Some months ago I heard that People magazine had named actress Sandra Bullock the world's most beautiful woman of 2015. I wonder what the criterion was for that honor and distinction. Out of the billions of women in this world People magazine somehow determined that Bullock was the most beautiful. I don't have anything personal toward Sandra Bullock, but isn't that a bit arrogant for People magazine to make that distinction? Did they consider every single woman in the world?
It is just a formulated opinion that they made, isn't it? And like so many opinions today it is personal, stereo-typed, biased-based, often twisted, and seen through a lens of one's own experience. If Sandra was homely, I doubt she would've got the vote. To most us who have loftier values, physical beauty would not be at the top of the list of life's most important attributes. My Bible tells me that beauty is vain.
And then there's the case of transgender Bruce, I mean, Caitlyn, Jenner who won the ESPY Arthur Ashe Award for being courageous and heroic. Among many of our brave soldiers, veterans, firemen, policemen and others who lay their lives on the line each and every day, Jenner received this award—proving once more how warped our value system is.
Read this historical recording from the Bible about the opinion of the enemies of Jesus (the most important man to ever walk the face of the earth).
"Then the Pharisees went and plotted how they might entangle Him in His talk. And they sent to Him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, "Teacher, we know that You are truthful and teach the way of God truthfully, and are swayed by no one. For You do not regard the person of men" (Matt. 22:15-16).
Interesting that someone's enemies would still share this type of opinion about Jesus:
You are true.
You teach the way of God truthfully.
You do not care about anyone's opinion.
You are not swayed by appearances.
Wow, these are some powerful credentials! This creates a water mark for all Christians to measure themselves by.
So whose opinion really matters—the general populace's or God's?
Jesus was true. He taught the way of God truthfully. He did not care about anyone's opinion. He was not swayed by appearances.
Men are writing books today that teach repentance is no longer needed, hell doesn't exist and gay marriage is a part of God's plan. Churches are opening their doors to seducing doctrines of demons.
Our land is filled with thousands—yes, you heard me right—thousands of false prophets who tell you how wonderful you are and how Daddy God will make you rich and help all your dreams come true.
We have our popular church growth conferences that tell you things like: "If you want growth you have to tone down on tongues and the Holy Spirit, shorten and liven up your services with contemporary songs, and for heaven's sake, don't preach against sin or tell people how their lives are wrong. Just tell the people about God's love. Do these things and prepare for growth by enlarging your sanctuary."
Interesting, they didn't tell the early disciples that. On the day of Pentecost, 3,000 people were saved and they continued in the faith (Acts 2:41-42). A short time later, another 5,000 were added (Acts 4). Funny how they still didn't have a sanctuary. Everything they heard was exactly opposite of the instructions I just listed and what many are hearing today.
Interesting, they didn't tell John the Baptist that when multitudes showed up in the wilderness to hear him preach.
The problem is we listen to the opinions of our popular, elevated teachers who have big crowds and large buildings and sound so eloquent with their cute and clever phrases, but honestly, much of what they say is the wisdom of men. Too many professing Christians put their confidence in the wisdom of such men.
Listen to what the Holy Spirit said through the apostle Paul:
"And my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom [using clever rhetoric], but [they were delivered] in demonstration of the [Holy] Spirit [operating through me] and of [His] power [stirring the minds of the listeners and persuading them], so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom and rhetoric of men, but on the power of God" (1 Cor. 2:4-5, AMP).
Dear friends, much of our Christianity is off target today. Our confidence is in the wisdom of men and not the power of God—the reason being that the power is not being demonstrated and a great void exists in the heart of this next generation.
Let us bury popular prevailing opinion that has seduced so much of the church and made us powerless. Let us go back to the Bible and prayer. Fellow ministers, let us preach what the Bible says unapologetically, and live as Jesus intended for us to live. Cast off those voices who would tell you that you are too harsh, too judgmental and too condemning. Don't let the barking dogs mute your voice.
If every preacher and professing Christian did that, it would be enough for a nation sweeping revival in our land.
Bert M. Farias, revivalist and founder of Holy Fire Ministries, is the author of several books including The Real Gospel, The Real Salvation, and The Real Spirit of Revival. He ministers interdenominationally and cross-culturally in nations, churches, conferences, on the streets, and in homes. He and his wife also host The Holy Ghost Forum – a school of the Spirit. Visit his website Holy Fire Ministries or follow him at Bert Farias and Holy Fire Ministries on Facebook or @Bertfarias1 on Twitter.
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