Preach the Full Council of the Lord

In his farewell speech to the elders of the congregation in Ephesus, Paul noted that he had proclaimed the full council of the Lord to them. Because he had been diligent to teach them all things which Christ would have him to he concluded that their blood was not on his hands.

Acts 20:26 Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men. 27 For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.

What does he mean “I am pure from the blood of all men?”

God had made Ezekiel to be a watchman over Israel. What were the consequences of his neglecting to warn them?

Ezek 3:17 Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me. 18 When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.

Ezekiel had quite a responsibility before him. He would be held accountable for performing the charge God had given him, to warn any in Israel whose paths were leading them to their own condemnation. If he did not warn them, then God would hold Ezekiel responsible for neglecting his duty: their blood would be upon his own head.

Paul, having been charged by the Lord, Jesus Christ, to go to preach the gospel to the Gentiles, had executed this charge to them at Ephesus. Following the principle from Ezekiel, Paul would not be held accountable for any who would apostatize from the truth there.

Timothy was given the charge to do the work of an evangelist.

2 Tim 4:5 But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.

This entailed the responsibility to preach the word of God, the soul-saving message of the gospel; and not only to preach, but preach it when it is popular, preach it when it is not popular, when people will not want to hear it; and to use the word of God to bring folks back in line with the will of God by reproving them, rebuking them, and exhorting them.

2 Tim 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.

Note how he was to do this: with all longsuffering, being patient as he taught them. Also with doctrine: the teaching of the word: not his own inventions and philosophies, but only the word of God.

Titus was instructed to preach with all authority.

Titus 2:15 These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.

God’s word carries with it the authority which expects all men to hear it, to believe it, and to obey it. So it is as any evangelist (who preaches only the word of God). It is not their own authority upon which they stand, but upon God’s authority.

What are the consequences of a preacher neglecting his charge? Men’s souls will be lost to everlasting torment in hell. Also, that evangelist who has not faithfully fulfilled his obligation to preach the entire council of the Lord will be held accountable for not executing his charge to preach the gospel, not adding nor taking away from that saving message.

So all gospel preachers are given this charge to preach only the gospel of Christ in its entirety. No topic is to be left out. When such preaching bears fruit such that a congregation is well taught, and balanced in its daily Christian walk, an evangelist may have concerns that preaching on certain topics is not necessary because the congregation has no sin in that area. When certain issues are preached from the pulpit and taught in the classes, will some get the idea that there is a problem among them on that issue? Perhaps, but that is not the point. Preachers are exhorted to endeavor to teach all things so that a congregation will “have these things always in remembrance” (2 Pet. 1:15). They are to bring to remembrance to keep the doctrine fresh on our minds, to warn the youth and novices in the faith, and clear oneself from the blood of all men.

Curtis A. Little – Royse City, TX
Curtis A. Little
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