I just encourage you to open to chapter 4 of Galatians in your Bible there, and I just want to grab one verse. I was moving through the book, and when I hit this verse I went into stall mode for a number of weeks and I haven’t quite gotten out of it yet. But it’s verse 19, in chapter 4, and Paul says, “My children,” – he is addressing believers in the churches in Galatia – “with whom I am again in labor until Christ is formed in you.” This is a watershed statement. This is at the very heart of this great pastor Paul. He has gone to the region of Galatia and he has planted churches in the cities there. And in the intervening months since those churches were planted and established by the gospel, in Christ, flourishing in the Holy Spirit, it has become apparent to him that there are some serious issues.
The believers there are in the process of being bewitched by false teachers. They’re acting in a foolish way, so much so that verse 20 says Paul is perplexed about them. He is confused as to why, having begun in the Spirit, they would now think that they could be perfected by the flesh – which is what the false teachers were laying in front of them. He is desirous of them being Christlike.
Look again at verse 19; that’s his burden: “My children, with whom I am again in labor until Christ is formed in you.” What he means by that is, “Look, I had labor pains just getting you to believe the gospel and become Christian. Now all over again, now that you are believers, brethren, you’re my children in the faith, I’m having labor pains until you become like Christ,” – Christlikeness is the issue here – “until you take the shape of Christ.” That’s his burden, and that is the primary responsibility of every pastor and every spiritual leader. And I will say, that is my desire for you, without question.
It all boils down to this: “I am in labor,” and he’s talking about labor pains using the analogy of a woman having a baby. “This is an agonizing experience. This is a difficult experience, a painful experience for me, until you start to look like Christ, until you take the shape of Christ, until you morph into Christlikeness.” Anything less than this is coming short of the objective of any spiritual leader or any pastor.
Pastors cannot simply be concerned that the seats are occupied. They cannot simply be concerned that somebody comes to believe the gospel. They cannot simply be concerned that the people seem happy and satisfied with what’s going on, and they like the environment of the church, they’re happy with the music, they like the style. The pastor’s pain is connected to the lack of Christlikeness among the people. Paul also expressed it, “until you are filled with the fullness of God.”
There used to be a lot of conversation about holiness in the church. There used to be a lot of conversation about godliness in the church. Godliness is a word that you rarely hear from a pulpit: holiness, godliness. And yet that has been the passion of the apostle Paul through his entire ministry. Compare that with the language that he expresses to the Corinthians in 2 Corinthians chapter 11. Listen to what he says: “I wish that you would bear with me in a little foolishness; indeed you are bearing with me.” He has been unloading on them in two letters: 1 and 2 Corinthians.
Why does he write these long letters confronting the issues? Here’s the answer in verse 2, “For I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy; for I betrothed you to one husband, so that to Christ I might present you as a pure virgin. But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.” Very direct.
How does this work out in reality? Go toward the end of chapter 11. Paul talks, starting in verse 23, about everything he suffered. He talks about being in more labors, far more labors, imprisonments, beaten times without number – he can’t count all the beatings he’s received from persecutors – in danger of death. Five times the Jews gave him thirty-nine lashes. Three times he was beaten with rods – that was a Gentile form of punishment. Stoned and left for dead, shipwrecked – and he goes on – in danger from journeys and robbers and rivers and countrymen and Gentiles, in the city, in the wilderness, on the sea, among false brethren. “I have been in labor and hardships, sleepless nights, hunger, thirst, without food, cold and exposure.” That – all the agonies that the world imposed on him, the unregenerate world, the persecuting world.
But notice verse 28. He says, “Apart from such external things,” – he isolates those to sort of minor annoyances. They have an impact on him on the outside. But more profound pain is his on the inside. And what is that? “The daily pressure on me of concern for all the churches.” He lived with agony over believers. What do you mean, Paul? “I mean this.” Verse 29, “Who is weak without my being weak? Who is led into sin without my intense concern?”
You think pastoral ministry is some kind of a joke? You think it’s some kind of a lark? You think it’s some kind of an easy path? A faithful pastor lives a life of agony. He lives a life of suffering. And it’s not the stuff that comes on the outside, it’s that all is lifelong he carries this deep and profound burden for his people and their holiness.
“Who is weak without me being weak?” That’s real sympathy. That’s empathy. That’s compassion, from the Latin “to suffer with.” “Who is led into sin without my, not just concern, but intense concern?” When he said “concern for the churches” in verse 28, he defined it as “intense concern over their sin.”
In all honesty, that seems to be the last thing that many pastors think about. It was the first thing that the apostle Paul thought about. It was all about the sanctification of his people. “Sanctification” is a word that comes from a Greek verb hagiazō, “to be holy.” Hagios is “holy,” or “saint.”
In 1 Corinthians, at the very outset of the book, chapter 1, verse 1, we read, “Paul, called an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother, to the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, saints by calling.” There is a past form of sanctification that occurred at salvation. There is a future form of sanctification that occurs at glorification. It is that middle form of sanctification that is going on throughout our lives. That is the deep and profound concern of a faithful pastor.
When we think about the biography of salvation – this is your biography and mine, every believer – it has four great theological definitions. Election: You were chosen before the foundation of the world, before time. In eternity past God chose you. That’s when your story began. That was completely divine, you played no role in that.
The next great event in the biography of every believer is that believer’s justification. That also is a divine work of God, where the Holy Spirit awakens the dead, gives life to the corpse that is the unbeliever dead in trespasses and sin. That also is a divine miracle. The Spirit moves where He will; and like the wind, we don’t know where it’s coming from or where it’s going. So it is with the Holy Spirit. That also is a divine, sovereign miracle.
The final element in your biography is glorification, and that is when what God planned in election, and what God activated and applied in justification, will be completed when you leave this world and you enter into the perfection of eternal glory. Election, justification, glorification. There’s one more. Between your justification and your glorification there’s only one thing going on, and that’s your sanctification.
Election: A divine work in a divine moment. Justification: A divine work in a moment in time. Glorification: A divine work, completely divine, all in the hands of God that moves you from time to eternity. Election isn’t a process, justification isn’t a process, glorification isn’t a process, sanctification is. That’s where you live. It’s little wonder that the apostle Paul said, “I am in labor until Christ is formed in you, until you shake the flesh loose and begin to take the shape of Christ.”
In the twelfth chapter of 2 Corinthians Paul says in verse 14, “For the third time I am ready to come to you, and I will not be a burden to you; for I do not seek what is yours. I don’t want anything from you. I seek you. For children are not responsible to save up for their parents; parents for their children. I’m your spiritual father. I will most gladly spend and be expended for your souls. If I love you more, am I to be loved less?” This is what’s behind this, this driving, all-consuming love for his people. And that love means there is deep, deep concern.
Down in verse 19, “All this time you have been thinking that we are defending ourselves to you. Actually, it’s in the sight of God that we have been speaking in Christ; and all for your upbuilding, beloved.” This is what he lived for; it was never about him. It was never about success for him, money for him, accolades for him. He was willing to be beaten on the outside in all the ways that are listed in the eleventh chapter for the sake of adding one more voice to the hallelujah chorus in bringing to glory. But the pain of his life, the agony of his life was the sin of his people and the issue of their sanctification.
Notice verse 20: “For I am afraid.” What a statement. This is a successful man, as successful as any man has ever been in the work of God, and he’s in fear. He’s afraid. What are you afraid of, Paul? “I’m afraid that perhaps when I come I may find you to be not what I wish.” Wow. “And what I wish is that you would be like Christ. I’m afraid that when I come back I’m not going to find you that way, but I’m going to find you to be not what I wish, and then you’re going to find me to be not what you wish. I’m afraid that when I come there’s going to be strife, and jealousy, and angry tempers, and disputes, and slanders, and gossip, and arrogance, and disturbances. I’m afraid that I’m going to come and discover all kinds of unsanctified believers. I’m afraid,” – verse 21, again – “I am afraid” – this is a strong word – “that when I come again my God may humiliate me before you, and I may mourn” – wow, a mourning preacher – “over many of those who have sinned in the past and not repented of the impurity, immorality and sensuality which they have practiced.”
This man was consumed with the holiness of his people, and fearful of what sin would do to their lives. It was never about him. This is the heart of a true pastor. The lifelong work of God in every believer is the work of sanctification, the work of holiness, the work of godliness, the work of Christlikeness, and it is going on. Did you hear that? It is going on in every believer’s life. “You are” – 1 Corinthians 1:2 says – “saints by calling, holy ones by calling.” It’s only a question of the degree of that holiness. And Paul’s agony, as we saw in Galatians 4:19, is the agony of coming short of Christlikeness.
And by the way, he had that same agony for himself. He says in Philippians 3, “I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” He pressed toward the mark. What’s the mark? The mark is the prize. What’s the prize? The prize when you go to heaven is to be like Christ; that’s the prize in heaven, and so that’s the mark in life. “I press toward the mark.”
Paul would tell you, “I don’t do what I want to do, I do what I don’t want to do. I understand there’s a wretchedness in me.” It was his own sanctification that was a profound burden, as well as the sanctification of others. I just don’t see this as being the preoccupation either of pastors or churches or Christians today, I just don’t see that. I think pastors, typically, and believers are very content with superficial successes in life and superficial satisfactions. But the Bible is very, very explicit.
First Corinthians 1:30 says this: “By His design” – God’s design – “you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification.” There are the first three steps that we talked about: the wisdom from God, indicating God’s wise selection of you; righteousness, that’s imputed righteousness; the justification; and then sanctification. You are in Christ based upon God’s eternal wisdom and His choice, you have received the righteousness of God imputed to you in justification, and Christ is now to you sanctification.
Second Corinthians 7:1, “Beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the will of God.” Is that the goal of your life, to perfect holiness? First Peter 1:15 and 16, “Be ye holy, for I am holy.”
Listen to 1 Thessalonians 4:3 and 4, “For this is the will of God, your sanctification, your holiness, your godliness;” – and what do you mean by that? – “that you abstain from sexual immorality;” – not unclear – “and then that each of you know how to possess his own vessel” – his own body – “that you know how to handle your body in sanctification and honor, not in lustful passion, like the nations who do not know God.” Can’t live like the world. “You abstain from sexual immorality. You get control of your body and its lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, pride of life impulses. And you live in sanctification and honor, not lustful passion like the nations that do not know God.” We are to be marked by our sanctification, by our godliness, by our holiness.
Listen to 1 Thessalonians 3:12 and 13, “May the Lord cause you to increase and abound in love, so that He may establish your hearts without blame in holiness before our God and Father.” Again, the objective of the Spirit of God working in your life is that the Lord will cause you to increase and abound in love toward Him, so that He may establish your hearts without blame in holiness.
Second Thessalonians 2:13 puts it this way: “God has chosen you” – election – “from the beginning for salvation” – justification and glorification – “through sanctification by the Spirit.” Your whole life is basically the fulfillment of one great doctrine. Everything that happens in our lives between our justification and our glorification is the work of sanctification. It is the all-consuming reality of the Christian’s progress toward becoming like Christ. That has to be our passionate concern, certainly the passionate concern of any minister.
Listen to Titus chapter 2, verse 14, speaking of Christ, “who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous of good works,” to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good works.
One other Scripture along this line. But I wanted to show you how important this is, and that’s in Romans chapter 6, listen to verse 19: “Just as you presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness,” – that before you were saved – “just as you presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness, resulting in further lawlessness, so now present your members” – that is all the components of your being – “as slaves to righteousness, resulting in sanctification.” It’s pretty important. Sanctification occurs as you present every part of yourself as a slave to righteousness. This results in your sanctification.
Down in verse 22, “Now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life.” Until you get to the outcome – glorification, eternal life – you live in this developing sanctification.
I want you to think of your whole life as a process of God the Holy Spirit making you into the image of Christ. And it happens, it happens inexorably just as election occurred, because God willed it. Justification occurred because God willed it. Glorification will occur because God wills it. Sanctification is occurring. It is God who is at work in you to will and to do of His own good pleasure, but you need to work it out. Work your salvation out. Sanctification is happening; but in most believers, as Paul acknowledges, it’s not happening at the rate that it should be happening. And so, he’s in birth pain, he’s in agony, because Christ is not formed in them.
You know, whether I’m thinking about it in my own life, whether I’m thinking about it with my own children and grandchildren, whether I’m thinking about it with the people that I face every Sunday at Grace Church and have been for almost fifty years, or whether I think about it in terms of you precious students at The Master’s University, it’s always the same for me: “O God, may Christ be formed in them.” That’s the commitment of my life. I am an instrument of God, as really is any minister and every minister, to be used by God for the sole purpose that God is at work in His church; and that is to sanctify them. I cannot be consumed with anything less; I cannot be satisfied with anything less. And, of course, that backs up, doesn’t it, to give me concern for my own sanctification. As the believer is sanctified, the seductions of the world, the desires of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, are replaced by love, ever-increasing love, more powerful love, for obedience, for the Lord, which leads to a longing for holiness, which leads for a stronger and stronger desire for the honor of our Lord.
You can’t make this happen fast. And I was raised in a kind of environment as a kid where people thought you could be sanctified in a moment, you could sort of be catapulted into a sanctified condition. Maybe you had a traumatic spiritual experience and you sort of, you know, “Boom,” you esoterically were elevated to another plateau.
I thought that growing up, “If I could just find the deeper life, if I could just find the higher life, if I could just figure out how to get to the next level.” Very frustrating for me. “How do I get there?” I mean, I knew there was a certain mundane reality to my Christian life, and I didn’t like it, so I started reading.
Even as a very young kid I started reading kind of mystical books. Thomas à Kempis, Imitation of Life, trying to find the mystery of how to get to the next level of sanctification. E. M. Bounds on prayer, and read about people who prayed so much they wore not only holes in their pants, but they wore out the wood by their bed by kneeling for hours, and hours, and hours.
“How am I supposed to find myself at that next level?” Well, I saw some of those people who had attained the higher life, the deeper life, and didn’t last; and it wasn’t manifestly the kind of holiness that I would have expected. And I began to understand the Word of God, that that’s not going to happen that way. You’re not going to have an esoteric experience at the Truth and Life Conference that’s going to catapult you permanently to another level of holiness. This is a long process.
Honestly, most pastors will never see this because they don’t stray long enough to see it. One of the benefits of being in the same church for a long time is you actually see this, and you don’t see it in the young people, you see it in the old people. You see it in the sweet graces of the old people. Standing by the deathbed of a precious lady, very dear to me, a few days ago, she was on her way to heaven. She just exuded the grace of Christ, the beauty of Christ in every way in her life. I saw that process over forty years. I saw the love for Christ in her husband who died five years ago, and in her as she went to heaven; and I heard what she said, and it was incredibly rich. I see it in her children, I see it in her grandchildren, and now I’m seeing it in her great-grandchildren. This is a process that’s lifelong.
Now how does this occur? How does this sanctification occur? Do we need to, let’s say, read more Commandments and decide we’re going to do those Commandments? Do we need to develop more discipline? Do we need to sort of crank up our internal self-control mechanisms, grit our teeth, grind our way up the trail? Well, there’s nothing wrong with reading more Commandments, there’s nothing wrong with memorizing the Commandments, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to develop discipline. But that is not what Paul would tell us.
You say, “Well, aren’t we supposed to keep the Commandments?” Yes. Yes. But not by some kind of fleshly, self-imposed, grinding act of human will. I think Jesus put it as simply as it could be put: “You keep My Commandments” – when you what? – “when you love Me.”
This simplifies the whole of sanctification. It’s not about you, it’s about Him. Sanctification, holiness, purity, right attitudes, right words, right actions are the result of looking at the glory of Christ, and increasingly loving Him more, until Christ literally dominates your life and is formed in you. This is sanctification.
In John 17 – you might want to look at that. In John 17:17, Jesus is praying for us. This is the great example of His High Priestly intercessory ministry, and He’s saying, verse 14, “I’ve given my followers Your Word. The world hates them, because they’re not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.” That’s also a definition of holiness: we are not of the world. The difference between the world and the church is massive, vast. The world is the enemy.
Verse 17: “Sanctify them” – He says to the Father – “in the truth; Your Word is truth. Sanctify them in the truth; Your Word is truth.” Christ says that sanctification comes from the Word, and I think from looking at the Word and seeing in the Word the glory of God revealed in the face of Jesus Christ.
Now again, why am I so concerned about this? Holiness, godliness, separation from the world, separation from sin, separation from worldliness, sanctification, all defined the church for generations, and generations, and generations. That was the definition of the church. Preachers preached on holiness. I don’t remember as a kid growing up, I don’t remember a sermon where the pastor didn’t call Christians to a recommitment, a rededication, to reaffirm the pursuit of holiness. The truth of sanctification, the reality of sanctification was dominant in church life as the central work of the Holy Spirit in the church.
That’s just not true anymore. The truth of sanctification and holiness and godliness is almost absent from popular Christianity. And I worry about that, because many of you young people have found your way into that popular form of Christianity that has become indifferent to your sanctification. Rarely do we hear from popular preachers messages on sanctification, purity, holiness, separation from the world, denial of all fleshly, selfish desires.
Instead, the new message of the new form of popular evangelicalism is that all the longings of your heart are legitimate, and God is just there to give you what you want; therefore legitimizing what you want. The things that are of the world are then incorporated into the life of the church as a necessary ground to attract those who have no interest in God really, and certainly no interest in sanctification. The new version of evangelical Christianity is committed to import the culture, the fashion of the world, and appeal to people’s consuming self-interests, careful to avoid anything that condemns, anything that convicts, anything that frightens, anything that warns, saying nothing about self-denial, sacrifice, pursuing with passion all that is holy, all that is godly, all that is virtuous.
Even in churches where there is an emphasis on election – they believe in Reformed theology – an emphasis on justification, an emphasis on glorification, there seems to be largely indifference to sanctification, because it’s very hard to have a robust, biblical doctrine of sanctification if you’re trying to make the church feel good to unbelievers; just completely contrary to the purpose of a church. If a church is doing what it ought to do, it should terrify a nonbeliever, it should expose a nonbeliever. Faithful churches are led by godly shepherds who lead their flock away from the world, away from themselves, to the fulfillment of the will of God alone, regardless of what their desires might be. The faithful church only asks, “Hey, what does God want? What does God require?” Therein lies the truest and purest blessing and fulfillment.
How did we get here? How did we get to this? Just a few words about that. For centuries churches were basically defined by theological content. Churches tended to be transcendent, as is manifest in church architecture in the Middle Ages. Churches tend to be God-centered. They were communicating God and heaven and transcendence. Churches tended to be Christ-exalting, and faithful churches trusted in the work of the Holy Spirit for growth.
Church growth was not a science, it wasn’t an art, it wasn’t a scheme, it wasn’t a gimmick, it wasn’t a trick, it wasn’t a plan, it wasn’t a strategy. And churches believed that the church would grow based upon the sovereign purposes of God in election and through glorification, that the Lord would build His church as He said He would, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it, and that the church would be built by Christ, through the power of the Holy Spirit, by means of the Word of God; and the process that had to go on in order for any local church to be a part of the growth of the whole church was sanctification so that they would be useful in the purposes of God to bring in the elect.
Churches opposed worldliness; they opposed sin categorically. Worship was God-centered, reverent. People were humble, unselfish, self-denying. And all that has changed. The neo-churches of our contemporary time are psychological, sociological, imminent rather than transcendent, man-centered, using the name of Jesus as a token, trusting for growth in their strategies – and most of their strategies involve sucking in the world so nonbelievers are not offended – refining worship as a kind of mindless musical stimulation, accommodating people who think only about their own desires. And very often the message is, “Jesus wants to give you whatever you desire.” That is out of the mouth of Joel Osteen every single time he speaks.
Vague spirituality has replaced sound doctrine and true holiness. The names of God are used but have little real impact, because the people are more interested in themselves than in Him, more committed to personal satisfaction than personal sanctification. This generation largely will be loyal to a church only if that church is giving the person what they want.
How in the world did we ever get here? Well, if you want to do a little brief history, the year I was born a man died who had a profound affect. His name was Sigmund Freud, father of psychology and psychoanalysis. Freud said this: “Everyone should be free from all restraint and constraint to be authentic. The authentic you is the you that you are on the inside. You must be true to yourself.” The contemporary version is, “Keep it real, man, keep it real.”
“You have every right to fulfill your own heart desires; that’s the real you. Unleash you on the world; that’s authentic, which means unleash your proud, narcissistic, lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, pride of life self. Obviously, the most likely group to do this are the group who are young because they haven’t lived long enough to see the consequences of that kind of behavior. So young people then define authenticity.” This has progressed from Freud into our own time.
The most liberated people are the young because they haven’t learned any restraint, because they haven’t paid any price for that. And I read the other day that the new age of the end of adolescence is 24, which is to say that this generation of young people don’t take on personal, solo responsibility for life until around 24. Up until that time you’re still living in mom’s basement, or somebody is paying your way through life. You haven’t learned the lessons of duty, responsibility, morality, failure. You haven’t learned that that kind of narcissism makes it very hard to have a relationship with anybody. That’s why people don’t get married, because it’s a collision of two egotists. But they’re authentic.
Baker Mayfield the Heisman Trophy winner, what does he say? “This is who I am; if you don’t like it, what do I care.” This is in the groundwater. This is how this young generation thinks. They’re authentic. They’re authentic. So youthful, irresponsible desire is elevated to the noble place.
Watching the Georgia-Alabama game. At halftime they had some rapper that was – I don’t know how it allowed on. It was the most profane, immoral thing that I’d ever heard. He’s some kind of hero to this culture because he’s authentic. If you’re LGBTQ or whatever else, that’s, “Who are you to tell me not to be who I am.” And if there are no consequences in this culture for that kind of behavior, you’ll take your adolescent real you to the end of your life and right into hell.
Does the church accommodate that? It seems that it’s anxious to because churches are starting to look more and more like a junior high event. Youthful authenticity has captured the culture. Even though they have less money than anybody else, the people who have the most money are between 50 and 65. The only place you’ll ever see adds targeted to people 50 to 65 is on Fox News, and it’s all medication.
And even pastors fall victim to this. Pastors are starting to dress like they shopped at Forever 21. The selfish hedonist becomes the hero. This cultural ethos got a lot of power in the ‘60s and it has penetrated deep into the groundwater of our culture. I won’t go on; there’s a lot more to say about it. But it infected the church.
There was an incident – I’ll just give you one incident. I lived through all of this back in the ‘60s, the hippie movement up in Berkeley Haight Ashbury – sex, drugs, and rock and roll hippie movement. There were some people who decided they wanted to go in and have Bible studies with the hippies, the free love and druggie culture up there, so they started holding Bible studies. There’s a great book on this called God’s Forever Family. It was a dissertation. It really, really captures the history very well. And they began to believe that when they were on drugs that this induced in them a greater God-consciousness. So they had drug-induced Bible study.
Eventually the Jesus movement up there ran into a difficulty; the churches wouldn’t accept barefoot kids with long hair who behaved themselves the way they did. They tried to take their form of Christianity into the churches of Northern California. It didn’t work; there was no acceptance for them. And eventually they migrated down to South Orange County. They were under the leadership of a guy who was their, sort of, pastor named Lonnie Frisbee who was a behind-the-scenes homosexual who died of AIDS; but they didn’t know that at the time.
They were meeting on the beach and baptizing each other in the Pacific Ocean, and they decided they needed to go to a church. So they went to an assembly of God church in Orange County, that you know as Calvary Chapel, and Chuck Smith was the pastor. Chuck was a buttoned-up, black suit, black tie, typical guy in those days, and all of a sudden he has a pile of barefoot hippies with long hair come into his church.
What’s he going to do? What’s the church going to do? So they had a meeting and they decided that, “We’ll lose them and they’ll leave if we don’t accommodate them.” They didn’t like the music; they didn’t like the dress code; they didn’t like anything. For the first time in church history that I can find, an aberrant, small, deviant, subculture redefined the character of a church.
And you know the rest. There was an explosion of that. And now churches increasingly follow the fashion of young people, and they perpetuate adolescence. In that environment of, “It’s about me, it’s all about me,” it’s very, very hard to have a full, biblical doctrine of holiness, godliness, and sanctification working.
And then you sometimes hear parents say, “Well, I don’t really like the church, but I take my kids there because they like it.” What? That’s just too easy. You need to be aware of the fact that there is only one thing God wants to accomplish in your life till you go to heaven, and that’s your sanctification, that’s your holiness.
Let me say this: you should thank the Lord every single day of your life that you’re here at The Master’s University, because there are tens of thousands of Christian young people who are going to some school that is working hard against their sanctification, while everybody around here has the heart of Paul for you.
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