1 For yourselves, brethren, know our entrance in unto you, that it was not in vain:
2 But even after that we had suffered before, and were shamefully entreated, as ye know, at Philippi, we were bold in our God to speak unto you the gospel of God with much contention.
3 For our exhortation was not of deceit, nor of uncleanness, nor in guile:
4 But 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 trieth our hearts.
5 For neither at any time used we flattering words, as ye know, nor a cloke of covetousness; God is witness:
6 Nor of men sought we glory, neither of you, nor yet of others, when we might have been burdensome, as the apostles of Christ.
7 But we were gentle among you, even as a nurse cherisheth her children:
8 So being affectionately desirous of you, we were willing to have imparted unto you, not the gospel of God only, but also our own souls, because ye were dear unto us.
-1 Thessalonians 2: 1-8
God has entrusted us with the gospel. What a duty and what a responsibility! As Christians, how are we honouring the trust that has been placed on us?
Are we even aware of our duty?
The reality that many Christians are (thankfully) waking up to today is that the need to preach the Gospel has never been greater as it has been today. With heightened fears around the world, from terrorism, disease, hunger, financial instability, political uncertainty and global warming, the world is desperate for the message of Christ.
The world is desperate for the Man who said do not fear for I have overcome the world. So let us commit to communicating Christ to those in our sphere of influence.
Verse 5 of this chapter helps us with our method. Too many people unfortunately have been introduced to Christ using unsavoury methods and suspicious ideas, but we are not to stoop to this level. Paul, one of the greatest evangelists in the Bible did not rely on such practices either. He didn’t use flattering words or a cloak of covetousness.
How may times have you heard someone (usually a well meaning Christian) say to a non-believer:
“If you become a Christian, God will give you wealth/health/a husband/a wife/children/insert good thing here.”
Similarly, how many times have you heard a preacher say:
“If you want healing/a partner/children/financial growth/success at work/success in life, sow a seed of X amount.
Well that is just plain wrong. God is not a slot machine. You do not insert coins continuously in the hopes of one day striking it rich. In the same vein, you do not pull a lever, believing that the signs will line up in your favour and you will hit the right combination. This is not three armed bandit.
As true as the blessing may be, that is not how salvation works. We do not come to Christ for a better life – we come to Christ for a better eternity, and the sooner the Church remembers this, the sooner we can continue to win souls for the Kingdom.