Honesty and Courage Needed

If all preachers had honesty enough and courage enough to preach the truth–then the tide of worldliness that is overwhelming such a multitude of souls and sweeping them into perdition, would be somewhat stayed. As long as preachers allow their sermons to be dictated by public sentiment or the worldly desires of their hearers–they will cater to fashions, and souls by the million will drift on into Hell. Oh, what a reaping such preachers will have at the judgment! The full measure of God’s wrath will fall on those preachers who fail to be true to souls and to God, in preaching those truths the Bible clearly teaches against sin and worldliness.

– Charles Naylor, 1920

Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. – 2 Timothy 4:2

For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God. – Acts 20:27

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. – 2 Timothy 4:3 

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The characteristics of the modern Christian pulpit

“John said to the crowds coming out to be baptized by him: You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath! Produce fruit in keeping with repentance!” Luke 3:7-8

Well would it be for the Church of Christ, if it possessed more plain-speaking ministers like John the Baptist.
A morbid dislike to strong language;
an excessive fear of giving offence;
a constant flinching from directness and plain speaking–
are, unhappily, too much the characteristics of the modern Christian pulpit!

Uncharitable language is no doubt always to be deprecated. But there is no ‘charity’ in flattering unconverted people–by abstaining from any mention of their vices, or in applying smooth names to their damnable sins!

There are two texts which are too much forgotten by Christian preachers. In one it is written, “Woe unto you–when all men shall speak well of you!” (Luke 6:26)

In the other it is written, “For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.” (Galatians 1:10)

J.C. Ryle – 1816-1900

Test Everything Against the Scriptures

“But test everything; hold fast what is good.”
– 1 Thessalonians 5:21

Remember your exalted privilege–you have the Bible in your hands, and are not bound to follow books or preachers any farther than what they teach agrees with the Oracles of Truth. We have great reason to be thankful for the instructions and writings of spiritual men–but they are all fallible, even as ourselves.

One is our master, even Christ–what He says, we are to receive implicitly–but we do not owe implicit subjection to the best of our fellow-worms. The Bereans were commended because they would not implicitly believe even the Apostle Paul–but examined the Scriptures every day to see if what he said was true. May the Lord give us a spirit of humility and discernment in all things.

When we eat an apple–we first cut out the blemishes, then eat what is good, and lastly throw the core away. Such a rule I would observe in reading human authors–the best may be defective, and the wisest may be mistaken. We are not only permitted, but enjoined, to call no man master.

– John Newton, 1725-1807, Letters of John Newton

“These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.”   – Acts 17:11

Religious entertainment!

A great company of evangelical churches have already gone over into the area of religious entertainment, so that many churches are tramping on the doorstep of the theater!

The tragic results of this spirit are all about us:
shallow lives,
hollow religious philosophies,
the preponderance of the element of fun in gospel meetings,
the glorification of men,
trust in religious externalities,
quasi-religious fellowships,
salesmanship methods,
the mistaking of dynamic personality for the power of the Spirit.

These and such as these, are the symptoms of an evil disease–a deep and serious malady of the soul.

Religious entertainment has so corrupted the Church, that millions don’t know that it’s a heresy. Millions of evangelicals throughout the world have devoted themselves to religious entertainment. They don’t know that it’s as much heresy, as the “counting of beads” or the “splashing of holy water” or something else. To expose this, of course, raises a storm of angry protest among the people.

Isn’t there a difference between worship and entertainment?

The church that can’t worship, must be entertained. And men who can’t lead a church to worship, must provide the entertainment. That is why we have the great evangelical heresy here today–the heresy of religious entertainment!

– A.W. Tozer, 1897-1963

Types of Sermons

If we were even to try to name some of the types of sermons heard on occasion, let alone trying to classify them, our task would be difficult.

There might be the BUTTERFLY sermon in which the preacher flits from book to book not lighting too long at any spot lest someone should catch him.

There is what Jeff D. Ray called the OLD MOTHER HUBBARD sermon. In this, the preacher uses each word as a jumping-off place into extended elaborations of disjointed items.

There is the BAG OF BEADS message which consists of a number of good ideas without a string to tie them together.

There is the PERSECUTION sermon structure in which the preacher stays with a verse until persecuted and then flees to the next.

There is also the MAJORING ON THE MINUTIA method. This emphasizes the items picked up by an exegetical microscope so that as Thomas Hobbs once said, “the preacher casts atoms of Scripture as dust before men’s eyes, thereby making everything more obscure than it is.”

There is also the SKYSCRAPER sermon in which the preacher tells one story upon another.

Lloyd M. Perry, “Biblical Preaching”

 

Published in: on May 15, 2016 at 1:33 pm  Leave a Comment  
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