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Mt. Vernon, Indiana 47620
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Many of the inspired writers of the Bible penned messages of woe. This was especially true of those prophets who lived during distressing and turbulent times. When Israel had plunged into the quagmire of amoral living, faithful prophets risked their necks in an effort to stem the tide of digression and compromise. True prophets were often killed because of their love for truth (Matthew 23:37). Those were woeful days for faithful men.
ENEMIES OF THE GOSPEL
Our Lord would sometimes intersperse His preaching with an entire series of “woes” (Matthew 23). As a result of his pronouncements, Jesus appeared much too negative for the upper scum of his day; consequently He was soon nailed to the cross.
The peerless apostle to the Gentiles was persecuted severely because his love for truth exceeded that of love for his own life. Paul had to escape from Damascus in order to avoid being killed (Acts 9:23). He was expelled from Antioch in Pisidia (Acts 13:50). At Iconium he was persecuted (Acts 14:1-
THE ABANDONMENT OF CHRIST BY SOME
Why did Paul not succumb to the spirit of compromise and thus circumvent the inconvenience and persecution which was heaped upon him? Did he not face those who desired to have their ears scratched? Were there none who wanted the preacher to please them? The inspired apostle answered the foregoing questions by saying, “For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel” (I Corinthians 9:16).
Paul did not run around whining, “Woe is me.” I have known brethren who have acted foolishly and subsequently spend much time suffering the pangs of remorse. Preachers do not need to play the part of fools. When difficulties arise, problems develop and troubles occur, some tender-
Whereas some weak and discouraged brethren refuse to keep rank, we are positively certain that there are a great host of faithful brethren who are ready to declare, "For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea woe is unto me if I preach not...” God’s preachers look upon their work as a necessity rather than a nuisance. Faithful preachers are concerned about the woes of God rather than being a “Wonder Boy” in the community.
We love, admire and esteem those brethren who humbly proclaim, “Yea, woe is me if I preach not the gospel.” The very thing Jesus commanded us to preach is that which some are determined not to preach (Mark 16:15-
PUT A FIRM HAND UPON THE GOSPEL PLOW!
We do not know if Judas Iscariot ever preached, but if he did, he retired at an early age. He was a poor excuse to be going to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Judas was a traitor, but he was equally as fine a fellow as the modern traitors who throw an occasional kiss in the direction of my Lord. Compromise, fear, apologies, weakness and fermented ignorance of the Bible sounds forth from far too many pulpits today. A man is a fool who forgets or denies that the power is in the word (Romans 1:16; Hebrews 4:12). Chaff is a poor substitute for the Christ of the Cross.
“...Woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel.” This related to one’s deep desire to please God. He promises an eternal mansion for our faithfulness. What a difficult task for some people to decide! Judas got thirty pieces of silver and apparently a broken neck for trying to please others, whereas Paul received severe persecution here, but he also received a home in heaven-
We really wonder if it has actually occurred to many brethren that God will condemn us for being unstable, unsound, and refusing to suffer as good soldiers for Christ. We can make a strong case for being sound in the faith. Can any man make any sort of sound argument for being unsound and compromising with the word of God?
“...If I preach not the gospel...WOE IS ME!”
W. Wayne Coats, Bible Light, May-