Help! I'm a PK (Part one of two)
Well, Praise Jesus today, everyone. I am not a pastor's kid or a preacher's kid (PK). My grandpa was a preacher. He was a missionary to Africa, specifically to Nigeria. And my mom grew up partially in Nigeria. What I experienced as going to some of these reunions with PK and missionary kids, is that PK and people that grow up in church can be some of the most complacent, lukewarm Christians you will ever meet in your life. You would think that they'd have all these awesome stories from Africa. You would think they would have genuine faith that's so solid because their parents passed on faith to them. But what you find is these kids that are totally complacent about their faith. They don't really have true love for God. They don't really know Jesus. And if you ask them about any of the stories of their childhood growing up in Africa or anything like that, you'll get something like, why do you want to know about that?
The reason why PKs and missionary kids, preacher’s kids are so complacent about their faith is because they have seen and heard everything about the Bible. They know it all. They know all about church, but it hasn't worked. They have seen hypocrisy. Their parents are hypocrites. Their parents uphold an image of what it means to be a Christian for an hour while supposedly doing worship. But when they get home, they take off their Christian hat, and now they're ready to relax and go on vacation. Some people I know that are pastors, because they're professionals, they treat following Jesus as a professional job; they'll answer their phone professionally; they'll stand at the pulpit professionally; they'll play their guitar professionally or the piano, or sing professionally. But heaven forbid you ask them about their spiritual life outside of the church walls, because if you do, they'll look at you crooked, they'll think that you just ask the most bizarre thing. They may say something like “catch me between the hours of eight and five, Monday through Friday, but let's talk about something else now”. They treat God as if he's in the walls of those church, and chances are they don't really want to talk to you about anything genuine that Jesus Christ is doing because they are hypocrites. They are impostors. They're fake. So growing up as a PK, when you see this and you realize that your parents are fake, that your dad just acts like he's a good person in front of people. You learn to also act like a good person. You don't want to point out people's hypocrisy, you want to just get along with other people. But on the inside of you, you have this huge void, knowing there's a huge problem with church, there's a huge problem with your faith. There's a huge problem with your parents. But you feel like you can't point it out, you can't say anything about it. You certainly can't fix it. And so you go on with your walk, with this void in your heart not really knowing what the truth is.
This happens for generations and generations. This kind of false faith is passed on to our children, and then they learn to play the hypocrite. They learn to pick up this dead religion called church. Now there is a new thing that I'm hearing. A new slogan in the church world is called church hurt. And people think that as long as they just admit that people in the church are sinners and they've got hurt in church, then they can get back into doing church ceremony and everything will be good.
But the problem is, people haven't ever come to genuine faith in Jesus. They've never met Him. They don't know who the Holy Spirit is. What I encourage you to do if you are a PK, if you're a preacher's kid or if you're a missionary kid. Is to find genuine faith in Jesus for yourself. Your parents’ Faith isn't going to just transfer over to you to where you have a real faith in Jesus. What will naturally transfer over to you is hypocrisy, complacency and lukewarmness, and a feeling of depression on the inside. But if you want that fixed, you need to pray and say “Jesus, my whole life I have prayed, but I haven't prayed in faith. My whole life, I've heard sermons, but I haven't listened in faith my whole life. My parents have demonstrated what it means to be a Christian, but I've never known you. I don't know if I've ever genuinely heard you at times. I believe I've heard your voice, but who are you Lord? Reveal yourself to me, manifest to me, and help me to know who you really are, that I may have faith in you and that it might not be my parents’ faith just trying to be imputed on me, but that I genuinely can have faith in you, Jesus. Because I have a personal revelation from you and know you.”
Guys, there's a huge problem in the Christian church. There are Christians, big pastors that are teaching that God does not reveal Himself to people anymore. They say that the gifts of prophecy and dreams and visions and tongues have all ceased. They say the only way God speaks is through the Bible. There are some really big, I would call them false prophets, but they don't even consider themselves prophets because they don't believe in prophets. But they're false pastors. They're false leaders of the flock. And a lot of PKs have become very depressed because they feel that they will never hear from God. And the only way they might hear from God is if they go to their dad's Bible college or if they sit beneath their dad's Bible study. But what happens? They go to their dad's Bible study over and over again, and they get more and more depressed. They're not hearing from God. They have no direction in their life. They get to a point where they don't even feel they can talk to anyone about God because they themselves don't believe in God. And if you don't believe in God, how in the world can you be a light to another soul at your college or your high school or your workplace? Satan will get you to a point where it's hard for you even to open your Bible and look at it. Or if you're doing a powerpoint to even push the button to turn the words of the powerpoint because you know in the inside you are a liar and you don't know God. This is why many pastor's kids are committing suicide. They're lonely, depressed. They don't know the truth. They don't have the peace that passes all understanding in them.
I want to encourage you today, though, that the hope is not in your church; it is not in your Bible understanding; it's not in going to college; but the truth that has been under your nose the whole time is a true and genuine prayer life, knowing Jesus, you have to push through to Jesus Christ in prayer. In church, often they underestimate what it means to pray. Often prayer becomes a social time, a get together on Sunday evenings, that becomes very boring. When I was in church, I was incredibly bored with prayer. I didn't want to go to a prayer service. Because all that would happen is it would be people's time to gossip about others, “Oh so and so needs prayer because so and so's wife is cheating with so and so.” It became just a time for the ladies to gossip and people to talk about how so and so has to go to the doctor, and I never saw any fruit from that. You would pray for so and so to be cured of cancer and they would still die, they wouldn't get better. You would pray for so and so to get back with their spouse, they'd still end in divorce.
Help! I'm a PK (Part two of two)
So what in the world is going on in church, guys? It was super depressing. There was no power in their prayer, no power or joy in their worship. It was all fake. The smiles I saw brought me no peace to God. But when I was in church myself, because I was raised in church, my parents raised me in church. I was also a pastor myself. I got to a point where I realized I am depressed. I don't think I really know God. I pray to Him, but my prayers aren't genuine. I read the Bible and I'm still not filled with joy. So if God designed His church to be the place where I'm supposed to be, and He designed the Bible for me to be nourished by eating the Bible, why am I not nourished? Even though I am going to church Five to seven times a week. I'm going more than anyone and I'm reading the Bible some days, up to eight hours a day. Guys, there's people, monks, I suppose, that read the Bible all the time. But I truly thought from listening to people like John MacArthur and all these other guys that I really respected at the time, I thought that if I really read the Bible and got to know it, that I would be closer to God. And what I found was the more I read the Bible, the more I tried to go to church, the more depressed I became.
And I wondered to myself, how could this be all? Why do I still have a heart in me that wants to know my creator more? If this is it, if God created me to fellowship with Him through reading the Bible and that is supposed to fulfill me, where is my fulfillment? And I started asking God, why am I depressed, why don't I feel your love, why am I not able to love correctly? Why do I feel like there's a huge problem in church but I can't place my thumb on it? What is going on? And for the first time in my life, when I was back in church, this was about my seventh year as a paid minister, I finally got down on my knees, not in a prayer meeting, not in the Sanctuary, not at the altar, at church, but the only place that I could truly find that was in solitude, which was the bathroom. I would go in the bathroom and I'd prayed. I'd say, “Lord, I am a lost pastor. I am lost. I am a pastor here at the church, but I don't think I really know you. My life is a mess. And I need you to reveal yourself to me, and whatever you tell me to do, I will do, but I need genuine faith in you, Lord.”
And when Jesus started revealing Himself to me, and by the way, one of the first things He told me was, “church is a whore house and to leave the church”, and I did that. But when I started hearing from Jesus while I prayed for the first time, prayer meant something to me. It was much more precious than gold, guys. It wasn't like going to a prayer meeting or a diocating meeting where we all prayed around in the circle just gossiping about each other. It was genuine. It was me pouring out my heart to my creator, to Jesus out of love, and then Him speaking back to me in the way that was starting to make sense to me. And if you are a PK or a preacher kid or a missionary kid, this is what you have to do to find faith. And when you really find faith in Jesus when He starts speaking to you. You may be shocked to find that your parents‘ faith is not your faith. Your church’s faith is a fraud. You may find that the missionary group that you're with and the whole mission is false. You may find that the church you're with is totally apostate, meaning they're not following Jesus at all. They all pretend. They're all fake believers. They're all frauds. It may absolutely blow you out of the water to realize what it means to really follow Jesus out of love, rather than following Him out of the false fear of the church, fear of what people think, fear of what would happen if you don't pay your tithes to the church and go, keep up your church attendance.
It's so ironic to me, guys, how in church they're always preaching it's by faith alone, right? But at the same time, they're living out their faith by dead religious works. They think you have to go to church every sunday, you have to pay your tithes every week, you have to take communion in church the way they do it, listen to their sermons, go to their Bible college and all these works to achieve salvation through their church and their principles. And that is not genuine faith. Genuine faith is when you go and pray, you humble yourself. You get on your knees before Jesus and you say, “Who are you Lord? I am a sinner, I don't know you. I have done religion my whole life. I've played the hypocrite. I've watched my dad and my mom play the hypocrite in church, acting like they're Christians. Lord, tell me, what is true faith? What does it mean to know you?” And when you can pray that prayer and be ready to walk away from all falsehood, and that is when you start counting the cost. And that's when you decide to be a disciple and come into the new covenant.
If you want to be reborn for real, it doesn't start with an altar call in church. Or just listening to a good sermon. It starts when you pray and pour out your heart to Jesus and ask Him to reveal Himself to you in a way that will change you, make sense to you, and that will lead your path. Do you want Jesus to be the light to your path? Or are you trying to make the Bible your church, the dead religious practices, the ceremonies and all those things that take place in churchianity your light and your guide?
We are not promised a pastor or a religious group or a club, a fellowship group, a mom or a dad or a brother, a sister to lead us, but we are promised the gift of the Holy Spirit. Read John chapter 14 through 16 and you will see how Jesus promises the better gift of the Holy Spirit. So don't believe in this church lie that says that prophecies don't exist, that God doesn't speak to you; if you just get into the Bible, that's all you need to know. I am a testimony myself that is not true. You can read the Bible eight hours a day. You can be a paid pastor, going to church five to seven days a week and still not be nourished. You will be malnourished. You will know that true love is not in your heart. I am a testimony of that, maybe you know, in your own heart, that you are also a hypocrite, that you don't have genuine love in your heart, that you don't know the truth of God even though you have been a PK or a pastor your entire life. We need to come to grips with reality if we want to walk with the Lord in humility and truth and in His light. Do we know Jesus? Or are we depressed because we are frauds and we know in the bottom of our souls that we are not right with God?
I want to pray with those of you who want to repent, who want to come into the true church that's not a religious organization, but that is the people who have Jesus in their heart and follow Him wherever He leads. So I want to pray for you if you want to put your faith in Jesus and get your life right with Him today. He will guide you, He will teach you, but you have to start following Him by faith. “Lord Jesus, I do pray for your true church. For those sons and daughters of your Kingdom. Many of us have been lied to, cheated, the devil has stolen away from us true faith. We've fallen into sin and all kinds of deceptions and false religion. I know many men have fallen into pornography. They fall into lukewarmness, just every distraction that the Christian culture has to offer, false worship, idolizing musicians, idolizing pastors and people that don't even know you. I pray for your true church and those who want to come out of dead religion, that they would truly come out, that they would stop touching what is unclean, Lord, that they may pray to you and find genuine faith when they pray, that you would dwell in them, that you would place your Holy Spirit in them that they would come out of the world, that they would come out of the dead harlot church, and that they would come to truly worship you, that they wouldn't listen to the accusations of Satan, but that they would truly be guided by your Holy Spirit and know how to distinguish your voice, Lord Jesus, from their own minds, from their own Bible interpretation, from the voice of prophets and leaders in the church whether they be true or false. We pray, Lord, to truly be able to distinguish your voice and that you would lead us and guide us into everlasting life. I pray that you bless your children and that you lift them up in righteousness, that you purify and purge us, that we may be able to push into your Kingdom and live with you forever, Lord Jesus, in your name I pray, amen.”