"A little coffee with my creamer"!?!
My wife and I both enjoy creamer in our coffee. Sometimes we will jokingly say to the other "I like a little coffee with my creamer!" Of course, we get somewhat of a kick out of this. However, do you realize this is the type of attitude many have today regarding the Word of God? Think about it. Many today, like a little truth, as it were, with their preaching.
We live in a world where the increasing desire of many is to "tip-toe" around the truth, "sugar-coat" the truth, or sweeten it up little bit. Less and less are concerned about the fullness of the Gospel message being proclaimed. Worse yet, is the notion "Preach the truth, just don't offend anyone!" I disagree with that notion and completely reject such an attitude.
Preachers today need to either preach the fullness of the message of Christ or stop preaching! If the Word of God is the power to save someone from their sins, as the Bible says it is (Ro. 1:16), then it stands to reason that anything short will not do the job. When Paul had called together the elders of the Ephesian church, he stated as recorded in Acts 20:26,27: "Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men. For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God" (emphasis mine, DO). Paul did not declare some things, a few things, or only those things which were easy to be received. He declared all things, the text so says. Had Paul not have done this, he could not have sincerely been pure from the blood of all men.
We often hear about those in various governmental agencies and positions vowing they will be transparent. What they mean is they are going to be open about the affairs they conduct and will not hide things from the public's eye. Sadly, much of the preaching done today is without transparency. So much of the preaching sounded forth from pulpits today is filled with generalities and shallow verbiage. Often, a title is given for a sermon and one might have better success jumping the Grand Canyon before figuring out what the preacher is intending on preaching. I understand completely, that if individuals do not know what the lesson is about, they need to listen to it and find out. On the other hand, it is the preacher's duty to be clear in what he is presenting. A lack of doing this leads to the listeners not even knowing what the point of the sermon was to begin with.
Most get the point the preacher is trying to make but some need help making the connection. For example, when the preacher says: "If you are not in the Kingdom of Christ, you are not saved" most religious minded people think they are in the Kingdom regardless of what church they are a member of. That misses the point! What the preacher is saying is "If you are not in the church of Christ which is the Kingdom of Christ, you are not saved." Remember, the church is the kingdom (Mt. 16:18,19; Heb. 12:23,28). Preachers and Bible class teachers, be plain and transparent!
Paul, writing to Timothy, penned: "Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine" (2 Tm. 4:2). What is needed today is book, chapter, and verse preaching. The preaching where one can put his index finger on the text that says what he says the Bible teaches. Unfortunately, as it was in Bible times so it is today, that many simply do not want to hear sound teaching. Notice: " 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" (2 Tm. 4:3,4)."
How about you? Do you appreciate and expect wholesome teaching which is in harmony with the inspired word of God?
- Donnie Oliver