Summary: The Scriptures plainly tell us that people and society in general will grow more wicked as the time approaches for the return of the Lord Jesus Christ. The preacher is to face this with the soul-convicting, life transforming power of the Word and Spirit, no matter the cost.

Anyone who makes the ridiculous statement that the Bible is merely a human book and a collection of inspiring stories either has not read the Bible for himself, or are mimicking another person's skepticism, or they have read it and ended up condemning what has been written, especially when it comes to the true nature of people. The Scriptures plainly state that the heart of man is totally wicked and hates the one true God and His decrees. The Scriptures teach that man's sinful nature prevents any possibility on his part to redeem himself. Only God Himself provides the means to salvation, which irritates and digs into their depraved minds and consciences like a sharp thorn in tender flesh. What does man really desire? The idea today is to wrap oneself in a cocoon of self-love and self-righteousness and to be coddled by inspirational speakers and preachers with whitened teeth and expensive suits who are woefully ignorant and grossly unqualified to occupy a pulpit.

Any so-called "sermon" coming from these religious hucksters may state that our advice and wisdom is sought and requested by God, Who is at our beck and call, or that He wishes for us to be "blessed and highly favored", immune from trouble, hardship, or suffering. If any Scripture is used, it will have been molded and twisted into fitting the message, ignoring the need for salvation and the eternal consequences of an unprepared life (Luke 12:13-21). I have heard "message" from self-appointed "anointed" preachers that rely on experiences, emotions, personal "revelations" from God, and for some, a free tour of heaven and returning to tell us all about it. I received a collection of DVD's from a "prophecy" conference not that long ago, and one of the featured speakers was supposed to present a message on "prayer-walking" and how it was used to strengthen missions around the world.

I briefly watched what turned out to be an unoriginal, tired, predictable, worn out rambling collection of "experiences", "personal revelations", with the all important prize of a "trip to heaven" that a lot of "Christians" tend to receive from "Jesus" to remind His people that He is coming back soon (as if the Scriptures didn't inform me about this first). After twenty minutes, I gave up any attempt to watch it further and declared it a waste of my time. What is sad is that gullible audiences and "spirit-filled" individuals who have set aside their Bibles for a "new move of God" eat this up like chicken at a church potluck dinner. If I had been in the audience, I would have probably told the guy to get to the point, or call him a liar to his face in light of Paul's own vision of heaven (2 Corinthians 12:1-10) of which he was not allowed to speak of to anyone, and he received a "thorn in his flesh" to keep him humble about the entire episode. This poor excuse for a "preacher" had a lot of nerve, pride, self-centeredness and stories, but none of the true Gospel. By the way, I would have been thrown out and declared a heretic or something, but I digress.

The unfortunate fact is this type of "preaching" is nothing but heavy doses of "junk food" that fill you up, but have no nutrition. This is what far too many churches are enduring from "pastors" who wish to be trendy instead of preaching the whole counsel of God. A lot of clergy have gotten the idea that no one wants to sit through long sermons, heavy doses of doctrine, Biblical exposition, and convicting messages that bring sinners to the foot of the cross. They instead rely on topics, stories, current events, social problems, and items of personal interest to compose what they consider a sermon. To the remnant pastors who still adhere to Scripture, this is what we were told to expect when the churches become like the world (1John 2:15-17) and the loss of influence, authority, and righteousness that result from it. False teaching and its rotten harvest have been a problem for Christ's church militant since the beginning, and you have your head in the sand if you think that it has not gotten worse in just a short time.

Paul tells Timothy to expect trouble and difficulty in his pastoral work, effectively describing the real picture of men and nations (3:1-5). The list Paul writes is a mirror that the Gospel of Jesus Christ turns on fallen humanity to make them see in their wicked reflection the ugliness, corrosion, decay, and blackness of their sins, spiritually dead and stinking like a decaying body. The Gospel's message of redemption through Jesus Christ is our only way of coming to life and to be freed from the decay of sin and the eternal punishment for it that all of us deserve. No one is exempt from the curse of sin and death, but the Good News is that no one is exempt from the offer of salvation, either (Romans 5:6-11, 6:23). True men of God are to boldly proclaim that in spite of the social cesspool we have to endure, that while there is still breath in one's body, it is not too late to call upon the LORD to receive the forgiveness of sin and the new life He freely offers to all who will hear and reply. We are also compelled by the LORD to tell the truth without apology or fear of intimidation or threats that the rejection of the Gospel means an eternity in hell for the punishment of your sins, and no one will be exempt or get special privileges who choose to put off or walk away from what the Lord Jesus offers. There is no second chance once you take your last breath (Luke 16:19-31; Hebrews 9:27; Revelation 14:9-11, 20:11-15).

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