“What then? Notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is preached, and therein I rejoice, yea, and will rejoice”
We must always remember, when thinking of Paul, that all he lived for was to preach the gospel. His mission was to let people know about the glorious salvation that Jesus Christ provided on the cross, and how that salvation not only fulfilled all he previous law and prophecies of the Jews, but also filled all the superstition and religion of the Gentiles. His passion was never dulled by the trials he faced.
So when he heard about others preaching Christ, it did not matter why they were preaching, or how they were peaching, as long as they were delivering the message correctly. If they were preaching out of selfish gain, that was OK, or out of envy, or hoping to add to his affliction, so be it. If Christ is preached, that’s all that matters. He rejoiced that Christ was being preached.
Oh, that we could have more of this attitude in our churches today. The church is divided on so many issues. Divorce, same-sex marriage, abortion – all are seen differently from one church to the next. We all have our own beliefs, and we divide up into groups. I firmly believe that is why the enemy is winning the culture war in our country – because the church is divided. If the church could just stick to the core issue – the Gospel – we would all be better off.
I challenge pastors and evangelists to keep the main thing the main thing. Preach Christ, and Him crucified and risen again. Keep that the focus of your message. Have altar calls, give time for testimony of how Christ has impacted lives, allow the Holy Spirit to flow in your churches and services. Call sin sin! Don’t be afraid of what man may say – be accountable to God and to His word.
I need to heed that advice myself. As an evangelist and lay preacher, I need to make sure I am presenting the gospel every chance I get. Never forget the compelling call of Jesus when he said “Go into all the world and preach the gospel”. Let me never again be critical of those who preach differently than I, or use different motivation. As long as Christ is preached, I shall rejoice.
I have often been critical of those who preach a certain way, or don’t do it as I think they should, Lord. Please forgive me for my ignorance. Help me to hear the gospel, and even more, help me to reach the gospel, and share the gospel, whenever I have opportunity to do so. You bring those opportunities to me – help me to recognize them when they come. Fill me with the right words to say, and give me boldness to proclaim your truth.