We live in a time when “old fashioned” preaching is ridiculed and disliked by so many. Some, so called preachers, have traded the Scriptures for fables, “feel good stories”, jokes and the like. There is a trend among some preachers to speak only “positively”. The idea of repentance and change has been replaced with “whatever makes you happy”.
What has God said about such things? First of all, let us begin with the Lord, Jesus Christ. Jesus literally was God in the flesh, and as such, spoke God’s Word (John 1:14). The Lord is on record as saying, “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me” (John 5:39). The first century Jews were in possession of scrolls of the Old Testament. Instead of hearing and studying the Word of God, many had fallen into the trap of traditionalism. The lack of Scriptural understanding was so profound, that many of the Jews were unable to believe that Jesus was the Christ. They needed more sound preaching!
Then, there is the preaching of Paul. Paul was an inspired apostle, and as such, when he wrote/spoke by inspiration, he revealed the commandments of the Lord/Scripture. He wrote, “If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord” (1 Cor. 14:37). With that understanding, what did the inspired apostle have to say about preaching? “For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect. For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God” (1 Cor. 1:17-24). Paul was absolutely committed to preaching. He further stated, “And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God” (1 Cor. 2:1-5). Further proof of Paul’s commitment to preaching is also found in the book of Romans. “So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also. For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek” (Rom. 1:15-16). Could you ever imagine Paul writing to someone and saying that it is alright if you do not preach to the world? Would Paul have ever written that it is sufficient just to make people feel good? Absolutely not! On the contrary, we have Paul’s encouragement to Timothy to prove otherwise. “I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables” (2 Tim. 4:1-4). The people of Paul’s time needed more sound preaching!
While it is not popular amongst many today, I resolve to continue to preach the Scriptures of God. Without sound Gospel preachers, what will the world hear? The Word needs to continue to be proclaimed around the world. In closing, let me finish by mentioning one more verse. “And some days after Paul said unto Barnabas, Let us go again and visit our brethren in every city where we have preached the word of the Lord, and see how they do” (Acts 15:36; emp. CRB). ~ Corey Barnette
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