SGBC Modesto

Warnings Are Rarely Well Received

April 13, 2024 by

William Heinrich

When the Old Testament prophets warned the people they often were scorned and even put in prison or killed. To warn is not a popular road and may well be a persecuted one.

Paul, a New Testament prophet, tells young Pastor Titus that some must be rebuked sharply that they may be sound in the faith. Today, as then, to do that is to receive scorn. Being sound in the faith (true teaching of God’s Word) is simply not as important as living and let live. People will say it’s none of his business or he is a hater. Paul writes to the church at Colossae, telling them to “preach Christ and warn every man in all wisdom that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.” To this end, he also labored.

In Ephesians 4 , we are told to speak the truth in love in order that we may not be tossed to and fro by false teachings. However, I have found warning, be it by love or not, is rarely received very well. Many today, in my profession, have chosen to have a “positive” ministry. This allows them to put everything in a positive way and everyone leaves lifted and satisfied. He receives no scorn or persecution and those under his message wish to return next week. This is especially successful in our time when so much is made of a low self image. Messages that are sharp or filled with warning often bring guilt to the hearers and scorn to the preachers. Yet, God’s Word is clear: the preacher must warn even if the people scorn. There must first be guilt if there is to be repentance or change. To label it a low self image or to blame the preacher may be but another excuse not to change.

We can cling to things because we have been taught it is okay; but we must examine all we believe by the one authority God has given us: His revelation of the Bible.