“Philip went down to the city of Samaria and proclaimed to them the Christ” (Acts 8:5)
Are you preaching Christ? It sounds like an unnecessary question. Most preachers would respond, “Of course. What else is there to preach?” That would have surely been the response of Philip in Acts 8 and Stephen in Acts 7. The Apostle Paul would have echoed Philip’s sentiments. In fact, he did when he wrote to the church in Corinth, “We preach Christ…” (1 Cor. 1:23). Unfortunately, it seems many have progressed in our day beyond Stephen, Paul, and Philip. Today many so-called preachers have found the gospel insufficient and have added to its simplicity and are now pawning off weak but popular substitutes. To name a few:
Prosperity Preaching. No doubt Paul would have been appalled by the health and wealth, name-it and claim-it doctrines so popular today. Stephen wasn’t murdered because he told people God wanted them living the lives of the rich and famous (Acts 7:51-53). Hebrews 11 commends to us those Christians who “experienced mockings and scourgings, yes, also chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were tempted, they were put to death with the sword; they went about in sheepskins, in goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, ill-treated” (Heb. 11:36-37). It was these of whom the world was not worthy. Preaching Christ calls people away from the love of things in this world and to genuine love for Christ (1 Jn. 2:15).
Self-esteem Preaching. It is more and more popular not to preach about sin, but to encourage people to see themselves better than they are. It is believed that most people’s problem is that they have a low view of themselves. If they would only get a better self-image, they would live victoriously in this world. Yet to read the Bible is to see that it is sin, not low self-esteem, which is working death in me (Rom. 7:13). It is not low self-esteem that has brought death to everyone because everyone has low self-esteem; it is sin (Rom. 5:12). Sin is not overcome by self-esteem. It is overcome by Christ-esteem. As the Bible says “For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake” (2Cor. 4:3).
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SOURCE: The Front Porch