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Scripture Reading: Nehemiah 8:1-8

The Pulpit



1.  There have always been a variety of expectations and demands put upon gospel preachers (some right and some 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, John 16:8; 2 Tim. 4:2.

3.  Preaching is God’s work (Eph. 4:11-12); A service (2 Tim. 4:5). We must not cheapen, distort, disable, 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.



  A.  A Soapbox to Promote a Personal Agenda, Phil. 1:15-16.

    1.  Not for promoting and commending self. Such use of the pulpit does is not 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 who say they must entertain to be heard, or churches saying they want an entertaining preacher.

    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 Human Wisdom (opinions), 1 Cor. 1:26-29; 2:1, 4; Col. 2:8, 18.

    1.  Some preachers “propose, suggest, offer options and theorize” instead of boldly preaching absolute truth, Eph. 6:19.

    2.  Presenting controversial issues without Bible answers (solutions) causes doubt. Preach Bible answers, not Bible doubts, 1 Tim. 1:4. (Don’t take your doubts into the pulpit.)

    3.  When this kind of preaching is accepted, then gradually. . .

      a.  Absolute truth becomes relative (morals, doctrines).

      b.  Sin is minimized, becoming “differing, yet honest opinions.”

      c.  Worldliness invades our thinking and 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 John 9-10.

    1.  Document and address every subject that affects truth and righteous living, including identifying those who teach error (Matt. 16:6; 2 Tim. 2:16-18; 4:10, 14-15; 3 John 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.  Not every issue is most effectively resolved from the pulpit, Acts 20:20 (Matt. 18:15); cf. 2 Tim. 2:24-26.

  E.  A Bully Pulpit to Intimidate, Manipulate, and Silence Critics.

    1.  Reason from the Scriptures, Acts 19:8-10; 26:25.

    2.  Not false accusations (preeminence), 3 John 9-10.

    3.  Speak evil of things they do not understand, 2 Pet. 2:12.



  A.  A Divine Charge, 2 Tim. 4:1-2 (1 Cor. 9:16).

    1.  Preach entire word of God, Neh. 8:8; Acts 20:20, 25-27.

    2.  Make scriptural and practical applications, give encouragement, warnings, and rebukes, 2 Tim. 4:2 (3:16-17).

  B.  A Sober Responsibility (James 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: Continue to preach the (same) truth without fear, favor, or faltering, Phil. 3:1 (2 Pet. 1:12-15).

    2.  Train and encourage young (and older) men to teach and preach (Matt. 28:20), 2 Tim. 2:2.

    3.  By churches sending and supporting gospel preachers, Rom. 10:13-15; Acts 13:2-3.



1.  The pulpit is a blessing, but it is a curse when misused, Gal. 1:6-9.

2.  Preach to us “right things” (Isa. 30:10).



By: Joe R. Price

Posted September 7, 2022