We Must Declare The Whole Counsel Of God
By Ron Boatwright
Teaching and preaching Godís word of truth is very important. Because of it or the lack of it, oneís eternal destiny is determined. We are to "Buy the truth and sell it not" (Proverbs 23:23). Let no one deprive you of the truth. Jesus says, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God" (Luke 4:4). Our preaching and teaching must be balanced to include all of Godís word. Paul told the Ephesian elders, "I am innocent of the blood of all men. For I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God" (Acts 20:26-27). In preaching and teaching Godís word, we must never shun any of it. If one does, he will have the blood of lost souls on his hands. The Lord will hold him responsible.
God in speaking to Ezekiel says, "When I say to the wicked, you shall surely die, and you give him no warning, nor speak 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 your hand. Yet if you warn the wicked, and he does not turn from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity, but you have delivered your soul" (Ezekiel 3:18-19). We must always be determined to stand up for the truth. We must never shun to fully proclaim any of Godís word. If we do, others will be lost in their iniquity, and we will be held accountable and we could also lose our own souls. This is serious!
As one swears in court "to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth", we today must do the same in teaching Godís word. God in "His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness" (2 Peter 1:3). God has given us everything we need to know so we can be pleasing to Him. Jesus says, "Teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you" (Matthew 28:20). Jesus wants all of His word taught and observed, and nothing to be left out.
"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work" (2 Timothy 3:16-17). It takes all of Godís word to make us complete. If God did not want us to teach and obey certain portions of His word, He would not have given it to us.
Why do people refuse to declare the whole counsel of God? Why do we have indistinctive preaching and teaching today, which would be readily accepted in any denominational church? It is because they want to be popular and "politically correct". Jesus says, "Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for so did their fathers to the false prophets" (Luke 6:26). Is it because they donít to make waves or rock the boat? Is it they donít want to hurt someoneís feelings? Are they afraid? Are they not convicted and committed to faithfully teaching Godís word? Or is it they donít really care if those they are teaching are eternally lost? If one does truly care, he will teach the whole counsel of God. There is really no difference in one shunning to teach the whole counsel of God than in one teaching false doctrine. Both will cause people to be lost and the one responsible will be held accountable for his teaching or lack of teaching.
Worldly and sinful influence has a way of altering how one thinks. Our society is becoming more materialistic and less spiritual. Many in the Lordís church are moving toward liberalism and are ashamed of what God says in the Bible. We must never be ashamed to teach any part of Godís word. Jesus says, "For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in His glory of His Father with the holy angels" (Mark 8:38). If the Lord is ashamed of us, then most likely we are going to be lost.
In shunning to teach and preach the whole counsel of God, many no longer teach what God says about: the oneness of the church, denominationalism, the role of women in the church, instrumental music in worship, marriage divorce & remarriage, adultery, dancing, drinking alcohol, and many other unpopular subjects.
In our teaching and preaching we must boldly stand up and refute all error. We must ask God as Peter and John did, after having been arrested and threatened for teaching the truth, to "enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness" (Acts 4:29). We must "contend earnestly for the faith" (Jude 3).
Elders, preachers, and teachers are all responsible for declaring the whole counsel of God. Elders are ultimately charged to spiritually "feed the church" (Acts 20:28), "for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give an account" (Hebrews 13:17). Elders will give an account to the Lord on the Day of Judgment for what they did or failed to do.
Preachers are charged with proclaiming the full and complete will of God. Paul told Titus to "Speak these things, exhort, and rebuke with all authority" (Titus 2:15). Preachers are to "Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, and exhort with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine" (2 Timothy 4:2-3). All of Godís word is to be preached when people want to hear it and when they donít want to hear it.
Bible class teachers must insure they faithfully teach all of Godís word to their students, "which is able to save your souls" (James 1:21). We must not alter the truth to suit ourselves and others. We must "not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall you diminish ought from it" (Deuteronomy 4:2). When one shuns to declare the whole counsel of God, he is diminishing ought from it and is disobeying God. If a preacher or teacher holds back the truth because someone will not like it, he is not qualified to preach or teach God's word. We must boldly declare the whole counsel of God, so we can be pleasing to Him and go to Heaven with those whom we have faithfully taught.