Some time around the late 1950’s the Rev. Billy Graham was at a crossroads of faith. He was being challenged by his contemporaries concerning the authority of the Word of God. Many were questioning whether one could preach that the whole bible was inspired by God. Rev. Graham struggled with that question for a short period in his life but decided to take the Bible as the inspired Word of God by faith. Thank God that he did! Millions of people around the world for the last 60 years or so are better because of the stance he took. The whole Book is inspired by God and we must take a stand for the integrity of the scriptures. If the preacher doesn’t believe that the entire Word of God is relevant for people today, then how can we expect the people to do so?
Today, I speculate that many preachers are struggling with a similar “crisis” that Billy Graham faced so many years ago. How do we preach what we believe to be the truth without being labeled as some radical (fill in the blank)? Unfortunately, we can’t preach the truth of the Word of God and not offend people. It’s simply going to happen when unregenerate minded people hear the Truth that contradicts the truths they hold dear. What is even more unfortunate is the fact that many preachers try to minister the Word in a way that doesn’t offend. More times than not this waters down the purity of the message and has led to a universalism mindset. If there is no absolute truth, then we all are left to ourselves to determine what we believe to be truth. That is a very scary thought, but it is where many people live at today. The Word of God is absolute truth and that needs to be settled in the heart of the preacher before he or she ever shares a sermon.
Now, I don’t believe that we should intentionally set out to ruffle feathers of those who live contrary to the Word that we preach. For, but by the Grace of God we are who we are (1 Cor. 15:10). How people live their lives should never dictate what we share or don’t share. We must continue to trust in God to lead us in our ministering to a lost and dying world. The truth and the necessity of the Gospel is the same for the heterosexual, law abiding, church going man as it is for the homosexual, or the drug addict, or the child molester. We put certain emphasis on sins as if some are worse than others. Now, I believe that any crime against a child is appalling and the perpetrators need to pay for their crimes. However, with that being said let’s stop viewing the child molester as if he or she is worse than you or I. Let us not forget that the thing about sin is that we all have it! “All have sinned and fell short of the glory of God” Rom. 3:23. “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not is us” 1 John 1:8. Even those who appear to be above it and have it under control do not. Our need for a Savior is abundantly clear when we look at our inability in our own strength to be right and stay right with God. The Good News shares the truth with people that God loved them enough to send Jesus to live, die, and rise from the dead for them so that the penalty of their sins would not send them to hell, but Christ provided eternal communion with the Father and one another in Heaven!! The power of the Gospel produces change in us so that we begin to experience Heaven invading earth through our relationship with Christ. Let’s love people enough to share the truth with no compromise!