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Preachers Who Are Soul-Murderers
"He who promises heaven to sinners is a confederate in their sin, and shall share their punishment. Such a one is a soul-murderer." - Pulpit Commentary - Old Testament
"Those have a great deal to answer for who grieve the spirits, and weaken the hands, of good people, and who gratify the lusts of sinners, and animate them in their opposition to God and religion(Christianity). Nor can any thing strengthen the hands of sinners more than to tell them that they may be saved in their sins without repentance, or that there may be repentance though they do not return from their wicked ways."
"Those that are resolved to go on in their evil ways will justly be given up to believe the strong delusions of those who tell them that they shall have peace though they go on."
- both quotes are from Matthew Henry
Psalm 52:7 says - "Lo, this is the man that made not God his strength; but trusted in the abundance of his riches, and strengthened himself in his wickedness." Especially take note of the words - "...and strengthened himself in his wickedness." What this means is that he encouraged and hardened himself in his sin...gave himself to it...obstinately continued in it...stretched out his hands against God...strengthened himself against the Almighty...and went on in his daring manner - while promising himself exemption from all punishment.
It is bad when sinners get so hardened in their sin that they actually are said to "strengthen themselves in their wickedness."
But what is really bad is when Preachers come along and - instead of turning them away from their evil ways by preaching hard against sin - "strengthen their hands in them."
Both Prophets Jeremiah and Ezekiel spoke of the False Prophets or Preachers who were committing this abomination in the land -
Jeremiah 23:14 says - "I have seen also in the prophets of Jerusalem a horrible thing: they commit adultery, and walk in lies: they strengthen also the hands of evildoers, that none doth return from his wickedness: they are all of them unto me as Sodom, and the inhabitants thereof as Gomorrah."
Ezekiel 13:22 says - "Because with lies ye have made the heart of the righteous sad, whom I have not made sad; and strengthened the hands of the wicked, that he should not return from his wicked way, by promising him life."
What happens when the Prophet or Preacher of God does not warn the wicked but rather "strengthens his hands in his wickedness"? The answer? "None doth return from his wickedness." Why should he? The very sorrow that is meant to drive him from his evil ways is taken from him. Resultantly, he becomes emboldened in sin...hardened in it...and more frequent and open in committing it. He becomes confirmed in his wickedness - since he is told that he will have peace though he goes on in his sin and is given hopes of eternal life along with peace and prosperity. He goes on in his sin without remorse or reformation - never thinking of amending his ways.
This "flattering theology" of some is a deadly enemy to Christianity. It promises kindness to sinners - while lulling them to sleep - as they float downstream towards the rapids of increased wickedness. It murders their souls - while rendering them deaf to the thunderings of the precipice ahead.
It is an effeminate religion. It is self-pleasing...a lullaby for the conscience...and a sedative to all sanctified fear. It is the self-made religion of proud men. It seeks to make the worst things appear to be the best. It confuses men's ideas of truth and error or right and wrong. It strips the wicked of any pains or disappointments which God intends to hedge up his way and turn him back. It gives him a false representation of his condition. And it caters to his pleadings to tell him that he is safe though he walks on the edge of the precipice.
What kind of nonsense is this when the Prophet or Preacher of God "strengthens the hands of evildoers" rather than weakens their hands? Doesn't he realize that as long as their sins appear respectable, they will continue in them.
Preachers are called by God to weaken or paralyze the hands of the wicked.
But the question we must ask ourselves is this - How many are doing that?
Most because of fear and self-indulgence in their own lives lack the boldness to speak the Truth.
Consequently, we have a generation of people who are thinking that they are headed for Heaven when the truth of the matter is that they are going straight to Hell! The False Preacher promised them Heaven - he "promised them life" - though they continued onward in their sin.
We have a generation who are gratified in their lusts and animated in their opposition to God and Christianity.
We have a generation of people who honestly believe that they are saved in their sins without repentance or that they did indeed repent though they never returned from their wicked ways.
We have a generation of strongly deluded people believing and living a lie.
The False Preachers are to blame. They are soul-murderers.
We challenge you this day to write down the names of at least five "Soul-Murderers" in the land who are deceiving the multitudes and begin to pray for them. Pray that God will open their eyes to the error of their ways and bring them to sincere humility and repentance before Himself and the people. Or else pray that the Lord Jesus will remove them from the ministry - so that others will "hear and fear" and "the hands of the evildoers" will no longer be "strengthened" through their lies.
May God Bless His Word.