Can I as a Preacher ever truly preach the gospel without ever mentioning sin? There are aspects of the gospel message that aren’t very popular, and certain truths we don’t enjoy sharing or hearing. But I have to say it is absolutely impossible to share the gospel without mentioning sin. It is true that the gospel is good news, but it is only good news because its the only cure for our sinful condition.
If we avoid the subject of sin as Preachers we will be merely preaching a self improvement program, teaching people to become a better you. A couple of years ago, someone gave me the book, the secret. In this book it says that I can visualize stuff I want and bring it into existence. The laws of attraction, if I just be positive, and speak positive things and visualize them it would attract what I want my way. These techniques are being used today in many popular churches, but with scriptures thrown on them.
In the field of apologetics, it is easy to point out error, but it is quite another thing to seek to rescue someone from error. Surely the latter ought to be our focus and goal. The Bible says the servant of the Lord must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, apt to teach, forbearing, correcting with gentleness. If perhaps God may grant repentance? 2 Timothy 2:24-26. There are two kinds of errors that can be committed in the realm of Apologetics, doctrinal errors and motivational errors. The doctrinal aspect is obvious, someone is preaching error, and that error is pointed out by the Apologist. But the second one is also an error, the motivation in the person who is pointing out the error.
I believe wholeheartedly that one of the responsibilities of a Pastor is to point out error, and to safe guard the flock from false doctrine, but one needs to be careful on how this is done. Great patience, forbearance, and gentleness, with respect is required, if we are going to see fruit in this field. I think Jude sums it up really well, in his writing, in Jude verse 3. And I feel his struggle! H e said he was very eager to write to them about their common salvation, but he felt it necessary to appeal to them to contend earnestly for the faith. definitely an aspect of ministry I don’t enjoy, but I have to say, some enjoy this field a little to much! But there is a way to point out error, as we have already seen in the 2 Timothy passage.
Yet regardless of how its pointed out, error is still error and should not be overlooked! You may rest assured, where sin is never preached, repentance wont be preached either. Can sin and repentance be dropped from the gospel message and still be the gospel? In case you didn’t realize, this is a rhetorical question. The doctrine of sin and the doctrine of repentance are vital doctrines, they are essential to the gospel. Leave them out and you merely have a self improvement style message.
Emotion alone ought not to be the deciding, final factor, but we ought to hold all preaching to the standard of Gods word, a high standard but a true standard nevertheless!