In the Old Testament when there were evil kings on the throne of Israel, the kings never abandoned religion they just tamed it. They always had “religious” men of God around them who claimed to be speaking on behalf of God. If the kings did not like the message received, they would get angry and kill the messenger. Predictably, the men of God began to water down the messages from God in order to seek the king’s approval or avoid his wrath. The men of God chose to tell the evil kings they served what the kings wanted to hear rather than the truth of the God they claimed to speak for.
There was also true prophets of God around in those days. Men like Elijah and Isaiah who did not shy away from speaking God’s Word even if it made the kings mad. They only sought God’s approval and only spoke God’s message and the evil kings hated them for it. One of these evil kings even put it succinctly that he hated the true prophet as he always told him bad news. This happens when you are only doing bad things.
The men of God were faithfully serving Him and speaking His truth, the kings just did not want to hear it because their ways were evil.
Very little has changed since the time of Elijah and the prophets. The world still does not want to hear the truth of the Bible proclaimed when it involves conviction of sin. We are allowed to say the things that the world wants to hear with flowery words and slick presentations. Culture loves this sort of religion. People will approve of an inoffensive religion that applauds their behavior.
If we stay true to God’s word and seek God’s approval, even in love and with mercy it is guaranteed to make some people angry. People still don’t like hearing about their sin. The world doesn’t like the bad news that we all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.
That bad news is absolutely necessary to get to the Good News. We need to comprehend our need for a perfect Savior to understand the coming of our perfect Savior, Jesus.
So, whose approval are we seeking? Are we willing to have people not like us for preaching the message of God leading to salvation?