Rejoicing in the Preaching of the Gospel
Phil. 1:15 – 18
I was amazed when I read the papers that a pastor was so rich with a total net worth of $150 million, properties like 4 private jets and homes in the United States and England. Every Sunday, he is hosting three worship services which have a total capacity of 50,000 people. He is also the founder and owner of a high school for the elites, a Publishing House which publishes his books and, a top tertiary school in Nigeria. I came to know also that a pastor has his dog staying in an air conditioned room; he is living in luxury, driving expensive cars, wearing designer clothes, expensive jewelleries, yet complains and keeps asking money for his cash short ministry. Lots of people now preach the gospel, some of them have big congregation, some small, some rich, some very rich, some extremely poor. There are pastors who obviously are just collecting money, but there are pastors who really are honest. The good thing is Christ is still preached and the gospel still spreads.
I. Different Motives in Preaching (Bad motive)- Phil. 1:15 – 16
A. Envy. To envy is to want something which belongs to another person. It is a feeling of disapproval for the success of others. It is a desire to have what someone else has; also it seeks to deprive another person for what they have. Some of the preachers are envious at the influence of Paul. Prov. 14:30 says envy is rottenness of the bones. Envy is synonymous to jealousy but jealousy slightly differs in its meaning. Jealousy is the fear that something which we possess will be taken away by another person.
B. Strife means contest, struggle for victory, quarrel, or war. Strife comes when there is envy, when people try to overtake or outdo the accomplishment of others. James 3:16 For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.
C. Contention here is self-ambition, or self-advancement. Those who want to get ahead of the rest at any cost.
D. In my honest opinion now, some preach because of money, popularity, and power. Take a look around how preachers have manipulated people to give to them their money and possessions. Some pastors even controls the life of their members.
As servants of God we should rejoice at the success of others. This should be the attitude of matured Christians. We should not be threatened or offended by the accomplishment of others. Comparing yourself with others is a sign of immaturity. I’ve seen Pastors “throwing stones” and “biting” each other’s back. If there is professional jealousy in the office, there is also I would say, “Pastoral jealousy”. This is very bad. During Paul’s time, it is already rampant, now, it’s worse. Some preach Christ out of selfish ambition. He works for his own interest, not for the good of others. They would employ unfair means to achieve their motives. Some preachers would even go to the extreme of stealing the “sheep” of other preachers. There is no sincerity in them, for their intention is not pure. They have a good message but they put something impure into it. Again in Paul’s time, these counterfeit preachers do it to “add affliction to my chains” (v. 16). They wanted to hurt Paul who is already in jail.
II. Good Motives
A. Good will (Phil. 1:15) means kindness, in will and in purpose. Some preachers indeed
preach out of the goodness in their heart. Their purpose is just to serve Jesus Christ,
and tell people the truth. Some servants go to places that are remote, sometimes
dangerous to places just to teach people about Christ and His gospel of salvation.
Pure motives, not a trace of financial gain, popularity, comfort, and luxury. Some
even sacrifice the future of their children and their own. Yet they do it. I met
missionary years back when I was still a new Christian. Her name was Hannah a
missionary to one of the mountain tribes in the Philippines called the “Mangyans”.
She was so skinny and she is going back to her country in Switzerland for
medication. She became sick because of just eating “sweet potatoes” the regular
food of the natives. She is leaving but she is coming back. She became so attached to
the natives that she don’t mind what will happen to her physical well-being.
B. Love (Phil. 1:17). The first good motive was good will, the second is love. To win
souls we must have love. Pro. 11:30 says…he that winneth souls is wise. Love must
not only be coming from our lips. It must be put into action. Christ loves a sinner
that’s why he died for them. Paul shares the same love that’s why in 1 Cor. 9:22 he
was telling “To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all
things to all men, that I might by all means save some”. In contrast to the selfish
ambition and jealousy of Paul’s contemporary preachers who are only interested in
their personal advancement, genuine affection stands out. The end result however
in Paul’s point of view is Christ is preached and for that he rejoices.
C. The way we live our lives is one way of preaching. We don’t really have to be
preachers. It is the will of the Lord for us to be soul winners. Someone has said that
the Christian is an open Bible. The more they see us live the more they want to know
and read the Bible.
III. How about those “flawed or inadequate” preachers?
A. One of the problem nowadays is churches ordaining preachers who are willing to
serve but have little knowledge about the Word of God. They have not much
knowledge about Bible Doctrines and theology.
B. While it is true that to preach the Word of God you don’t need Diplomas in theology
because the Lord uses the “base things in the world” (1 Cor. 1:27-29), those ill
equipped pastors have caused lots of misinterpretations and lead others astray.
These pastors are sincere but in some areas they are sincerely and truly wrong.
C. This is very discouraging, however, their erroneous teachings are still mixed with
some truths and most of them still lead others to Christ. For that we can still rejoice
because Christ is preached.
D. False teachers will be held accountable for their errors. Does those people who
preach out of envy, strife and rivalry loves sinners also and really wants them to
know Christ? A question very hard to answer. Are they real or counterfeit? God
There were different motives in preaching the word of God. Sometimes a good act is prompted by a
bad motive. Bad motives cannot be hidden for long. A man who preaches Christ does not necessarily
mean he is saved. Some are even very sincere in what they are doing and what they are preaching.
The Jehovah’s witnesses are very sincere in teaching that Christ is a lesser God, yet they are sincerely
wrong, so is the Church of Christ which teaches that baptism can save. Let’s rejoice if people get
saved and let’s keep working for the master to spread the gospel.