IFB Sermon (Points 4 & 5)

This is part 3 of an IFB sermon critique.  The reader should consider reading the introduction to this series and Part 1 if he/she hasn’t already.  The introduction can be found here and Part 1 here and Part 2 here.  Remember that the sermon will be in regular font and the author’s comments/critiques will be in italics.

IV. Fulfill the Will of God.

Fulfill the will of God. I said everyday, just about, I have somebody come up and say what shall we do. What shall we do? We’re having marital problems. We’re having work problems. We’re having children problems, whatever. What shall we do? What shall we do? Here’s another question I hear real often. “Preacher, how can I know the will of God for my life?” How can I know the will of God for my life? That’s a good question isn’t it? Can I encourage you? In the meantime, until you know the will of God for your life, do the will of God for your life.

There are some things…the Bible says that we’re to “pray without ceasing.” The Bible says we’re to “give thanks for this is the will of God concerning you.” The Bible tells us plainly that we’re to tithe and give an offering. The Bible teaches us plainly that we’re to go soul winning. The Bible tells us plainly that we’re to be in the house of God. You know, it’s an amazing thing. Seldom do we even master the things that we’re commanded to do, and we’re worried about which house we’re supposed to live in or which door we’re supposed to knock on. Listen, forget knowing the will of God, if you would, for just a little bit, and do the will of God that you already know to be right. {Notice that he did not tell us where the Bible says these things plainly. He just said it does. He quoted two verses, but did not tell us where to find them in the Bible. He just said that the Bible says those verses. This thing about spouting off a bunch of verses or “truths”, but not telling me where to find them in the Bible is really irritating me.}

You say, “Well, I’ll tell you what. I’m having a hard time going out soul winning this week.” Then go twice. Then go twice. {If a person does not have time to go once during the week, how are they going to find time to go twice?}  “Boy, my schedule’s hectic. I don’t know if I’ll have time to read my Bible.” Then double your Bible reading time. {Again, how is doubling anything that you don’t have time for in the first place, really going to help you fulfill the will of God?} Just trying to hep ya’. You get in financial trouble, you know what you’ll do? You’ll ask for overtime. You’ll ask for extra hours. There’s some guys in here that have overtime that would love to give it up. They’re not doing it because they absolutely want the money.

They’re doing it because they’re being required to work overtime. But you’ll get in financial trouble and instead of applying the Word of God and applying the principles of God, staying in the Word of God, staying in the House of God, you’ll get out of the House of God so you can go work a second job. {Don’t worry about your responsibilities to provide food, clothing, lodging, etc, for your family. Just go to church as often as he tells you to be there. This is absolutely ridiculous!!!} Trying to hep ya this morning. Just trying to hep ya. Do the will of God. Fulfill the will of God.

V. Trust the Son of God.

Trust the Son of God. I tell you what. I do believe in Him. And by the way, He said, “In this world you shall have tribulation.” You might not believe it, but it’s gonna happen. But He also said, “Be of good cheer, for I have overcome the world.” So, I’m gonna trust Him. Trust the Son of God. {This is John 16:33. Jesus was talking to the disciples and had just told them that there would be a time when they would all be scattered. They would desert Him. He was prophesying about His crucifixion and also about the persecution that the disciples would endure after His ascension. I’m not saying that Christians won’t suffer persecution, but this is about the fact that Christ died on the cross and they could remember and be cheerful about the fact that He overcame the world through His death and resurrection.}

Did you know that He knows everything? He knew today before you got here. He knows tomorrow and you’re not there yet. He knows six months from now. You and I have a hard time remembering yesterday. The older we get, the harder it gets. But, He knows tomorrow. We have a hard time remembering six months or a year ago, but He knows next year. He knows everything. So, let’s trust Him.

He sees everything. The Bible says over and over again, “He’s full of compassion.” {Why don’t you show us some of those Scripture passages?} Listen to me, Christian. He loves you and He cares about you. He knows what you’re going through. He knows the heartache. He knows the sorrow. He knows the burden.

He also assured us that, “there is no temptation taken you but such as is common to man.” {This is 1 Corinthians 10:13.} You say, “Well, Preacher. Nobody’s ever been through what I’ve been through.” Yes they have. Yes they have. You’re only going through that which is common to man. Common. “You mean other husbands and wives fight?” Oh yeah! Yeah! “You mean other parents have children who are rebellious every now and then?” Oh yeah! Yeah they do. I hate to disillusion you, but it’s not just your little rebel. They’re all little rebels. But God knows that. He’s not gonna allow more in your life than He’ll help you with. He will make a way of escape. Trust the Son of God. {What? It sounds like he’s using the verse about bearing up under temptation and applying it to problems in a couple’s marriage and with their children. Is he saying that problems in those relationships are just a temptation that God will help you escape? Should spouses, children & parents be looking for ways to escape their problems? This is so bizarre!}

And if you’re not saved this morning, let me encourage you to trust the Son of God. John Chapter 8 is one of my favorite verses in regards to salvation. Jesus is speaking to a lot of religious folks and we’ve got a country filled with religious folks. All the politicians are born again now. They don’t have any morals. They don’t have any character. They lie. But, they’re all born again. They all know Jesus. Jesus was talkin’ to a bunch of folks just like that. They were religious folks. They had their religion. They had their doctrine. And Jesus looked at them and in verse 24. “I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.”

{In verse 13, the Pharisees were challenging Jesus regarding His claims of deity. They told Him that His claim was not valid because He did not have two witnesses. He told them that He and His Father were witnesses of His deity. The Pharisees and the Jews who were standing there did not have a clue about what he was saying. So, He reiterated that He was from above and they were from below. If they did not believe that He was who He claimed to be, they would die in their sins. But as verse 30 says, “even as He spoke , many put their faith in him.” This pastor could have continued reading even to the end of the chapter and the fact of the crucifixion would have been mentioned, but instead, he just read one verse and didn’t do a very good job of explaining it.}

If you’re unsaved this morning, if you don’t know that Heaven is your home, there’s only one hope for you. And it’s not this church and it’s not any other church and it’s not religion and it’s not baptism. It’s not turning over a new leaf. There’s only one hope for you and that’s Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Jesus looked at that bunch. They were good folks. They were moral folks. They were decent and honorable. They were the type of men you’d want to do business with. Their handshake was their bond. They had integrity. They were like the generation before our generation. {The Pharisees?} They were men of their word. But Jesus still looked at those men and He said, “You’re going to die in your sins, if you believe not that I am He.” {Jesus’ biggest problem with the Pharisees was the fact that they put burdens and rules and regulations on the people, that God did not place on them. They trusted in their own righteousness and works for salvation instead of in the Son of God.}

And He used that exact same phrase that God used with Moses in the Book of Exodus when Moses said, “Lord, who shall I say sent me?” And God said, “You tell ’em I Am that sent you.” God is the I Am God. {What does that mean?} Jesus looked at ’em and said, “You’re gonna die in your religion. You’re gonna die in your sins if you believe not that I Am. If you don’t believe I’m God, if you wanna lower me down to the level of a prophet, if you wanna lower me down to the level of an angel, if you wanna lower me down to that level like so many of the cults do today,” He said, “You’re gonna die in your sins. You’re gonna spend eternity in Hell.” He said, “But if you just trust me as your Savior, and if you’ll believe that I Am, I’ll give you eternal life.” And if you’re not saved this morning, that’s what you need. You need Jesus Christ. {That’s Easy-believism. He didn’t say anything about Jesus except that we should trust Him because He knows everything. He hasn’t said a thing about why we need salvation. He hasn’t said a thing about the fact that Jesus died on the Cross.} And I’d invite you to Him this morning.

What shall we do? “What shall we do, Preacher?” Indecision is gonna come in your life. Indecision about what to do in your marriage. Indecision about what to do with your children. Indecision about what to do in your Christian life. Indecision about what to do in your service for the Lord. Indecision on your job. Indecision will come in your life. And you too will ask just what these men did. What shall we do? What shall we do? And I’d say to you until you have a better answer than this, you stay in the Word of God, you stay in the House of God, you live by the principles of God, you fulfill the will of God and you believe the Son of God. If you’ll apply that. It’s not the trouble that’s gonna get ‘cha. It’s how you respond to it. If we can respond right, I think you might be surprised what God can do for us. Let’s pray.

Heavenly Father,

This morning, there are some folks here that need to respond right this morning. And some that are saved and need to be baptized. They need to respond properly this morning. And some here this morning that need a church home. They need to respond properly this morning. Lord, certainly there’s somebody here that needs to be saved this morning. They need to respond properly this morning. Lord, there’s some husbands and wives that, that are struggling and they’re having a hard time this morning. They need to realize they’re not each other’s enemies. Satan’s their enemy. And Satan’s trying to destroy their home and they need to respond properly this morning. There’s some mom’s and dad’s who are struggling in agreeing with their children. And Lord, those children are not their enemy. Those children are a gift from heaven. They’re blessings from you. They need to respond properly. Would you help us to respond as we should in this invitation.

In Jesus Name,

{Well, there it is. The contrast between him calling people “Beloved” and talking about how Jesus had compassion at one point, while also calling everyone names, and screaming and pounding the pulpit about whatever sin he was thinking about at the moment, is striking. Unfortunately, this was a typical sermon.

He started out with a passage of Scripture that talks about Peter giving the Gospel to a large group of people and then recounted how those people believed on Christ for salvation, and turned it into a “self-help” sermon. He even had the audacity to blame it on God by saying at the beginning of the sermon that God showed him some things while he was at his daughter’s house.

The thing that angers me the most, even more than all the name-calling, is the way he stuck Jesus in there at the end, and then all he said about Him was that He knows everything and we ought to trust Him. Up until a year ago, I did believe on Jesus. I knew about Him. I knew the stories about Him in the Bible. If anyone had asked “If you were to die tonight, do you know where you’d go?” I would have answered “Yes.” I truly thought I was saved because I had prayed the prayer and was trusting in the god of the IFB, who is not the God of the Bible. I was following all of the rules of the church and letting my pastor be my Holy Spirit. I was doing exactly as he was telling everybody throughout this sermon. I was going to the House of God to get what I needed from the Word of God. The truth was only able to be proclaimed by him. I was in attendance that day and I left without ever hearing a clear presentation of the Gospel. If I had died that day, I would be burning in Hell right now. IFB pastors will have to answer for the way they manipulate the Scriptures. They will have to answer for the way they have neglected to present the Gospel to people. They will have to answer for the way they have preached their traditions instead of the Bible.} 


  1. Jamey – Just re-read this critique, and want to thank you for sharing. This is very much like a sermon that I would have heard in my old IFB, mine was maybe even worse! You see my pastor, in addition to his legalism, fancied himself somewhat of a comedian! So we would have to hear his jokes (mostly not funny) interspersed throughout his sermons, which was really distracting!

    But I want to also tell you that I think you may have a “teaching gift” Your exegesis of some of these bible passages were very good, and you express yourself very good! So maybe having weathered those years at the IFB will turn out to be good for you.

    1. LOL! I’ve known some “comedian pastors” as well. This particular pastor didn’t tell jokes a whole lot, but he tried to tell funny stories, as you read in this sermon. People laughed. I probably laughed at the time as well.

      Thank you very much for your kind words. I’ve never thought about having a teaching gift, and especially not one in teaching the Bible. I still have so much to learn. Most of the exegesis was mine, but I also had help from others when I needed it. I just like to quietly write down what I’m learning so that others might benefit as well. 🙂

  2. Chris,

    Thank you for allowing me to clarify my position. I don’t think that every IFB pastor is evil. I don’t want to attack the group as a whole. I want to delve into the Scriptures and see if they are being taught accurately. When I find that they aren’t, then I have to say something. As you can see in this sermon, the Word of God was not taught properly. This man taught more of his own thoughts and ideas and preferences than what the Bible actually said.

    If you are happy with the IFB, then I’m very happy for you. For me personally, I grew up in a more cultish atmosphere. I can’t go back to that type of system. I know that not all IFB churches are like that because I have family who are in a more stable IFB church, now. But I definitely grew up in an extreme form. This sermon was from one of my former pastors. I wasn’t out to attack him, but I wanted to hold up what he said to the Scriptures.

  3. I have read your critique twice now and how you like to down Ifbc Paxton’s and churches. Yes I agree that many fail in proper instruction however many are good and very militant in their faith. I thank God for them, they were the only group that cared enough to reach out; and, because of that I am a born again believer today. Be careful where you throw stones your house just might be made of glass. And as far as his scripture quotations most Christians should know where those passages are at. I did and I am by far not a scholar.

    1. I’m sorry if I have given you the impression that I revel in finding things wrong with a sermon and “downing” IFB pastors and churches. Nothing could be further from the truth. I don’t like to notice error. It is much easier to go with the flow and turn a blind eye to what is being said. It takes a lot of work to read and study the Bible and figure out if I’m being told the truth or not, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. For far too long, I did turn a blind eye and swallowed everything I was fed, without asking questions or trying to determine if I was being told the truth. Not anymore!

      If you have found a good IFB church and are happy there, if you are growing in the Lord and not in your pastor’s expectations then I am very happy for you. All I did was take one sermon (out of many) and publicly critique it. When I did, I found many errors.

      As far as the pastor’s Scripture quotations, I will admit that by that point in the sermon I was getting frustrated. I know my frustration bled through a bit in my critique. But one of the things I look for in a sermon is whether or not the pastor is using Scripture accurately. If a man is going to say that there are certain truths in the Bible, then he needs to back it up. Even if he doesn’t want to turn to those passages, the least he can do is give the references so that people can write them down and look them up later. I have found that most Christians do not know their Bible’s well enough to know where to find things. Also, everyone is at a different place in their walk with Christ. There are people who have been saved and in church for many years, and there are people who have only been saved for a little while and don’t know where to find Bible backing for what they think they believe. I believe pastors should not assume that everyone knows where to find verses, but should take the time to at least tell his congregation where to find the verses for themselves.

      1. I do thank you for responding. I may have over reacted a bit. I apologize I have just seen so many people attack the Ifbc for so long. It irritates me to see one of the final bastions of truth being torn down by the liberal media and liberal heroically Christians. I am currently studying to be a pastor, I currently hold a bachelors degree in biblical studies. I quote the bible a lot but there are a few times I reference it without giving the address. I usually preface the reference with a disclaimer. But sometimes I do not.
        If you look on Facebook you can find a group called the Ifbc survivors. These people label Ifbc members and pastors as a cult, evil men, et.al.. I joined and a miniature investigation. They claimed to have been survivors of abuse, saying they were publicly humiliated in front of the whole church. I asked what sin they committed and was told it didn’t matter, what mattered was they were humiliated. Mt 18 explains this as church discipline, a practice almost abandoned by all but the Ifbc. I was banned from the page a few days later.
        I do not preach nor do I attend an Ifbc church, I know many pastors and visit frequently but there are no Ifbc near enough to feasibly attend. I have just gotten fed up with the abuse these men take for preaching and practicing the Word of God. Thank you for understanding my previous post and not lashing back out as many would have.

        1. Supposed to be heretical Christians. Sorry I am doing this by phone.

  4. Greg,
    I know he contradicts himself so much in this sermon. When I was growing up the priesthood of the believer only meant that we didn’t have to go to a priest.

    That’s what I was trying to point out in my critique of this sermon. He says “Read your Bible, Read your Bible,” but then he says that we can only get truths from God’s Word in God’s house.

    Just because we don’t have to go to a priest doesn’t mean that we automatically have to go to an IFB pastor with everything either. There is a level of freedom that is bestowed on believers that this man didn’t seem to understand or to portray.

    I agree with you that the MOG doesn’t always know what the Bible says, but I would include the fact that a lot of times he doesn’t know what a passage really means, either. Instead, he takes what he needs to take from it to make whatever point that he’s already determined to make. The fact that he’s slicing and dicing the Scriptures doesn’t seem to matter.

  5. Dave,

    I completely agree with you. I think the invitation is more for the pastor than the person going forward and doing the praying. I have heard pastors say that the only way to truly commit anything to God is to go forward and talk to the pastor or pray at the altar and talk to the pastor after the service. I personally feel that a person can be reflective and pray right in their seat, without ever going forward or telling anyone about whatever the issue is. I don’t HAVE to talk to anyone if I don’t want to. I don’t HAVE to go up and talk to the pastor during an invitation (especially since I know everyone is looking at me even though they’re supposed to have their heads bowed and their eyes closed). And the pastors do make you feel guilty if you’re not continually going up to the front.

    1. The MOG tells us to study the word, and that the truths of God are found there, but it seems that often times they don’t know what’s in it themselves!

      “But you are a chosen people, a ROYAL PRIESTHOOD, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you ot of darkness into his wonderful light” 1 Peter 2:9

  6. Ah, yes, how could I forget about the invitations? Every. Single. Service. Three times a week, minimum. The only way to “respond properly” was supposedly to get out of your pew and physically go kneel at the “altar” which was literally the steps up to the stage where the preacher sat. And if not enough people “responded properly,” the service would sometimes stop so that pastor would tell us that we really needed to come to the “altar.” Why couldn’t I perhaps be moved internally and be reflective and prayerful right where I was? Why did it always have to be a physical ritual, repeated over and over again, just like everything else about every service, every week? And done in such a way that you had to feel guilty if you weren’t going up there like everyone else? So much pressure to look a certain way, to dress a certain way, to attend a certain way, to react a certain way, to talk a certain way, to really be considered a “Christian” in the IFB’s eyes. And all so subtle until you take a step back and realize just how legalistic they are, shackling you to their unwritten rules without you even realizing it’s happening.

    1. Dave – Great points all! The IFB’s I was a part of always hammered the catholics over their “rituals” but as my eyes opened to the abuses of the IFB, I saw that were nearly as “ritualistic” as the catholics they so loved to hate on!

      A friend of mine wrote the following some time ago, it really spoke to me so I copied it and carry it in my bible: How can people twist a gospel that is supposed to set us free and turn it into a religion in which everything is your fault? You’re not surrenered enough, you’re not trusting enough, you’re not humbled enough. It’s all about you and how you never measure up instead of being about Christ!

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