WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
JUNE 01, 2022
TOPIC: FAITHFULLY PREACH THE TRUTH
BY T. O. BANSO
“Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching” (2 Timothy 4:2 New King James Version).
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. “Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful” (1 Corinthians 4:2 New King James Version). 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 minister of God must hold fast to the faithful word as he had been taught (Titus 1:9a). He should also be able to, by sound doctrine, exhort and convict those who contradict (verse 9b).
Paul charged Timothy, “Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching” (2 Timothy 4:2 New King James Version). 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 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 said, “For we are not, as so many, peddling the word of God; but as of sincerity, but as from God, we speak in the sight of God in Christ” (2 Corinthians 2:17 New King James Version).
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 did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty” (2 Peter 1:16 New King James Version).
He must avoid speculative doctrines and heretical teachings, which false teachers are known for. “But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber” (2 Peter 2:1-2 New King James Version).
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, “For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock” (Acts 20:29 New King James Version). 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: “Likewise also these dreamers defile the flesh, reject authority, and speak evil of dignitaries” (New King James Version). The Amplified Bible says, “Nevertheless in the same way, these dreamers [who are dreaming that God will not punish them] also defile the body, and reject [legitimate] authority, and revile and mock angelic majesties.” 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 a prophet, must not prophesy lies to people for the purpose of getting money from them, 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, “Let her alone; for her soul is in deep distress, and the LORD has hidden it from me, and has not told me” (2 Kings 4:27 New King James Version). 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, “By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber” (2 Peter 2:3 New King James Version).
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 that 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 God raised Him on 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 a palm tree and grow like a 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. Holy Spirit, help me to remain a true minister of God and not be corrupted. Empower me to preach not to make money but to save souls. I shall preach God’s message with sincerity and Christ’s authority in Jesus’ name. By the power of the Holy Spirit, I shall contend earnestly for the faith which was once and for all delivered to the saints.
(For over 800 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit: www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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