What Needs to Be Said, Written, or Done?
Those of us who preach and teach the gospel of Christ, have a continuous concern regarding what we can say or do that will further persuade souls to obey the gospel of Christ. We realize the gospel is God’s power to salvation (Romans 1:16), and that we must present no other gospel than that which has been delivered to us (Galatians 1:6 – 9). Further, we realize what we say must be demonstrated with equal allegiance to what we do (Colossians 3:17) else we be rightly accused of being hypocritical.
Further, we endeavor to prove to the Christians who hear us preach and teach this gospel, that each Christian must so conduct their lives as to beautify the gospel of Christ (Philippians 1:27). We encourage Christians (including ourselves) to realize others seeing our good works will glorify God (Matthew 5:16) and that anything less is hypocritical, just as if we would preach or teach a false doctrine. (Galatians 1:5 – 10)
Still, our efforts in speaking or writing this truth, and endeavoring to live it as God demands seemingly isn’t enough for some souls. At least, they are not yet responding to the power of God with the sincerity and genuine repentance we saw in years past. Hearts seem to be harder, minds calloused and interests minimal regarding God and His word and the necessity of preparing for judgment! Why? Is it our preaching or teaching? It most certainly cannot be the gospel itself! It must be something within man!
Paul said, “But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.” (2 Timothy 3:13) We must admit this truth, but no Christian can continually use this as a reason for “ineffectiveness” regarding preaching or teaching God’s truth! God’s truth hasn’t changed! It remains just as powerful, just as truthful as it was when first preached to lost souls. It remains the wisdom of God (1 Corinthians 1:24). We Christians need to preach and teach it as such, especially within the lives we live before the eyes and ears of those surrounding us!
“Society” is not to blame in and of itself, for “society” is “the association and companionship of one’s fellows.” Mankind has been a part of “society” since God created mankind. But hardened hearts and minds do come from evil associations and companionships (1 Corinthians 15:33). This is why God said, “Come ye out from among them and be ye separate … touch not the unclean thing …” (2 Corinthians 6: 15 – 18). But, as Jesus said, “Men love darkness rather than light because their deeds are evil.” (cf. John 3:19) As children of God, we must walk in the light as God is in the light (1 John 1: 5 – 10). Anything less makes us hypocritical. Those who would delight in sin (Romans 1:21 – 32) bolster their obstinance against God and His word when they can identify Christians walking disorderly. Again, it isn’t God’s word that is at fault: but we cannot say the same for those who know the truth, but do not engage it or live it as God demands!
There isn’t anything more powerful than God’s word, and nothing wiser! Therefore, when that gospel lives in us in all wisdom (Colossians 3:16) there is nothing more effective to the saving of souls! It isn’t the preacher: it is the truth he preaches! It isn’t the teacher: it is the truth he teaches! It isn’t the individual Christian: it is the truth he/she lives! Therefore, we must conclude that the “cause” of souls not obeying the gospel is within their hearts/minds! They are unwilling to let it penetrate them and bring them to repentance and obedience! (2 Timothy 4:3-4)
Regrettably, there are Christians who fail to accept this reality, and earnestly believe they are somehow “exempt” from preaching and teaching the gospel via their lives. As long as they have been immersed into Christ for the remission of their sins, they believe it is someone else’s responsibility to bring the lost to Christ. (See Matthew 28: 19 – 20 which teaches the contrary!) By their apathy toward teaching others the truth, they teach the same apathy they live; and yet wonder why souls aren’t obeying the gospel! All these would need to do is honestly examine themselves and they would see the reason! (2 Corinthians 13:5).
Nothing more needs to be spoken or written than that which God has given us! But dear Christians, what we do need is more faithful ones to live this life of truth ordained by God!