Here are a few posts on this past Sunday’s “60 Minutes” from Denny Burk and Michael Spencer (ht:JT), a post by Eric Redmond on calling people out by name (cf. 1 Tim. 1:18-20; 2 Tim. 1:13-15), and an article by D.A. Carson on the sufficiency of the Gospel for all of life, which is really what is the crucial problem I had with the interview last night. Osteen said repeatedly that his goal as a pastor was to give people hope. But where is the hope if he deliberately and admittedly keeps sin, the staggering holiness of God, His unquenchable wrath, and Christ’s valiant triumph for our salvation out of his messages?!?! If hope is fixed in this life, and not in overcoming our greatest need, salvation from an infinitely holy God who is infinitely jealous for His name, we are most to be pitied (cf. 1 Cor. 15:12-19). If there is no resurrection, there is no hope!!! Similarly, in our preaching, if there is no resurrection, and all the doctrines associated with that resurrection, there is simply no hope.
The Scriptures, and the Gospel in particular, are the only hope we have in this life. If there is no confidence in its sufficiency beyond a little peppering for our sermons, we are hopeless. Only God’s Word can create life out of nothing. Only God’s Word can make sinners whole. Only God’s Word can raise life out of death. Why would we not make it our aim to dig into the text week in and week out so that people and taste the unconcentrated, undiluted Word of God?
In the end, we must call out those who are damaging to our flocks, just as our law enforcement makes sure that our communities know who is “most wanted”. But we must not stop there. We must give people a steady diet of what gives true, living hope: the systematic, expositional preaching of the Word of God, with a consistent aim towards the redemptive work of Jesus Christ. For in the end, “your best life now” is woefully short of God’s glory. We must look to Jesus, who is the only One who was perfectly righteous and fully accomplished the will of the Father, died to purchase our redemption and conquered the grave so that we can have our best life now, living passionately for His glory alone in hope of “our best life to come” in Christ for all eternity.