Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Nothing But The Truth

Used to be that people were sworn in before testifying. The phrase I remember the witness being asked was:
Do you solemnly swear that you will tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
Years ago a Bible was used. While still used to swear in the President of the United States, a Bible is no longer necessary, nor is God, for testimony. The phrase now ends: "under pains and penalties of perjury", apparently a more frightening threat.

Luke give us what Paul said about his own preaching.

For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God. (Acts 20:27 KJV)

Matthew Henry’s commentary on this and surrounding verses gives a portrait for today’s preachers:
He was a faithful preacher. He not only preached that which was profitable, but he preached every thing that he thought might be profitable, and kept back nothing, though the preaching of it might either cost him more pains or be disobliging to some and expose him to their ill-will. He declined not preaching whatever he thought might be profitable, though it was not fashionable, nor to some acceptable. He did not keep back reproofs, when they were necessary and would be profitable, for fear of offending; nor did he keep back the preaching of the cross, though he knew it was to the Jews a stumbling-block and to the Greeks foolishness
Preaching hasn’t changed, though some preachers will not preach all the counsel of God. That’s because they do not wish to be vilified, as many pastors are, for preaching on every verse in the Bible, not the pretty buffet desserts that non-Christians prefer. There is a great deal of fear of offending.

Christ spoke of this as He discussed the last days with His disciples:

And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. (Matthew 24:10 KJV)

We’re not the the first to cause people to feel offended simply by hearing our joy in Jesus’ message. They feel excluded, though so many of the verses tell us ‘whosoever’, no exclusion of anyone willing to accept God’s love and follow His message. Wherein lies the offense? These verse explain it quite well:

But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it; Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended. (Matthew 13:20-21 KJV)

Peter heard Christ, that last night with them, that people will be offended because of Him. Peter was offended by that!

Peter answered and said unto him, Though all men shall be offended because of thee, yet will I never be offended. (Matthew 26:33 KJV)

Yet, he was, that very night, and denied Christ three times. How many times are we offended by what is written in God’s word?  How many times do we ignore, even deny, that it was written for us? Are we able to accept all the counsel of God?

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Thank you for taking time to read and comment on the blog. Comments should take into consideration this verse: Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. (Philippians 4:8 KJV)