Monday, May 3, 2010

Preach the Word!

It is Monday morning, and already the mind of the preacher is focused on next Sunday's message. What should be preached this week? For years being Jr. Church director and youth pastor, this was my life. Then I became pastor, and let's just say the pressure became immensely more with preaching four times a week!
A few years into being pastor, I was speaking to another pastor about sermons we had recently preached. He then made a statement to me that changed my life in regards to preaching:
"Pastor Burke, I have a great sermon worked out, I just need to find a Scripture to go with it."

Now, you might not think much about that statement, but it started my wheels turning. He did have a great message, and there was alot of 'hooting and shoutn' going on when he preached it; but the reference he used was at best-a stretch.
My mind went to 2 Timothy 4:2 that reads "Preach the word".
God began to speak to my heart. You see, there is a difference between giving a speech and least there should be. Giving a speech can motivate, educate, and regulate a people for a time, but preaching changes lives for eternity. What is the difference? Preaching is proclaiming the Word of God!

I was somewhat surprised at the poll from last week. What kind of preaching do you enjoy listening too? Expository led the way by one vote over Topical and Personal Testimony. I would think that this typifies my readers, but probably not Baptist Churches; but I do believe that what we need most is expository preaching.
I'm not against 'in your face, get right with God you dirty sinner preaching.' Matter a fact, I involve myself in that quite often! But I just fear we have had a diet in our churches of too much fluff and show and not enough meat and vegetables.
Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD: Amos 8:11

My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.
Hosea 4:6
And straightway many were gathered together, insomuch that there was no room to receive them, no, not so much as about the door: and he preached the word unto them.
Mark 2:2

Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word.
Acts 8:4

But hath in due times manifested his word through preaching, which is committed unto me according to the commandment of God our Saviour;
Titus 1:3

One area of great weakness in our churches today is a lack of knowledge of the Word of God. We do know, for the most part, what we believe-but being able to show someone in the Word why we believe it is a different story. We do know the pet-peeves of the preachers that frequent our pulpits. We do know the top 5 sermons from Sword of the Lord. We have heard 75 different sermons on David and Goliath, Digging Wells, and Watching out for Wolves, but we have no idea what Ephesians is about. We have little knowledge of the books of Jude, Amos, and Malachi (other than that is where tithing is, right?); and don't even dare turn to Song of Solomon! Revelation is for the prophecy experts, and we will leave Genesis up to Ken Hamm. But, if you want to know "Seven Reasons Why Men Don't Get Saved" well, we've got 21 of them.
You see, this year I have been working on getting into better shape. I have lost 32 pounds thus far and have a lot more to go; and I haven't started Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, or used Dr. Atkins diet, I just started making better choices and eating things that are better for me.
Instead of my Reese's cups, I eat a mandarin orange. Instead of a bacon, egg, and cheese biscuit in the morning from McD's, I eat a protein bar. You know what? I feel better, I am losing excess baggage, and my desire for the 'fluff' is pretty much gone.
I believe if more preacher's got back to expository, preaching the Word preaching, giving meat and vegetables instead of fluff to their flocks, we might mature as a people, shed some that sin baggage we carry around, and our desire for the 'fluff' sermons will dissipate as well.
And, you know what else, on Monday mornings I don't have to start the "Great Sermon Hunt" anymore, the Lord has already directed the passage we are to study by just going through the Word!
May God help us to Preach the Word!


ReformedFundy said...

Excellent post. This, along with various other reasons, is why I have left the IFB movement. I love expository preaching, although I can enjoy a good topical sermon if it uses a good text and is properly derived from the text. There's just not enough of that type of teaching within Fundamentalism, or even within Southern Baptist churches. Or most of evangelicism at large. Reformed Baptists tend to regularly preach in an expository manner, and some Southern Baptists, and some Fundamental Baptists. But for the most part, expository preaching has gone by the wayside, in order to tickle ears(either of the church members or of the unsaved). Part of this can be attributed to laziness, part to culture, and part to the inability of pastors to actually read the text(check out "Why Johnny Can't Preach").

Jack Lamb said...

Bro. Travis, Two books greatly influenced me on expository preaching: Biblical Preaching by Haddon Robinson (read it while at Fairhaven) & Rediscovering Expository Preaching by John MacArthur (read later)

Travis Burke said...

Bro. Lamb,
Thanks for the book suggestions, I actually have not read either one, but will endeavor to do so.
Thanks for the kind words, I agree that for the most part expository preaching has gone by the wayside in order to tickle the ears. I do believe laziness has a great impact in this.
I do hate the fact that you seem to have abandoned the "IFB movement." I personally am not a fundamentalist as history will show you that the fundamentalist movement is out to tear down and destroy the Baptist faith. I am without apology an independent Baptist, for many reasons. It saddens me too that so many are tickling the ears, but it was prophesied such would happen in the latter days. But, I am not a Baptist because of the way people preach, I am a Baptist because of doctrine. It is doctrine that is important, and one can obtain strong doctrine through expository preaching.
I just finished preaching through the book of Song of Solomon and covered the doctrines of: separation, Christology, soteriology, eschatology, ecclesiology, demonology, and even the Bride of Christ being those churches that are "as walls" that do not allow false doctrine and the world's false teachings in. Basically, I encourage you to find a sound independent Baptist church that preaches and teaches the truth. I know of a quite a few, if you would like to let me know where you live, I can perhaps recommend one near you.
Thank you again for your kind words and i pray you took my response in the same manner.

bhardecker said...

I like Spurgeon's "Lectures to My Students." Good thoughts about preaching here, Bro. Burke.

Travis Burke said...

Bro. Hardecker,
I too enjoyed that book. Great read concerning the topic. Thanks.

Kent Brandenburg said...

I've become more independent and more Baptist because of expositional preaching. Thanks for the post.

Jack Lamb said...

Pastor Brandenburg, I agree digging into the Bible will make you more independent and Baptist; however, digging into other people's books more than the text might make you less independent & Baptist.

Jack Lamb said...

Preaching should be an exposition of the text not the textbook...

Kent Brandenburg said...

Agreed Jack.