“You see, we are not like the many hucksters who preach for personal profit. We preach the word of God with sincerity and with Christ’s authority, knowing that God is watching us.”
2 Corinthians 2:17 NLT
Chuck Swindoll, the chancellor of Dallas Theological Seminary and featured speaker of "Insight For Living" says this about why Paul wrote this second book to the Corinthians:
"Paul still felt the need to articulate a defense of his apostleship and his message. Some in the church had apparently taken his meekness among them to be a sign of moral weakness or lack of authority (2 Corinthians 10:1–2). These accusations led Paul to defend himself by arguing that he was on the same level of importance as the other apostles, that he had deep knowledge of the Christian faith, that he had suffered profound physical punishment in the name of Christ, and that he had received visions and revelations from God (11:1–12:13)."
If you have examined the life and ministry of the apostle Paul you will know that he wrote 13 (Romans - Philemon) of the 27 New Testament books. 14 if you attribute Hebrews to his authorship. Acts tells of his zealous persecution of the early Christians (ch. 7-8), his conversion to Christ Jesus (ch. 9), his commission by the early church as a missionary (ch. 13), his missionary journeys (ch. 13-20), his return to Jerusalem, hardships, arrest, and legal trials in Jerusalem all way to Rome (chs. 21-28). There, in Rome, he would be martyred for his faith in Jesus!
Paul is an extraordinary example of a disciple of Jesus, a man of faith, and a minister of the gospel. In my estimation, he is one of the greatest examples a minister could use to mimic. Of course, Jesus is the greatest example of all time!!! Paul was, indeed, NOT a huckster!! What he endured as a follower of Jesus is extraordinary to say the least.
Listen to this:
“I’m ashamed to say that we’ve been too “weak” to do that! But whatever they dare to boast about—I’m talking like a fool again—I dare to boast about it, too. Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they descendants of Abraham? So am I. Are they servants of Christ? I know I sound like a madman, but I have served him far more! I have worked harder, been put in prison more often, been whipped times without number, and faced death again and again. Five different times the Jewish leaders gave me thirty-nine lashes. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked. Once I spent a whole night and a day adrift at sea. I have traveled on many long journeys. I have faced danger from rivers and from robbers. I have faced danger from my own people, the Jews, as well as from the Gentiles. I have faced danger in the cities, in the deserts, and on the seas. And I have faced danger from men who claim to be believers but are not. I have worked hard and long, enduring many sleepless nights. I have been hungry and thirsty and have often gone without food. I have shivered in the cold, without enough clothing to keep me warm. Then, besides all this, I have the daily burden of my concern for all the churches. Who is weak without my feeling that weakness? Who is led astray, and I do not burn with anger? If I must boast, I would rather boast about the things that show how weak I am.”
2 Corinthians 11:21-30 NLT
Even in all of this, Paul showed that he was a humble servant of God!
Today we have a lot of "ministers" but not enough servants of God! It's possible to get a degree, become employed by a church, serve in a position, and be a fake or a fraud! Ministry should not be looked at as employment or a career! Yes, ministers who serve well should be cared for well (see 1 Timothy 5:17-18).
Ministry is a call! Ministers are not CEOs who oversee a corporation! Ministers are servants of God who are to be highly respected in their office and absolutely devout in their call! Ministry is the highest honor and office in the land! However, if there is no call of God on the life and no anointing of the Holy Spirit, it's simply a career! We don't need someone seeking a form of employment, a fake, or a swindler. What we need in the pulpit is a God called man who understands the call, consecration, and commission!
The Merriam Webster dictionary defines a huckster as:
1. : HAWKER, PEDDLER
especially: one who sells or advertises something in an aggressive, dishonest, or annoying way.
I don't want to be a huckster! I want to be a true minister of the Lord Jesus Christ!
Curtis R. Norris
Rev. Curtis Norris