INTRODUCTION: "Old fashioned preaching is not relevant to the needs of modern man." There is no shortage of critics of Bible preaching. Preaching is attacked on many fronts. We're told that we are preaching on issues that people are no longer concerned with. Preaching is too long. It is dull. It doesn't relate to what people need.
Some criticism of preaching is valid. Much of our preaching has been dwelt on issues that no longer matter while not dealing with problems with which our members in the pew are currently struggling. Some of our preaching has been painfully predictable (i.e. "three points and a poem"). We can surely improve the quality of Bible preaching.
But much criticism of Bible preaching is aimed toward the content itself. When critics make fun of "old fashioned preaching" they are usually referring is preaching which is from the Bible, which speaks the whole counsel of god, which convicts men of their sinfulness, and which shows men how to be pleasing to the Lord.
Modern preaching substitutes feel good, self help preaching for Bible teaching. It is considered unloving to show men their sinful condition and to tell them that they are responsible to a higher being than themselves. Much of what is coming out of denominational pulpits, and sadly enough from many of our pulpits, is a dribble of psycho-babble and mushy feely discourses that have little to do with what men really need.
It is my conviction that this type of preaching will do nothing but lull the listeners into a false sense of security and not really meet their needs. It is a giant leap backward. On the other hand, back to the bible preaching is really going forward because it tells man what he really needs to know. It satisfies man's greatest needs.
I. SOME PRELIMENARY THOUGHTS CONCERNING "BACK TO BIBLE" PREACHING.
A. "Back to the Bible" preaching is not-
1. Preaching that is harsh and cruel.
a. The preacher who gets in the pulpit to vent their anger toward anyone or any group does not deserve to be there.
b. Ephesians 4:15 - "But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:"
2. Hobby horse preaching.
a. Any subject can be "rode to death" by continual preaching to the detrement of other needed topics. Giving, for example, is a biblical and needed subject, but not 50 straight sermons about it.
b. Acts 20:27 - "For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God."
3. A steady diet of "love sermons"
a. What is meant here is not the true biblical meaning of love but the modern "mushy love" which refuses to point out sin and show the sinner that he must conform with God's way.
b. This type of preaching has little content and merely reflects of the "positives" of the Gospel.
c. Cotton candy is good in its place but too much will lead to a sure stomach ache.
4. Ready compromise with sin and false teaching.
B. "Back to the Bible" preaching is-
1. The type of preaching which seeks to warn the lost of their condition and point the way to the risen Saviour.
2. That which springs forth out of love: love for God, for Christ and His church, for the brethren, and for the lost.
3. The type of preaching which points out sin, regardless of the attitudes of the sinner.
a. 2 Timothy 4:1-3
b. Colossians 1:28 - "Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:"
4. Is bold, fearless preaching.
II. BACK TO BIBLE PREACHING TELLS MAN ABOUT HIS CREATOR.a. Acts 4:12-13 "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. 13 Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus."
A. Man has an innate desire to know who his creator is and his nature.
1. Every society has had a belief in some deity.
2. The Canaanites had their fertility gods, the Egyptians had their creatures gods, and the Greeks had their human gods. Every race has had something that they worshipped.
B. Bible preaching tells man about the one who created the universe.
1. Paul told his listeners on Mars Hill about the one who made them.
a. Acts 17:23-29
b. Those Athenians had a belief in certain gods, Paul told them that they were very religious.
c. Paul preached plainly that there was one God, "in whom we live, move, and have our being."
2. Jesus told his listeners that their very relationship with their wives was ordained by the God who made them "in the beginning".
a. Matthew 19:4-6
b. Man and woman are joined together in the family relationship because our Creator brought the first pair together "at the beginning."
3. Bible preaching declares that there is only one God.
a. Ephesians 4:6 - "One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all."
b. Isaiah 45:18 - "For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the LORD; and there is none else."
III. BACK TO BIBLE PREACHING IS GOING FORWARD BECAUSE IT CAN BE DEPENDED ON, IT DECLARES THAT THE BIBLE IS THE ONLY AUTHORITY IN RELIGIOUS MATTERS.c. 1 Corinthians 8:4 "As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice unto idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God but one."
A. Liberal preaching today is a constantly changing quicksand of relativism.
1. It is a "what feels good for you" religion.
2. It has no absolutes, other than the belief that there are no absolutes.
3. The standard is different today than it was yesterday, and will be different tomorrow than it is today.
4. This is the reason why Protestant denominations continue to lose members. They are confused by the changes in the role of women in the church, changing attitudes toward homosexuality, and changing views toward moral issues in general.
5. On the other hand, those churches that take strong stands on issues and root them in the authority of the Scriptures, are growing.
B. Bible preaching says that there is only one standard for conduct and worship - the Word of God.
1. It furnishes us completely.
a. 2 Timothy 3:16-17
2. The word was written to lead us into a saving relationship with Christ Jesus.
a. John 20:30-31 "And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: 31 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name."
b. Ephesians 1:13 - "In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,"
3. Bible preaching declares that no can go beyond the word and still be pleasing to the heavenly Father.
a. Deuteronomy 4:2 - "Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you."
IV. BACK TO BIBLE PREACHING IS GOING FORWARD BECAUSE IT TELLS MAN ABOUT HIS TRUE CONDITION.b. 2 John 1:9-11 "Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. 10 If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: 11 For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds."
A. Without Bible preaching man would not know that he was a sinner.
1. He would be continually seeking to justify self and believe that believe that he could be right based on his own righteousness.
2. Liberal "preaching" seeks to sooth the consciences of modern man and be relevant to social concerns and felt needs.
3. Much of the liberal preaching in many pulpits in America contends that there are no objective standards of right and wrong and thus man is his own judge of morals and actions.
4. Modern preaching seeks to remove all guilt for actions.
B. But Bible preaching reveals our true condition.
1. James 1:25 - "But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed."
2. Bible preaching states that sin is the transgression of God's law.
a. 1 John 3:4 - "Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law."
3. Bible preaching declares that all who have reached a mental capacity to choose has chosen to depart from God's way.
a. Romans 3:23
b. Isaiah 53:6 "All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all."
4. Bible preaching declares the penalty for departing from God's way.
V. BACK TO BIBLE PREACHING IS GOING FORWARD BECAUSE IT SATISFIES MAN'S GREATEST NEED - SALVATION FROM SINS.a. Romans 6:23
A. It is only in the Bible that we can find salvation from sins.
1. Peter told those who had been responsible for the murder of Jesus how to have their sins cleansed.
a. Acts 2:38
2. Ananias, a gospel preacher, showed Saul of Tarsus how to be cleansed from the guilt of sin.
a. Acts 22:16
3. True gospel preaching will reveal that salvation comes from a relationship with Christ Jesus in his church.
a. Acts 4:12 - "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved."
b. Ephesians 1:7 - "In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;"
B. Bible preaching gives not only the means of salvation, but the assurance of forgiveness.
1. 1 Corinthians 6:9-11
2. 1 John 5:13 - "These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God."
C. Bible preaching is able to save both the preacher and those who hear it.
1. 1 Timothy 4:16 - "Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee."
VI. BACK TO BIBLE PREACHING IS GOING FORWARD BECAUSE IT TELLS MAN ABOUT HIS FUTURE.2. Bible preaching not only shows man his sinful condition, it also point the way to removing the guilt of sin and give assurance that God has forgiven man through the blood of His Son. It removes the massive load of guilt that mankind has carried throughout the ages. There is a true way to remove our guilt. It is not through "itching ear" preaching. It is through the preaching of the gospel.
A. There is a great need to know where mankind is heading.
1. Do we live again, or do we cease to exist?
2. Is there something that happens to us after death?
3. Will the world continue as it is forever?
B. Bible preaching answers all these questions.
1. Will we live again? Is the grave the end?
a. John 5:28-29
b. Acts 24:15 - "And have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust."
c. 1 Corinthians 15:22 "For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive."
2. What happens to us after death?
a. Luke 16:20-31
3. Will the world continue as it is forever?
a. 2 Peter 3:10-12 "But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. 11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, 12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?"
4. What will be our eternal destinys?
a. Matthew 25:46 - "And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal."
CONCLUSION: There is no substitute for Bible preaching. It is true to God, honest with the hearers, loving in its thrust, and able to save to souls of those who heed its warning and obey its commands.b. Revelation 20:12-15 "And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. 13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. 14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire."
Copyright 1999 by Grady
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