SPEAKING THE TRUTH

by Kevin V. Rutherford

 

All manner of pressure is being placed on preachers by the devil.There is the pressure of fear.Fear of upsetting someone with the truth.Perhaps even fear of losing oneís job because the elders or members donít love the truth. There is the pressure of political correctness.Political correctness rebukes those who would be distinct and exclusive in their preaching.Peer pressure from fellow preachers who have compromised may also be a tool of Satan.In addition there is the pressure of changing oneís beliefs and preaching in order to suit loved ones who may want to have their sin justified and excused.

Paul didnít want Timothy giving in to any such pressure.The apostle gave the young evangelist a solemn charge (2 Timothy 4:1-5).Paul said, ďPreach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, and exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine...ĒNo matter what people want to hear, preachers must give them the truth.No matter how people may react to the Gospel, that Gospel must not be compromised.Also, all of those who compromise the truth should be rebuked by the Gospel preacher.Evangelists should resist all pressures placed upon them to compromise.

Paul was a good example of what he taught.The false teachers who had invaded the church at Galatia would love for Paul to have compromised with them, but Paul refused.Concerning those in error Paul said, ďTO whom we did not yield submission even for an hour, that the truth of the gospel might continue with you (Galatians 2:5).ĒFor his boldness in preaching the truth and opposing error, Paul made some enemies (Galatians 4:16). Whether making enemies or friends, the truth must be preached.

Paul was given many opportunities to weaken his preaching to suit others, but he refused to do so.Rather than cowering away from the truth in shame because of the pressures placed upon faithful preachers, Paul proclaimed the saving Gospel without shame.He said, ďSo as much as is in me, I am ready to preach the gospel to you who are in Rome also. For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek (Romans1:15, 16).Ē

When Paul preached for the congregation in the city of Ephesus he kept back nothing from them that they needed (Acts 20:20).Some preachers will hold back for fear of offending someone.Paul didnít.Also Paul said of his work in Ephesus, ďTherefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all men. For I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God (Acts 20:26, 27).ĒHe didnít hide any of it.He didnít just pick those things which would not offend.He didnít steer clear of that which might be controversial.He preached the truth.

Let Gospel preachers not fear the enemies of truth.May Gospel preachers have the courage to stand against all the pressures placed upon them by the Devil to compromise.Let true evangelists stand firm for the truth and never give in to error.May they do it all in love (Ephesians 4:15).