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 What's wrong with His Preaching

  "By Cobblestone Road Ministries"

 We do not know Joel Osteen personally. He seems like a nice man and he even seems very sincere and no doubt fervently believes in what he is preaching. But one can be sincere and be sincerely wrong.

He has been rebuked by many within Evangelical and Christian Fundamental circles for the very reason that he does not stick to just the preaching of the Word. It is not so much what he is preaching but rather what he is NOT preaching. The entire Word of God must be preached. Where is the Gospel? Where is the preaching of Jesus as
Savior? The Lord Jesus died to save us from our SINS-- Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Joel Osteen says that he does not want to condemn anybody. Well, we are not supposed to condemn anybody. We are to preach the Good News that Jesus died to save us from our sins-- and that there is eternal damnation awaiting those who die in their sins. We cannot compromise Scripture or candy coat the SIN PROBLEM which exists.

One can paint daisies on a pig but in the end, a pig is a pig. We cannot candy coat sin and try to preach around it. Jesus did not die to give us a luxury car;
nor did He die to make us successful. Jesus died for
OUR SINS. Matthew 1:21 says,  And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.

The Bible says in Revelation 21:8,  "
But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death." Well, that includes everyone then because all have lied at least once. God cannot have sin in His Holy presence. This is why Jesus died for us...to redeem us and to wash our sins away by His precious shed blood. The Bible says in 1John 3:5  And ye know that he [Jesus] was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin. The bible also
tells us in 1Peter 3:18
"For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God..." Hebrews 9:12 tells us that Jesus "by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us."

Now, where is this preached in Joel Osteen's "success" type sermons? Many successful people pour into hell everyday. Many successful people die in their sins for they did not receive Jesus as their Savior. We all need a Savior to save us from our sins. This is why Jesus came. This is why we have received Him
as Savior. Whenever one forgets this is the
primary message, he has gone into the way of apostasy.

THE GOSPEL IS NOT A CONDEMNING MESSAGE

Joel Osteen said on Larry King Live,
"The Gospel called the good news.  My message is a message of hope, that's God's for you. You can live a good life
no matter what's happened to you."
Herein lies the danger in such a statement. God is NOT for the sinner. God is righteous and holy. He sent His only begotten Son to die for us and to rise again because He loves us but God hates sin.

A person cannot even live a good life apart from Christ. All our righteousness
is found in Christ. He clothes us with His righteousness. We cannot change.
All of our righteousness is as filthy rags, the bible says.

John 3:3:  Jesus answered and said unto him,
Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

CONSIDER THE FOLLOWING INTERVIEW CLIP OF THE LARRY KING SHOW:

Larry King: "You don't call them sinners?"

Joel Oteen: "I don't."

Larry King: "Is that a word you don't use?"

Joel Osteen: "I don't use it.  I never thought about it.  But I probably don't. But most people already know what they're doing wrong.  When I get them to church I want to tell them that
you can change.  There can be a difference in your life.  So I don't go down the road of condemning."


No, Joel, one cannot change-- that is why one has to be born again. Outside of Christ Jesus, a person is a poor wretched sinner on his way to hell. It is Christ alone who changes us once we receive Him as Savior. We cannot transform ourselves-- it is God alone who transforms us once we have received His Son!
Col 1:13 
Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:
Col 1:14 
In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:

Is the Gospel message a condemning one? No! The Lord Jesus said that those who did not believe on Him are
condemned already. But John 1:12 says,
"But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name". So the good news is that Jesus saves. It is not a condemning message but rather the ONLY good message preached to a dying world-- a world that is already condemned because of its sin. GOOD NEWS IS THAT JESUS DIED FOR SINNERS....this is what the Bible says!!

We are to preach John 3:18...a verse MANY today have forgotten.

John 3:18 
He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in
the name of the only begotten Son of God.


Joel Osteen has been openly admonished by Evangelicals and Fundamentalists for blending his own philosophy--with jokes and humor and just throws choice scriptures in between a "sermon". With a very large church attendance such as his, we would pray that he would get on the straight and narrow and "study to shew thyself approved"so that he would better lead his congregation into the fundamentals of the Word. 

In this day and age of apostasy, it is important for a pastor to stay true to the fundamentals of the faith for when the foundations of our faith are lost...where will the church be? Jesus said that when He returns;
"shall I even find faith
on the earth?"
So we know that faith will be scarce upon the earth in the Last Days.

The world is moving into a "universal faith" with a generic god and a "positive message" that
removes the preaching of the Cross of Christ, removes hell, salvation, the blood of Jesus and even renounces the deity of Christ. Shall there be any faith found upon the earth when everything worth believing in is taken away? The Bible says that faith comes by HEARING the Word of God. 

EARNESTLY CONTEND FOR THE FAITH

Jude 1:3 
Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.

The Bible clearly admonishes us to "Earnestly contend for the faith." We are
to beware of false doctrines and to be aware of the spiritual dangers that await the unsuspecting Christian who has little or no discernment. Joel Osteen views
these particular Evangelicals and Fundamentalists who speak against his "gospel light" sermons as "critics". But what must be realized is that it has nothing to do with him but rather what he is preaching and what his kind of preaching leads to...ecumenism, new age ideas like "God and you" but our bible says that it is "Christ alone" which performs the good work in and through us.

We would rejoice at the success of his church if he were preaching the Gospel and teaching the Word of God...the deep things found within Scripture but
sadly he is on a dangerous path, as we shall explain. One website described his ministry as "MegaChurch and miniGospel".

Joel Osteen views his message as "positive" and it most certainly is but in the REAL world, there is good AND evil. The Bible speaks much about hell, the devil, the evil of this age and the spiritual battle that the Christian is in.

Congregations are to be taught the DANGERS of following false teachers and the dangers of not adhering strictly to Scripture.
The Bible is not to be picked apart and pieced together to fit our own ideas. Christians should NOT be well liked by this world. Jesus said, "You will be hated for my name's sake."

1Cor 2:14 
But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

The Lord Jesus said in  John 3:20For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.

Yet Joel Osteen's church is growing by leaps and bounds. It is a place where most can feel very comfortable. Everyone leaves feeling good about themselves and their "purpose".
The Word of God warns us in 2Timothy 4:3-4 "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;  And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables."

Today, there are many pastors who are preaching what their congregations WANT to hear rather than what God's Word says to preach. The message the preacher delivers should be one of repentance. No one likes to hear the word, "repentance".

BE NOT DECEIVED

One cannot just preach the "positive" but rather one must rightly divide the
Word of Truth and preach the WHOLE WORD OF GOD. There is a devil. The bible says that
he walks about seeking whom he may devour. Satan appears as an angel of light-- which means he is out to deceive and he is the master of deception. The Bible admonishes CHRISTIANS to be sober and vigilant. It is the Christian the Bible is warning:

1Peter 5:8
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:  How will the congregations across America recognize evil devices if they are not instructed in the Word of God?

If a vicious lion from the Houston Zoo were to get loose and run into Joel Osteen's church, would not everyone inside run for cover? Would there be a "feel good" positive response? Absolutely not! Every "dream your dream" type sermon and "fulfill your potential" sermon would not remedy the lion running through the isles. Yet the devil walks about in the spiritual realm seeking those he may devour. Just because you can't see him does not mean he does not
exist. The devil is out to destroy the sheep; he wants to destroy the faith of
the sheep. Since faith comes by hearing the Word of God, satan has made it
his goal to twist Scripture. His desire is the removal of scripture from the foundation of the sermon; he instead wants
scripture as merely an "addition to" a man-made sermon.

THE DEVIL IS RELIGIOUS

The devil is religious. He doesn't mind if you read a verse here or there but he does not want you to really READ the Word-- for when a person Reads the Bible, they find the truth.

The devil rewrites God's Word..."Yea, hath God said?"
The devil is a POSITIVE PREACHER..."You won't die...your eyes will be opened, you will be like gods" is his theme among many "Christians" today,
just as it was with Eve in the garden of evil.

Christians now say, "Oh I don't believe in all that hell and damnation stuff. I
am into positive Christianity." Yet the Bible is specific in stating that there is a Lake of Fire and the bible is specific in stating that whosoever was not found
in the Book of Life was cast into the Lake of Fire.

Consider what Joel Osteen said on July 3, 2005, during an interview on Larry King:

http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0507/03/lkl.01.html

KING: But you're not fire and brimstone, right? You're not pound the decks and hell and dam nation?

OSTEEN: No. That's not me. It's never been me. I've always been an encourager at heart. And when I took over from my father he came from the Southern Baptist background and back 40, 50 years ago there was a lot more of that. But, you know, I just -- I don't believe in that. I don't believe -- maybe it was for a time. But I don't have it in my heart to condemn people. I'm there to encourage them. I see myself more as a coach, as a motivator to help them experience the life God has for us.

KING: But don't you think if people don't believe as you believe, they're somehow condemned?

OSTEEN: You know, I think that happens in our society. But I try not to do that. I tell people all the time, preached a couple Sundays about it. I'm for everybody. You may not agree with me, but to me it's not my job to try to straighten everybody out. The Gospel called the good news. My message is a message of hope, that's God's for you. You can live a good life no matter what's happened to you. And so I don't know. I know there is condemnation but I don't feel that's my place.

Well, if a pastor of 30,000 + doesn't feel its his place to literally tell his sheep about hell and what the Bible says, who on earth will tell them? Joel Osteen seemed a bit nervous when asked about his beliefs:

KING: Do you share Billy's beliefs of life after death in a sense of going somewhere?

OSTEEN: I do. I do. We probably agree on 99 percent. I do. I believe there's a heaven you know. Afterwards, there's, you know, a place called hell. And I believe it's when we have a relationship
with God and his son Jesus and that's what the Bible teaches us. I believe it.

Now, Larry King asks THE question we have all heard him ask before:

KING: What if you're Jewish or Muslim, you don't accept Christ at all?

OSTEEN: You know, I'm very careful about saying who would and wouldn't go to heaven. I don't know ...

KING: If you believe you have to believe in Christ? They're wrong, aren't they?

OSTEEN: Well,
I don't know if I believe they're wrong. I believe here's what the Bible teaches
and from the Christian faith this is what I believe. But I just think that only God with judge a person's heart. I spent a lot of time in India with my father. I don't know all about their religion. But I know they love God. And I don't know. I've seen their sincerity. So I don't know. I know for me, and
what the Bible teaches, I want to have a relationship with Jesus.

They Love God? Which God? They have hundreds of gods and
if they are not born again then they DO NOT know God for he who knows the Father must first know His Son-- the Lord Jesus!

Was Joel being a politician when he said, "I don't know if I believe they're wrong..."?   Meanwhile, so many Christians all over the globe were saying, "Speak plainly-- Stand up for your faith!" There are missionaries and Christians all over the world who are standing up for the Lord Jesus Christ in the face of brutal persecution. Christians die every day for their faith. One has to wonder how they would respond to Joel's answers. True Christians believe Jesus is the ONLY way to Heaven and that is why they reach the lost. This is why they are willing to die preaching the Gospel.

The Bible is NOT shades of gray with blended philosophies of man. The Bible is very clear that it is ONLY through Jesus Christ that mankind can be saved. We cannot argue with God. We cannot rewrite the Bible. Joel Osteen made a written apology on his website for the King interview. One has to wonder if he also made an apology to Larry King-- for the misleading and cowardly statements. He very well should, if he has not already.

Preaching the whole Word of God is not a condemnation message either. It is
a message of Good News but
it is only good news to those who already KNOW the bad news.

Preaching hell is not condemnation but rather good news that Jesus died to
save us from hell. We all deserve hell but Christ Jesus died for the ungodly.
He died so that we would not have to die in our sins. His blood can make the vilest sinner clean. One cannot get saved unless he knows he is truly lost. One must hear WHY Jesus died to save them. Jesus did not come to show us a "better life" but rather He died to save us from our SINS and He rose again from the dead on the Third Day. Jesus is the Living Savior!

It is only after one receives Him as Savior that they receive the benefits of salvation, which is abundant life through Jesus Christ.

We all need to pray for Joel Osteen and especially his congregation. He says that he believes the bible but he needs to be bold and preach the entire bible,
not just the topics he likes. I happened to watch, for a few minutes, his "dedication" service for his new building on TBN the other night and hell was mentioned but only in the sense that they are NOT going to preach hell, just the "positive" things of the Bible.

Well, how can one know he needs a Savior if hell is not preached??

How can one know of biblical salvation without the WHOLE Gospel message being preached-- saved from what? From problems? or from hell? Jesus spoke of those that did not believe would perish. Jesus preached the doctrine of hell. He said that it would be better to cut off your hand than to go into everlasting torment.

John 3:36 
He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

A PASTOR'S DUTY

2Tim 4:2
Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.

It is a pastor's duty to build his congregation up on the most holy faith. A
pastor takes care of his sheep-- he guards them and feeds them. He guards against false doctrines infiltrating the church and he feeds his congregation
with the Word of God-- the milk of the Word and the meat as well.
A pastor should KNOW the Word first before he preaches to others. Dodi Osteen was boasting to the Lakewood congregation that "thank God" her son does not have any formal education. You won't hear a doctor's mother saying that. A surgeon must learn before he operates and so must a pastor. If one cannot attend seminary, then some kind of doctrinal training and fervent personal
study is needed. A shepherd must lead the sheep in the proper direction. The only way he knows the right direction is by reading and studying the road map-- the Holy Bible-- all of it-- not just some of it.

2Tim 2:15
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

The foundation of any sermon is the preaching of the Word-- the focus being
on the Lord Jesus Christ and His finished work--what He accomplished for us
at the Cross and in His Resurrection. The sermon should not be about us but rather about Him. One observation that can be noted is that many churches today say "We" an awful lot but the bible is VERY clear in James 4:13-15: 
"Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. For
that
ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that."


Christ Jesus said in John 15:5, "Without me ye can do nothing."

"he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:"

It is God alone who works a good work in us. We, of ourselves, can do nothing.

WORSHIP

In addition, the so-called worship songs of this age are becoming "We" and "I" songs but true worship is giving all glory to God alone. Tell of HIS wondrous deeds...praise the Lord-- "YOU have done great things O Lord."

Many worship songs are "I will worship you, I will sing to you, etc. "I...I...I..."
but its not about "I"-- it's about Him. He has saved us, redeemed us, He is coming back for us. Worship is to magnify the Lord, not to say, "I will sing to you". Worship is praising Him. "Praise you Lord for all you have done. You
are worthy. You are exalted above all." "Not I but Christ liveth in me."

CONCLUSION


1Tim 4:1 
Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some
shall depart from the faith,
giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines
of devils;


The Bible warns us that in the Last Days, some shall listen to seducing spirits and doctrines of demons. The Bible warns about those having "itching ears".
The Greek means to "tickle the ears"...in other words "ear candy".
People seeking preachers who will preach sermons that please their ears.

How can a preacher possibly lead his flock on the narrow path when he has abandoned the ONE AND ONLY road map-- the Bible and the true doctrines found therein? How can the shepherd lead his sheep in truth when his road
map is lost among humanistic ideas and "make you feel good" type sermons?

The Bible-- Sola Scriptura-- must again resound within the Body of Christ.
Notice that God was speaking
to the Church when the Holy Spirit penned:
Col 2:8
Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

Read the words of Jesus:

Rev 3:16 
So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
Rev 3:17
Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
Rev 3:18
I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.

Jesus said,
"Buy of me.." We are to LOOK to Him. The Church, as a whole, has much wealth, many goods and many "christian" books and sermons. They keep filling their storehouses with material wealth that is but temporal. If we believe God's Word, we are not to be ashamed of our faith in Christ Jesus.
We are to look to Him.

We are NOT to consider the words of Jesus as "condemning words".
We cannot rewrite the Christian faith to please the world. WE CANNOT IMPROVE THE WORLD! We were not called to make the world "civilized". We were not called to place bandages over sin. Jesus did NOT command us, "Go ye and improve the world." Jesus said, "Preach the Gospel." It is Jesus alone that can save and one only gets saved by hearing the Gospel message
and believing on Him.

Joel Osteen takes a well traveled path seeking to be an "encourager" but in turn compromises the Word of God by his omission of VERY important Scriptural truths. THERE IS A HELL AND JESUS DIED FOR OUR SINS so that we would not have to go there. The bible is to be preached IN ITS ENTIRETY. God’s Word tells us that, “ALL Scripture is profitable”…not just the Joel Osteen favorites.

2Tim 3:16 
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:


Copyright © 2005  Cobblestone Road Ministries
All Rights Reserved

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