It is because so many untaught men, unregenerate men, now occupy the pulpits that “another gospel” (Gal. 1:6) is being so widely and generally disseminated. Multitudes who have neither “tasted that the Lord is gracious” nor have “the fear of the Lord” in them, have from various motives and considerations invaded the sacred calling of the ministry and out of the abundance of their corrupt hearts they speak. Being blind themselves, they lead the blind into the ditch. Having no love for the Shepherd they have none for the sheep, being but “hirelings.” They are themselves “of the world” and therefore “the world heareth them” (1 John 4:5), for they preach that which is acceptable unto fallen human nature and as like attracts like, they gather around themselves a company of admirers who flatter and support them. They will bring in just enough of God’s Truth to deceive the unwary and give an appearance of orthodoxy to their message, but not sufficient of the Truth, especially the searching portions thereof, to render their hearers uncomfortable by destroying their false peace. They will name Christ but not preach Him, mention the Gospel but not expound it.
Some of these men will preach legality under the pretense of furthering morality and honouring the Divine Law. They will preach up good works, but lay no foundation upon which they may be built. They confound justification and sanctification, making personal holiness to be the ground of the sinner’s acceptance before God. They sow their vineyard with “divers seeds” (Deut. 22:9) so that Law and Gospel, Divine grace and creature performances are so mingled together that their distinctive characters are obliterated. Others preach licentiousness under the guise of magnifying the grace of God. They omit the Divine call to repentance, say nothing about the necessity of forsaking our sins if we are to obtain mercy (Prov. 28:13), lay no stress upon regeneration as a being made “a new creature in Christ” (2 Cor. 5:17), but declare that the sinner has simply to accept Christ as his personal Saviour—though his heart be still proud, without contrition and thoroughly in love with the world—and eternal life is now his. The result of this preaching is well calculated to bolster up the deluded for instead of insisting that saving faith is evidenced by its spiritual fruits, instead of teaching that the Christian life is a warfare against the world, the flesh and the devil, and that none but the overcomer will reach Heaven, they are assured —no matter how carnal their walk—that “once saved, always saved,” and thus they are soothed in their sins and comforted with a false peace until they awake in Hell. Shun all such preaching, my reader, as you would a deadly plague. “Cease, my son, to hear the instruction that causeth thee to err from the words of knowledge” (Prov. 19:27).
A. W. Pink (1886-1952)