Monday, October 5, 2009

Hard Preaching

You hear very little today, even in our good churches, about real preaching. Even among regular church goers, the connotation of “preaching” is negative. How many times have you heard someone say: “Don’t Preach To Me!” Well, the truth is, if there is anything we need today, it is to be preached to! Paul warned in his letter to Timothy: “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from truth and be turned aside to fables.” 1st Tim. 4:2-3. The most unpopular thing to do today in our culture is to warn people of danger and outright lies concerning the Gospel - it is considered unloving, condescending, arrogant, and so on. When our boys were little and they would walk over to the fire place to touch the fire, or try to open a cabinet with cleaning supplies, I would discipline them - and I wanted to do it in such a way that they would not want to go near the danger again. This was not unloving, condescending, or arrogant; in fact, it was the most loving thing I could ever do to them. I was called to keep them away from danger.

This blog topic results from my thinking of a new book that is out….one of my favorite authors (John MacArthur) has a new book called: The Jesus You Can’t Ignore. Read the quote below for one of the reviews about this book:

"[In his] first public act, he took a whip, went into the heart of Judiastic religion -- the Temple itself -- and started throwing people out of there, overturning tables of moneychangers, overturning the tables in the operations of the buyers and sellers of animals," the noted author shares. "He condemned the whole place because it was to be a house of prayer, and they had turned it into a cave of robbers."

MacArthur says there are many false teachers today who are not preaching the full gospel.

"We have the idea today that we need to preach this sort of soft, amiable kind of message, [that] we need to tell people what they want to hear," he laments. "But the truth of the matter is, soft preaching produces hard people. Because soft preaching affirms them, tells them they're fine, [that] you need to grab your dreams...."

And while MacArthur acknowledges that the gospel makes people uncomfortable, he says it prepares hearts for the only cure for sin -- which is Jesus Christ.

This is the reason I am so adamant when preaching that salvation is not a magic prayer - It is for this reason I come down so strong on men like Joel Osteen and Robert Schuller. For this I am not sorry, and for this I am grateful to so many of you who do not just casually or passively receive the Word and hard preaching - but you gladly do so. Thank you for making this calling a true joy!


Anonymous said...

American believers have sold their lives to the service of Mammon, and God has His rightful way of dealing with those who succumb to the spirit of Laodicea.
- Jim Elliot
1927 – 1956

17Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching. 18For the Scripture says, "You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain," and, "The laborer deserves his wages."
1 Timothy 5:17-18 ESV

Mike Stone said...

Amen Brother Chad.