WHAT SHALL THE PREACHER DO?
The job of the Gospel preacher
is to proclaim God's Word. He is to "preach the word, being urgent in and
out of season; reproving, rebuking, and exhorting, with all longsuffering and
doctrine" (2 Tim. 4:2). He is to "do the work of an evangelist"
(2 Tim. 4:5). He is to preach the whole counsel of God (Acts 20:27), the things
which befit sound doctrine, the gospel, the truth -- the Bible (Titus 2:1).
He is to condemn sin, expose error, and exhort the brethren to live faithful
Christian lives with strength, courage and conviction (Eph. 5:11). He is to
be a herald of God's Gospel among men both in public and private; both to the
Christian and the non-Christian, yea, to "every creature" in every
place (Mark 16:15-16)! He is to preach! Preach! Preach! He is to unceasingly
preach the truth in love (Eph. 4:15)!
God's preachers within the New Testament were not politicians with a message on economics. Their mission was not one of counseling by utilizing psychological methods to rid the guilt of people's sins without God's forgiveness. They were not recreational superintendents full of fun and games. Nor were they entertainers or comedians full of jokes and pulpit clownery. But now days, some brethren think that if the preacher doesn't start off his sermon with a good knee-slapping joke or some funny "attention-getter," then he is boring and uninteresting. And, then some brethren think the preacher is to be nothing more than a social anchorman with an unending knowledge of all the latest news and town gossip. Bah! Brethren, away with such thoughts!
The older pioneer preachers that have gone on before us have indeed set a true example of what a Gospel preacher is to be and do. They were true, hardy men. They were not weaklings, sissies, namby-pambys, and cowards like so many of the softshell preachers of today. But they, John-the-Baptist-like, were men of boldness, courage, faith, and conviction; having committed the Bible to memory, they were full of the knowledge of God's word; being unintimidated, unashamed, and making no apologies for the pure simple Gospel they fought "tooth and nail" for or the purity of the church; and in public oral debates everywhere they plowed up denominational error root and branch! But now, it seems, that so many of our preachers are most concerned about their "speaking voice" and their "public image" before the community. Challenging the religious errors of the day and contending fervently for the once delivered faith is to them the least of their worries!
The preacher is not to be a one-man "pastor" over the church like the denominations have it. He is not to be called a "Father" as the Catholics are known to do (Matt. 23:8-10). He is not anybody's "Reverend." Nor is he any more a "priest" than any other Christian. But he is simply to be a herald of God's truth among men. He is not at liberty to substitute God's message for little feel-good sermonettes from the pulpit. He is not to be afraid of "stepping on toes." Nor is he to be guilty of preaching a soft-soaped Gospel in order to make secure his weekly paycheck. In short, he is not to degenerate into tickling and scratching the ears of lukewarm and weak brethren with some soft, mushy, ooy-goohy, compromising after-dinner speeches. This type of watered-down preaching does nothing but rob the Gospel of its saving power and lowers the esteem and dignity of being a preacher in God's behalf. And, I am truly ashamed for those so-called Gospel preachers who are guilty of such!
The preacher must realize that he has the most urgent, the most serious, and the most important job on earth--that of proclaiming salvation from sin through God's Son to a lost and dying human race! So, preachers, let us be about the task!
By Stephen Wiggins Article
from Seek The Old Paths Feb 2000
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