God forbid that any preacher should become merely a pleasant voice, entertaining and tickling the ears of his hearers. Yet many of America’s popular preachers have stripped the gospel of that which is designed to awaken its hearers, and replaced it with a message of life-enhancement. And I suspect that they have no idea what they have done. They are like a doctor who was well-liked because he never used a needle to inoculate his ever-increasing number of patients against a deadly disease. He did not like the feeling he got when the needle brought them pain, so he discarded it in the name of love. When his patients began to die of an agonizing disease, his professed love was seen for what it was—a terrible betrayal. Millions of unconverted churchgoers sit in pews with a Bible on their lap, asleep in their sins within earshot of the pulpit.
Listen to these sobering words of warning from J. C. Ryle: “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God, but never so fearful as when men fall from under the gospel. The saddest road to hell is that which runs under the pulpit, past the Bible, and through the midst of warnings and invitations.” How much sadder is it when no warning is given. Many a church service has become nothing but entertainment for those who profess to know God, while in works they deny Him (see Titus 1:16; Matt. 15:8). Jesus said, “Why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do the things which I say?” (Luke 6:46).
Ezekiel 33:31 So they come to you as people do, they sit before you as My people, and they hear your words, but they do not do them; for with their mouth they show much love, but their hearts pursue their own gain. 32 Indeed you are to them as a very lovely song of one who has a pleasant voice and can play well on an instrument; for they hear your words, but they do not do them.