WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
JUNE 24, 2020
TOPIC: FAITHFULLY PREACH THE TRUTH
BY T. O. BANSO
“Preach the word of God. Be persistent, whether the time is favorable or not. Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with good teaching” (2 Timothy 4:2 New Living Translation).
Every Christian is called to preach the gospel – go into the world and preach the gospel (Mark 16:15). And only the truth should be preached.
Faithfulness is a key requirement for success in any endeavour. “Now, a person who is put in charge as a manager must be faithful” (1 Corinthians 4:2 New Living Translation). This is particularly important for those whose major calling is the preaching and teaching of the Word of God.
Paul said in 2 Corinthians 6:7a, “We have faithfully preached the truth” (New Living Translation). A minster of God must “have a strong and steadfast belief in the trustworthy message he was taught” (Titus 1:9a New Living Translation). He should also be able to “encourage others with right teaching and show those who oppose it where they are wrong” (verse 9b New Living Translation).
Paul charged Timothy, “Preach the word of God. Be persistent, whether the time is favorable or not. Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with good teaching” (2 Timothy 4:2 New Living Translation). The gospel is too important to be preached only when it is convenient.
The Bible says the gospel is the power of God unto salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek (Romans 1:16). That means people will go to hell if the gospel doesn’t reach them, hence the urgency.
A true minister of God does not peddle (sell) or traffic in the Word of God. He doesn’t preach the gospel just to make money. Paul says, “You see, we are not like those hucksters — and there are many of them — who preach just to make money. We preach God’s message with sincerity and with Christ’s authority. And we know that the God who sent us is watching us” (2 Corinthians 2:17 New Living Translation).
Money should not be the motivation for going into the ministry of preaching the Word. The focus should be souls, souls and souls! It should not be gold, gold and gold!
Furthermore, the preaching of a true minister of God must be consistent with sound doctrines. “But as for you, speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine” (Titus 2:1 New King James Version). It should not be based on cunningly devised fables – clever stories. “For we were not making up clever stories when we told you about the power of our Lord Jesus Christ and his coming again” (2 Peter 1:16 New Living Translation).
He must avoid speculative doctrines and heretical teachings, which are associated with false teachers. “But there were also false prophets in Israel, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will cleverly teach their destructive heresies about God and even turn against their Master who bought them. Theirs will be a swift and terrible end. Many will follow their evil teaching and shameful immorality. And because of them, Christ and his true way will be slandered” (2 Peter 2:1-2 New Living Translation).
False teachers deny the truths, which are consistent with the wholesome teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ, and are the foundation for a godly life (1 Timothy 6:3). False teachers are eager to win people’s favour for their selfish benefit (Galatians 4:17).
False teachers are like vicious wolves. Paul warned, “I know full well that false teachers, like vicious wolves, will come in among you after I leave, not sparing the flock” (Acts 20:29 New Living Translation). Wolves are carnivorous animals, related to the jackals and domestic dogs, that are reputed for having “keen intelligence, skilled hunting, and highly organized social structure.” Carnivores are flesh eaters.
Paul qualified the wolves – vicious wolves. Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary says, “Wolves seem particularly cruel because they seek out the weak, old, and defenceless as victims.” It adds, “The flow of blood incites them to rip and tear even more with their powerful jaws.” It also notes that in many Bible references, wolves represent ruthless enemies. Jesus said in Matthew 7:15 to beware of false prophets, who come in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. Such are the false teachers that Paul identified. And we already have some of them in the body of Christ.
The King James Bible calls these people we have read in Acts 20:29 grievous wolves. The Bible in Basic English refers to them as evil wolves. The wolves Paul referred to were not animals but human beings. They are already here and their mission is to enter the church, tear the church and do damage to the flock; they will not treat them leniently.
Jude 8 tells us something more about false teachers. They “claim authority from their dreams, live immoral lives, defy authority, and scoff at the power of the glorious ones” (New Living Translation). A true minister of God won’t do these.
A true minister of God won’t engage in false teaching. He’ll remain committed to sound doctrine and ensure that he is not tossed around by every wind of doctrine (Ephesians 4:14).
Paul told Timothy, “Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you” (1 Timothy 4:16 New King James Version). The New Living Translation renders it thus: “Keep a close watch on yourself and on your teaching. Stay true to what is right, and God will save you and those who hear you” (1 Timothy 4:16).
Jesus said, “For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect” (Matthew 24:24 New King James Version). They are already here, and they appear to be doing a good job for their master, Satan! Be sure you’re not one of them. Faithfully preach the truth.
A true minister of God, called into the office of prophet, must not prophesy lies to people for the purpose of getting money from them, or for ego-boosting, etc. He must stay true to God and his calling. He must say only what God has told him.
Elisha told Gehazi, concerning the woman from Shunem, who was grieving over the death of her only son, “Leave her alone. Something is troubling her deeply, and the LORD has not told me what it is” (2 Kings 4:27 New Living Translation). That was a true prophet of God. He admitted he didn’t know when he didn’t know. He didn’t fabricate a revelation just to be respected as a prophet!
Faithfully preach the truth. A true servant of God does not join the bandwagon of false prophets and false teachers, but “contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3 New King James Version). The Greek word for the phrase “contend earnestly for” is epagonizomai, meaning to struggle for, fight hard for, contend for.
The Bible in Basic English renders the scripture as “to go on fighting strongly for the faith which has been given to the saints once and for ever.” The Twentieth Century New Testament says, “to fight in defense of the Faith that has once for all been entrusted to the keeping of Christ’s People.”
Faithfully preach the truth. A true minister of God does not adulterate or corrupt the Word of God. Young’s Literal Translation renders 2 Corinthians 2:17 thus: “For we are not as the many, adulterating the word of God, but as of sincerity–but as of God; in the presence of God, in Christ we do speak.”
He does not exploit the people with deceptive words. Does that describe you? Are you a genuine minister of God or a counterfeit? Are you a true servant of God or a fraud? Peter said of the false teachers, “In their greed they will make up clever lies to get hold of your money. But God condemned them long ago, and their destruction is on the way” (2 Peter 2:3 New Living Translation).
Did you see that? God condemned them long ago and their destruction is on the way! May you not be one of them, and may such persons repent before their destruction. Faithfully preach the truth.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible believing and Bible teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The LORD be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: I shall faithfully preach the truth in Jesus’ name. I shall remain a true minister of God and not be corrupted in Jesus’ name. I shall preach not just to make money, but for the salvation of souls. I shall preach God’s message with sincerity and with Christ’s authority in Jesus’ name. By the power of the Holy spirit, I shall contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.
(For over 300 in-depth and powerful messages by T.O. Banso, visit: www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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