The church is currently awash with lamentations on the state of the Christianity. And there are good reasons for that. We see charlatans extorting people on Christian television. We witness professing believers exchanging hostilities on social media. We hear of endless scandals in the pulpit. And we are constantly confronted by competing theological perspectives. It can all seem so overwhelming.
But what if we realized there is one fundamental problem fueling all the others? That is John MacArthur’s contention in his sermon “Principles for Discernment, Part 1.”
If any problem outstrips all others in the church—and in an individual Christian’s life—it is the lack of spiritual discrimination. This is really what is the death knell to biblical Christianity—bad decisions, faulty reasoning, superficial understanding, shallow knowledge, and ignorance. They have contributed more anguish to the church than any persecution. I would rather the church be persecuted. I would rather Christians shed their blood than abandon their theology. I would rather see Christians crucified upside down than to have them let go of the truth of God in a constant environment of compromise. In fact, there’s no question historically that the lack of discernment, discrimination, and precision regarding the truth has cost the church far more than all the persecutions of the church combined. You show me a persecuted church and I’ll show you a church that clings in tenacity to the truth.
Even the world tacitly acknowledges our dependence on discernment. It’s why we have police, safety standards, health professionals, consumer watchdogs, financial advisors, and even locks on our doors. The ability to distinguish between right and wrong, truth and error, wise and foolish, has always been an indispensable commodity. And that truth is even more critical among God’s people. We need to be able to discern the things that honor God and the things that oppose Him. We need to be able to tell the difference between the way to eternal life and the way to destruction.
Outside of our responsibility to evangelize the lost, it’s difficult to think of any priority that could be higher than sharpening our discernment. In fact, it is necessary if we are to be faithful and effective in furthering the gospel.
John MacArthur’s message is a vital tool in being equipped to that end. Click here to listen to “Principles for Discernment, Part 1.”