Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Is Preaching too 'old School' for Today

Recently, I was asked if I thought preaching was to “old School” to be effective for today.  And as you may expect I could not just say no and move on but today I wanted to present my answer to that question especially in light of the fact that many today believe we need so much more than just the simple preaching of the Gospel.  That somehow man has intellectually advanced beyond such a simple means to an end and need to …well … put some lipstick on it to dress it up. 

So here goes.

The term “old school” is really a subjective quantity; nevertheless this term does describe preaching today in the ears of many.  It is not the fault of the true preacher of the Word though nor of the Word that is proclaimed but a negative commentary of the last days in which we live.  The Scriptures tell us that in the last days there shall be a “falling away” (2 Thess 2:3) prior to the “the day of the Lord.”  This falling away or “rebellion” Paul notes to Timothy, manifests itself in people being “lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power” (2 Tim 3:2-5).

These “evil men” states Paul, will go from bad to worse which one may expect.  In spite of this though, he encourages Timothy to “preach the word” for the time will come when they (most likely those of Ch 3) will not endure or put up with “sound doctrine.”  They will instead be driven by their own desires to seek teachers who will satisfy their “passions”; they will turn away from truth to follow “myths” (2 Tim 4 1-4).  Now in noting that the “time will come” when they will not endure certainly implies a time when they would, making them little more than moralists since it is the rejection of God and His word from which they turn. 

Had they been believers in possession of the Holy Spirit they would have endured (through His power) and not turned away.  And while preaching is foolish to them that perish (1 Cor 1:18), to those who are called of God preaching is the very means by which they are saved.  For how can they believe on Him whom they have not heard and how can they hear without a preacher (Rom 10:14)?  The one who preaches the very “foolishness” the fool rejects.

So the ultimate purpose of God through the preaching of His word is the revelation of Christ to the world in general and to His elect specifically.  Therefore, the ultimate purpose of the preacher is to accurately present His word as an under Shepherd that would not be ashamed of his work unto the Lord (2 Tim 2:15).  It is his calling to present the whole counsel of God’s word (Acts 20:27) for it is “profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work” (2 Tim 3:16-17).  Preaching is the means God has ordained by which His ends (the saving of many) are accomplished. 

So no preaching is not old School at all.

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