What did we do with conviction?

John MacArthur wrote back in 1993 (more than 25 years ago!),

I am deeply concerned as I watch what is happening in the church today. Biblical Christianity has lost its voice. The church is preaching a gospel designed to soothe rather than confront sinful individuals. Churches have turned to amusement and show business to try to win the world. Those methods may seem to draw crowds for a season. But they’re not God’s methods, and therefore they are destined to fail. In the meantime the church is being infiltrated and corrupted by professing believers who have never repented, never turned from sin, and therefore, never really embraced Christ as Lord or Savior.

We must return to the message God has called us to preach. We need to confront sin and call sinners to repentance—to a radical break from the love of sin and a seeking of the Lord’s mercy. We must hold up Christ as Savior and Lord, the one who frees His people from the penalty and power of sin. That is, after all, the gospel He has called us to proclaim.”

(John MacArthur, The Gospel According to the Apostles, Thomas Nelson, 1993, p.66)

David Wilkerson preached this same message to the General Council of the Assemblies of God back in 1998. http://enrichmentjournal.ag.org/199901/078_accommodation.cfm In a prophetic message he warned them against the “Gospel of Accommodation” that uses business models, slick marketing and dynamic personalities to bring people in and calls it evangelism. The Assemblies of God, while continuing to post this very message on their website, has ignored the call to repentance. Our Districts, and leaders continue to praise the mega churches and visibly successful works, even though there is nothing of true repentance and the work of the Holy Spirit to be found in most of them. We have built churches that are little more than social gatherings of do-gooders. We boast about our church growth strategies and what we’ve accomplished, but our churches are filled with unsaved people who are very comfortable in their sin and just as comfortable in the pews.

David Wilkerson said,

I ask you, how long do you think that audience would stay in church if the pastor was gripped by the Holy Ghost, convicted for ‘entertaining’ people toward hell, and suddenly preached a message entitled, ‘Be sure your sins will find you out’? How long would people keep coming back if a gospel of holy living and separation from the world was preached? Two things would happen: (1) Those who are misguided, hungry, and didn’t know any better would weep and run to the altar. (2) Those who are judiciously blinded by their pleasures in madness would flee from the church and never come again. The church doors would close.”

When was the last time you saw the convicting power of the Holy Spirit fall on your church? When was the last time you fell on your face before God crying out for forgiveness? We have substituted music for the conviction of the Holy Spirit and programs for proclamation! The Assemblies of God ignored God’s call through David Wilkerson, and the Holy Spirit has abandoned us to our own methods. The day of God’s wrath is very near.