Gaining Heaven’s Applause

Michael Beck

“For if the truth of God hath more abounded through my lie unto his glory; why yet am I also judged as a sinner? And not rather, (as we be slanderously reported, and as some affirm that we say,) Let us do evil, that good may come? whose damnation is just.” (Romans 3:7,8)

Paul was aware of how his message was being twisted by some. He made sure to set the record straight, giving licentious men no cover for their sin. Paul made it clear – he was not preaching: “Let us do evil, that good may come.” The gospel of grace that God entrusted to him did not encourage any to “sin boldly, and believe more boldly still.” To the contrary: “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?” (Rom. 6:1,2)

Every person who calls themselves a minister of God must be careful how their words are being interpreted. God forbid we enjoy the applause of someone who is using our message to justify their evil-doing, or who cheers us on because we “go after” those they hate. We like their support, but are we helping them? For the sake of their souls, Paul was willing to lose the love and backing of those near and dear to him. “Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?” (Gal. 4:16)

Speak the truth in love – not only the truth another likes because it fits their agenda, or goes after those they disagree with, but the truth that would remove the beam from their eye. You have a responsibility to your audience. Care that those listening to you are right with God, not that they applaud you for being right.

True ministers of God watch over souls, as those who must give an account to God. Don’t let the blood of your friends be on your hands. Be willing to lose your cheering section on earth. Gain heaven’s applause.

Michael Beck is a pastor in the Dallas, TX area and the main author on Signpost. Receive a daily devotional he publishes every morning via email.