Saturday, September 01, 2007

The Most Forgotten Command: PREACH THE WORD

(Here is an excerpt from an article by Steve Camp published in the Christian Worldview Network news alert published on August 28, 2007.)

2 Tim. 4:1-5 I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.

As I travel and minister in word and song in various churches around the world, I have come to see some distinctives common to men who have forgotten their duty to preach the Word and give themselves to lesser things. Here are some of those observations:

1. When a man steps into the pulpit more interested in telling stories than rightly dividing the Word of truth - he is not preaching the Word.
2. When a man seeks first to be funny behind the sacred desk rather than faithful with the text - he is not preaching the Word.
3. When a man claims to speak for God by claiming "a word of divine revelation from the Lord" apart from the already divine revelation of Scripture - he is deceived, and is not preaching the Word.
4. When a man designs his sermons to attract a target audience, appeal to the culture, and has as its primary goal a thirst to be relevent - he is not preaching the Word.
5. When a man forgets that he ministers for an Audience of One; and that the highest form of worship is to proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord to the glory of God alone in the power of the Holy Spirit - he is not preaching the Word.
6. When a man uses his pulpit to try and change the world through politics, representing America as the new Israel, seeking to bring a societal morality through legislation, and honors the flag equally with the cross - he is not preaching the Word.
7. When a man fails to tremble at God's Word privately before ever preaching it publicly - he is not preaching the Word.
8. And when a man treats the pages of holy writ with a casual, cavalier seeker-friendly, watered down, emergent, ecumenical irreverence - he is not preaching the Word.

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