Nolan Harkness on Beware of the Temptation to Conform to This World

Traditionally the Church has had two choices when confronted by cultural changes:  one is to hold fast to its belief system and the second is to find ways to communicate the Gospel to avoid going against culture.

As a revivalist, I am very familiar with the fact that historically the numbers of watered down “Gospel” messages to fit cultural changes have always far outnumbered those holding fast to doctrinally-solid, Biblically-based truth.

John writes in 1st John 2:16, “For all that is in the world — the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life — is not of the Father but of the world”(NKJV).  Sadly, we must admit as ministers of the Gospel that when it comes to our own desire for success, the “pride of life” can be as real to us as it is in any other profession. I heard someone share in a recent sermon that when he attended yearly minister’s conference, one of the hardest things for him has always been the question that is inevitably posed by his fellow ministers: “So how many are you running now?” That question is answered in yearly reports that ministershave to send to their denomination’s national office and in phone calls with fellow clergymen in other states.  As ministers, they are continually mindful of “how many” are regularly attending their services. For the purest of hearts, the genuine concern is for reaching as many people for Christ as possible. However, what we must guard our hearts against is “are we drawing in as many people, in any way we can”?

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Nolan Harkness