Power Point Show MP3 audio
Scripture Reading: Nehemiah 8:1-8
1. There have always been a variety of expectations and demands placed upon preachers of God's word (some are right and some are wrong), Isa. 30:10; Jer. 5:31; Matt. 15:12; 2 Tim. 4:3 | Acts 20:27; 1 Cor. 2:2.
2. The goal of gospel preaching is the conviction and conversion of souls, Jno. 16:8; 2 Tim. 4:2.
3. It is God's work, and we must not cheapen it, disable it and invalidate the work of preaching by turning it into the work and wisdom of man.
4. Consider what the pulpit (i.e., public preaching) is and is not.
I. THE PULPIT IS
A. A Soapbox to Promote a Personal Agenda, Phil. 1:15-16.
1. Not for promoting and commending oneself; Such conduct in the pulpit will not be commended by the Lord, 2 Cor. 10:12, 17-18.
2. Hidden agendas obscure the glory of the cross, Gal. 6:12-15.
B. A Stage to Entertain the Audience, 1 Cor. 2:1-5 (cf. Acts 8:9-11).
1. I don't know any preachers claiming they must entertain to be heard, or churches saying they must have entertaining preachers.
2. But, "actions speak louder than words" when the emphasis is on keeping attention through amusement rather than attention to the word of God, 2 Tim. 4:3-4.
C. A Lectern for Academia and/or Opinions (Human Wisdom), 1 Cor. 1:26-29; 2:1, 4; Col. 2:8, 18.
1. Too many gospel (?) preachers "propose, suggest, offer options and theorize" instead of boldly preaching absolute truth, Eph. 6:19. Presenting controversial issues without Bible answers / Bible solutions causes doubt! Give Bible answers, not Bible doubts, 1 Tim. 1:4.
2. When this kind of preaching is accepted, then gradually. . .
a. Standard of absolute truth becomes relative (morals, doctrines).
b. Sin is minimized, becoming "differing yet honest opinions."
c. Worldliness invades our thinking and the churches.
d. Fellowship with sin and error grows ever broader.
e. Distinctive message/meaning of gospel is lost, 1 Pet. 2:9-10.
D. A Rifle
Range to take Target
Practice (pot shots) at One Another,
3 Jno. 9-10.
1. Document and address every issue which affects truth and righteous living, including identifying those who teach error (Matt. 16:6; 2 Tim. 2:16-18; 4:10, 14-15; 3 Jno. 9; Rom. 16:17).
2. Do not preach attacks upon a man -- preach attacks on error and preach the "purity and simplicity that is in Christ" (2 Cor. 11:3).
3. Realize that not every issue is most effectively resolved from the pulpit, Acts 20:20 (Matt. 18:15). cf. 2 Tim. 2:24-26
II. THE PULPIT
(GOSPEL PREACHING) IS:
A. A Divine Charge, 2 Tim. 4:1-2 (1 Cor. 9:16).
1. Entire word of God must be preached, Neh. 8:8; Acts 20:20, 25-27.
2. Make scriptural and practical applications, giving encouragement, warnings and rebuke, 2 Tim. 4:2 (3:16-17).
3. Be true to the message of truth, Acts 4:19-20.
B. A Sober Responsibility (Jas. 3:1) 2 Tim. 2:25-26; 4:5.
1. Motivated by love of God, for truth and for souls, Phil. 1:15, 17.
2. Seize opportunities to serve and to save, 1 Tim. 4:16; 2 Tim. 4:5.
C. A Perpetual Work, 2 Tim. 4:5; 2:2.
1. Repetition: Continuing to preach the same truths without fear, favor or faltering, Phil. 3:1 (2 Pet. 1:12-15).
2. By training and encouraging young (and older) men to preach and become preachers (Matt. 28:20), 2 Tim. 2:2.
3. By churches sending and supporting gospel preachers, Rom. 10:14-15; Acts 13:2-3.
1. The pulpit is a blessing, but when misused it becomes a curse, Eph. 4:11; Gal. 1:6-9 (Titus 1:10-11).
2. Preach to us "right things" (Isa. 30:10)!