Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Biblical Preaching II

Not to long ago I had a person ask me why we needing preaching in the contemporary church. In essence he was asking why we needed preachers, elders and shepherds of local churches. I might add that he promotes the idea of house churches. I personally feel that the idea is unbiblical and not right in the eyes of God. In a house church you don't have a pastor or one preacher.

Think about it for a moment; our society is moving away from biblical sermons being preached in the church. Countless items are taking the place of preaching in the modern church. Drama, programs of all types, clown worship, concerts, Jesus county worship, and the seeker sensitive list goes on. Many churches now days will do just about anything to get people in the door. The real issue is this really God’s plan for His church? Does He really want to strengthen believers in the church and save lost souls through non-preaching? I think not! His plan has always been for biblical preaching in the church and always will be. Just make sure that your church is not one of them that turns away from it.

Let me get back to my original question of why preaching needs to take place in the church and why we should never, never stray from it. Friends it is biblical! I believe with my whole heart that pastors are Scriptural and that God has ordained them to be in a church. An important role of a pastor is preaching/teaching the Word of God; after all that is why he can even be called an elder or an overseer. Sadly, for the most part preaching is no longer what it used to be. More times then not it is topics from the Bible on what the congregation wants to hear and not what God wants to hear. The bottom line is preaching is not as important as it once was. Solid Bible preaching must take place in the church and is expected by God. God commands it because it changes lives and it is to His glory!

Preachers have the mandate to preach the Word of God. Richard Mayhue responds to this mandate of preaching, “The Gospels, Acts, the Epistles, and Revelation provide many examples and exhortations to preach the truth in fulfillment of God’s will. As a reminder of the apostolic legacy and as a reaffirmation of the scriptural authority for Bible-based preaching, five significant mandates are representative of the larger number of passages.”

Matthew 28:19-20—“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

1 Timothy 4:13
—“Until I come, give attention to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation and teaching.”

2 Timothy 2:2—“And the things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, these entrust to faithful men, who will be able to reach other also.”

2 Timothy 4:2—“Preach the word, be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction.”

Titus 2:1 “But as for you, speak the things which are fitting for sound doctrine.”

I don’t know about you, but I want to do what brings glory and honor to God in His church. He is building it, man is not. So, there aren’t any gimmicks that a person can perform to out do God. Everything in the church should be biblical; from the announcements, singing, offering, special music, to the message in God’s Word and the closing prayer. The worship in the Word of God is the high point in the church service. Why? Because that is when one hears from God in His Word. I love the reverence of God and His Word in Nehemiah Chapter eight. If you have never read this passage I encourage you to do so today. If you are a preacher may you always be one that BRINGS THE BOOK to hungry souls in the church.

I found something from the great preacher and theologian Jonathan Edwards; may you aim to be the great man of God that he was in and out of the pulpit.

Jonathan Edwards

Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758) was a brilliant theologian whose sermons had an overwhelming impact on those who heard him. One in particular, his famous “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God,” moved hundreds to repentance and salvation. That single message helped to spark the revival known as “The Great Awakening” (1734-1744). From a human standpoint, it seems incredible that such far-reaching results could come from one message. Edwards did not have a commanding voice or impressive pulpit manner. He used very few gestures, and he read from a manuscript. Yet God’s Spirit moved upon his hearers with conviction and power.
Few know the spiritual preparation involved in that sermon. John Chapman gives us the story: “For 3 days Edwards had not eaten a mouthful of food; for 3 nights he had not closed his eyes in sleep. Over and over again he was heard to pray, “O Lord, give me New England! Give me New England!’ When he arose from his knees and made his way into the pulpit that Sunday, he looked as if he had been gazing straight into the face of God. Even before he began to speak, tremendous conviction fell upon his audience.”
Source unknown

[1]John MacArthur and the Master’s Seminary Faculty, Preaching: How To Preach Biblically
(Nashville: Thomas and Nelson, 2005), 6.


Justice said...

I couldn't agree more. There is only one perfect and infallible part of the worship service and that is when the scripture is being read.

Anonymous said...

Nick, there are many out in the world that does not agree with you.