15 Some indeed preach Christ even from envy and strife, and some also from goodwill: 16 The former preach Christ from selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my chains; 17 but the latter out of love, knowing that I am appointed for the defense of the gospel. 18 What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is preached; and in this I rejoice, yes, and will rejoice. (Philippians 1:15–18, NKJV)
It would be fantastic if every person who preaches Christ did so with the pure motives of goodwill and love. Yet, the apostle knew some preached Christ with impure motives. The ugly motives of envy, strife, rivalry, and pretense arose in some preachers as Paul defended the gospel. (Preachers of the gospel are not immune to wicked motives.) When the effect of their evil motives increased his affliction, Paul did not let that distract from the truth of the gospel. Instead, he rejoiced that people were hearing about Christ. Paul separated the motive of the messenger and the gospel message. We need to do that, too. Do not follow men; follow Christ. Even when the messenger’s motives are flawed, receive and rejoice in the truth of the gospel. The preacher with evil intentions will answer to God for his motives. We will answer to God for whether we accepted and followed the gospel we heard.