Bible Ballistics: Instant Preacher??? Vol. 5 #19
Well now that I have your attention, I just want to say I’m not offering a new “instant” pill for preachers, but I do want to talk about Paul’s command to Timothy:
“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;
2 Preach the word;
***out of season;***
with all long suffering
3 For the time will come
when they will not endure sound doctrine;
but after their own lusts
shall they heap to themselves
having itching ears;
4 And they shall turn away their ears
from the truth,
and shall be turned unto fables.
5 But watch thou in all things,
do the work of an evangelist,
make full proof of thy ministry.” 2 Timothy 4:1-5
I used our ‘examination’ format so that we can see that Paul called this young preacher boy to stand fast. Paul gave Timothy one central focus!!! Preach the WORD!!! BE ‘be instant in season, out of season;”—means to stand upon something, to be steadfast. Not only preachers, but also every believer is to stand upon the Word of God—to be steadfast as Paul called the Corinthians to:‘be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding’…..
“But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 15:57-58
Unfortunately, in many cases, we have lost this focus and sought after the ‘wisdom of this world’ rather than trusting to and following the ‘wisdom of God’. We seem to have decided that God’s plan of preaching the Gospel isn’t sufficient to do God’s work. I must beg to differ!!!
1 Corinthians 1:17-21 & 25 & 31, “For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect. 18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. 20 Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? 21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe….. 25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men….. 31 That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.”
God chose the “the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe”. God’s plan NOT man’s! We can’t come up with a plan that will replace the supernatural work of salvation in the hearts and lives of people. I truly believe that this is one reason most churches are powerless– because they have wanted to see something bigger, faster, cuter, and more appealing to the world than “just the preaching of the gospel”. We depend on plans, programs, men’s designs, best selling books, surveys, polls and opinions to reach a lost and dying world, when God declared clearly in HIS Word what HE will use—HIS WORD, about HIS SON—the Gospel of Jesus Christ with and in the power of the HOLY SPIRIT!!!
John 16:7-11, “Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. 8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: 9 Of sin, because they believe not on me; 10 Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; 11 Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.”
John 6:44-45, “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. 45 It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.”
Only the Holy Spirit can convict and reveal to men their own lostness and bring them to salvation through Jesus death, burial and resurrection (see 1 Cor. 15:3-6). Our job is to preach, teach and share the truth of God’s Word—not try to save people by our own programs and plans. I think this also accounts for the powerlessness of our churches. Our buildings are full of people who haven’t been regenerated by the Spirit of God, but who are trusting to some “decision” that man brought them to. They have never come to Jesus for the new birth—the supernatural work of God that makes us ‘sons of God’.
John 1:12-13, “But as many as received him,
to them gave he power
to become the sons of God,
even to them that believe on his name:
13 Which were born,
not of blood,
nor of the will of the flesh,
nor of the will of man,
but of God.”
Born again by the power of God—not the devices of man!!! Touched and called by the Holy Spirit of God to receive “the foolishness of preaching” and to believe the Gospel and accept God’s work “to save them that believe”!!! And when God does the work it is real!!!
Philippians 1:6, “Being confident of this very thing, that
he which hath begun a
good work in you
will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:”
So what can we do? We must return to the truths of the Word of God and declare God’s truth in power and love and let God do the work in people’s hearts and lives. We simply, and in the power of the Spirit, call people to repentance and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. We stop trying to please men, impress the world and imitate Hollywood. We return to the Lord’s blueprint for reaching people–simply read through the book of Acts and see how many times the words preach, preacher and preaching appear. You may be amazed. It’s high time we returned to the Word of Our Lord and leave the ‘wisdom’ of the world to the world.
So, will you be an “Instant” preacher, teacher, singer, helper or follower of Jesus? Or will you settle for the wisdom of men rather than the “foolishness of God”? May we return to the preaching of the Word of God? Spend some time this week checking out the ‘preaching’ in the book of Acts. Maybe if we get back to the truth, we’ll see the power of God fall on us—and oh how we need it to fall on us. Even so Lord Jesus.