Light vs. Darkness
I Am Not Ashamed
These were the words of the Apostle Paul when referring to the Gospel of which he preached. In making this statement, it appears that there was a reproach of shame that went along with the true Gospel. Many refused to go along with it because of this reason, but he stated, 'I am not ashamed.' The Apostle Paul was the most mistreated man in his age, and most of his trouble and conflict came from within the people of which he was a member and the people he worked among. Practically every letter the Apostle Paul wrote; he endeavored to try to clear up his reasons for having to bear these conflicts, and of the distress for Christ's sake that brought about embarrassment.
In the ministry of the Apostle Paul, he bore such titles as being a 'heretic', or one who 'proselytes'. These accusations, and bonds, and afflictions made his own Church people ashamed of him; that which he was not ashamed of...that went along with his gospel was that which the Church folks were ashamed. For this reason hundreds forsook the Apostle Paul and the Bible records that all Asia forsook him; except one family, after his great ministry in Asia (II Timothy1:15-16), "This thou knowest, that all they which are in Asia be turned away from me; of whom are Phygellus and Hermongenes. The Lord gave mercy unto the house of Onesiphorus; for he oft refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain." So, all Asia forsook him, except one family; besides the Corinth church where he had a great revival to establish that church. He was compelled to write his testimony against his will, endeavoring to clear up the minds of the members of the picture that the Corinthian people accepted his explanation.
Now we find again in II Timothy the 4th chapter and the 11th verse that even the ministry forsook him...only Luke remained. A lot of his trouble was brought about in this case by Alexander, the coppersmith, for he opposed the preaching of Paul, and undoubtedly it affected the entire group, for they all left him but Luke. It must have been that Alexander, the coppersmith, was ashamed of the reproach that went along with the words of the preaching of the Apostle Paul, but in spite of this conflict...even though the people never did appear to go side by side with him, yet God delivered him to finish his course...that all the Gentiles might hear the Word of the Lord. We find in the ministry of the Apostle Paul that those that stood with him and by his side, the number was very few. The larger number was ashamed and yet he did a mighty work among them in an effort to make all men see; yet his works meant nothing to them; because of the reproach that he bore to do them.
* Article Written By: The Late Grady R. Kent, St. John II, Chief Bishop of The Church of God, 1957-1964. This sermon was taken from The Vision Speaks, Volume 1: Number 2 : Dated May 1957.
All grammatical and typographical errors have been corrected except for direct quotations from the Author. Thought content of said article has not been changed.
Men in our day...how they cry out...what a great man, the Apostle Paul, and what a mighty 'Gospel Warrior' was he, but what if the Apostle Paul was with us today, would they still be ashamed of him? Why, of course, they would! It was even Holy Ghost filled members that forsook him and were ashamed of him, but their experiences and spirituality was very low in God. There are a lot of people that would go with the truth today and stand for the truth, if it were not for the embarrassment and of being ashamed of the few, and ashamed to bear the reproach that was heaped upon the truth, while the truth was among them. When people are delivered from shame they can even shout and rejoice, and praise God with their lips and say, 'God has delivered us from shame', but that doesn't mean anything. It does not even mean they are standing for the truth; which rather conflicts and reveals the fact that they have turned against the truth.
It is easy to find excuses and refuse to walk in the light of the truth. Even when men are seeking salvation...excuses are so plentiful until they will not advance into Sanctification and further light of the Baptism of the Holy Ghost. This same thing is true in every advancement of light of the Scriptures. And there is always a certain amount of shame one must bear when he advances in light.
I know hundreds who preached the same thing I did, and even walked by my side and helped me to search these things out...these things for which I stand today. They even supported the moves that have been made. They NOW say, I have done wrong in standing for the Church, and my conflicts have become so great until now they won't even speak to me. They run across the street when they see me coming to avoid meeting me. They used to shout and talk in tongues when they heard me preach these things. I wonder why they ceased. Perhaps the story that Jesus told when explaining John the Baptist will answer this. In John's light, they were willing to rejoice for a season, but when time came for advancement in light; they ceased. You do not determine what is right by how many there are or by how few there are, but it is the Word of God that witnesses righteousness according to Romans 3:21. In conclusion of this article, let me say, 'I am not ashamed". I feel honored to bear the reproach for the truth, and let me quote the words of the Apostle Paul, and let these words be my finale to the Gospel (Acts 24:14), 'But this I confess unto thee, that after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my Fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets.'