Matthew 5:11-12 ~ "Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you."
Don't give up the ship! Don't be discouraged! Don't let that old sly devil throw out that spirit of discouragement upon you! If it's on you, take authority over yourself and CAST IT OFF & OUT IN JESUS' NAME! Prevail! Endure!
Matthew 24:12-13 - "And the love of the great body of people will grow cold because of the multiplied lawlessness and iniquity, But he who endures to the end will be saved."
I see churches growing "smaller", and people who are church hopping, searching for the perfect church, but there is no perfect church because the church is US, people, and we are not perfect! I see discouraged pastors, wondering if their message is good enough. Good enough for who? If pastors are trying to preach a sermon that the congregation likes, they will fail, because the congregation will not be happy with a good, deep sermon, one that touches their heart. Why? Because our minds are at war with our spirits and that fleshly part of us does not want to hear a message that says we need to grow in a certain area!
So if a pastor decides to water down a message so it won't offend someone in their congregation, then he or she is more worried about people than God. Pastors are held in higher accountability to the Lord by our Lord. If pastors are preaching straight out of the bible, what Jesus taught, not changing it, and not adding to or deleting from, then they are doing a good job. It's the Lord who will say, "Well done". The saints here on earth can not give you the crown in store for you. We all need to be careful with God's Word (not just the pastors) and not alter it, or skip over certain areas of His Word, for it was all (Old and New Testament) written for our learning and education, spiritual growth and lifestyle here on earth.
If people leave the church because they don't like the message remember this:
Matthew 24:10 - "And then many will be offended and repelled and will begin to distrust and desert [Him Whom they ought to trust and obey] and will stumble and fall away and betray one another and pursue one another with hatred."
In Jesus' description of the end times in Matthew 24, He said this would happen. Don't be discouraged when you see people get offended. If you are preaching the TRUTH, keep on doing it! The Holy Spirit is in control of this world, and everything is going to happen the way God said it will, and He is in control. You just keep preaching the WHOLE WORD, the WHOLE TRUTH. People want the whole truth, the real deal, ALL of God's Word.
When you get down on your knees before the Lord in your private prayer time, God will speak to your heart, if you speak to Him, and He will comfort you and strengthen you if you are rejoicing in Him. If you are asking Him to help you speak a good message to your congregation, He will take over during the message, and guide your tongue.
1 Thessalonians 2:4-6 - 4On the contrary, we speak as men approved by God to be entrusted with the Gospel. We are not trying to please men but God, who tests our hearts. 5You know we never used flattery, nor did we put on a mask to cover up greed—God is our witness. 6We were not looking for praise from men, not from you or anyone else.
2 Timothy 1:7 - 7For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
2 Thessalonians 3:5May the Lord direct your hearts into God's love and Christ's perseverance.