A mark of the digressive attitude of the current generation is the refusal to preach the Word as God has ordained it to be preached. All too often we are faced in our assemblies and Bible classes with vague discussions of the most trivial kind or pompous platitudes which are designed to tickle the ears of the hearer. Most sermons, which are heard from the pulpits of the Lord’s church today, could be preached in the most liberal Methodist church without raising an eyebrow. Beloved, the proper preaching required of God will cause a stir (Acts 19:23), and not until we relegate ourselves to do that kind of preaching shall the apostasy rampaging through the congregations be stopped.
One should read Paul’s discussion of proper preaching in 1 Corinthians 1:17-31. In that great passage the apostle sets forth that our preaching must be, first of all, plain. It should not be with the “wisdom of speech,” that is to say, those words which are born out of the unconverted wisdom of the world (v. 17). Words are merely the emblems or symbols of thought, and unless they are properly understood the idea carried by them cannot be grasped. I am persuaded that it is the realization of this fact which motivates the wolves among us to try to cover their nefarious tracks with a majestic harangue of nothing.
Secondly, Paul shows that proper preaching must be powerful: for the word itself is “unto us which are saved…the power of God” (v. 18). The Gospel is not weak, nor is it ineffectual. God has placed within its confines the complete ability to make man complete, and this by His grace which teaches us (Tit. 2:11-13).
Thirdly, Paul declares that proper preaching must be purposeful. As God’s power unto salvation for every one who keeps on believing, the heralding of the Gospel has a definite part in the Scheme of Redemption: for “it pleased God by the foolishness [as the world considers it] of preaching to save them that believe” (v. 21). It was divinely chosen by God to confound the false and perverted notions of men (v. 27).
Fourthly, Paul demonstrates that proper preaching should be pointed in verse 24. In our preaching we must preach Christ, and Him crucified. However, such preaching to the religiously wrong is a stumblingblock: they fail to perceive the significance of that which is preached, and indeed are blinded by their vain traditions. It is foolishness to the heathen: for they, generally speaking wish to continue in their rebellious ways. Thus, proper preaching demands that we preach the Gospel of Christ in such a manner as to force upon the mind of these people the reality of where they are at, and where they are going, and, ultimately, how to detour from it.
Finally, Paul states that proper preat must be profitable (vv. 30-31). It should cause men to “glory in the Lord.” Paul held back nothing that was profitable by his preaching (Acts 20:20), but today our preaching in our stagnated sermonettes, which are void of exposition and proper application, does not profit even the most attentive spiritual minds. There is little or no meat put out for the hungry from our pulpits classrooms. Some say, “Oh, the brethren cannot take strong meat.” Yet, how do they know if the brethren are never given strong meat?
Souls are too precious to cast away due to our pitiful lack of proper preaching. We cannot negotiate them to heaven; only sound Gospel preaching will get them there. I would the day come when preachers would do what they are supposed to do—“Preach Word.”