Sometimes we get the opportunity to share God's message on radio interviews like we did this morning. We almost cancelled the interview (which was recorded last week) because it was during the peak of pain and heat that made even talking on the radio and unbearable task.
Bruce offered me the opportunity to re-schedule the interview until I felt better; however, I told him kidding to let us go on as scheduled because I may not be around much longer. Although we both laughed about this, the weakness and pain I was experiencing the evening we recorded the interview was excruciating.
One thing both us discussed before the interview was what Paul spoke of in 2 Corinthians12:9 where he confessed to Jesus that he was plagued by many afflictions. In that verse, we see where Jesus told Paul that My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is perfected in your weakness. Paul responded that he, most gladly, will rather boast about his weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in him.
As I listened to the interview this morning, which I thought went real bad during the taping of the show, because I didn't feel I sounded as coherent and glib as I have been in the past, I was more concerned about a group of scripture that I quoted during the show, concerning a writer who had misused (or rather abused) those verses to enhance his Pre-Tribulation Rapture to Heaven polemic. I knew the verses he used could be found in the book of Ephesians but, as I age, my memory is not as sharp as it used to be.
Nevertheless, I pulled a group of scripture out of the thin air during the interview and used them as an example of what I was sharing with Bruce (hoping no one would notice nor remember) about how the writer had omitted several preceding verses while trying to make his point that the church was a mystery hidden from mankind throughout history. I remember mentioning Ephesians 3:6 through 11. I told Bruce that the writer had only quoted Ephesians 3:9-11 and had omitted three preceding verses, (6, 7 and 8) out of that group and I could not understand why He did this. I told Bruce that as I examined the verses he used, I found out that the ones he omitted not only destroyed his polemic, they completely changed the message the word of God was conveying. I told Bruce I could not understand how any Christian could do such a dastardly deed, knowing full well that to change one jot or one tittle in God's word carries a rather large price. Here's the group of scripture I shared with Bruce and his audience:
6 This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus. 7 I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God's grace given me through the working of his power. 8 Although I am less than the least of all God's people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, 9 and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things. 10 His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, 11 according to his eternal purpose which he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord, (Ephesians 3:6-11).
The writer used only verses 9 through 11 and he stated they prove that the church was a mystery throughout history. However one of the verses (number 6) the writer omitted actually disputed the claim he was making and trying to prove. That one verse 6 actually states that the church is not the mystery but rather the mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus.
I went on to tell Bruce that way too many so-called prophecy writers are guilty of skewing the word of God to justify a Pre-Tribulation to Heaven and Left Behind doctrine that does not exist in the Bible. The ones I shared with him on the air were not only glaring examples of such deviousness, they insult the intelligence of even novice Bible students. Yet, people fall for such nonsense on a daily basis.
However, more than proving a point, for me, the perplexing thing about that portion of the interview was a feeling of guilt that I may also had misquoted scripture to make my point. I guess I could respond to whomever challenged me of misuse of scripture as well, that I misspoke and actually the verse I had intended to use was such and such.
But lo and behold, after I came home later on after doing some chores, I went to the Bible to see exactly what Ephesians 3:6 through 11 contained, and it was exactly what I had shared with Bruce during the interview. I was stunned! Despite my weakness and pain, God brought to remembrance the scripture I wanted to share with Bruce as I made my case!
The point being made here is that it is true what Paul stated in 2 Corinthians 12:9. Which is, that God's power is much more effective when we get our own egos and Bible knowledge smugness out of the way and let Him use us as His vessels to carry forth His message. Obviously, when we are weak and cannot take credit for the work Christ performs through us, He receives the glory we too often heap upon ourselves. Obviously, we can pat ourselves on the back for thinking we are such gifted scholars and know more than the next person, when in reality, if it wasn't for God and the Holy Spirit at work in and through us, we would be nothing but a noisy gongs and clanging cymbals.