Anecdotes and Teaching
Everyone involved with First Plumbline firmly believes that the preaching of the Gospel is ESSENTIAL! The truth concerning the Death, Resurrection, Ascension and Second Coming is to be declared before all of mankind so that ALL people everywhere may hear and be afforded the opportunity to repent and believe. It is written, “For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.”
(1 Corinthians 1:21).
If, as the scriptures so plainly state, the power of God unto Salvation is the Gospel and that God has ordained that people will be saved by its preaching–WHY do so few ever preach the message?
As it was in the book of Acts we, like the first followers of Jesus, often face opposition to what we do. However the main opposition does not come from unbelievers, it actually comes from people who claim to be Christians!!
How can this be?
If we consider the history of the Church from its inception in the Book of Acts to the present we see an array of preachers declaring the message of Jesus Christ boldly and unashamedly. Many of the preachers were rejected, harassed, arrested and even imprisoned and put to death for simply preaching. The very first martyr, Stephen, was killed as the result of preaching. His message offended the people who stoned him to death.
The Apostle Paul was regularly arrested and spent time in prison for his preaching. In fact most of the New Testament scriptures were penned during the times of Paul’s imprisonment. Even the great Revelation (Apocalypse) was written down by John whilst he was suffering the sentence of exile!
Many of the martyrs of the Church were persecuted for their message. Latimer, Ridley and Coverdale were burned at the stake in Oxford! John Wesley faced cruel beatings and stoning, often being ran out of town! William Booth, and the early Salvationists, faced similar beatings–today we only ever see Salvationists on the streets either selling copies of “The War Cry” or playing Carols at Christmastime in order to solicit funds!
John Bunyon preached in the open air for which he was imprisoned for 14 years in Bedford gaol. Charles Spurgeon was yet another street preacher.
Yet today we rarely see Christians engaged in such ministry. Why is this? If Christians believe that Salvation is only for those that believe on the Son of God, why isn’t the entire Christian movement engaged in spreading the message?
It is wrongly assumed by so many that to preach the whole counsel of God only upsets people and turns them off! Yes it may offend some, but the Apostles taught us would be the case, stating that the name of Jesus Christ would be, “a rock of OFFENCE,” particularly to the unbelievers!
Others claim that as we live in a different time we have to change with the times, adapt the message for today’s generation, to be “culturally relevant” and “sensitive” to those who are seeking God. Unfortunately for them God is outside of human culture, His ways are not ours and His thoughts are not ours. As for being “Seeker Sensitive” the scriptures state quite clearly, “The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, [and] seek God. They are all gone aside, they are [all] together become filthy: [there is] none that doeth good, no, not one.”(Psalm 14:2-3) And to clarify any doubts that we might have God repeats this in Psalm 53:2-3)
Christ’s commission to His Church was to, “GO ye into all the world!” (Mark 16:15). The modern churches seem to believe that rather than go out into the world that the world should come to them!
Most evangelistic efforts that we do witnessing tend to be mainly groups that rather than preach the Gospel and call upon people to “Come to Christ” they spend their time promoting their particular church or some “Prophet” and/or “Apostle” with the promise of “Miracles” and/or “Prosperity”! Whereas Paul declared, “We preach NOT ourselves” today so many preach themselves inviting the masses to come to a concert or a BBQ or some other event!
After all the singing and entertainment, the feasting and the catawailing the bottom line is this, FOR A PERSON THE BE SAVED THEY MUST RESPOND TO THE MESSAGE OF THE GOSPEL, FOR THIS IS THE MEANS BY WHICH GOD HAS ORDAINED THAT MEN WILL BE SAVED!!
John L. Hayworth
For a timely book on the issue we recommend: “The Deception of Love Evangelism” by Miguel Hayworth
(Director of First Plumbline Apologetics)
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