About six months ago my husband introduced me to a man named Paul Washer. It was an informal meeting and actually it was in my car. Paul talked and I intently listened to what he had to say. I found him refreshingly straightforward and knowledgeable about the Word of God. And he was intense! Like a coach before the championship game, he preached as if everything was riding on this final sermon.
Soon after that first meeting I hung out with Paul again where he preached to a youth conference (and to me) about what real Christianity was meant to look like, and it hurt. It hurt really bad. And that’s when I decided that me and Paul, we were going to be great friends.
During that time Paul attacked my interests, my motives, my lifestyle and basically he attacked me. Which is why I was so grateful.
Brother Paul preaches a message that is widely dismissed by American Christianity but that others like Francis Chan, David Platt and I believe George Mueller if he were still alive today, stand up for as being the true gospel. A gospel that states that we are wretched and He is the only source of good. We are God-haters and yet He desires to save us for his purposes. Versus that increasingly popular teaching about positive self thinking and living your best life now that draws thousands of Americans to a fancy church every Sunday to hear a motivational speech with a Bible verse tagged onto it for credibility.
When Jesus preached it hurt. People walked away. And he didn’t apologize for it. Of course those who were truly hungry for the truth and for purity stayed and were blessed, but those who were just “checking him out” quickly realized the dire price to pay to follow him simply wasn’t worth it.
Now, I’m not a masochist. I don’t enjoy enduring pain or criticism or someone telling me that I’m wrong. But the Bible says that “the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart (Hebrews 4:12). Meaning that the Word of God will offend us, cut us and basically hit us where it hurts as it seeks to put to death the desires of the flesh and make us more pure and righteous so we can embrace the Holy Spirit.
The Bible also states that “Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses,” (Proverbs 27:6). God is merciful and gracious and He gives us what we do not deserve: a new life in Jesus Christ. Because he loves us, in his own timing, he will continue to expose our darkest places so that as we experience a greater measure our wretchedness and sin, we experience a greater measure of his goodness all the more.
So I respect Paul Washer and the people who are preaching a message that isn’t popular. Men who are not trying to draw a crowd but who seek Christ above all else and fervently pray that His Kingdom would come.
It’s convicting to even write this actually. Makes me think I need to spend some time today in a closet with God getting some things in order. But that’s what good preaching will do. It will drive you into a secret place with God. It will make you realize your utter inability to please God by anything you do in your own strength. It will not kiss you all over and tell you you’re lovely and that you need not burden yourself with the responsibility of the Kingdom.
If you’re not sure you’re ready to dive into a whole hour with Paul, here’s his testimony. It’s amazing. It’s only fifteen minutes long.
Paul was saved in college and ministered as a missionary in Peru for 10 years, during which time he founded the HeartCry Missionary Society to support Peruvian church planters. HeartCry’s work now supports over 100 indigenous missionaries in over 20 countries throughout Eastern Europe, South America, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. And like George Mueller, HeartCry has never asked for a penny of support. They believe that every need of their ministry will be obtained through prayer. And it has.
But I suggest you jump into a few sessions with Paul every now and then as a means to examine yourself according to the scriptures. That’s what I’m going to do today. Especially today, because Japan doesn’t need our sympathy. The world needs praying, God-believing, followers of Jesus Christ who are ready to show his love and compassion and the glorious truth to anyone in need.
Visit Sermon Audio to view the archive of Paul Washer sermons.