How to tell when a sermon/talk/tweet/Facebook post is “not good”

  1. Always ask the question: “Does this sermon/talk focus mostly on me & my actions or on Christ and His actions?” If the sermon is mostly about me and what I do or is filled with so many anecdotes that Christ is pushed into the backseat, that’s not good. [Read this as well.]
  2. If “they” talk about victory, having victory, getting victory, breaking chains, etc., etc., mostly in the context of me being victorious and me breaking chains without talking about how Christ is the victorious one and any victory we have is because our lives are hid in Him, that’s not good.
  3. If “they” talk more about “my destiny” and “my purpose” and that destiny/purpose is not locked completely in what Christ has revealed about our purpose — which is to bring Him glory through our time, money, career, family, our whole lives — that’s not good.
  4. If Christ is presented as a means to an end (“Come to Jesus for a better marriage,” “Come to Jesus for [fill in the blank]”) rather than as the only treasure better than anything this world has to offer, that’s not good. (NOTE: As we live Gospel-saturated lives, surrounded by the grace and goodness of Christ, our whole lives are changed. He does change our marriage, our finances, our time, and our very purpose in life. But those changes are primarily because He draws us closer to Himself. Jesus should be the means and the end of our heart’s desire.)
  5. If “they” talk about hearing from God, and hearing from Him does not center and flow from His Word (the Bible), that’s not good.
  6. Corollary to №5: If “they” say something about the nature and character of God (or the nature and character of man) that does not line up with the entirety of Scripture, that’s not good.
  7. Corollary to №5: If “they” use one or two verses outside of its context to explain or create an entire theological framework, that’s not good. (Example: Using Philippians 4:13 that says “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me” as a theological framework that I can do anything or I can win anything because of Jesus. This verse sits in the context of being able to endure trials and suffering for the sake of Christ.)