A Different Message for a Different Time?
I recently ran into a good Christian friend and before long we were engaged in an interesting conversation. The thought that the message that is ministered today can’t be the same as what people like Paul ministered. At first I thought he was talking about the style in which I agreed….But as he and I spoke, he made it plain that he was talking about the message. I have to tell you with no hesitation, “that I don’t agree!”
I believe the gospel that should be ministered by us today is the same message people like Paul, Peter, James and John committed their lives to minister. It was Paul who solemnly warned the church not to tamper with the gospel in any way; He said, “I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed Galatians 1:6-8.” Church history is filled with examples of those who thought they could mold the message for their own time—but ended up corrupting the truth and themselves.
If church history teaches us anything, it is that different times and different societies do not require different messages. those who minister anything other than the unadulterated gospel forfeit the power of God in their witness.
The gospel is to be ministered persuasively, earnestly, and clearly. There certainly is a crucial need for witnesses for Christ with unique intellectual and creative gifts to apply their communication skills to the careful presentation of the gospel. I am not saying it is wrong to want to be fresh, resourceful, persuasive, and interesting. We all, including me, want to be all of that when it comes to being a witness for Christ. Matter of fact, any true witness for Christ will naturally display those attribute. But we should always keep the focus on the message, not the style. We must make the gospel our one message to the world. After all, its is the gospel–not human creativity, not “user-friendliness,” not clever techniques or modern methods, that is the power of God unto salvation to all who believe.
Pastor Charlie Dial