I love Luke. Luke starts his gospel by saying I am writing this so you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught. And that is the heart of the matter, we don’t do church because it’s convenient, we don’t do the Gospel because it makes life more bearable, we do it because it is truth. It is certainty. And perhaps that is one point preachers need to emphasise more in these times of intense holy navel gazing and seeming triumph of relativity of all things.
We are grateful for all that God does for us, we are thankful that He is loving, gracious, kind, forgiving, magnificent, benevolent and faithful. That is a wonderful thing. But we do not believe in Him only so long as He causes us to benefit from those things. No, we believe in Him because He is. It so happens that He is the rewarder of those who seek Him. It‘s a win-win situation. The gospel is truth, whether or not it makes me happy, whether or not it is convenient for me. And sometimes it would seem as if it makes me, that is my unregenerate flesh that still dominates my emotions less than happy. And that is where knowledge of truth makes the difference.
In our generation preachers are raising mercenary, selfish, spoilt overgrown babies who are looking for a cosmic sugar daddy to ease the pain of life and make them happy. But, it’s never enough; never enough to make us devoted followers. If we miss a daily dose, we renegotiate our allegiance. Self seeking, opinionated Christians make their way from church to church seeking a preacher to condone their foolishness and sin at the expense of the gospel, and our pews are filled with carnality because the sermon is all about me, me, me, tickle me and make me happy. And it is the fault of the preachers.
When we begin to preach Christ as truth, not as convenience; when we raise Christians who believe in Christ, who recognize Him as Lord, Saviour and Master, in their consciousness and subconscious, who understand that it is a privilege to belong to Him, that He deserves our wholehearted allegiance and submission not because He has given us a miserable BMW but because He has, at great cost to Himself, rescued our previously wretched souls from eternal destruction and reconciled us to God, we will have less falling away, less carnality, less lukewarmness and less backsliding.
Scripture is truth, we are Christians because Christ is truth, His words are truth, His life is truth. Irrespective of the way in which we come to Christ, through sudden revelation like Peter or some intervention of God in your favour that finally opens your previously blind eyes to the reality of Christ, we must all come to the point where we acknowledge deep within the ‘certainty’ of these things. Consequently our faith becomes non-negotiable and our commitment to the words and ways of Jesus becomes priority over every other consideration. Mockery becomes irrelevant, disdain insignificant, because having found the pearl of great price, all else is as worthless trinkets.