I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth.

I recently saw a social media post from someone defending a well-known mega pastor. His church attracts thousands of followers because of his positive hope-filled messages. Claiming to avoid undue controversies, this popular pastor says he just wants to encourage people and not focus on the negative. As I read the comments, it was evident that many were impacted by his ministry – especially seekers and those offput by religion. Many had been brought to Christ through his sermons of positive affirmation and promise.

But even as I read the testimonies, I had a check in my spirit. Something was missing. As good as these testimonies were, and as thankful as I was for this pastor’s ministry to countless nonbelievers, something was off. It wasn’t what he was saying. It’s what he wasn’t saying. His platform presented a portion of truth wrapped in a slick and stylish package. Appealing to the masses, his messages may indeed be converting people to Jesus. And yet, the gospel he espouses is severely lacking.

And He said to all, “If anyone would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me."

Without preaching Christ crucified and the need for repentance, the glitter of this pastor’s presentations are but cheap imitations. This is not a judgment of his heart or his intentions; merely a reminder of the bar that God has already set for those who are called to preach the “good news.”

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’” (Matthew 7:21-23)

It is clear that even good works are not enough to satisfy the requirements of righteousness before the Lord. Just because good things are happening within a particular church or ministry doesn’t mean God approves. So, what is the standard we are setting for ministers of the gospel? The apostle Paul seemed to give a free pass to messengers who proclaimed Christ, even with mixed motives (Philippians 1:18-20). But, is that the highest mark of a true and valid minister? Is our only litmus test of any ministry the salvation of souls?

And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Jesus told us to make disciples, not just followers. He charged us to observe ALL that He taught and commanded. That means the hard stuff, not just the good stuff. Jesus continually spoke of the cost in following Him. He spoke of the narrow way to salvation and the need to make hard choices (Matthew 7:13-14). He even told us to share in the fellowship of His sufferings (Philippians 3:10-12). But, that’s not very appealing for those on the sidelines of religion and offended by truth.

What we are facing in many of today’s Churches is not a lack of seeming fruit or positive messages. What we lack is the guts to work through our weaknesses and failures with honesty and integrity. What we lack is the courage to confront challenging and controversial issues with biblical truth instead of popular opinion. The fear of man and the need for mass approval has infected many. By avoiding any call to accountability or personal maturity, these ministries and leaders are not doing us any favors. They are only heralding another Jesus, another gospel, and another spirit (2 Corinthians 11:4). Jesus taught a message of obedience and trust while dying to self, knowing full well that the hope we need and the transformation He longs to give us, can only be found on the other side of total surrender.

We may commend our popular icons for their good intentions and appealing fruit, but I pray we dig deeper and aim higher. Jesus didn’t die to merely save us from our sins. He opened the way for an entirely new life that is free of the flesh, the world, and the enemy’s counterfeit offers. Let’s not camp on the wrong hill only to realize that path to redemption is just another dead end.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Picture of Wanda Alger

Wanda Alger

Wanda has been in ministry for over 35 years as a worship leader, teacher, author, deliverance counselor, and speaker.

Comments

17 Responses

  1. When I was chewing on this, Jesus talked about the gospel of the kingdom, the good news of the kingdom. Not just salvation, not just prosperity, but the WHOLE KINGDOM. This is a higher calling, but better news, because it gets us through the “hard stuff” and to the point of victorious living!

    1. Instead of looking at someone else cup, look at your own. Judge not, so that you be not judged. I love you brother, but we all have need to change.

  2. Rom 5:2b-5—And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us.
    To attain godly character and experiential knowledge of God’s love/faithfulness, we must seek and trust Him through our trials and sufferings. Persevering faith holds onto God’s love/truth through trials, waiting and God’s seeming absence. Why God allows us to endure such things usually falls into the category of “too wonderful for me” (Job 42:3), but our faith through them allows God to prove His faithfulness, reveal His glory and fulfill His promises,

  3. Thank you WANDA,

    I agree 100% with Doerthe. She speaks so eloquently about you and your ministry. We know that what you are led to teach us come with a cost.
    Interceeding prayer requires HIS truth, the whole truth.
    We can count on you for that.
    Blessings,
    Hove

  4. Hi ,I love al that you do , I have had many dreams and visions because of your insights . Later I will share an amazing dream and its meaning with you . Its. A hard world out there I am a digital warrior and its bad and the other side is a live a well .
    I have learned tools to help me , keep up the GODS work we all know now it’s the other side hitting us because he doesn’t want this news out , but it’s time God said. Wake up people. The demons are alive and well here on earth.

    Jesus is the winner every time. Yes, we are in tribulation. Here on earth with all his schemes . Amen , love your work I do have a beautiful story to tell you. It’s because of your ministry that I have grown this year in my faith and handing the devils ways. Bobbi Victory hall. Screen name

  5. Thank you, Wanda!
    I don’t always agree immediately with what you say but it definitely makes me think and take it to the Father.
    This post, I agree with completely. You are NOT throwing any ministry under the bus – you are simply asking a very needed question. There is so much that the Lord has to offer, are we “short changing” ourselves by settling for the “basic minimum”? We are called to be one with Christ, so do our lives reflect truly the life that Jesus would live? Are we compromising? No one wants to do the hard things but we all know that when we completely surrender then the rewards are greater – we have an intimacy with the Lord that is difficult to explain but wonderful to enjoy.
    Thank you for the way that you present the information. You do not condemn anyone. You ask questions – like Jesus did. You call us to think and meditate on the Word of God.
    I appreciate your heart!

  6. A point very well made. That was presented so beautifully & tenderly, yet like a surgeon’s skilled hand, it cut to the heart of the matter. Thank you for your gentle way of saying some very hard & important things. I so appreciate you & how God consistently affirms in me what He’s been telling me by using you (often the same day).

    Your honesty, openness & vulnerability reflect our Father’s heart with such authenticity. And your courage to continue to minister to us on very public platforms, despite the kickback, inspires me to be brave in my own little sphere of influence.
    So thank you.

  7. Wanda, I want to thank you that your reasoning and your thoughts are always sound. If we are not changing and becoming more like Christ, then we’re not following his example. Our purpose needs to be that we are cleansed for the kingdom and reaching out to people with a pure gospel, not just tickling the ear and patting someone on the back.

  8. Thanks again and again for the true wisdom! Every week I look forward to reading your newsletter, because I know I can learn the wisdom from it!

  9. Thank You, so Much Wanda for being one that speaks all that the Bible teaches.
    I have known the Lord for 50 years and have see many who come and go through the body of Christ.
    So many new believers that I have met do not know the basics of the Christian faith which is so alarming.
    Thank you, for being one that speaks the truth.
    My husband always says, ” All Spirit, and no Word, you blow up.
    All Word and no Spirit, you dry up, but all Spirit with all Word, you grow up.”
    Both the Word and the Spirit are needed. I have listened to you for years. You are one that walks in both Spirit and Word.
    Thank You!
    Imelda Goedecke

  10. Amen, Wanda!!

    We need the wolves in the sheepfold to be exposed and removed, and we need the fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to teach us – leading us to MATURITY – so that we, the body of Christ, can function as one (and in wholeness) showing forth the Glory of God!!

  11. Hi Wanda, I been seeing this for a while now especially in large churches and even mid-size churches – good messages but not the full gospel
    Today repentance is unheard of or rarely yet it’s the message of repentance Jesus and John the Baptist preached!!
    Praise God for this article!

    1. The word repentance means to change your mind , it is the goodness of God that leads to repentance , do I still sin yes do you yes of course , how do you get out of it by understanding that because of Jesus you are a new creation and that you have been given the gift of being right with God thats how you get out of it . do not forget that God allows the tares and the wheat to grow together not all people in church are for real . Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world what JTB said as well .

  12. Joel Osteen is 1 minister with 1 message , he is not all things to all people , Wanda is 1 person with a biblical point of view and she is clearly from God and i listen to her , as well as the ministers on Elijah streams ect we can glean from each person to uplift the body of Christ . Joel has his lane to run Wanda has hers and we all have our own to run , Joel is not responsible for the choices that people make and what is interesting is a dream that Joel had at the beginning of his ministry , it is in his book Peaceful on purpose , it is only the second time he has told It , he was right about the dream !!! i just never dreamed Wanda would be one of the bomb droppers . however Wanda is sincere lady and know she is the real deal . xxxx

  13. Thank you, Wanda, for speaking the hard truths we so desperately need to hear. You do it with so much love and wisdom, without name-calling and mudslinging. Truly God has given you a special gift.

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