By Elizabeth Prata
Our own limited spheres may seem calm and fine, but it’s a false calm. The world is baking soda. Once we step into the world and speak truth- whether at work or to unsaved family or in public- we’re vinegar (not the honey of the Gospel that can only be appreciated after salvation). What happens when vinegar is sprinkled on baking soda? It bubbles, foams, makes a frothy storm.
Vinegar to the world is “There’s only two genders”. Vinegar is “Transgenderism is sin”. Vinegar is “Women are biblically unqualified to preach”. Oh! Watch the foaming and the bubbling in anger when THAT vinegar truth bomb is poured onto the baking soda!
We as believers do not go around purposely stirring up the baking soda of the world, but it is a truism that speaking truth to a heretical world will stir it up. Some people avoid saying the truthful things because they fear man, or they’re tired and don’t want to deal with the fallout, or they ‘need’ the job, and so on. Being winsome and pleasant is wonderful, but if you are getting pushback because you’re speaking truth, that is all right too. It’s going to happen. You did nothing wrong and probably did everything right.
When Philip asked the Ethiopian Eunuch if he understood what he was reading, Philip received a courteous and open reply. Sometimes that happens. When Paul told the Ephesians the truth of God, they beat him almost to death. That happens sometimes too. It’s not that you’re doing something wrong if you never receive an open and calm reply. When Paul shared with the group of women at Philippi, Lydia listened and converted. But you notice it wasn’t because of persuasion or artfulness or winsomeness that Lydia converted. The Lord is the Lord of Salvation. It was He who opened her heart to receive the Good News. (Acts 16:14b).
We just don’t know who is one of the elect. We simply need to keep speaking truth to a lost and dying world. Sometimes people listen attentively. Sometimes they gnash their teeth and revile us. Sometimes they simply laugh and go their way.
Charles Spurgeon is said to have printed more words in English than anyone ever. In print he published some eighteen million words. His sermons sold over fifty-six million copies in nearly forty languages in his own lifetime, and that steady pace continues today. Today, there is available more material written by Spurgeon than by any other Christian author, living or dead. He is said to have preached to more than 10Million people.
Charles Spurgeon said,
If God would have painted a yellow stripe on the backs of the elect I would go around lifting shirts. But since He didn’t I must preach “whosoever will” and when “whatsoever” believes I know that he is one of the elect.Charles Spurgeon
And so we continue to be the vinegar whose truth stirs up the world’s baking soda. But out of that foamy stir, emerges Spurgeons, and Bunyans, and Warfields, and MacArthurs, and Riccardis. And Joes and Sallys and Petes and Janes who turn around and preach and teach and bring ever more people into the fold. Vinegar poured on a wound of sin will sting at first. Then it turns to the sweetest honey when one believes in Jesus. Sweeter, even:
The fear of Yahweh is clean, enduring forever; The judgments of Yahweh are true; they are righteous altogether. 10They are more desirable than gold, even more than much fine gold; Sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb. (Psalm 19:9-10 LSB)
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