Recently I heard someone inaccurately recount something I said. While completely unintentional, the message that I delivered to him was not the same message that he was passing on. In the grand scheme of things this was not a big deal and I chose not to address it.
However, the incident got me thinking about the importance of trusting the messenger. More specifically, it got me thinking about the message of the Gospel that every Christian (not just the preacher) has been entrusted with. In this day of political correctness and cultural relativism, the temptation to preach a “watered down” version of the gospel can be very strong. When we preach a gospel of love and peace only and neglect the equally important wrath and judgment of God, we convey an inaccurate Gospel message.
The other night my husband and I listened to a preacher. He reminded his audience that Jesus did not condemn the woman caught in the act of adultery. God, he argued, sent Jesus to “save the world not condemn the world.” This is true. However, this is only half the story. This preacher conveniently neglected to add that Jesus also told the woman to“Go now and leave your life of sin.” (Read John 8:1-11 to see how this beautiful story unfolds.) The Gospel of Jesus Christ, if it is to be preached faithfully, must include repentance from sin.
When we compromise the truth of the Gospel for the purpose of being accepted an unholy presumption takes place. Thomas Wilson, an English Puritan Preacher put it best:“To pretend to preach the truth without offending carnal men, is to pretend to be able to do what Jesus Christ could not do.”
Lord, give us the grace to be trustworthy messengers.
“A wicked messenger falls into trouble, but a trustworthy envoy brings healing.” (Proverbs 13:17)