Unbiblical expectations result in legalistic Christians. Like the Pharisees of old, many preachers today—with noble intentions—have such a strong desire to protect God’s commands that they build a hedge around them with additional, man-made commands. In an effort to protect the Sabbath, for example, Pharisees taught that believers could walk no more than two-thirds of a mile on the holy day. They gave the man-made command the same weight as God’s command. Similarly, today’s preacher correctly states, “The Bible teaches us to avoid every kind of evil.” The same preacher then incorrectly applies, “This means God prohibits you, Christian, from attending any movie produced by evil Hollywood.” When preachers give commands beyond what God actually outlined, they burden their listeners with pharisaical standards that result in legalistic believers.
Preachers can offer legitimate promises or expectations only where they Bible does.
Daniel Overdorf, in Applying the Sermon: How to Balance Biblical Integrity and Cultural Relevance