Don’t Hide the GospelBro. David Chancellor
9/20/2009 6:00 PM
2 Corinthians 4:1-7
Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not; But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully, but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.
Our lives should have an influence on those around us. "But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost." The church could exist and the world (in theory) not know they exist. We don’t want the gospel to be hidden to the lost. We want them to know about God. It’s important that their eyes be turned to God. We’ve seen the glorious gospel of God.
"But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us." (v. 7) They saw something back then that they wanted other people to see. They wanted to tell people about it. Paul wanted the Jews to be enthused about what he’d found.
But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words: For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke: The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come: And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved. Ye men of Israel, hear these word; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.
There was something that caught their attention that was great and wonderful, more than just a doctrine or teaching. They stood on the dividing line of time. They were right in the middle of things. They knew the one that was the expectation of the ages. They weren’t indifferent. They saw something in Christ that couldn’t be defeated.
God’s people should still have a dream, something to look forward to and be enthused about. Jesus rose from the dead and had given them the promise of the Father. Paul wanted them to know the promise of the Father had come. There’s a lost world around us that needs what God has provided.
They faced opposition, but they believed the world needed it. People today need to see that they need what God will provide. If we try to sell ourselves to the world, they won’t be inspired, but if they can see God, they can find in him the dream of their lives.
2 Corinthians 10:3-6
For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.
There is a battle to be fought, but it isn’t with people. It is a battle in the mind. People get captured by various things, things that captivate the mind that people give themselves to. For example, there was a time when people were captivated by communism. People fought and died for something that time has proven not to work. Today we’re confronted by some who would turn the world into a worldwide caliphate – a muslim state. It wouldn’t work because it doesn’t meet people’s needs. If people want a better world, they should turn to Jesus. Jesus is the one who is needed. Because they have shut Jesus out, the world is a mess. You can’t win the battle by blowing people up. We win by captivating the imagination of people with what God can do for them. We need to keep focused on God so that we can share it with others. We have what the world needs and we need to lift him up for others to see.
Bring into captivity anything that would draw you away from God. Be more and more focused on God. It’s good to be connected to something that can make a real difference – Jesus. Keep seeing the things that could be through Christ. We want people to see that the world can be different when they have Jesus.
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
"For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." This is what we’re up against. We’re up against things that work on us. You’re pressured to do certain things to turn aside from Christ. God has allowed these pressures to be there. It is important that you be able to stand. To lead someone else to Christ, you need to know where you’re at and where you’re going. Your stand is very important to be able to lead someone to God through Christ. All of us need to be leaders. We should only follow Jesus. To be a leader, you have to be able to stand. The pressures will come and the devil would like you to follow along. Your life won’t have an impact on the world if you’re just a follower. Our stand is with Jesus Christ. Be committed to stay with God even when it feels like you’re not making a difference. Don’t let anything take it from you. Make a difference in the world by holding firm. Jesus is worth too much to give up.
There have been things for every generation to face. Nothing compares to what we’ve found in Jesus. When you’ve done all you know to do, just stand with Jesus. Don’t throw the dream away. Be someone who shares what can make a difference with a world that needs to change. Show Jesus to the world. Share him with others. Let God touch others through you.