Philippians chapter one verse 15 says, “It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill”.
The Apostle Paul was not naïve. He knew that there were people who preached the Gospel of Christ with the intent of causing him more trouble while he was imprisoned. However, Paul also knew that some preached the Gospel to further his work while he was in chains. Whatever the motive behind Christ’s Gospel being preached the result was the same…the Word of God was being spread throughout the land.
Paul did not care who was preaching the Gospel nor did he care why they were preaching it. Paul only cared that the truth of the Gospel was being preached. I think Paul believed that God would use His Word for His purpose regardless of the individual motive behind the message. Paul knew that what was being preached was still the Word of God.
As with the entire Bible, this verse holds true today. Some individuals are highly motivated to quote Scripture out of pure rivalry; perhaps to shame or belittle an individual or a group. Others genuinely share the Gospel out of love for the Lord and a desire to reach the unsaved.
I used to get frustrated when I would see people use the Word of God as a platform of attack against others. But I am less frustrated as I remember Philippians 1:15. I remember that it is STILL the Word of God being spoken and our God will use it all for His glory. God does not become frustrated or lose sleep over the motives of humans. The Word of God will always prevail.
Let me encourage you to trust as Paul did. Regardless of the agenda behind the preaching of the Gospel it is still God’s Word. I pray that you believe in God’s ability to use what is said for the advancement of His kingdom and that you avoid the temptation to retaliate. Only God knows the hearts of man. He alone knows who truly belong to the family of Christ. Instead of “arguing” with those who preach the Gospel with impure motives consider praying for them. Pray that God’s Word would prevail, and that salvation would be found by those who hear the Gospel (regardless of agenda).
“Heavenly Father may Your Word prevail, and Your will be done. When the Gospel is preached, whether by honest or dishonest people, may Your Truth be heard. Use all of it for Your glory, Lord. In Jesus Name we pray. Amen.”
Kami R. Lobner