“For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?” (Jesus, Mark 8:36)
There is an unspoken belief in the pentecostal church today that if you have a big ministry, with lots of people looking to you for leadership, then God has blessed you, God is with you, and God is approving.
It is true that God’s blessing results in multiplication and growth ultimately. Thank God for all the true ministries that have grown with God’s blessing. But not all that grows is of God.
Cancer grows. But cancer is not of God. Instead, it sucks the needed resources from the rest of the body, and releases poisons and grows at the expense of what is needful.
If the message, the methods and the character of a ministry becomes corrupted, the DNA of that ministry also becomes not unlike a cancer cell in the body. It may grow aggressively, but it does not mean that God is pleased.
We need to test the spirits. We need to check things out according to the Word.
The Pope has a very big ministry, but he preaches a different gospel, one of sacraments and religious works in order to know salvation through Christ. I wonder if the fact that the Pope is so influential is one reason why many modern “evangelicals” and pentecostals are so friendly and applauding towards the whole Roman Catholic thing today.
Jimmy Swaggart, just before he was caught with prostitutes, boasted that his audience was bigger than that of the pope. Was God pleased with what he was doing?
Other ministries today may be huge, and too clever to get involved in or even to desire blatant physical immorality, but they compromise the gospel in various ways, seeking to please men and give them what they want to hear. This was predicted in the Word of God a long time ago.
“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.” (2 Timothy 4:3,4).
There are plenty of preachers today who have worked out that giving people what they want to hear, “scratching them where they itch” and telling nice imaginary stories is going to build a bigger audience than preaching the truth as it is in Jesus, fully, and without compromise.
And of course, bigger audiences translate to bigger offerings. There is no question about that.
God has said this would happen? Is it happening today? If you judge what is preached carefully by the Word of God, I think you will agree with me that yes, this is happening.
Having a big ministry is no guarantee that you are pleasing to God. Though you win the world to your way of thinking, you may still lose your soul.
In a Christian culture which downplays the value of thinking, such as we have today, and punishes honest questioning of what may be false doctrines and practices, we are in danger of going off the cliff together. May God help us.