Our Message is Exclusive, But Our Witness is Not - Radical

Our Message is Exclusive, But Our Witness is Not

In what must seem like a paradox to the world, God gave his people an exclusive and unchanging gospel, and yet he commands us to proclaim this good news indiscriminately. This was Paul’s message to his young apprentice, Timothy, in 1 Timothy 1-2. Here’s David Platt on the absolute nature of our message and the wide reach of our witness:

We now live in a culture that is hostile to anyone claiming to know the absolute truth. You can live however you please, and you can believe whatever you want—“Obey your thirst,” the commercial tells us—just don’t impose your beliefs on others. That’s the unpardonable sin of our day. This sentiment is especially true when it comes to religious beliefs, which can make it highly uncomfortable for Christians sharing the gospel. After all, our message is, well, pretty much absolute. “There is no other name under heaven given to people, and we must be saved by it” (Acts 4:12).

On the other hand, even though our message is exclusive, our witness should not be. God commands us to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19). No one is to be left out, regardless of race, nationality, economic status, or any other distinction. The absolute and exclusive claims of the gospel should be made known universally. The church must not ignore the great spiritual needs all around it, either by becoming exclusively self-focused or by targeting only a certain segment of unbelievers. Paul reminded Timothy in this passage that our hearts must come in line with God’s heart. And God desires the salvation of all people. (David Platt, 1 & 2 Timothy and Titus, 22-23)

Ours is a narrow gospel for the whole world.


David Burnette serves as the Chief Editor for Radical. He lives with his wife and three kids in Birmingham, Alabama, and he serves as an elder at Philadelphia Baptist Church. He received his Ph.D. from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.


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