The Kind of Preaching We Need
In these wild and weird and wicked times, the work of the preacher is being rethought and revamped and reexamined. Some think the preacher is just to be an equipper of the laymen for their ministry. He’s been pushed from the center of the platform to the wings in favor of celebrated experts and entertainers. But the Book still says, “How shall they hear without a preacher?” (Rom. 10:14).
What kind of preaching do we need today? We need the same kind we’ve always needed. Nothing important has changed. Just because we’ve split the atom and sent a man to the moon doesn’t mean we need a new kind of Christianity. We have a new kind of preacher in some quarters, but we don’t need him.
The preaching that we do need is apostolic.
Of course, there are no apostles today in the original sense, but an apostle is one sent, and a preacher is also a man sent from God. The apostles studied at the feet of Jesus Christ. Our Lord said, “Learn of me,” and that means studying in the school of Christ Himself. It’s possible to have a magna cum laude from a college and be a first-grader in the school of Jesus Christ.
The apostolic preacher was anointed by the Holy Spirit…
The preaching that we need today must be authoritative.
My Lord taught us having authority and not as the scribes.
Too much today sounds like the scribes. There’s no king in Israel; every man does what is right in his own eyes. Authority goes out, and anarchy comes in. Jesus met the devil not in His own name, not in His own power, but with the Scriptures: “It is written…It is written…It is written.” If He could defeat the devil with three verses out of Deuteronomy, we ought to be able to do it with the whole Bible.
Then it must be absolute.
This is a day of relativism. Right used to be right, and wrong used to be wrong. Now black and white have been smudged into indefinite gray. We’ve had two wars that we’ve neither won nor lost. We’re afraid to win them and ashamed to lose them. But General Douglas Mac Arthur summed it up when he said, “There’s no substitute for victory.”
Joseph Parker said of Spurgeon, “The only colors Mr. Spurgeon knew were black and white. In all things he was definite. You were either in or out, up or down, alive or dead.”
…it ought to be affectionate.
“Speaking the truth in love” (Eph. 4:15). Some preach the truth and don’t have love. Some preach love and don’t have the truth. Get the mixture right. You have to mix it. A man puts one foot in hot water and the other foot in ice water and feels very uncomfortable. But when he mixes the waters, he’s quite all right.
The truth will keep you from dissolving into sentimentality; love will keep you from hardening into severity.
Finally, it ought to be apocalyptic preaching.
Beloved, we’re living in a terrible time, in a day of beasts and seals and trumpets and four horsemen and the harlot on the beast and scorpions and dragons and a sea of glass mingled with fire and earthquakes and falling stars and Babylon and the bottomless pit and the lake of fire and Gog and Magog and six-six-six and the downfall of the devil and the great white city coming down.
It’s no time to tiptoe through the tulips in the ministrative end. In such an hour, good news is bad news and bad news is good news. “When they shall say peace and safety” sounds like good news, but no: “Destruction cometh.”
Good news is bad news. “But when you see all these things come to pass, famines, wars and rumors of wars, men’s hearts failing them for fear,” that is bad news. But “lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.”
It’s a great day for preaching—apostolic, authoritative, absolute, affectionate, and apocalyptic. “Even so, come, Lord Jesus