible. You can ignore it, but it's there. The point is that people who are raised with this real positive only parenting and this participation trophy, "You did a great job. Wonderful shot," even though it was an air ball, "Great job. Wonderful work. Good boy. Good girl," never told them no, never gave them a spanking, never came down on them, never rebuked the foolishness, never punished, ... Then they grow up and they think, "God's going to be the same way." You know what? When they get to hell they're going to realize that God was a little meaner than their parents. You know what the world calls being mean.
It's true, my friend. We need to get off this brain washing, this social programming, that has taught us to never be negative. I'm not trying to be negative all the time. I'm saying there's a time and a place to be negative. There's a time and a place to tell people no, to correct people, to rebuke people. People don't always need to be handled with kid gloves. Sometimes the gloves need to come off. We've come to the point now where people can commit the vilest, sickest, weirdest sins and the gloves still don't come off. We still just cherish them and handle them so daintily. We're so careful with them. I could go on and on on that point. I'm not going to belabor that point. I think you know what I'm talking about.
Look what the Bible says in Proverbs chapter 13, verse 1 while you're in Proverbs there. It says, "A wise son heareth his father's instruction, but a scorner heareth not rebuke." Go, if you would, to chapter 28, Proverbs 28. People will heap unto themselves teachers today that don't rebuke them, that don't reprove them, that don't tell them, "No," where they can just be affirmed on a continual basis, where they can be made to feel good, where they can constantly be encouraged and built up by their motivational speaker or life coach, Joel Osteen or the like, that's just going to continually edify them.
Sometimes, before you can edify something you have to do a controlled demolition on that which is in the wrong place. Before we can bear fruit, sometimes we need to be purged. We need to be trimmed. That hurts sometimes. Look at Proverbs 28, verse 4, "They that forsake the law praise the wicked, but such as keep the law contend with them." There are people out there that are very wicked and godless people. Yet, today, we see them praised. Wicked politicians, horrible people, and we're told to praise them. We hear people praising them and lifting them up and exalting them. Lifting up and exalting Hollywood stars that live a sinful, licentious, lifestyle. Lifting up all the pop stars and the rock stars and their wicked ways. Praising them and lifting up.
The Bible tells us that they that forsake the law, praise the wicked. Such as keep the law, contend with them. I've even heard Christians now say, and pastors now say, "Oh, many people in the LGBT community, they're such wonderful people. They're such nice, loving people." Hold on a second. You're praising the wicked. The Bible teaches that they're the dregs of the bottom of the barrel. Read Romans 1. Better yet, memorize Romans 1. Recite it forward and then recite it backwards. Then come tell me about what wonderful neighbors and wonderful aunts and uncles and brothers and sisters they are. We're living in a day that affirms even the worst filth. It's in the open for one reason because it's being affirmed. If it were being condemned and rebuked, it would be hidden away. It wouldn't just be proudly proclaimed. It's proudly proclaimed because it's being affirmed and praised everywhere we turn.
Do you want to be a person that God says forsakes the law? Then don't praise the wicked. Those that keep the law contend with them, battle with them, fight with them. They don't co-exist with them. No. They fight with them. They take a stand against them. They rebuke them. They say, "No. These people are disgusting. Get them out of here. They're not allowed here." "Oh, bring them into the church so they can get saved." Look. The church was never designed to be a place where people get saved in the first place. I don't know where you got that stupid idea. The church is a place for the edification of the saints. That's what the church is designed for. That's why He said, "Go into the all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature."
Today, we have this bogus idea that the church is designed to just bring in all the worst elements of society, the worst filth, and bring them all in and make them feel comfortable and welcome and affirm them and play the music that they like and the sermon that's not going to offend them because how else are we going to reach these people for Jesus? The people who ask this question, how else are we going to reach them, you know why? It's because they don't go soul winning. That's why. We're not asking, "How else?" We know how else we're going to reach anybody with the Gospel is by knocking doors. "How are we going ..."
First of all, many of these people are unreachable. They're reprobate. Here's the thing. If you're going to reach people with the Gospel, you go into the highways and hedges. You go into all the world. You go. That's why it says, "How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the Gospel of peace and ..." It doesn't say how beautiful is the mouth. It says, "How beautiful are the feet."
Today, we've got this weird concept of the church being a place where we just bring in the world and bring in a bunch of unsaved people, hoping that they get saved. If a person gets saved in church great, but that's not the purpose of church. If you make that the purpose of church, that church is going to go the wrong direction. What happens is, now all of a sudden the music gets geared toward the unsaved, the sermon gets geared toward the unsaved, and we've all been in those churches where every morning it's a salvation sermon. Who's been to a church like that? Every Sunday morning ... You go to church every Sunday morning, and it's the Gospel. Every Sunday morning it's the Gospel.
I've had people come visit our church and then write me a letter complaining and saying, "I was there on Sunday morning. You didn't preach the Gospel." Like, "So? Why would I?" They say ... I've even ... I've been in these churches where it's just the Gospel every Sunday morning, and here's what they said, "If you get tired of hearing the Gospel, something's wrong with you." It's not that I'm tired of hearing the Gospel. It's that I want to hear something else. It's that there's this big thick book of all these things I need to learn, and you're giving me the Gospel.
Sometimes you literally just want to stand up in these churches and yell at the pastor, "I'm saved. We're all saved. Everyone of us is saved. Why are you giving us the Gospel? We've been saved for years." It's a philosophy. Honestly, it's all part of a plan to destroy the church. Where you bring in this idea of, "Hey, let's bring in the unsaved. That's how we're going to reach them." That's how you go liberal. That's how you go soft. The next thing you know, you're even saying, "Bring in the transvestites. Bring in everybody." Then, next thing you know, it's all geared toward them.
Hey. This is the church that's geared toward you. It's sort of like that gum. I remember that commercial in the '80s, Bubble Tape. For you, not them. That's the motto of our church. This is Bubble Tape Baptist you're sitting in. For you, not them. This sermon tonight is for you. Don't you love to go to a church that caters to you as a saved person? Look. You love hard preaching? This is for you. You believe the King James Bible? This is for you. You're into soul winning? This is for you. Aren't you glad you don't go to a church that's geared toward somebody that's not even saved or geared towards the most baby, watered down Christian? That's what everything is pointed toward, affirming them.
No. They need a swift kick in the pants. We need some more serious preaching to be happening in the house of God. That's the problem in our country today is just this affirmation and bring in the unsaved, bring in all the world, bring in all the junk. No. It's supposed to be a called out assembly. It's supposed to be born again, baptized believers. What happened to that definition of the church?
If other people stumble in here great, but we're not trying to bring in unsaved people. How many unsaved people we can gather? This isn't some Billy Graham evangelistic crusade. This is church. I'm not worried about what unsaved people think about this sermon. I'm preaching to the choir. I'm preaching to the saved. That's what church is supposed to be.
Be careful with this philosophy. Be careful with your children that you tell them, "No." When they come out with something stupid, you tell them, "Look. Stop being foolish. Don't talk about that. Don't bring up things like that. Don't say stupid things. You need to learn to keep your mouth shut." If they do something poorly, you tell them, "Hey, listen. You need more work on this. Here. You know what? This assignment? You failed. Go back and do it again. Get it right." This is preparing them for the real world, not just telling them everything's a good job. Then they're going to think God just think everything's a good job. They're going to expect the pastor to tell them that everything's a good job. They're going to go through life totally failing and thinking, "Why aren't I being praised more? Come praise me more." It's something that has infected all of us. We need to get a biblical reboot on this philosophy.
Let's bow our heads and have a word of prayer. Father, we thank you so much for your Word, Lord. Lord, none of us is perfect. There are always times when we need to be corrected, Lord, and need to be reproved. Help all of us to accept correction gracefully when it comes and to not expect everybody to just tell us "yes" all the time. Lord, help us to raise a generation of children that aren't entitled spoiled brats because they've never been disciplined or told "no," Lord. God, help our society that has just gone in to all the weirdest, sickest kinds of imaginable perversions because nobody tells them "no." Help us, Lord, to be people that are different in this church and not to be carried about with the error of the wicked. In Jesus' Name we pray, Amen.