Put In Trust With The Gospel
I am about to give you a truth that applies equally to every preacher behind every pulpit (myself included) and it is this; A pastors message will be equal to the measure of those things that he holds within his heart. In other words, if a preachers message consists of “self-help” then that’s where his trust is – in “self.” If he preaches messages that focus on “wealth” and “money” then that’s where his heart is – in “things.” But fill our church pulpits with preachers who fear nothing but sin and desire nothing but God and it will shake the very gates of hell off their hinges! Any preaching that is not in perfect alignment and harmony with the Word of God should be loathed, detested, and effectively removed because it does nothing in leading a person to a saving relationship with Jesus Christ. The genuine untainted Gospel message of Jesus Christ is the only acceptable foundation for sanctification.
What is it that people across the world today are most in need of? Is it fame, prestige, or more "things?" NO! People need Jesus and the CROSS. We need to be redeemed from our sin -not entertained or placated with words of how good we are and how deserving everyone is of the best things in life. Not a single one of those work toward the saving of a mans soul but they do work 'against' it. All preaching must come from the vantage point of the Cross because within all sound Biblical preaching there must exist true and deep conviction of sin. The central message that flows throughout the entirety of the Bible is one of mans dire need to repent and be forgiven of his sins so that he may receive eternal life. The new birth does not “precede” but "follows" conviction of sin. If there is no trace of conviction of sin in every message from the pulpit then that pulpit is not preaching a saving Gospel of salvation through Christ, and as Paul said, “woe is unto me if I Preach not the Gospel." We cannot receive justification without first being aware of our condemnation, and the only way to be set free from the condemnation of sin is through Jesus Christ, by repenting, and by being immersed in the saving power of His Atoning Blood by which then comes Justification.
Repentance of sin is mans greatest need but what is repentance exactly? Repentance is “a change of mind.” It is a decision made within the heart to go in a different direction, and sound uncorrupted teaching of God’s Word is necessary in order to lead one to that point of repentance. A person will never truly repent until he or she first knows, accepts, and admits the sin in their life. Prosperity gospel, self-help gospel, they do nothing to bring a man to the point of acknowledging the sin in his life. Despite the belief of many modernist preachers that to preach to a man the worst about himself will hinder his conversion it is actually the exact opposite that is true. The real impediment to mans conversion is the absence of conviction of sin. It is a persons acknowledgment and acceptance of their complete inability of “self” that leads them to recognize that what they truly need is a new nature, a nature found and provided only by Jesus Christ. The first link between your soul and a saving relationship with God is not your goodness but your badness, not your merit but your misery, not your riches but your need. The truth is that unless people realize they have a sin problem they will not come to Christ for a solution. The preacher (the Bible says) is an overseer of the gospel and absolutely must hold fast and remain faithful to a message that is in accordance with the Word and teachings of God. He must exhort a message based entirely on sound Biblical doctrine so that he may refute those who contradict it. (Titus 1:9) “As we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, which tries our hearts“ (1 Thessalonians 2:4).
- Mark Shutts