I have never seen as much false doctrine in the church, in my entire time of being a Christian, as I am seeing right now. There’s a lot of false doctrine in the church today pulling people into error. These false doctrine churches arise and seem to explode overnight. In fact, there’s a church where I live that has done just that. It used to be an old grocery store in this nice strip shopping center. It sat empty for years after the grocery store closed and as I drove by one day I saw a sign there and a permit was on the window, so I stopped and looked at it. And it was a permit for a church that was going to do some work there.
I looked inside through the window and saw the space they had. It was a large area. And from my days of contracting I thought that it would cost somewhere around $800,000, maybe even a million dollars, to do everything that you’d need to do to fix this building up for a church and meet the building codes and everything.
They didn’t skip a beat. They were working around the clock and in February of 2012 they opened their doors. TulsaWorld, which is the main newspaper in the area did an article on them shortly after: “Local Church Explodes With Growth.” When that article came out, they were running 2,000 people a week in their services. Just 15 months after it opened, the church grew even more and was running 3,000 people a week and they have 5 services on Sunday. Even though it’s a large building, they still have to run 5 services on Sunday to accommodate people. I believe they have 2 services on Saturday night as well.
Of course, as a minister and a Christian, you and I want to run and see what they are doing, how did they get all of these people. And of course, religious people, and the newspaper and people that don’t know the Holy Ghost want to run and say, “This is of God.” But what they don’t know by careful inside examination, is that the leaders of this church would not know the Holy Ghost, would not know Jesus Christ if He came walking down the aisle with a red hat on wearing a purple cape. The biggest thing about church growth today, what you’ll learn if you go to church growth seminars is that you don’t need God to build a church. They’re going to teach you the same things this church has done.
What this church did, was what they call demographic studies of the area, including the mentality of the area, age group, how many children couples have, their income, and then they began to categorize them in age groups. And through evaluation and study, they decided what these people wanted because of their age group and how they grew up. They understood their attention span, and how long they can pay attention without quitting.
How do I know this? Because I talked to these people personally. I wanted to know what was going on. Not in a fighting sense. I was taught not fight. Dad Hagin told us that he never saw two ministers who got to fighting amongst themselves that didn’t die prematurely. So he told me not to do that. So I don’t. And the first thing they told me was that my ministry was all wrong. They could be right because I don’t know everything.
They said that what I will have to do is every 6 to 7 minutes, stop preaching and play a video. And if you don’t do that, you are not going to keep your audience. And you can’t have your singing, praise and worship, which they call a song service, but it’s really a rock concert that tantalizes the flesh – it can be no more than eight minutes, or else you’re going to lose the people. So you do singing for eight minutes and your message cannot not be over sixteen minutes long. And you have to break that up into segments and play videos in between. You have to have at least two videos in that sixteen minutes, because people are visual. And that’s how you’re going to keep their attention. The church services are fifty-eight minutes long.
And they show you exactly what is going to happen – this is going to happen at this amount of time, and this is going to happen here. It is all choreographed in the flesh, and God is nowhere around.
But they do demographic studies, they find out what your attention span is. They find out what kind of movies you watch, what kind of cartoons your kids watch and are popular. They know what kind of paint to paint the walls to turn you on or to turn you off, to make you agitated or to make you happy. That’s how these churches are growing – because they can immediately start to deal with the soulical realm. And they take people so far away from God that they couldn’t see God if they wanted to. Because God is a spirit, He’s not a bunch of paint. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t have a nice church. Don’t get me wrong. That’s fine.
You say what’s wrong with all this? God is not in that anywhere. They began to build the church on the soulical, fleshly realm. Many people who have walked through the 3,000 member church doors have never seen the Lord in his fullness and have never made Him Lord of their lives.
You can confess Jesus Christ as your savior all day long and go to hell. It’s not popular to hear this. You can go through a rote, you can go through the Apostles Creed, and that’s not going to take you to Heaven. In James 2, it says “Faith without works is dead.” And it still is. Paul said the same thing. He didn’t say everyone was going to heaven. He didn’t say just because you said something about Jesus you were going to heaven. Now that’s a part of it. But that’s not all of it.
These churches are all built on man’s plans, and man’s ideas, and demographic studies and that’s why you have churches running over 3,000 people. You may be running 15,000 people, maybe 20,000 people. I’m not belittling that. You may need to have a big church. But if God is not involved in it, you’re wasting your time. Jesus said that not everyone that says to me Lord, Lord shall enter into the kingdom of God.
Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. (Matthew 7:21-23)
I say all of this for two reasons: 1.) To understand how these false doctrines are operating in the church, and 2.) To understand the most important thing in life. So what’s most important? The most important thing in life is not preaching the Gospel, it’s not having a big crowd, it’s knowing the Lord Jesus Christ for yourself. If you know Jesus Christ for yourself, you’ll know when things are contrary to Him and His teachings and His ways. Unless you know Him, your whole life is in vain. You’ll get to the end of your journey and it’s over and if you don’t know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you’ll find that it was all worthless.