I found this video at Gunny’s site yesterday, and thought I would share it with you. After having visited other churches while on vacation, I have to agree. There is a loss of doctrine and confidence in the Scripture. There is a lack of confidence in God’s word and this has led to all kinds of things taking place in the pulpit that is not preaching God’s word. Remember, the charge to every pastor, and let me stress every pastor, if he is a true pastor, is to preach God’s word. It’s not to make it relevant, or funny, or to turn it into some form of pop psychology, but to preach God’s word. (Remember that God’s word doesn’t need to be made relevant, it IS relevant because it IS God’s word.)
It is also not to use God’s word as a spring board into something we would rather talk about. That is what happened at one of the churches I visited. The pastor merely used the text as a spring board into a sermon he had already prepared. That is looking for a text to support a sermon. That is always a no! no! Why? Because the text should drive the sermon, not the other way around. In the case I’m referring to, the man never mention the text again once he started preaching.
The irony is that I visited a Methodist church the following Sunday, where a WOMAN was preaching, and she did a better job expositing the text than this fellow did at the big, steeple Baptist church. The Methodist church where she was preaching, was more doctrinally sound, more textually sound and more reverent towards God than the Baptist preacher and his church. That is not what I expected at all. And the fact that she preached a more doctrinally sound sermon than he did is a rebuke towards that man. Allow me to be a bit sexist, but no man should ever be out preached by a woman!
The man, and every other man who gets into the pulpit week after week, needs to listen to the video below and then rush out and buy D. Martin Lloyd Jones’ book entitled the Preacher and Preaching. Yes, it’s an older book, but very good. Unfortanetly, I’ve loaned out my copy and don’t know where it is. Remember what Mark Twain said about loaning books. “Never loan books because people don’t give them back. In fact, the only books I have left in my library are ones I’ve borrowed.”
Hope you enjoyed that, and pass it on to your pastor. He may actually exposit the text, and bring out the truth. If that is the case, the video will be an encouragement to him. If not, it will be a rebuke, one that he needs.
We must admit that expositing the text is very difficult to do every week. But that is a pastor’s calling. If he wants to truly minister to his people, then he must preach God’s word. Only God’s word has the power to change the heart and convert the soul. Only God’s word can truly change lives. Only God’s word can lead to salvation and a restoration of that broken relationship we have with our Maker. Nothing else can do it.
This is why I look down on such guys like Joel Osteen. He says his calling is not to preach about sin and redemption. If that is the case, then he needs to quit draping what he does in the guise of a church. He is not leading a church, but a religious pep rally. That is not the calling of the preacher/pastor. It is to preach and teach God’s word, not make people feel good about themselves. Feeling good about ourselves means we are lying to ourselves. What do sinners have to feel good about? Our rebellion towards our Maker? Why would we feel good about that?
What we must feel good about is His mercy, His grace, His Son, His redemption and salvation that is made for His children and that by simple faith, we become a part of His family. Do I feel good about myself? No! I’m a sinner and deserve hell. But I feel truly joyful that God has not given me what I do deserve. He has shown me grace and I rejoice at that. God’s grace is essential to our salvation and it’s not coming to those who’s pastors have decided to preach something other than God’s word.
Only the Word of God can bring about true change. As Paul told Timothy, the pastor is to preach the word (2 Timothy 4:2).