Topical Sermons

"HARD" PREACHING

Intro.

1.  Jesus is the Bread of Life we must "eat" - Jno. 6:35, 48, 51, 55-59.

2.  Many disciples viewed His teaching as hard:

  a.  "Harsh, rough, stiff…of things: violent, rough, offensive, intolerable" (Thayer). "It indicates one who is uncivil, intractable, rough and harsh.  There is in it the implication of inhumanity." (Online Bible, Synonyms).

  b.  Not talking about "how" Jesus preached, but "what" He preached!

  c.  Not saying His word was difficult to understand…they understood it!

  d.  They were saying that it was intolerable & offensive, & it offended them! - 6:61, 66

3.  The complained (murmured) about His teaching! - 6:61

  a.  cf. 6:41 - Disciples now take up the complaint of the enemies of Christ & join them in unbelief! - 6:64

4.  How do you view the teaching of the gospel of Christ:  As "hard" and harse, or as the words of eternal life? (6:60, 68) - Who can hear it? (6:60)

 

I.  THE PURPOSE OF GOSPEL PREACHING IS TO SAVE THOSE WHO BELIEVE - Mk. 16:15-16; 1 Cor. 1:21; 1 Tim. 4:16.

  -We must be willing to receive gospel preaching without taking offense at it! (cf. Matt. 11:6)

 

II.  WHAT TYPES OF PREACHING ARE VIEWS AS HARD (Offensive) BY UNBELIEVERS?

  A.  Preaching Which Calls For Definite Action Offends Many Christians - cf. Jno. 6:53, 57, 66.

    1.  Being void of spiritual perception, they were offended by truth!

    2.  Unwilling to commit to definite action & obey Jesus.

    3.  With some, when truth is convenient it is right…when it is difficult, it is offensive! - cf. Matt. 13:20-21

      a.  No instrumental music in worship; LS every Sunday, etc.

      b.  Cf. Repent & be baptized; MDR; church discipline, etc.

    4.  To many, this is negative preaching!

  B.  Preaching Which Straightforwardly Rebukes Sin & Error Offends Many Christians.

    1.  Illus. - Preachers fired for preaching against dancing, against immodest dress, against errors re. Rom. 14…

    2.  If so, these would be offended by Jesus (Matt. 23) & by Stephen (Acts 7:51-53, 57-58)!

    3.  To more & more Christians, preaching which exposes sin & error is deemed hard and negative!

  C.  On The Other Hand, Many View Preaching Which Makes Us Comfortable As "Positive" In Nature - Jer. 6:14.

    1.  "Help people feel good about themselves!" (But, can't feel good where sin exists!)

    2.  2 Tim. 4:3-4 - Many accept (demand) comfort over salvation!

    3.  Truth: Preaching which rebukes sin is positive, too!

 

III. THE GOSPEL MUST BE PREACHED EVEN WHEN PEOPLE TAKE OFFENSE AT ITS TEACHINGS - 2 Tim. 4:1-5.

  A.  Our Charge Before God On Preaching The Word Is To:

    1.  Reprove: "To reprehend severely, chide, admonish, to call to account, show one his fault, to convict" (Thayer, 202-203).

    2.  Rebuke: "To tax with fault…chide…censure severely, to restrain, to admonish or charge sharply" (Thayer, 245)

    3.  Exhort: "To call to one's side, call for, summon…to beg, entreat, to strive to appease by entreaty, to comfort…" (Thayer, 482-483)

    4.  Cf. John - Lk. 3:18-20, 7-8; Lord's servant - 2 Tim. 2:24-26.

  B.  Some Will Accept Gospel Preaching (R,R,&E) & Others Will Not - Prov. 9:7-10.

  C.  Some Attack The Preacher When He Preaches The Word - Gal. 4:16; cf. 2 Cor. 12:14-19.

 

IV.  GOD'S DIRECTIVES ON PREACHING THE TRUTH.

  A.  To Preachers & Teachers: Preach Truth Regardless Of How Or Whether It Is Received - 2 Tim. 4:2.

    1.  Do not be silenced by mockery, threats or consequences - Jer. 20:7-11; Amos 7:11-13; Ezek. 2:5-7.

    2.  "Too strict"; "Running people off," etc. - Such discourages gospel preaching! Murmuring against truth & is sinful!

  B.  To Hearers: Meekly Receive Truth & Obey It - Jas. 1:21-22 (cf. Acts 2:36, 37-38, 41).

    1.  Don't say "good sermon" & refuse to obey it! - Ezek. 33:30-32  ("Preach a Sermon, Preacher")

    2.  If toes are "stepped on," then obey the truth!   (Gospel doesn't step on toes, it steps on hearts!)

 

Conclusion

1.  How will you respond when truth is preached?  If the gospel seems "hard" (harsh, inhumane) to you, you must repent!

2.  "He who has ears to hear, let him hear!" (Lk. 8:8)

 


 

PREACH A SERMON, PREACHER

 

Preach a sermon preacher,

But don't get too specific;

As long as you generalize

We think you are terrific.

 

Preach a sermon preacher,

Make it good and plain;

But don't you dare to get so close

As to call sin by its name.

 

Preach a sermon preacher,

Preach it round or flat;

We love to play at hide and seek,

And guessing where you're at.

 

Preach a sermon preacher,

Make it what we love to hear;

We'll pat you on your spineless back

While you scratch our itching ears.