[b]A Tale of Two Preachers[/b]
A friend of mine once pointed out that we are supposed to be peace-makers, not peace-keepers. I have thoughts on that for quite some time now and have come to more deeply realize the difference between the two.
A peace keeper seeks to make sure that there is peace between him and other men. He wants to be loved and spoken well of by all men.
A peace maker seeks to make sure that there is peace between God and other men. He wants God to be loved and spoken well of by all men.
A peace keeper outwardly says he loves people.
A peace maker outwardly shows that he loves people.
A peace keeper gives false peace.
A peace maker gives true peace.
A peace keeper is motivated by the fear of man.
A peace maker is motivated by the fear of God.
A peace keeper pleases man
A peace maker pleases God.
In seeking to be a peace keeper, we fail to be a peace maker. Man has set himself up against His creator and we are called to reconcile the world back to Him through Jesus Christ. However with this great calling comes a great cost and we will experience the same rejection that the Lord Jesus Christ experienced. Should we be accepted by the world that rejected Christ? Or in the words of an old hymn "is this vile world a friend of grace, to help me on to God".
A peace keeper will tell people everything that they want to hear. They will speak ONLY on the blessing and love of God. But will never talk about sin, repentance, holiness, or the other aspects of God like His anger and His wrath. "They are of the world. Therefore they speak as the world, and the world hears them." 1 John 4:5. However a peace maker will speak those things which are necessary for bringing man back into a right relationship with God.
A peace keeper, also termed in the bible as a false teacher, is loved by the multitudes. They have many followers and deceive many. Everyone always has nothing but nice things to say about them. "Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets." Luke 6:26. However a peace maker is kicked out of the synagogues and attempts are made on his life, because he calls men to reform their lives by repenting of their sins, because without repentance there is no peace with God.
A peace keeper is much like the false prophets in the book of Jeremiah. The false prophets told the rebellious nation that they didnt need to turn back to God, because nothing but good times was ahead for them. These false prophets told the rebellious nation that God was pleased with them and smiling upon them. False teachers and false prophets only tell you what you want to hear, that which is pleasing and smooth. They said peace, peace! When there is no peace ( Jer. 8:11) They give a false comfort of peace, and outwardly appear to care for men, but inwardly are truly only caring for themselves. Much like those who only say to sinners God loves you, God loves you (which is true) but fail to talk about repentance, and for that reason they strengthen the hands that sinners have on their sins, because they feel that they are acceptable to God even while they are in their sins. A false teacher is always politically correct, and a true preacher is always prophetically correct. Jeremiahs message was not "peace, peace", he said himself I shouted, violence and plunder and called them all to repent lest they be taken captive into Babylon for their sins. ( Jer 20:8). This is much like those who shout today repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand lest sinners be taken captive entirely by their sins to hell. And they receive the same welcome Jeremiah received, everyone mocks me. (Jer. 20:7). But it was Jeremiah, not the false prophets, who truly cared and loved the people. Unfortunately nobody listened to Jeremiah and he saw no converts. But praises be to God that we do see converts today!
So here is the point of it all. The world is abiding under the wrath and anger of a holy God; we have the solution that can bring them back into a right standing and right relationship with God, which is Jesus Christ if they turn from all their sin. So here is the deal guys, Go into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
PS. I was thinking about holiness and had this thought which I wanted to share:
I have heard people say "I am just a sinner saved by grace" and after thinking about it I am not sure that I entirely agree. I would say, if indeed you are a Christian, that you were a sinner saved by grace, but now you should be a Saint empowered by grace! That is the will of God that you go from being conquered by sin, to being a more then a conqueror. If the Law is the strength of sin (1Co 15:56), then grace should be the strength of righteousness.