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Scripture Reading: 2 Corinthians 2:12-17

Peddling the Gospel?



1.  Adulterating the gospel for gain; Huckster, (to adulterate for gain), 2 Cor. 2:17. Handling God’s word deceitfully, cf. 2 Cor. 4:2.

2.  We are not “hucksters” who water down the gospel for our own gain, Phil. 3:17-19. Disciples commit to living like Master (1 Jno. 2:4-6).

3.  Discuss some modern marketing efforts that are corrupting the gospel, cf. 2 Cor. 11:3-4.



  A.  The Thessalonian Model of Preaching, Acts 17:2-4; 1 Thess. 2:1-13.

    1.  Paul used access to synagogue to preach: Reasoned…persuaded.

    2.  Not with: Error, uncleanness, deceit, pleasing men, flattery, pretext for greed, for the glory of men.

    3.  With: The gospel, pleasing God, gentle, our own lives, worked blamelessly, exhortation, comfort, imploring lives worthy of God.

  B.  Use Our Access to the Lost, to Teach the Lost.

      -Have no right to violate God’s word to do so (Rom. 3:7-8).



  A.  Offer Food, Fun and Frolic, and They Will Come.

    1.  The gospel draws the lost to Christ, Jno. 6:44-45.

      a.  Jesus and apostles did not use carnal tactics, 1 Cor. 2:1-5.

      b.  What about Jesus feeding multitudes? Mk. 6:30-36; Jno. 6:26

    2.  Coffee and donuts, fellowship meals, cafes, banquets, chili suppers, etc. [“If it takes coffee and donuts to draw them; will take hamburgers and steaks to keep them.”]

    3.  Fuquay-Varina c of C: Teen weekends, craft-away weekends, online shop.

  B.  Change the Name and They Will Come.

    1.  Ownership of Christ, Matt. 16:18; Rom. 16:16; 1 Cor. 1:2.

    2.  Illustrations (the Detroit news, March 25, 1999):

      a.  1st Church of God (Evansville, IN) to “Mount Pleasant Church.”

      b.  Nazarene Church (Newburgh, IN) to “Eagle’s Way Church.”

      c.  Oak Hills Church of Christ (San Antonio) to Oak Hills Church.

    3.  Others churches of Christ doing similar things: “The church meets here,” “The Lord’s Church,” “Christians meet here,” etc.

   C.  Touch Their Emotions with Nostalgia and They Will Come.

    1.  Nostalgia: Finding the Way Back to Mayberry - Huntsville, AL.

        -Bible classes based on The Andy Griffith Show.

    2.  Trust Lord, not your heart, Jer. 17:9-10; Prov. 14:12.

   D.  Dramatize It and They Will Come.

    1.  Go preach; Not, go produce dramatic presentations, 2 Tim. 4:2.

    2.  Paul was appointed a preacher, apostle and teacher, Not a performer, 2 Tim. 1:11.

    3.  Preaching makes disciples; Not seeing a play or show, Acts 13:42-44; 14:21-22.

  E.  Don’t Condemn Error and Immorality, and They Will Come.

    1.  Say things like: “We are all broken people desperately in need of God’s grace.” ( cf. Rom. 5:1-2; 6:1-2

    2.  “God will judge…we can’t.” Jno. 7:24

    3.  “We are an accepting church.” (Sin? Error?) 2 Jno. 9-11



  A.  Because it is What People Want (Peoples’ Felt-Needs).

    1.  Give the people what they want, 2 Tim. 4:3-4.

    2.  “People are looking for churches that meet their needs, and they’re finding that at all kinds of churches.”  (Rev. Tom Savage, pastor of Grace Baptist Church, the Detroit news)

    3.  To follow Jesus one must deny self, Lk. 9:23 (Acts 26:9).

  B.  Because of the Misconceptions People have about the Church.

    1.  Water-down the name; Will you water down the truth, too? (Lucado denies baptism is necessary for salvation).

    2.  If not, then you will have to confront the very opposition you intend to prevent by changing the name.

  C.  Because of their Popularity (the bandwagon mentality).

    1.  Everybody is doing it! 1 Sam. 8:5-7 (Refreshments, changing name, praise teams, drama, retreats, etc.)

    2.  Of course, not everybody is doing it, cf. Num. 14:6-10.

  D.  Because “You Can’t Argue with Success,” cf. 1 Sam. 15:22-23.



  A.  “We Are Just being Wise about Spreading the Gospel.” Matt. 10:16

    1.  Wisdom, without authority of Christ, is earthly and vain, Gal. 1:6-9.

    2.  Preaching the gospel is the true wisdom, 1 Cor. 1:21.

  B.  “These Are Just Expediencies (Methods) to Spread the Gospel.”

    1.  Not when they change the force and effect of God’s command.

       -cf. 1 Cor. 10:23 (Must first be authorized).

    2.  Eating donuts is not preaching. (cf. theater productions, language schools, etc.)

  C.  “You are a Traditionalist, an Alarmist, and an Extremist.”

    1.  God-given way is right, and endures the test of time, Jer. 6:16.

    2.  It is right to call for Bible authority, and to oppose every error, Rom. 16:17-18; Jude 3; 1 Jno. 4:1.

    3.  Give Scripture, not name-calling, to support your practice.

  D.  “You Don’t Care for the Lost; You are too Negative and too Condemning.”

    1.  We must be just as positive as Jesus is about truth, and just as negative as He is about error.

    2.  cf. God: Nadab, Abihu, and Uzzah, Lev. 10:1-2; 2 Sam. 6:6-7.

    3.  cf. Jesus: Sadducees, Matt. 22:29. He addressed their error.



1.  We must not peddle the gospel to the highest bidder.

2.  Sincerely, and in God’s sight, we speak in Christ, 2 Cor. 2:17.



By: Joe R. Price

Posted: November 30, 2017