“Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits” (Isaiah 30:10).
Today the churches are filled with people who do not want to hear the truth but would rather listen to fables, lies, and deceits. The only possible reason for this is found in what Jesus said in John 3:20: “For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.”
They do not want to hear the truth because they know that it will condemn their ungodly lifestyles. Instead they will search out preachers who will not offend their sensibilities. No wonder our churches are full of entertainers and comedians that cradle the congregation into a state of spiritual slumber. No wonder there are so many different translations of the Bible, each one further watering down the purity and holiness of God’s word.
Why did the people of Israel in Isaiah’s day try to quieten the prophets of God? I believe that it is for the very same reason that today’s believers object if they hear a pastor or preacher speaking about sinfulness and worldliness. In fact God Himself gives us the reason for their desire to hear “smooth things” ~ “That this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the LORD.” (Isaiah 30:9)
These people did not want to hear God’s word anymore. Few are the places where the living word of God is being preached in these days. The preachers and pastors have compromised with “the lying children” and so preach “smooth things” and fables to them. They will preach a social, humanistic gospel that Mother Teresa would have been proud of. They will entertain them with exaggerated stories of exploits in others lands and with silly jokes. They will condone wine bibbers and drunkards amongst them, but will never stand up for the faithful word of God. The pulpit has become a stage for “playing to the gallery” instead of the place where the Scriptures are upheld and rejoiced over. This is the very reason why few see anything wrong with the Toronto and Pensacola phenomena. Christians are no longer able to discern when they are being deceived by crooked preachers and foolish pranksters in the pulpit. They fall into every “new wave” abomination hook, line and sinker because they do not know what the Bible says. A missionary in Albania recently said to me that if every Christian took their Bibles off the shelf it would result in the biggest dust storm in history.
The new breed of Christians today have an insatiable desire for that which is not according to God’s word. Since they only want to hear “smooth things” they expect every preacher they meet to go along with the false teachings they love so much. What a surprise it is to such people when they come to a place where the Scriptures are not compromised and the teaching is solid, Christ-exalting, sin-destroying, and Holy Ghost anointed. Such God given words offend them. What reaction do they have to the purity of God’s word? Bow their knees to the only Lord and Saviour? No. They have to stoop to calling men of God legalists and judgemental. These “lying children” do not know that the Bible teaches that “But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.” (1 Corinthians 2:15). As a result they have less an understanding of the things of God than had Balaam’s donkey.
The prophet Micaiah had to face up to the false teachers of his day who said to him, “And the messenger that was gone to call Micaiah spake unto him, saying, Behold now, the words of the prophets declare good unto the king with one mouth: let thy word, I pray thee, be like the word of one of them, and speak that which is good.” (1 Kings 22:13). But Micaiah refused this Old Testament ecumenical movement. He was not going to compromise his faith in God just to please King Ahab with “smooth” words. God had put “a lying spirit” into the mouths of the prophets (1 Kings 22:23), because they had rejected His holy word. People’s hearts are being hardened against the truth through the flattering words of such false teachers today. They are believing that which is not according to the word of God because they love to hear things that please the flesh. Lying spirits are ministering to many since they have rebelled against the Bible. The apostle Paul said, “And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” (2 Thessalonians 2:11-12). This is God’s judgement upon a people who would rather have “smooth things” instead of truth. A preacher who is a mere man-pleaser is a soul-destroyer. Do these people not care that they are being led to damnation? They do not want to hear about righteousness and holiness because they are enjoying themselves with the “pleasures of unrighteousness.”
The gospel of “smooth things” will pave the way for the antichrist one world religion in the last days. Paul warned us that the antichrist would be he “whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders.” (2 Thessalonians 2:9). He will be someone who will be empowered by Satan to deceive the world. He will no doubt use flattery and “smooth things” to capture the hearts and lives of people. Paul even tells us who will fall for the antichrist’s lies; “And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.” (2 Thessalonians 2:10).
Few want to know the sure word of God today. They have traded it in for what appears to be a better model, one that is “smooth” and showy. They desire health, wealth, exaggerated stories, and down-right lies.
For those who are faithful preaching the word of God despite what the false teachers, ecumenists, and other deceivers are saying, keep on doing what God has called you to do. The Holy Spirit told us that such times as these would come, but He never commanded us to give up and throw in the towel. Regardless of the cost we must continue to “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.” (2 Timothy 4:2-5).
Many Christians who appear to be worshipping God will not tolerate sound teaching, instead they want to be entertained. No wonder they will seek themselves out preachers and teachers that tickle their ears. God is raising up a people today who will preach about sin, repentance, separation from the world, and holy living. They get persecuted, mocked, and boycotted, but they know where the blessing of God really is. They will not preach “smooth things” to those who want to be reassured that they can still be Christians while living in open rebellion to the word of God. They have the Sword of the Spirit in their mouths not a hot searing iron that makes their listeners spiritually brain-dead; “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron.” (1 Timothy 4:1-2). In a Bible-illiterate society we must be faithful ministers of God declaring the good, faithful, soul-saving, delivering, and powerful word of truth.
“And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32).