By Rosetta Thomas
We are living in a dispensation where the standards of Christianity has been grossly polluted; thus making it easy for believers to fall prey to the wiles of the devil. It must be noted that one of the main reasons for this deterioration is the fact that over the years; several Christian leaders have failed to preach the whole counsel of God; which has ultimately resulted in an un-balanced gospel. There is however an urgent plea for the church to get back to basics and to really focus on the things that matter; so that this error can be corrected.
In Acts 20:27 – 30, Paul in his farewell message stated:
26 Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men. 27 For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God. 28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. 29 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. 30 Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.
By logical deduction; we can conclude from the passage that failure to preach the whole counsel of God has serious repercussions such as :
1. The preacher being guilty of the blood/sins of persons to whom they are entrusted to minister (Acts 20: 26-27).
2. Lack of Spiritual food (Acts 20:28).
3. Open doors to spiritual attack (Acts 20: 29-30)
With this in mind; one will be forced to ask: What is the Whole Counsel of God?
In answering this question, we will consider a real world scenario.
If one should only consume a meal of protein or carbohydrate; they would realize that they will suffer some form of deficiency in key nutrients which are required for the body to function normally and at optimum levels; particularly because that would be an unbalanced diet.
This concept is similar to what happens in the spiritual world. For instance; you may find a Church group that only emphasizes evangelism and soul winning. While this is good, it is not the best as there is also a need for new believers to be nurtured and taught in the way of the Lord so they can grow and have a personal relationship with Him. Another church group may place emphasis on the End-Times and the Second Coming but this group may fail to win souls for the kingdom which is also very bad. Still, another group of people may only want to focus on prosperity and seed sowing yet they never seek to prepare believers for the second coming of the Lord or to emphasize the importance of living a victorious Christian life. In essence; the gospel as we know it today is greatly out of balance; thus resulting in several believers suffering from spiritual anorexia; which gives rise to critical problems three of which are highlighted below:
1. Lack of the fear of God
When Churches major in minor and minor in what should be the major; one will find that believers will no longer fear the Lord as they are supposed to.
It is the fear of the Lord that enables one to hold their integrity during times of temptation and challenges. In fact, the Bible tells us that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of Wisdom.
Having said that, we must be mindful of the fact that the “whole duty of man is to fear God and to keep His commandments because God shall bring every work into judgment with every secret thing whether it be good or evil” (Eccl. 12:12-13)
2. The Presence of Dead Works
Doing the work of the Lord with a wrong agenda amounts to dead works and this is directly associated with the fact that when unbalanced doctrine is preached and practised; one will do the work of the Lord only out of duty and not necessarily out of complete obedience to His will. For example; if you only pay your tithes just so you can get financial breakthrough; you are only practicising dead works and in fact it would be better to keep your money because the Lord will not honour that tithes. Similarly; if you are doing alms just so you can be seen; or just so you can post it on social media for others to hold you in high esteem; you are only practising dead works. We must be mindful that all of our works will be tried with fire and those done with wrong motives or agenda will be destroyed (1 Corinthians 3:13).
3. Little concern for the things that touches the Heart of God
One of the effects of an unbalanced gospel is the fact that one will have little concerns for the things such as Fasting, Prayer and soul winning which really touches the core of God’s heart. No longer do we go into the highways and byways to seek the lost because the burden for soul has been replaced with the burden for material wealth. While there is nothing wrong with wealth; we need to understand that our priorities are misplaced because the purpose of wealth for a believer is for the advancement of the kingdom of God. Additionally, we no longer call solemn assemblies or have personal time of fasting.
In his book, Why Revival Tarries, the late Leonard Ravenhill had this to say: “In this end time the rockaby-baby attitude of many conference preachers is a tragedy. The cry should be “Blow the trumpet in Zion, sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly . . . ; let the priests, the ministers of the Lord, weep!’’ (Joel 2:15– 17).” Indeed, we need to be more concerned with the things that God is passionate about so that we will eventually have a balanced Christian life.
How to Strive for a Balanced Christian Life
I would like to highlight the following points as to how we can strive for a balanced Christianity life:
1. Leaders must strive to walk in the Spirit.
It is by walking in the Spirit that we will be empowered to resist the desire to fulfil the lust of the flesh; which essentially is what inspires us to preach a partial gospel or a gospel that only focus on physical needs.
2. Having a Personal Relationship with the Lord.
The truth is that it is only when we have a personal relationship with God will we be able to see things from God’s perspective and do His work His way. I was recently challenged by a minster when he said the secret to the success of his ministry is due to the fact that for the past 36 years; he spends 3 hours per day in the Presence of the Lord before he attends to anyone or anything. We need to strive towards building a solid relationship with the Lord because that is our only source of survival especially in these perilous times.
3. Be mindful of the eternal consequences of our actions.
There are eternal consequences for everything and the more we understand that; it will be the more we will see the need to walk in the fear and knowledge of God. Every minister will not only give an account of their life to the Lord but also give an account of how they lead the flock. The Bible tells us in Jeremiah 23:1-2:
1 Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! saith the Lord. 2 Therefore thus saith the Lord God of Israel against the pastors that feed my people; Ye have scattered my flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them: behold, I will visit upon you the evil of your doings, saith the Lord.
We must therefore ensure that we are not leading God’s people astray by preaching a partial gospel because indeed; everything we do in this life; whether good or bad; echoes into eternity.
4. Spending time in the Word of God
Our mantra should be to search the scriptures, and there has never been a time that we need to do so like now. With so many false practices in Christendom; we run the risk of being blown away with the wind of various doctrines. The surest ways to understand; preach and teach the whole counsel of God is spending time in; and understanding the Word.
In conclusion; I’d like to highlight the fact that there is an urgent need for us to go back to basics and revisit our priorities so that we can correct the spiritual pollution that has infested our churches. We can only do this by preaching, teaching and admonishing believers with the whole council of God. Let us all endeavour to do God’s work in God’s way that we will reap our eternal reward in the kingdom of God as well as to avert all repercussions for not doing such; because a half gospel is no gospel at all.