One of the things that has disappeared with the outbreak of Covid 19 is the offering of free samples. Have you noticed that they are not passing out teriyaki chicken outside the Chinese restaurant at the food court? Gone are the free samples at Sam’s Club and missing are the free cheese bites at the farmer’s markets. I wonder when those delightful free samples will return.
When Paul preached in Ephesus, he did not just cut up bite sized pieces of the truth of God and offer samples to the people he met in the gospel ministry. He reminded the elders of the church that when he was with them, he kept back nothing but instead gave them all of the truth of God. He reminded them in Acts 20:27: “For I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God”. Paul gave them the whole truth, not just samples. It seems to me that many ministries today are offering small bites of truth. Those samples contain only the pleasant teachings of the scriptures. Some people might not like some of the biblical teachings, so we just limit the offerings to only the tasty tidbits. I agree that some of the Bible’s teachings may be hard to understand and difficult to swallow. However, we do not have the privilege of slicing and dicing the truth to the liking of our consumers. We must be teaching our people a “whole counsel of God” type of ministry. Some of the Bible’s teaching does rub us the wrong way. We do not like to hear the fact that we are sinners and come short of God’s standard of righteousness. We do not like to hear that our good works will never be enough to please our God. We do not like to hear about the various activities that the Bible calls sin. We definitely do not like to hear about eternal punishment. But we must teach it and believe it anyway.
I look forward to the day when those free samples return. However, we as preachers and churches entrusted with the gospel of Jesus Christ dare not offer our people anything, save the “whole counsel of God”.