Thursday, March 26, 2009

Is Your Gospel Judgmental?

In a world where preachers are rethinking content and style, Peter reminds us:

In {all} this, they are surprised that you do not run with {them} into the same excesses of dissipation, and they malign {you;} but they will give account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. For the gospel has for this purpose been preached even to those who are dead, that though they are judged in the flesh as men, they may live in the spirit according to {the} {will of} God.--1 Peter 4:4-6

In our age, pastors are begging their people to live more like the world. Completely ignoring statements by Jesus, they panic that the world does not seem to like us. Perhaps we need to let our hair down, live a little more loosely and show the world that we are just like them.

But we are not just like them. We are alive in Christ, they are dead in their sin. How can they be called out of sin when we are choosing to participate with them.

I'm not suggesting overly controversial, loveless condemnation of others. We don't need to condemn, they are condemned already. However, when they start to feel the weight of that condemnation, they will more than likely lash out at us first.

How sad, then, when the pastor immediately tries to alleviate that condemnation. He is not helping God along, by recovering the relationship, but is actually outside the will of God.

Whether in the classroom, the workplace or even a pulpit...Preach on! Preach the gospel with love and grace and truth and live according to it. And when people accuse you of being narrow-minded or judgmental, praise God that the message is getting through! And pray for the person, perhaps this is the sign of God calling the person to Himself.


JanAl said...

I really liked the last paragraph.
If I am to be a light in this world, and knowing the truth of God and His word, how can I "live" like the rest of the world?! What makes me different? (Is what I want them to ask)

Tarah said...

Danny, this is off-topic, but I'm looking for an opinion. What Bible would you give a new believer, with hardly any Bible familiarity, who wants to study the Word for the first time. I need to order one for a gal here, and am just uncertain as to what would work the best for her. I personally use ESV right now, but wonder if NIV study Bible would be easier for a new believer? Just not sure what to get....what would you recommend?

danny2 said...


you cannot find a better study bible out there than the esv study bible. bar none, the best out there. (i preach out of the nasb and this study bible alone was almost enough to tempt me to change translations).

personally, i think the esv is just as readable, and where it may not be, the study notes will provide more than enough.

if she's a new believer, i'd have her reading Scripture, but i would also assign her to read the "history of redemption" section in the study bible.

Tarah said...

Good to know, thanks! Now, I want a study Bible too! When I got my small ESV, the study Bible wasn't available yet.

What do you use for discipleship material? Do you generally go through a regular order of study?