People, please voice your disagreements on your OWN blogs, walls, and social media accounts. This is not a subject of debate. This is about the souls of the lost and the biblical base for this writing. Our OPINIONS count for nothing at all!
The Great Compromise
by Will Ford
Source: EX Times
On Saturday, at Whitney Houston’s funeral, I found a missing line to the song,”Tomorrow:” “Tomorrow, I’ll preach the gospel, tomorrow, for too many famous people are here, today….” Marvin Winan’s eulogy Saturday at Whitney Houston’s funeral was the most unprepared, salvation-less sermon I’ve heard in years. Of course, we trust the Holy Spirit to fill where we are lacking, but He also entrust ministers with delivering His message. As most of you know, who really know me, I normally don’t sound off on things like this, so why am I pointing this out? Its simply because, where people spend eternity, is serious business.
Yep, I got excited when they sang “Tomorrow” and thought it was a strategic set up for preaching about salvation, didn’t you? Then Marvin Winans said that God has a purpose for us before we were created, and I got kinda excited again. Next, I was
waiting for him to say more on the statement about the Muslim, who said he wished he had met Christ before he met a Christian, regarding hypocrisy in the church. But then, he started defending the prosperity message and asking who would volunteer to be poor? With millions watching, what about forgiveness of sins, the cross, or how to get saved and go to heaven? He went on a prosperity gospel defense of a rabbit trail, kept promising us he was gonna preach, and didn’t, as Serita Jakes and other folks behind him in the choir loft were fighting sleep and nodding off. He finally talked about how we can’t serve two masters, then never led people to The Master.
Marvin Winans was all over the place, and looked unprepared. For every young
minister reading this, take note: Flying by the seat of your pants, and giving hodge podgy shallow catch phrases, is not the way of the Master, nor clearly explains the way to the Master. A funeral, especially, isn’t your time to “wing it” in the pulpit. The
same anointing that falls on you when you are in the pulpit, is the same anointing that is supposed to fall on you as you study and prepare! You are to be instant, in season and out of season, and be ready to preach the gospel, and deliver it clearly. (2 Timothy 4:2)
Beloved, if you are a Christian, you and I and Marvin Winans are supposed to be ministers of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Bondslaves of Christ, to be exact. (Luke 1:48, Colossians 4:12) If given the opportunity to share on how to get saved, (Romans 10:9), the forgiveness of sins, (1 John 1:9), Jesus and the cross, (Galatians 3:13), in front of millions of lost people watching, especially at a funeral, we MUST preach the gospel, regardless of who is there, what contracts we’ve signed, etc. As Christians, let alone ministers of the gospel, our allegiance is to the kingdom of heaven first, not to the kingdoms of this world.
With Jakes and Winans, two of the supposed best preachers the Black church has to offer, neither offered an opportunity for the lost to get saved. Think of it: These men had the biggest platform Saturday, they may ever have, with millions watching, worldwide, and some of the most influential people in the world in the audience, yet, they took that opportunity to entertain and trifle with their souls, and never offered them eternal life.
I was touched, and I’m sure others were, throughout the service, and my wife and I wept at different times throughout. My concern is that at the end of this funeral, or any funeral, the preacher at the end is considered the main speaker. That person is supposed to share the gospel at the funeral and explain how to get to heaven, salvation, the cross, etc. I wasn’t expecting a harsh “turn or burn” message, but at some point, I was expecting him, (as any preacher who was watching was expecting), to offer a simple mention of how to get to heaven and explain the free gift of salvation, so people can see their saved loved ones again in eternity.
I was actually looking forward to him preaching at the end, and thought that he was setting it up well with the song, “Tomorrow.” Then he mentioned that he was preaching another sermon, tomorrow, and didn’t explain the gospel, today. I wasn’t expecting him to hold folks hostage by preaching forever, nor preach hellfire and brimstone. But neither did I expect to hear him defend prosperity teaching, in the middle of a funeral eulogy. Neither did I expect him to mention Ghandi’s reason for not being a Christian, without clarifying or following up. I was even looking beyond these distractions in his message, because I thought he was about to, in a respectful and eloquent way, because he is a good speaker, take 5 of his 20 or 30 minutes and explain the plan of salvation. Millions of lost people were watching. I was thankful for all the kind remarks, songs, etc. before this moment. But at the end of a funeral, when the main preacher speaks, he must share the gospel. At the risk of sounding critical, I say that it is critical and vitally important, at a funeral especially, to share with the lost how to get to heaven.
As a matter of fact, most Christian funeral services, the kind remarks, remembrances and validations of the deceased’s faith, are used by the main speaker at the end of the service, to explain how to get to heaven. For most churches, the eulogy is the focal point of the entire service, for the plan of salvation is normally shared. It is considered the most important part of the service, because emotions are high, and in their minds, many are wondering, “Where will I spend eternity? What must I do to be saved?” The greatest comfort the lost can know, at that moment in a funeral, is that through Christ, they can spend eternity in heaven.
Cece Winans sang, “Don’t Cry For Me,” and I wasn’t crying for her or Whitney, at the end of her brother’s message. I was crying for the millions of lost souls who were robbed of the opportunity to secure their place in heaven, to see their saved loved ones again.
I wept because once again, TD Jakes and Marvin Winans chose to operate as business as usual, and didn’t consider the eternal fate of those before them. What good are our movies about “Sparkle,” if we don’t shine like stars in the midst of dark times, and lead a crooked and perverse generation to Jesus? (Phillipians 2:15-16) What good are our songs about tomorrow, if we don’t explain the plan of salvation, today? (2 Corinthians 6:2) For me, the ending of his message, was as tragic as the end of Whitney Houston’s life: It too, was cut short. I wept at the end of his message, because at this funeral, the lamb of God was robbed of the reward of His suffering.
Rom. 1:16 ¶ For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
John 3:16 ¶ “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.”
Rom. 10:8-14: “But what does it say? “THE WORD IS NEAR YOU, in your mouth and in your heart” — that is, the word of faith which we are preaching, that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved;
for with the heart man believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. For the Scripture says, “WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED.”
For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call upon Him;
for “WHOEVER WILL CALL UPON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED.” How then shall they call upon Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?”
1Cor. 9:16 “For if I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast of, for I am under compulsion; for woe is me if I do not preach the gospel.”
2Cor. 6:2 “for He says, ‘AT THE ACCEPTABLE TIME I LISTENED TO YOU, AND ON THE DAY OF SALVATION I HELPED YOU’; behold, now is “THE ACCEPTABLE TIME,” behold, now is “THE DAY OF SALVATION.”
Until the Lamb of God receives the reward of His suffering,
Where Will You Spend Eternity?
Maybe you saw Whitney Houston’s funeral, and you left with questions about what will happen to you, when your life is over. Or maybe this blog provoked questions about where you will spend eternity. Regardless of the reasons that led you to this website, if you want to know the plan of salvation, and don’t know Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior, I have good news for you: God loves you! (Romans 5:8) He loves you so much, that He’d rather die, than spend eternity without you. (Hebrews 12:2) Though your sins have separated you from God, you can change your mind about the direction you are heading in life, and receive God’s forgiveness today. (Ephesians 1:7, Acts 2:38; 3:19) You are no different than anyone else, because all have fallen short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23)
The truth is that the wages of sin is eternal death in hell, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ in heaven. (Romans 6:23) When Jesus died upon the cross, he died for all your sins and took your penalty for sin, (eternal death and separation from God), upon Himself. (1Peter 2:24) All you have to do, to have eternal life, is receive by faith what Christ did on the cross, as payment for all of your sins, for salvation is a gift, and you cannot earn this gift, but must receive it by faith. (Ephesians 2:8,9) Christian loved ones, who have escaped the eternal flames of hell, are in heaven, waiting for you. (Hebrews 12:1) More importantly, when you die and leave this earth as a Christian, your Heavenly Father, will be waiting to embrace you, and will wipe away every tear from your eyes, of the regret, shame and pain of this life. (Revelation 7:17, 21:4) And you and your saved loved ones will abide in the household of faith with other believers and Father God, forever, in heaven. (Revelation 22:5).
Just say this prayer to receive eternal life:
Jesus, I confess that I am a sinner, and that my sins have separated me from fellowship with You. I receive Your death on the cross as payment for my sins, and by faith, I receive Your forgiveness for all my sins and mistakes in my life. I receive by faith, eternal life with You. Jesus, I believe that you died upon the cross, and rose from the grave, and now sit at the right hand of the Father. Thank You for saving me from hell! Thank you for eternal life in heaven. Fill me with Your Holy Spirit to empower me to live the Christian life. Place me in healthy church to be discipled, and give me Christian brothers and sisters to walk with. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.