I get asked a lot of questions. I do my best to give answers … Appropriate, correct, to the best of my knowledge etc… The truth is, I don’t have ALL of the answers. Yet, the questions will continue to come, and I will continue do my best to answer.
I suppose if I could answer one question to the best of my ability and to the best of my knowledge, then I could answer any question the same way , albeit – sometimes that answer would be “I don’t know “.
You see, my job demands me to question everything, to look for the truth in every situation and to examine it to the ultimate standard of truth and then compare and share it as it is proper to.
This often gets me into trouble with people.
It gets me into trouble because many of the societal and cultural push for the acceptance of immorality have inherently a built-in biblical truth that is completely opposed to it. When the answer is given to the best of my ability and from the standard of truth I have used to arrive at this conclusion, it is most often not received with the warmest of welcomes. Following quickly behind my answer are responses that are usually sharp and often used as a weapon would be to insult me, deride and berate me and to ultimately hurt me.
Now a new line of questioning begins as a means to divert me away from the original topic and turn the focus on me and my motives. These questions are filled not only with spite and maliciousness, but they are also loaded with suppositions and assumptions. The problem with the suppositions and assumptions is that others incorrectly place motives about why I do what I do , rather than work from an informed opinion or even better – to allow me to answer their question without jumping to conclusions.
“Why do you preach? – to steal people’s money? To spread your hatred for people who aren’t like you? Because you think you’re better than everyone else?
“No” is all I can usually get out before I’m cut off , but in fact there are many reasons, some more important that others, but all are deciding factors that played out when I considered choosing this life.
The first thought that comes to mind is “why would I choose a life that will bring me such hatred and uncomfortable moments such as these if not for an incredibly good reason? I mean, after all – where is the tolerance FOR me, that everyone is demanding FROM me?
That being said, It might be easier to tell you why I don’t do what I do.
1. I don’t preach for money.
2.I don’t preach to be self-righteous.
3. I don’t preach because I want to prove others wrong.
4. I don’t preach because I hate anyone.
5. I don’t preach to make you feel bad about yourself.
6. I don’t preach to make you feel good about yourself.
7.I don’t preach pretending that I am a Psychologist.
8. I don’t preach for popularity.
9.I don’t preach for praise.
10. I don’t preach pretending to have all the answers.
I preach because God is real. And just as he is real, so is his love, his grace, and his mercy – and ALL of these things have been extended to ALL people. This is completely visible in the sacrifice of Christ on the cross, taking the death that we deserve, so we don’t have to…
It’s just that simple.
Because man chose to sin (Genesis 3) , he separated himself with God because God is Holy and cannot have fellowship with sin.It is completely contrary to everything he is. So from the before the beginning of time, the part of God that is Jesus said, ” I’ll go, I’ll die, and I’ll make a connection possible again.
Love… True love. REAL love – not the selfish gratification of our desires we often attribute to love – but sacrificial love as described in 1 Corinthians 13.
While his love knows no limits – his acceptance, however -DOES. This is probably the primary reason that I preach. I preach to share the love mercy and grace of God through his son, but not so we can continue on in sin – but so we can turn from it in repentance.
2 Corinthians 5:9-11 says “ 9 So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.11 Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade others. But what we are is known to God, and I hope it is known also to your conscience.”
Knowing that the judgment day will come and that it is as real as today is, then knowing the Gospel of Christ and keeping it to myself is not an option. I MUST persuade others as Paul so eloquently states and to not do so will condemn me for being hateful.
Hateful? Yes… IF the Gospel of Christ is in fact “The power of salvation to all who believe” (Romans 1:16) and to die without it means to be eternally lost – THEN HOW COULD IT NOT BE HATEFUL?
How much do you have to hate someone, NOT to share the gospel with them?ITs not just the GOOD news – It is the BEST news , and like Jeremiah in Chapter 20 verse 9, he said “If I say, “I will not mention him, or speak any more in his name,”there is in my heart as it were a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I am weary with holding it in, and I cannot.”
And I will not…
SO – that’s my answer. That is why I preach. And I fully realize that many men do, in fact, preach for the wrong reasons – maybe even some of the ones I listed above – but I know many more that do it for the same reason as I do.
So , extend to us a little of that tolerance demanded from us , and maybe not be so quick to judge us as you are shouting “judge not”, no matter how poorly you are misusing that passage. We are human too, we have families and we have feelings, and BOTH get hurt when we are not extended the same courtesies you expect from us.
We are not your enemy . We actually love you more than you know, but would love an opportunity to share with you the love that someone died to give you.