Have you ever played the board game RISK? It is a fun game of world domination. I still play the online version with a few friends. Although blind chance plays a big factor in success or failure (a player rolls dice to attack and defend, with the high roll victorious), strategy is also involved. When a player builds a strong foundation with the bulk of his armies in one country … and then sees that strong foundation decimated and breached by an attacking opponent, the end of his life on the board is near. You can’t last in Risk if your foundation is destroyed.
In Psalm 11, David asks an important question, “If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?” God had given His Old Testament people the firm foundation of His Word. He told them how to live—what to do and not to do—so they could enjoy His love and blessings as they walked by faith and not by sight. If the firm foundation of God’s perfect Word were to be decimated with compromise, false teaching, moral corruption, violence, greed, fraud, and social injustice, how would things continue for the people of God? When 2 + 2 no longer equals 4, what do the math teachers do? When evil becomes good and good becomes evil, all that is left is “woe” (see Isaiah 5:20).
PROTECT THE FOUNDATIONS
I believe one of the key jobs of a preacher is to faithfully uphold the truth of God’s Word. Paul told Timothy, “Preach the word … reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction” (2 Timothy 4:2). A preacher is to clearly and unequivocally tell the people what God has said. Notice that in his threefold duty of reproving, rebuking, and exhorting, two of those three aspects are negative in nature, yet they are so necessary to keep people from straying off course … to keep people fully aware of what is right and what is wrong.
When I was a kid, I often played sandlot football with my friends. One of the first things we did before we kicked off was to set the boundaries for the game. There had to be clearly defined boundary markers in order for us to play.
The God-established boundary markers of right and wrong are being erased before our eyes. The foundations of our faith are being assaulted and attacked at every turn. Because many pulpits are silent concerning the moral foundations of Scripture, multitudes of people erroneously see truth speech as hate speech. Tragically, they think if you point them to God’s out of bounds marker, you are a judgmental bigot who should be vilified, castigated, and silenced. In some ways, this is nothing new. Jesus said, “Men loved the darkness rather than the light; for their deeds were evil” (John 3:19). The importance of this cannot be overemphasized. Unless one sees sin for what it really is, that one will never come to Christ in repentance and faith.
THE QUESTION FOR THE PREACHER
The question for every preacher is simple: Do I want to be welcomed by the world or faithful to the Lord? It is impossible to do both. Jesus was love personified, and yet the world hated Him and nailed Him to a tree.
May those of us who name the name of Christ be found faithful to lift up the matchless name of Jesus and speak the truth in love, regardless of the consequences.
Pastor Jeff Schreve,
From His Heart Ministries
P.S. I would love to hear your thought on this. Direct questions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr. Jeff Schreve believes that no matter how badly you may have messed up in life, God still loves you and has a wonderful plan just for you. From His Heart provides real truth, love and hope on over 700 radio stations each day, in 149 countries each week on TV, and is always available online. Pastor Jeff takes no income from this ministry. All donations go to furthering the broadcast outreach. As a listener/viewer supported ministry, we thank you for joining with us to help speak the truth in love to a lost and hurting world. Go to www.fromhisheart.org for more information.
Jesus of Nazareth: He is the most famous and controversial person of all-time. Sadly, many people don't know who He really is and what He really came to do. Multitudes create a Jesus in their own image to satisfy their own desires. Have you encountered the real Jesus? In this powerful new series, Pastor Jeff Schreve will shine the light on the true identity, character, mission and message of the One called Jesus.