Preacher’s Point: Uneasy preachers


By Timothy Johnson - Preacher’s Point



God uses different preaching styles to bring the same message.

Jesus was a storyteller; the gospels are full of parables that Jesus used to rivet home his points. John the Baptist, on the other hand, was much more blunt. Both men attracted audiences of thousands and were killed by the authorities, at least in part, because of their words.

Both men had the same message.

Matthew 3:1-2, “In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

Matthew 4:17, “From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

Both men preached the same message but with varying styles; it appears that the message, not the delivery, is the priority to God.

The Apostle Paul was Timothy’s mentor. The books of First and Second Timothy are letters from Paul to the younger preacher. In these books, we learn the qualifications for Pastors, a few things about church government, how ministers should interact with those inside and outside the church, and instruction on how to use the pulpit with God’s power for the honor and glory of God.

Paul gives Timothy a warning that people will want to hear things they like and not necessarily the things God wants them to hear from the pulpit, “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).

Evidently, to the hearers, the message is more important than the delivery — as long as the message is something we want to hear.

Looking back on the words of John the Baptist and Jesus Christ; what did we read? “Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

Many people today think everything Jesus said provided comfort, gave people that warm homemade apple pie feeling. Jesus begins the Sermon on the Mount with the nine conditions of heart for those who are blessed, also known as the Beatitudes. Much of the rest of the speech, however, is not filled with good vibes. He tells us things like if we hate someone we have committed murder (Matthew 5:21-26), if we lust we are guilty of adultery (Matthew 5:27-28), that we cannot be the children of the heavenly Father without loving our enemies (Matthew 5:43-48), if we love money we cannot serve God (Matthew 6:24), if we think too much about our everyday condition our hearts are in the wrong place – we need to have a more spiritual outlook based on faith (Matthew 6:25-34), that there are those that appear to serve God with their lives, but God never knew them (Matthew 7:21-23), then Jesus ends the sermon by telling us if we do not obey His Words our lives will be like a house built upon sand and the fall of it will be great (Matthew 7:24-27).

Honestly, most people probably walked away from the Sermon on the Mount feeling very uneasy. We must remember this was Jesus’ plan. Remember Matthew 4:17? His goal while preaching was to see people repent; to change their hearts. A person’s heart will never change if they are feeling good about themselves. Christ addressed the problems; it is the first step to repentance and a relationship with God.

Paul, in writing to Timothy about preaching to the congregation tells him to teach “to the subverting of the hearers” (2 Timothy 2:14).

Jesus, John the Baptist, Paul, and Timothy all preached with the goal of overturning people’s hearts. It is only through admitting to God He is right and we are wrong can we receive the real comfort and hope we all need and desire.

Like the Sermon on the Mount ministers today need to preach hope and comfort mingled with repentance and the subverting of the hearers.

If you profess to be a Christian I ask you — do you want a preacher that tells you what you want to hear, or one like Jesus, that will tell you of blessings and cursings; bringing about some uneasiness that leads to repentance?

Preacher Johnson is pastor of Countryside Baptist Church in Parke County Indiana. Email: preacherspoint@gmail.com. Website: www.preacherjohnson.com. E-book: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00TUJTV2A If you email, inform me where you have seen Preacher’s Point. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.

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By Timothy Johnson

Preacher’s Point

Preacher Johnson is pastor of Countryside Baptist Church in Parke County Indiana. Email: preacherspoint@gmail.com. Website: www.preacherjohnson.com. E-book: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00TUJTV2A If you email, inform me where you have seen Preacher’s Point. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.

Preacher Johnson is pastor of Countryside Baptist Church in Parke County Indiana. Email: preacherspoint@gmail.com. Website: www.preacherjohnson.com. E-book: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00TUJTV2A If you email, inform me where you have seen Preacher’s Point. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.