Good News For Youth (GNFY) published under the oversight of the Alkire Rd Church of Christ elders and posted by permission of the editor.
If I please God in my preaching and teaching, it matters not how men may view or regard the teaching. God is pleased, he is the judge. The only guide I have to follow is the Bible. What did Jesus say about truth and error? Read Matthew 23:13-39. In no less than 13 verses, Jesus rebukes in very strong language those who do not obey His will. Didnít he know people would be offended? Yes, He did! (Matthew 15:10-14; John 6:59-61)
How did Godís prophets and preachers through the centuries deal with error? When I do as they did, then I will be acceptable with God. Notice these scriptures: "Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and show my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins" (Isaiah 58:1). What kind of preaching did Jonah and Jeremiah do (Jonah 3:4; Jeremiah 7)? Pay careful attention to the preaching in the book of Acts. We are to "earnestly contend for the faith" (Jude 3).
People tend to think that God
How do you "contend for the faith" without exposing and exposing error? When Paul entered a city and preached, trouble followed. The truth disturbs people who love darkness (I Thessalonians 5:4-5). Truth and error are mortal enemies. They cannot and will not exist together without conflict and controversy! Satan will go to any length to keep error from being exposed! He hates the truth!
Ephesians 5:11 says, "And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them". Itís impossible to "preach the truth and leave others alone". We are commanded to "reprove" all that is error. Reprove means to "convict, rebuke, expose".
Some says itís "unloving" to expose error. Is a father "unloving" when he rebukes his child for playing in the street? Not at all! Itís love that motivates him to expose and correct the childís wrong action. Was John the Baptist wrong for calling the scribes and Pharisees "vipers" in Matthew 3:7-10? If so, then Jesus was too (Matthew 12:34)!
Somehow we tend to smooth it over and make it not seem as bad as it is. Beloved, if this is our idea, we need to do more serious study of the Bible. Where has God EVER condemned anyone for exposing, rebuking, reproving and admonishing error? Letís see that passage. Waiting . . .
-Ė Garland M. Robinson, October 2001 ---