By Chris Thomas
This is part 4 of a series, links to the first three articles in the series can be found at the bottom of this post.
Continued from point 2 – It must be consistent
Not only must our beliefs be consistent with the total word of God but we must also be consistent to the point that we refuse to compromise. Too much of what we see in our churches do not lead us into a deeper relationship with Christ, instead they present a feel good, let’s just all get along message that ignores the heart of the matter. Sin is ignored, God has been presented as a grandfatherly figure, and the power of the cross has been diminished. We are called to be a people who are holy and the reason why we must be holy is two-fold:
1) Because God is holy (Leviticus 11:44; I Peter 1:15,16)
2) Because we are commanded to love God with everything we are, our total being and the outflow of that love for God leads us to a life that pleases Him (Deuteronomy 6:5; Matthew 22:36).
There are too many preachers, who preach a soft gospel or a sensational gospel, but God did not command us to do either, He commanded us to preach the STRAIGHT GOSPEL. We ignore the challenge of Paul to his protégé Timothy which is still valid today: I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. (I Timothy 4:1,2) But in the name of popularity and prosperity we find compromising and contradictions in connection with the Word of God.
We must be consistent. We must remember we must not change. In Acts 20 as Paul is speaking with the people of Ephesus, he revealed the difficulties he faced in being a minister of the Gospel in verse 19 – serving the Lord with all humility and with tears and with trials which came upon me through the plots of the Jews. In verse 20, we read how this affected him – how I did not shrink from declaring to you anything that was profitable, and teaching you publicly and from house to house. Did you see how it affected him? It didn’t! He did not allow the circumstances to allow him to change his message or cause him to go into hiding. He kept doing the responsibility given to him. In today’s America as we see the Biblical foundations of our founding fathers crumbling around us, we must continue to strive in our responsibility without compromise and ensure that our message be consistent with the Word of God (all of it) whether they like it or not (in season, out of season). Charles Colson said, “”I don’t think the job of the church is to make people happy. I think it’s to make them holy.” When we have reached the point of compromise and our message becomes inconsistent with the Word of God then we are failing in our responsibility. Do you know the great commission as found in Matthew 28? As I close out this point, let us view the great commission:
And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” – (Matthew 28:18-20)
Do you read it through? This is our responsibility. Making disciples. How do we make disciples? Let’s look at the last words of Christ as recorded by Luke, “and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.” – (Luke 24:46). Now let’s view Mark’s last recorded words of Jesus – And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. (Mark 16:15) We must be consistent with the Word of God. We must not change to be more PC, we must remain committed to being a BC people, especially if we want to make a true spiritual impact. Now let’s look at oft forgotten point found in the great commission mentioned before from Matthew 28 – teaching them to observe ALL that I commanded you. (emphasis mine). There is the command to be consistent from Jesus himself. Not just parts of it, but all of it.
We are not diplomats but prophets, and our message is not a compromise but an ultimatum. – A.W. Tozer