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Unapologetically Preach the Gospel

by Stephen Davey

A.W. Tozer spoke of Christians in the harvest field of ministry when he wrote, “We are not diplomats but prophets, and our message is not a compromise but an ultimatum.” 

Like me, you have probably seen the viral video clips of so-called pastors and evangelists who compromise the message of the gospel for their political agenda, or to gain popularity and wealth, or because they fear the repercussions of straying from the “politically correct” themes of the day. 

In Jesus’ message to His 72 followers recorded in Luke 10, He not only gives instructions to the messengers about their mission and their conduct, but he delivers some very detailed and specific directions for the message they are to say. 

The gospel is not just an invitation; it is an ultimatum. 

“But whenever you enter a town and they do not receive you, go into its streets and say, ‘Even the dust of your town that clings to our feet we wipe off against you. Nevertheless know this, that the kingdom of God has come near’” (Luke 10:10-11). 

Jesus’ command here is not to quietly warn the unrepentant person about the consequences of their action, or to whisper a suggestion that they should reconsider. This is a public pronouncement of God’s judgment against the town that rejects the gospel of Jesus Christ. 

This word Jesus used for streets is not a side-street, but a well-traveled, public thoroughfare. To modernize the meaning, Jesus isn’t talking about your quiet neighborhood cul-de-sac, He’s talking about the Interstate. 

This message of judgment will not be popular in our culture today; you will be mischaracterized and maligned when you deliver it. You might be labeled “bigoted” “narrow-minded” “intolerant” or even “unloving.” 

What could be more unloving that knowing someone is speeding toward their imminent, eternal demise and doing nothing to stop them or even warn them? The need is great; time is of the essence; the eternal future of lives is at stake. We must share the gospel, even the unpopular parts, to a world with no other hope or future. 

Jesus continues in verse 12, “I tell you, it will be more bearable on that day for Sodom than for that town (the town that rejects the message)."

Now this would have stunned everyone who heard Jesus’ words. 

Sodom was that infamous town in which sexual deviancy and homosexuality was rampant, until the angels of the Lord rescued Lot and rendered a unique judgment of fire and brimstone against that town (Genesis 19). 

As far as the Jewish people were concerned, no one was more deserving of God’s judgment. 

But Jesus says here that in the final day of judgment, divine judgment will be worse for those who hear the good news of the gospel and reject it than for Sodom. 

As an aside, this verse provides strong evidence that there will be levels of judgment in hell based on sin and in the mind of the Lord, sexual sin isn’t the worst one. In other words, people who lived in Sodom will face lighter judgment than the people sitting in the synagogue every Saturday. The audiences to whom these 72 appointed men will preach face a more severe judgment should they reject the gospel. Why? Because the greater the light, the greater the judgment. 

Someone who clearly hears the gospel, understands it, and then rejects it will face the most severe punishment for their rejection. That’s the judgment Jesus is commanding these men to pronounce; that’s the same ultimatum in our gospel message today. 

The gospel is not about you; it is about God. 

One of the unique elements of the brief mission trip of these 72 men is that Jesus empowered them to perform signs and miracles to authenticate the message they preached. Throughout Israel, they healed the sick, brought sight to the blind, and raised up the paralyzed. 

It would be easy for a passerby to see the commotion, see the miracles taking place, and assume that one of these 72 men was the Messiah, not merely the representative of someone else. That’s why Jesus commands them, “Heal the sick … and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you’” (Luke 10:9). 

These men were going to become the celebrities of the nation— showered with gifts, invited into the homes of the rich and powerful; they would be the talk of the town. So, Jesus effectively tells them, “When people are talking about what you have done, make sure to redirect all that praise back to God.” 

Maybe you are part of a successful ministry, or you are known in your community for your character and faithfulness. Maybe you’ve sparked a revival in your home or town. Satan would love nothing more than for you to take credit for these accomplishments. He’s skillful at using flattery and compliments to sow the seeds of pride in your heart. 

When God gives you success beyond your wildest dreams, make sure He gets all the credit. He alone is worthy of the glory, the honor, and the praise. 

Add a Comment


Charles says:
Have been following you for a long time and have received much knowledge & understanding from your preaching and articles …thank you! However I have been a Christian for 45 yrs and am 79 yrs old and when you mention Jesus’s ambassadors going out and proclaiming a “hard message” I agree but I can’t help but think “ if I could perform miracles, healings, etc. people WILL listen to tough truth but He has not provided that power and very very very few if any listen without those demonstrations.
Vicky says:
I love and agree whole heartedly with your statements.....
"The gospel is not just an invitation; it is an ultimatum."
"The gospel is not about you; it is about God."
Sandra Liberto says:
My husband has been through a lot of suffering after a lung surgery he prayed God would let him die. He said he heard an angel say ( It’s not about you).
The message is still true.
Newsome Tony says:
PTL.....Istsrted a part time job 6 months ago after being retired for (2) years.It is a very hostile and ungodly environment to work in.I actually contemplated quitting and looking for something else.Thanks be to God though some have started to ask questions and one even mentioned about coming to church with me.
Thank you Lord for the opportunity to witness and watch you work.
Jimmy R Cranford says:
Your ministry of worshipping our Lord and savior in spirit and truth from the word of God that glorifies and praises our heavenly Father, as displayed in your article to preach the gospel, reflects the same love and gratitude for Christ that guided Paul to write and preach to his generation as recorded in the New Testament. Preach on Preacher the Word of God! Amen!
Mary says:
Thank you so much for your deep understanding and teaching. I am learning to proclaim who Jesus is more and more , mostly because of his steadfast love as well as your encouraging words. Thankful for pastors who are resolved to teach truth in love!!!!!
Sophronia Walter says:
It breaks my heart that my granddaughter and her mother, my daughter refuse to speak to me because I shared Jesus with my granddaughter's fiance a year ago this Easter. I continue to pray as I realize that my granddaughter and my daughter may not be truly saved, themselves.
Gretchen says:
This is just what I needed! I loved the statement: "It is not about you, it's about God," as life continues to give me difficult trials, especially with my unsaved family! I am trusting and waiting for God to answer my prayers for their Salvation and our reconciliation even though it is hard on my heart because I love them so! I would covet your prayers! THANK YOU SO MUCH!
Timothy Amoroso says:
Matthew 11:28-30 28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

They may gain popularity and increase their bank accounts, but it is not true gain. They have no rest.

May God have mercy upon them.

But we who follow Jesus in His sufferings, do not win in this life. But we gain rest in this life, and in the life to come. For faith, granted to us by God as a free gift, produces godly contentment, which we should not be ashamed of.

1 Timothy 6:6 6 But godliness with contentment is great gain.

Praise the Lord!

We rest assured that Jesus loves us and that we belong to Him, no matter what. Even when we have doubts we do not give up believing this truth because faith believes the truth no matter what. Because God's bare word says so.

Therefore, we love Abba Father, the Lord Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Praise the Lord!
Tim says:
I work as a courier and spend a lot of time behind the wheel. I look forward every day to hearing your message. I agree whole 100% with you. Many in the world including my youngest daughter and her family are living for the world and going to hell as fast as they can
Randy says:
I last shared the gospel last December. I was walking my dog down our greenway and met a young lady. I said Merry Christmas. I thought I would get the same response instead she said I don’t celebrate Christmas. I said to her may I share with you why I celebrate Christmas. She was very receptive. She also said she always wants to know what other people believe. I said to her what do you believe. She said I am a Jehova’s Witness. I proceeded to share the gospel with her and why I celebrate Christmas. When I explained the Trinity to her she looked very confused. I said to her that the one true living God was three in one. God the Father, God the Son(Jesus Christ) and God the Holy Spirit. She said she could not believe in that. By that time she had to leave to go to work. I have since forgotten her name but God hasn’t. I told her I would pray for her and she said thank you. I pray to God to open the eyes and heart of the young lady on the greenway.