Preach The Word!

PROVIDED FOR THOSE WHO ARE PATIENT ENOUGH TO READ AND HEED:

2 Timothy 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.

2 Timothy 4:2 (Wuest Word Studies)
(4:2) The charge is to preach the Word. The English word “preach” brings to our mind at once the picture of the ordained clergyman standing in his pulpit on the Lord’s Day ministering the Word. But the Greek word here (kerusso) left quite a different impression with Timothy. At once it called to his mind the Imperial Herald, spokesman of the Emperor, proclaiming in a formal, grave, and authoritative manner which must be listened to, the message which the Emperor gave him to announce. It brought before him the picture of the town official who would make a proclamation in a public gathering. The word is in a construction which makes it a summary command to be obeyed at once. It is a sharp command as in military language. This should be the pattern for the preacher today. His preaching should be characterized by that dignity which comes from the consciousness of the fact that he is an official herald of the King of kings. It should be accompanied by that note of authority which will command the respect, careful attention, and proper reaction of the listeners. There is no place for clowning in the pulpit of Jesus Christ.
Timothy is to preach the Word. The word “Word” here refers to the whole body of revealed truth, as will be seen by comparing this passage with I Thessalonians 1:6 and Galatians 6:6. The preacher must present, not book reviews, not politics, not economics, not current topics of the day, not a philosophy of life denying the Bible and based upon unproven theories of science, but the Word. The preacher as a herald cannot choose his message. He is given a message to proclaim by his Sovereign. If he will not proclaim that, let him step down from his exalted position.
He is to be instant in season and out of season in this proclamation. The words, “be instant” are from a word which means “to stand by, be present, to be at hand, to be ready” (epistemi). The exhortation is for the preacher to hold himself in constant readiness to proclaim the Word. The words, “in season,” are from a word which means “opportune” (eukairos), “out of season,” from a word which means “inopportune” (akairos). The preacher is to proclaim the Word when the time is auspicious, favorable, opportune, and also when the circumstances seem unfavorable. So few times are still available for preaching that the preacher must take every chance he has to preach the Word. There is no closed season for preaching.
In his preaching he is to include reproof and rebuke. The Greek word translated “reprove” (elegcho), speaks of a rebuke which results in the person’s confession of his guilt, or if not his confession, in his conviction of sin. The preacher is to deal with sin, both in the lives of his unsaved hearers and in those of the saints to whom he ministers, and he is to do it in no uncertain tones. The word “sin” is not enough in the vocabulary of our preaching today. And as he deals with the sin that confronts him as he preaches, he is to expect results, the salvation of the lost and the sanctification of the saints.
The word “rebuke” (epitimao) refers to a rebuke which does not bring the one rebuked to a conviction of any fault on his part. It might be because the one rebuked is innocent of the charge, or that he is guilty but refuses to acknowledge his guilt. This word implies a sharp, severe rebuke with possibly a suggestion in some cases, of impending penalty. Even where the preacher has experienced failure after failure in bringing sinners or saints to forsake their sin, or where there seems little hope of so doing, yet he is to sharply rebuke sin. He has discharged his duty, and the responsibility is upon his hearers to deal with the sin in their lives.
Not only is he to speak in stern language against sin, but he is to exhort. The word “exhort” (parakaleo) has in it the ideas of “please, I beg of you, I urge you.” Thus, there is to be a mingling of severity and gentleness in his preaching. He is to exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. The word “longsuffering” (makrothumia) speaks of that temper which does not easily succumb under suffering, of that self-restraint which does not hastily retaliate a wrong. The word “doctrine” (didache) is in the Greek, literally, “teaching.” It speaks of instruction. Vincent says in this connection: “Longsuffering is to be maintained against the temptations to anger presented by the obstinacy and perverseness of certain hearers; and such is to be met, not merely with rebuke, but also with sound and reasonable instruction in the truth.” Calvin says: “Those who are strong only in fervor and sharpness, but are not fortified with solid doctrine, weary themselves in their vigorous efforts, make a great noise, rave…make no headway because they build without a foundation.” Or, as Vincent says, “Men will not be won to the truth by scolding,” and then quotes another as saying, “They should understand what they hear, and learn to perceive why they are rebuked.”

Wuest’s Translation: Make a public proclamation of the Word with such formality, gravity, and authority as must be heeded. Hold yourself in readiness for this proclamation when opportunity presents itself and when it does not; reprove so as to bring forth conviction and confession of guilt; rebuke sharply, severely, and with a suggestion of impending penalty. Pleadingly exhort, doing all this with that utmost self-restraint which does not hastily retaliate a wrong, and accompany this exhortation with the most painstaking instruction.

DOESN’T SOUND MUCH LIKE TODAY’S IDEA OF PREACHING DOES IT?

Who’s Winning?

IS THE CHURCH WINNING THE WORLD OR IS THE WORLD WINNING THE CHURCH?

The idea that it is possible to make faith in the Lord Jesus Christ popular, or maybe acceptable, or even palatable to this world is both ludicrous and absolute proof of an ignorance of what the Bible says AND proof of one’s unbelief in the Bible as God’s Word. It is IMPOSSIBLE to truly believe what the Bible literally says and believe that this world will ever accept what it says as truth! The Bible states that will NEVER HAPPEN!

The Bible is diametrically opposed to the principles and priorities of this world and will ALWAYS challenge those who believe it to make a choice between the Word of God and pleasing (being acceptable to) this world!

Light and darkness can never be part of one another — neither physically or spiritually. The absence of one (light) is the definition of the other (darkness)! It is impossible naturally or spiritually for light and darkness to ever co-exist!

God spoke and wrote His Word in such a manner as to reveal the thoughts and intents of human’s hearts. If one wants an excuse to live according to their own lusts and justify themselves, all they have to do is “look hard enough” in the Bible and they will SEEM to find it. Even the devil quoted Scriptures to Jesus!

“There is a way that SEEMETH right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death” (Proverbs 16:25)

‪Just because some things “sound” right doesn’t make them right!‬

It is Biblically impossible to truly believe the Bible and follow the teachings of Jesus and today’s culture “approve”! To the natural mind, the things of the Spirit of God are “foolishness”! The preaching of the cross is both foolish and offensive to this world. “Believer,” will you eliminate spiritual things and the cross of Christ from your faith in order to be accepted by this world. The Bible emphatically declares that they that are friends with this world are the “enemies” of God! (James 4:4)

Bible-believing Christians, we are commanded to love the people of this world, but don’t expect the world to return the sentiments! Jesus emphatically stated that is not going to happen!

1 John 2:15-17
15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

ONCE THE WORLD (ITS THOUGHTS, PRIORITIES, METHODS, LIFESTYLES, ETC.) GETS INTO THE CHURCH, AND THE WORLD AND THE CHURCH BECOME ONE AND THE SAME, THEN THE “CHURCH” IS NO LONGER THE CHURCH — IT’S JUST ANOTHER EXPRESSION OF THE WORLD!!!

BELIEVER, YOU MUST CHOOSE BETWEEN GOD AND THIS WORLD!
REMEMBER, “NOT CHOOSING” IS A CHOICE! GOD CAN ONLY BE CHOSEN BY ACTUALLY MAKING A CHOICE FOR HIM!

Whom Will You Believe?

WHOM WILL YOU BELIEVE? THE BIBLE OR THIS WORLD’S OPINIONS OF “RIGHT AND WRONG”?

With all of the pressure that this world is putting on “preachers” and the “church” to cave in and go along with what “they” say is right, far too many “Christians” today are at best drifting away from the Bible as being the final authority in their lives OR at worst totally abandoning its teachings and tenets so that they can “go along to get along.”

None of this conflict between the church and the opinions of this world is a surprise to those who study the Bible and believe that it is true. Yet, some “believers” have always been willing to forfeit their eternal future for a more comfortable place in whatever current society that they want to be accepted by.

Before the Civil War (and in some places still today), Preachers (and their churches) in the South preached and supported the culture and practice of slavery for personal gain and acceptance in society. Yet, it should have been the churches who stood up with the loudest voice and protested against slavery even from BEFORE the beginning of our nation.

In Germany before World War II, far too many preachers and churches supported Hitler and justified his hatred of Jews while turning a blind eye to what was going on in the death camps. Yes, those who protested were often jailed and some were executed. BUT that is sometimes the price of our faith and of faithfulness to God.

Nevertheless, all of the above and every other instance where those who were once faithful believers compromised for the expediency of their temporal existence in NO WAY invalidates the Bible as the Word of God AND the need for those who are His people to stand for His Word and His teachings regardless of the cost.

1 Peter 4:12-19
12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:
13 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.
14 If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.
15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men’s matters.
16 Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.
17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? 18 And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?
19 Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.

1 Peter 1:6-9
6 Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:
7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:
8 Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:
9 Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.

ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE TESTING AND TRYING THAT IS COMING TO THE CHURCH FROM THIS WORLD, WILL YOU STILL BE STANDING FOR RIGHT AND TRUTH OR WILL YOU CHOOSE THE EASY WAY OUT? ETERNITY WILL PROVE THAT IT WASN’T THE EASY WAY, BUT IT TAKES TRUE FAITH IN THE BIBLE TO BELIEVE THAT, DOESN’T IT?

Hebrews 11:24-27
24 By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter;
25 Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;
26 Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward.
27 By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible.

IT TOOK FAITH FOR MOSES TO CHOOSE TEMPORARY PAIN OVER COMFORT AND PLEASURE NOW IN ORDER FOR HIM TO HAVE AN ETERNAL COMFORT AND REWARD. EVERY BELIEVER WILL BE FACED WITH THE SAME CHOICE. SOME ARE FACING THAT CHOICE EVEN NOW! WHAT WILL YOUR CHOICE BE? BETTER CHECK THE PRICE TAG?

THE SPIRITUAL NEUTRALITY NECESSARY TO FLOW IN THE SPIRIT IN MINISTRY!

While praying this morning, the Lord impressed upon me again the need to go into every individual spiritual meeting and session of that meeting in a state/condition of NEUTRALITY from a human perspective. IT IS IMPERATIVE to have NO preconceived ideas of how any gathering to pray, worship, and/or minister is going to proceed SO THAT we can be totally responsive to the directing of the Lord’s Spirit.

Any conscious or subconscious attempt to “direct” the meeting in any specific direction is contrary to His Will. WE MUST find the flow of the meeting and flow with His Spirit throughout the meeting. (Our flesh is always “tempted” to take over a meeting that God is moving in. NOT GOOD!)

Our “custom” in Ministry is to want to know what we are “going to do and say” in advance. But how much of that is His Will and His way, and how much of it is our fear of failure and us attempting to avoid being embarrassed if things don’t work out like we “intended”?

I fully understand that only ONE of the twelve Apostles got out of the boat, BUT he did get to walk on water. My sincere desire is that every true Man and Woman of God would be willing to risk sinking in order to have the opportunity to walk with Him where others fear to go!

If you know me at all, you know I study and pray — not just to minister, but as my lifestyle. Nevertheless, Jesus said to take no thought for what we would say in that day and hour. I know that for many that sounds “dangerous” because it seems as though it gives flesh a free pass to do nothing — just “get up and wing it.” But in point of fact, it is the opposite. In order to walk with Jesus where He is totally “in charge,” I have to allow the Grace of God to enable me to become completely neutral before Him everyday.

The Father desires to make me HIS conduit: one that does not direct Him, but yields to HIM — even when I don’t understand what He is doing or saying. How else could Old Testament prophets prophesy things that they did not understand at all. If someone in the Old Testament without even having the Baptism of the Holy Ghost can trust the Lord to that degree and be that yielded to Him, how can we, who do have His Spirit, do and be less?

This may be a “new day,” but we must walk in it the “old” way — His Way — not our modern “churchified” way. I am not “preaching” against preparation to minister. I am espousing that true preparation is every day, every moment of the day so that we can be instant in season and out — IN HIM! We must do this so that we can always be ready to walk through every door that the Lord opens and be able flow immediately! It is much easier to find the flow of the Spirit for Ministry when we live in the flow of His presence every day!

I feel compelled in the Spirit to challenge every sincere Minister of God, who is hungry for more of God, to go into the Sunday “gatherings” of His Body (a much more Biblical word than “church service”) and be totally neutral before God AND let Him Direct and lead. Then you can see what happens!

It is not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit saith the Lord! (Zach 4:6).
If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit (Gal 5:16-25).
If we walk in the Spirit, let us also minister with, in, by, and through His Spirit.

Jesus emphatically declared in John 6:63, “It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth NOTHING: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.”

THE LORD’S WORDS INITIATED BY, EMPOWERED BY, AND MINISTERED BY HIS SPIRIT GIVE LIFE AND PEACE!

BUT OUR WORDS — EVEN IF THEY ARE “QUOTING” THE BIBLE — PRODUCE NOTHING OF ANY VALUE AT BEST AND SPIRITUAL DEATH IN THE HEARERS AT WORST!

Prayer Works!

PASTOR, DO YOU PREACH TO PEOPLE THAT YOU DON’T REALLY PRAY FERVENTLY FOR EVERYDAY?

‪Do you spend more time preparing to preach, than praying to preach?‬

Here is what Paul said numerous times to the churches that he was responsible for: “I don’t CEASE to pray for you.”

Romans 8:27 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.

Ephesians 6:18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

Ephesians 1:15-16
15 Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints,
16 Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers;

Philippians 1:3-4
3 I thank my God upon every remembrance [Gk = mention] of you,
4 Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy,

Romans 1:7-10
7 To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.
8 First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world.
9 For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers;
10 Making request, if by any means now at length I might have a prosperous journey by the will of God to come unto you.

1 Thessalonians 1:2-3
2 We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers;
3 Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father;

1 Timothy 2:1-4
1 I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;
2 For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.
3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;
4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

Colossians 1:2-4
2 To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colosse: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
3 We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you,
4 Since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints,

Colossians 1:9 For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;

PAUL SAID, “FOLLOW [Gk = “imitate”] ME, AS I FOLLOW CHRIST! PAUL IS EXAMPLE, DO WE FOLLOW HIM?

THE PEOPLE OF GOD ASKED THE PROPHET SAMUEL TO PRAY FOR THEM, AND HE RESPONDED THAT IT WOULD BE SIN FOR HIM TO CEASE TO PRAY FOR THEM.

1 Samuel 7:8 And the children of Israel said to Samuel, Cease not to cry unto the Lord our God for us, that he will save us out of the hand of the Philistines.

1 Samuel 12:22-23
22 For the Lord will not forsake his people for his great name’s sake: because it hath pleased the Lord to make you his people.
23 Moreover as for me, God forbid that I should sin against the Lord in ceasing to pray for you: but I will teach you the good and the right way:

OUR CALL TO PRAYER, OH MAN OF GOD!

Isaiah 62:6-7
6 I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, which shall never hold their peace day nor night: ye that make mention of the Lord, keep not silence,
7 And give him no rest, till he establish, and till he make Jerusalem a praise in the earth.

PREACHER, DO YOU PRAY OR GO THROUGH THE MOTIONS? PRAYER WORKS! BUT ONLY IF WE ACTUALLY BIBLICALLY PRAY!

Sermonizing

If we were in a public situation where someone asked, “Is there anyone here who could tell us about Jesus?” Could we preach to them right then and there. Would be able, would we be ready? With No Notes, no pulpit, maybe even no Bible in hand?

The professional sermonizer would be in a world of hurt, AND tragically, the “open door” to the Gospel would close because the “pulpiteer” would be unable to preach to them!

Some would say to me, “Aren’t you being kind of harsh on your own ‘kind'”? My response: They ARE NOT my “Kind”!

Men Of God!

THE LORD CALLS MEN OF GOD AND EQUIPS THEM TO DO HIS WILL AND HIS WORK. THAT WORK? STANDING AGAINST THE STUBBORNNESS AND SINS OF HIS PEOPLE AND DELIVERING HIS MESSAGE!

Ezekiel 3:4-9
4 And he said unto me, Son of man, go, get thee unto the house of Israel, and speak with my words unto them.
5 For thou art not sent to a people of a strange speech and of an hard language, but to the house of Israel;
6 Not to many people of a strange speech and of an hard language, whose words thou canst not understand. Surely, had I sent thee to them, they would have hearkened unto thee.
7 But the house of Israel will not hearken unto thee; for they will not hearken unto me: for all the house of Israel are impudent and hardhearted.
8 Behold, I have made thy face strong against their faces, and thy forehead strong against their foreheads.
9 As an adamant harder than flint have I made thy forehead: fear them not, neither be dismayed at their looks, though they be a rebellious house.

The Lord knows us. He knows our flesh. He wants to save us. So He prepares Men of God to be able to speak to us with His authority. He will NOT give in to us and condone our sins! He commands His men to NOT give in to us either! The Lord describes this as “forehead against forehead”!
PREACHERS ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO PLACATE AND ACCOMMODATE! PREACHERS ARE SUPPOSED TO STAND FOR GOD’S WORD AND WILL — REGARDLESS OF THE PEOPLE’S OPINION OF THEM AND/OR THEIR WORDS. Why? BECAUSE FOR THE TRUE MAN OF GOD, HIS WORDS ARE NOT HIS OWN BUT GOD’S!
A TRUE MAN OF GOD WILL NOT COMPROMISE OR APPEASE! THE SOULS OF MANKIND ARE DEPENDENT UPON MEN OF GOD HEARING, SPEAKING, AND STANDING BY THE WORDS THAT GOD HAS GIVEN THEM TO SAY. IF THEY DON’T DO THIS, THEN IT IS THE SOUL OF THE MAN OF GOD THAT IS IN JEOPARDY!

Ezekiel 3:18-19
18 When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.
19 Yet if thou warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; BUT THOU HAST DELIVERED THY SOUL.

Ezekiel 3:20-21
20 Again, When a righteous man doth turn from his righteousness, and commit iniquity, and I lay a stumblingblock before him, he shall die: because thou hast not given him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he hath done shall not be remembered; but his blood will I require at thine hand.
21 Nevertheless if thou warn the righteous man, that the righteous sin not, and he doth not sin, he shall surely live, BECAUSE HE IS WARNED; ALSO THOU HAST DELIVERED THY SOUL.

Ezekiel 33:7-9
7 So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me.
8 When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.
9 Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; BUT THOU HAST DELIVERED THY SOUL.

OH MINISTERIAL BRETHREN! THINK NOT THAT YOU CAN “EDIT” WHAT GOD IS SAYING OR REFUSE TO SAY WHAT HE IS SAYING TO HIS PEOPLE AND/OR TO THIS WORLD AND THAT YOU WILL AVOID BEING JUDGED BY GOD FOR THAT. YOU ARE HIS PLAN! IF YOU FAIL TO BE HIS MOUTHPIECE, THEN YOUR SOUL STANDS IN JUDGEMENT BEFORE THE GOD WHO CALLED YOU! THINK NOT THAT YOU WILL ESCAPE. IF YOU LET PEOPLE GO TO HELL TO SPARE YOURSELF, YOU WILL NOT BE SPARED!

Catch And Release

“CATCH AND RELEASE” CHURCHES

I was listening to some guys talk about fishing. They bragged about all the fish they had caught. I asked where the fish were? They said it was “catch and release”! They took pictures and bragged about the “catch,” but there was nothing to show for their time investment! Who knows they might have been “catching” the same fish over and over again!

Sounds like some “churches” I know: “CATCH AND RELEASE”! They have a crowd, but no church! They just entertain folks each week and release them right back to their old lives! These pastors “brag” about their crowds, but really nothing eternal is accomplished!

We are called by Jesus to be “Fishers of Men”! But it is not a sport! It is not for entertainment! It is for altering the eternal destiny of souls!

(Some will do their “normal” thing to avoid hearing the Word and being convicted: They will say, “You are judging!” There is judging going on all right, but it is the Word of God not man who is Judging! 1 Peter 4:7-18!)