Chris Welch uses Designer Pro 365 to illustrate all 3rd level concepts

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Steve Chalke,Seals and Secularism (Preaching)

You can tell a Brit a mile off. He's the idiot that believes everything as long as it is preceded by the word secular.

Secular is his authority, even if he's religious.

For centuries we had preaching. So when the radio was invented it was natural that independent Christians use it in the UK to get their particular message across. But Christians obey the "secular voice" because for them secular means reason. Means the only way to behave. So all a Luciferian has to do to get his policies through is  to say..."the secular policy is"..... and all Christians immediately fall into line like performing seals.
"Ofcourse," the Brit agrees," preaching must be banned. Children must be given a fair choice. They need to make up their own minds." Well, if Christianity was from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil like in Genesis 3, that would be fine. But that principle IS SECULARISM. The very nature of BELIEF is that it is belief. But here's the stickler. SECULAR BELIEF is NOT the same as Christian belief. Secular Belief is a largely Leftbrain affair, although some have what they feel is a gut instinct on it. The FOLLY OF PREACHING is the SPIRITUAL COMMUNICATION OF A NEW TYPE OF FOOD ENTIRELY. Its proof comes AFTERWARDS. SECULARISM only reports BACKWARDS from what appears to be there already.
 Secularism however is also the tool of the Luciferian, because it never reports on things that are true, but that they don't want you to know. Like the fact that  the world is run quite independent of the things a secular man is led to believe run it.(That's why so many things are peculiar. And even a secular person picks up how strange it is, but after being patted on the head by a few Luciferians, and having their secular dummy replaced in their mouth, most Brits are quietly mollified.)
FAITH however REPORTS FORWARDS. It believes in its heart and confesses in its mouth things God has said as though they were already. A Luciferian calls this lying, and bans it from school and the airwaves.

When USSR fell in 1989 there was a spare propaganda station that disbanded on a particular MW frequency. Somehow or other it was donated to United Christian Broadcasters of Northern Ireland for a Christian Radio station (now DAB,Sky and internet). The Luciferian Lords quickly used the pretext of various stunning US Christian media scandals in the late 80s  to maintain a complete stronghold ban on all national Christian radio stations. This religious area is already covered by BBC, they said. What they fail to say is that Luciferians and Jesuits control all religious content in our media as they do in most churches. This is why there is hardly any preaching in Britain, as against say Northern Ireland. The "pulpit style" here is Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil "opinion formation". The irony is this is in many cases  outright lies or confusing halftruths, which is why most people's Christianity doesn't actually work in Britain. The faith frequency in Britain after all this Luciferianism is so low that Evangelist Rheinhard Bonnke can be in Africa on Friday raising people from the dead, then on the Saturday in Westminster Central Hall London, having great problem with shifting headcolds. Jesus used to put people out of rooms. If Jesus were on earth as the Nazarene today, He'd  probably ask Britain to leave the room. Which would be good for the Ferry Operators.

In the 80s Christians were very excited to be told that evangelist Steve Chalke was now "INTO" the hallowed BBC. Ofcourse what actually happened was he became major "eco-reporter" for BBC Radio 4. And this would have been done in the very gentlemanly and firm way Luciferians do things in Board Rooms and Gentleman's London Clubs...But because...hey, this is secular rationality...the Brits all fall in line applauding like the seals. END

This article really originated in the ideas in this Facebook status:
Unless a child goes to a particular type of church which are as rare as hen's teeth in the UK, they will not have heard preaching in all their years of schooling. It is banned in our free country. The "folly" of preaching is not allowed here, and yet it is the power of God unto salvation. Any wonder then the few Christians there are here know nothing of internal regeneration from on high. They use the word Christian to mean a philosophical and moral position. Have you ever tried living with one of those? It's a similar stupidity to being taught spoken French by someone who has never been outside the Birmingham Bangladeshi Community. They have trouble with English, forget French!!
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Christianity is a language. It's a spiritual language. It's not really a leftbrain language at all. Like Hebrew, it begins in spirit. Preaching "appears" to outsiders to be folly because it will be the first time a leftbrain child in the UK has heard anyone speaking from the spirit. Heavens, Dawkins has already taught them such a thing doesn't exist. So yes, it will be alarming. For that reason alone, it might provoke the strongest reactions. Even in Israel ,who all understood preaching, the Bible records that after Stephen's preaching they were so incensed they picked up stones and killed him. When did that happen to an Oxford don rector speaking in Leftbrain? END

PREACH THE WORD by Greg Haslam, Westmister Chapel
Chapter 1 covers the whole subject in an introductory chapter of the same name. Hopefully this will wet your appetite to buy or download the book.

Greg Writes
The first sermon of the Christian era was preached on a day of harvest festival – the Day of Pentecost.' It was a day that also celebrated the giving of the Law to Moses at Mount Sinai. For Moses that day had ended tragically as 3,000 drunken revellers perished amid a storm of wind and fire. Remarkably for Peter, the Day of Pentecost resulted in a similar storm of wind and fire, and 3,000 people crossed the gulf from death to life as a result of the words that were on his lips. It was truly a much more significant day to be remembered than the giving of the Torah to Moses. Now we have the gospel of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ to preach and the fruit will be far more spectacular.
The era of the Spirit had commenced and church growth began to snowball according to Acts 4:4. The apostles preached incessantly – so much so that the main complaint voiced against them by the authorities was that they Had 'filled Jerusalem' with their teaching. Oh, that the same could be said over every town and city in our nations today – that these Christians have filled the city with their teaching, the word, the message they bring.
Such effects as the apostles achieved – dramatic church growth and equally dramatic hostility as a result – were not the result of inter-faith festivals, the creative arts, jumble sales or Christian rock concerts! It was through persistent preaching, day by day in the temple courts, or visiting house to house. They never ceased proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Christ. If we today would see the same apostolic results, then we have to emulate the same apostolic methods!
The apostle Paul did nothing more nor less than this. Indeed, he said he was always eager to preach.'  Only one of his recorded sermons in the book of Acts was preached to believers, so far as I can tell. The rest were aimed at Jewish and Pagan unbelievers. The record of his preaching to believers is, of course, summarised for us in the epistles of the New Testament. But what Paul had every confidence in was the proclamation of the truth to unbelievers. As converts multiplied and churches were planted he expressed his conviction that, 'God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe'." So seriously did Paul view his commission that he solemnly announced a self-imposed curse if he ever reneged on this responsibility: 'Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!'  This yields a very vital and important principle: Christianity is an enterprise that expands primarily through the activity of preaching. The parable of the sower, which is considered cardinal and central to all of Jesus' parables of the Kingdom, confirms that, 'A farmer went out to sow his seed ... The farmer sows the word.


And at the fast-growing Space Cadets mega-church, in their purpose-built glass and steel cathedral on the other side of town, Pastor Robby More (`That's M-O-R-E: more for me, more for you!') is showing a twelve-minute video on 'Improving your golf swing', to be followed by an eight-minute presentation on the 'spiritual lessons to be learned by hole-in-one believers on the fairway of life'. Here ends our day trip. If these cameos have any accuracy at all, and I believe they do, then much of the Body of Christ is being fed on a sustained, low-calorie diet of hard-tack, junk-food, cardboard and pap. Clearly, all is not well in All-is-not-well-ville. These various well-meaning departures from the true biblical priorities of God's people have resulted in at least seven long-term effects:
1. Both quantitative and qualitative growth in the Church of Jesus Christ has been significantly stunted in the West for decades, perhaps for a century or more.
 2. Passion for Jesus Christ has almost died, even among the once faithful.
 3. The Bible itself lies largely unknown by most, forgotten and neglected somewhere.
4. Faith has well-nigh faded from view in terms of its expression in vigorous prayer, in effective apologetic and interface with the world, and in terms of action that transforms lives and communities.
5. The big picture that the Bible presents, our whole world and life view, has almost totally been forgotten and is barely understood by even a minority of the Christian Church.
6. Cults and false religions have seemingly triumphed in many respects, filling the vacuum left by our abdication of responsibility and retreat from our priorities.
 7. The lost have dismissed both us and our message as weightless and irrelevant — irrelevant to their lives and to the ultimate questions that are plaguing them at this time in our nation.
We have to admit that it is very difficult at the present time to preach the truth of the Word faithfully in the West. One observer of recent trends, an American writer called George Target, has said, 'Preaching is a sacred relic, a dubious thing of withered skin and dry bones, enclosed in a reliquary of fond remembrance, still encrusted with the jewels of a former glory.' That negative assessment of preaching is actually widespread today. Those who attempt to do it, therefore, are deemed to be dinosaurs — relics from a bygone era who are leading a remnant of what we could call 'Jurassic Park churches', churches full of the long-dead or dying remains of creaking old fossils. They are creatures that failed to make the transition to post-modernity and to post-evangelicalism. Even Webster's Dictionary defines preaching as 'exhorting in an officious and tiresome manner'. If that is the case, then no wonder Madonna sang, 'Papa, don't preach'. Much preaching today actually unsettles and disturbs no one. It just fires blanks. It is too short, too trite, too boring, too empty, or too powerless to knock the wings off a gnat, let alone  shake a man or woman to their boots. It is no wonder, therefore, that people are staying away from our churches Sunday by Sunday in their millions, opting instead for watching low-key breakfast shows on TV, or taking a leisurely and satisfying stroll through the Sunday newspapers, or simply lying in bed later after a busy and tiring week. We need to remind ourselves that this has not always been the case. Someone once defined preaching as 'thirty minutes in which to wake the dead', and it was the Scottish theologian P.T. Forsyth's conviction that, 'The Church rises or falls by her preaching.'1 I happen to believe this is true. Good preaching shapes lives. It renews and reforms churches to become forces to be reckoned with. It can even transform whole towns, communities, even nations, as the marvellous legacy of church history can demonstrate. Frederick W. Robertson, the nineteenth-century preacher based in Brighton, once spoke of what he called 'the intense excitement of preaching'! Presumably he meant his own excitement and that of his hearers. Andrew Blackwood, who taught generations of seminarians how to preach, voiced the conviction that preaching should be at least as exciting as a good ball game. I would go further and say that preaching is a matter of life or death, and there is evidence that God Himself agrees with this. I will substantiate that claim later in this chapter, but first let me reinforce the challenge to preach the Word from the past, on through the present, and into the future.

THE POWER OF THE WORD
God Himself supremely believes in the power of the spoken word. At creation it was God who said, let there be light', and then, 'Let there be an expanse to separate the waters ... Let there be water and seas ... Let there be land, dry land ... Let there be living creatures ... Let there be man.' Every time God said, 'Let there be ... '— there was! People have often coined the phrase 'mere words', but from the Bible's point of view there is no such thing as 'mere' words. Words are the most powerful thing that has ever proceeded from the human personality. God Himself is a speaking God, and He never uses an idle word. In the Bible words are seen to be powerful and creative. They are what we can call 'performative utterances' — they actually effect the content of that which they describe. They make things happen. The words that God puts in our mouths have His own divine power upon them to effect the changes that God wants. They create a new reality. Preachers, especially, have to recover the confidence that this is so. In Genesis chapter 1 we learn that words brought something out of nothing, and shaped what was chaos into a cosmos. Similarly, because we are made in His image, men and women can borrow some of God's creative force so that our words can recreate and reform a ruined world — if God ordains it — by the power of our speech. With our words, under God, we can both create and critique a new people, even bring into being a new culture, to the glory of God!

GOD'S VOICE IN PREACHING
One of the words we use to describe the art or science of good communication in preaching is homiletics. The word is derived from the Greek homologeo which means 'to confess with the mouth', and etymologically can carry the idea: 'To say the same thing as, to speak in accord with, or in agreement with, something objective and outside of yourself.' Simply put, it means that through preaching we should be saying the same thing that God would say in a given situation. Preaching, therefore, can be said to be 'prophetic' in a very real sense of the word, because true biblical preaching says what God wants to say into a specific life situation. You can hear the very voice of God in biblical preaching. The One who spoke with power to generations past is still speaking today. As the Scriptures are opened, its prophetic message unfolds from the pages and speaks to our current environment and society.
GOD ANOINTED MEN TO PREACH
The narratives that run throughout the Torah make it very clear that it was God's purpose to anoint men to preach, often in times of national crisis, for His name's sake. Jude tells us that Enoch, the seventh man from Adam, `prophesied'. We are told by Peter that Noah was a 'preacher of righteousness' for over a hundred years. Israel was led from the death camps of Egypt by Moses, whom Hosea tells us was 'a prophet. All three of these outstanding figures trumpeted God's word to their generation, and were enabled by Him to change their world for the better. All biblical preaching should resound with a similar immediacy and relevance. As Jeremy Middleton said, 'The hour can ripple with the dancing currents of the Creator's voice. It is a dangerous place to be.
THE PROPHETIC VOICE OF PREACHING
Moving on, we think of the company of prophets: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and others. The concise brevity of the records of the ministry of these watchmen of Israel in our Bibles should not mislead us. These men were first and foremost preachers, not writers and poets. They were preachers conveying diagnostic and curative, revelatory and didactic ministry; eyeball to eyeball, face to face with their hearers, often over decades of influential ministry. All authentic preaching is meant to do the same thing. We can still clearly detect, beneath the surface of the writings of Isaiah, Amos, Hosea, Zechariah and the rest, the kind of structure and craftsmanship, the illustration and wordplay, the rugged, direct, penetrating application, that these men of God moved in habitually, to effect the things God wanted.

Words spoken forth from the heart of God resulted in the mobilisation of thousands to His cause. Take, for example, the massive building projects that were initiated after the return from exile. The rebuilding of the temple and then the fallen city walls of Jerusalem would probably never have been completed without the ministry of contemporary prophets who spoke into these situations. Ezra chapter 5, for instance, says,
Now Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the prophet, a descendant of Iddo, prophesied to the Jews in Judah and Jerusalem in the name of the God of Israel, who was over them. Then Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel and Jeshua son of Jozadak set to work to rebuild the house of God in Jerusalem. And the prophets of God were with them, helping them. (Ezra 5:1-2)
The result is neatly summarised in Ezra 6:14 where it says,
So the elders of the Jews continued to build and prosper under the preaching of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah, a descendant of Melo.
It is so crucial for us to understand these principles, because there is a dearth of such prophetic preaching and ministry in the Church today. No wonder then that our walls are down! No wonder that the temple of worship is so abysmally ruined! It will continue to be as long as there are no voices to declare God's heart and mind authoritatively to His people.
PREACHING IN THE ERA OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

Looking further ahead in Scripture we discover the era of the Holy Spirit — fore-shadowed by the ministry of John the Baptist, and supremely beginning with the death, resurrection and ascension of our Lord Jesus. We know that John the Baptist broke four hundred years of prophetic silence with an explosion of holy violence against the decadence of his day. His bold, earthy directness in preaching summoned the top-dogs and underdogs of his day to abandon their moral pollution and be baptised as a sign that they had done so. Even a king was on John's 'hit list' for repentance, renewal and life. John single-handedly mounted an assault, both on the corrupt occupying Roman army, and the faithless religious establishment of his day, arraigning them for their brutality, and for their formalism and empty pride. Of course, John the Baptist lost his head in the end — good preachers often do! But Christ said of him that 'no one greater than he' had been born of a woman, and added, 'yet he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.' If John's ministry was so powerful and effective, what may we aspire to?

JESUS' COMMISSION TO PREACH 

Jesus began His public ministry with the announcement that,
'The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the pow...
It is interesting to note how this statement takes priority in Isaiah's prediction. Somebody put it like this, 'God had only one Son, and He made Him a preacher.' What is obvious from the gospel accounts is that preaching was Jesus' priority. Enthusiastic crowds would gather to Him, awestruck at what they perceived to be the authority with which He spoke. If Christ was ever promoted to 'celebrity status' for His spectacular miracles alone, and He frequently was, He would immediately move on. He would leave that healing crusade abruptly, announcing to His bemused disciples as He did in Mark 1:38,
'Let us go somewhere else — to the nearby villages — so I can preach there also. That is why I have come.'
I believe it was Jesus' top priority to preach the Word. Healing is wonderful — those who have been beneficiaries of it know this — but healing, at its best, only repairs bodies for a time. Preaching can restore souls for all eternity. So preaching was, and still is, that important. Before He ascended into heaven, Christ's last order to His disciples was they should 'go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation!' (Mark 16:15).
The first sermon of the Christian era was preached on a day of harvest festival – the Day of Pentecost.' It was a day that also celebrated the giving of the Law to Moses at Mount Sinai. For Moses that day had ended tragically as 3,000 drunken revellers perished amid a storm of wind and fire. Remarkably for Peter, the Day of Pentecost resulted in a similar storm of wind and fire, and 3,000 people crossed the gulf from death to life as a result of the words that were on his lips. It was truly a much more significant day to be remembered than the giving of the Torah to Moses. Now we have the gospel of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ to preach and the fruit will be far more spectacular.
The era of the Spirit had commenced and church growth began to snowball according to Acts 4:4. The apostles preached incessantly – so much so that the main complaint voiced against them by the authorities was that they Had 'filled Jerusalem' with their teaching.9 Oh, that the same could be said over every town and city in our nations today – that these Christians have filled the city with their teaching, the word, the message they bring.
Such effects as the apostles achieved – dramatic church growth and equally dramatic hostility as a result – were not the result of inter-faith festivals, the creative arts, jumble sales or Christian rock concerts! It was through persistent preaching, day by day in the temple courts, or visiting house to house. They never ceased proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Christ. If we today would see the same apostolic results, then we have to emulate the same apostolic methods!
The apostle Paul did nothing more nor less than this. Indeed, he said he was always eager to preach.'  Only one of his recorded sermons in the book of Acts was preached to believers, so far as I can tell. The rest were aimed at Jewish and Pagan unbelievers. The record of his preaching to believers is, of course, summarised for us in the epistles of the New Testament. But what Paul had every confidence in was the proclamation of the truth to unbelievers. As converts multiplied and churches were planted he expressed his conviction that, 'God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe'." So seriously did Paul view his commission that he solemnly announced a self-imposed curse if he ever reneged on this responsibility: 'Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!'  This yields a very vital and important principle: Christianity is an enterprise that expands primarily through the activity of preaching. The parable of the sower, which is considered cardinal and central to all of Jesus' parables of the Kingdom, confirms that, 'A farmer went out to sow his seed ... The farmer sows the word.

PREACHERS OF THE WORD

Church history presents a dazzling gallery of outstanding preachers for us, illuminating the darkness of an otherwise black night sky, and accelerating periods of the Church's greatest advance and progress. Thank God that He has His champions in every century.

In Chapter 3 Liam Goligher will survey the main highlights and the glorious effects of this breathtaking story, and what an inspiring story it is. But our recent contemporary history has had its own illustrious role models — those who took up the baton of faithful witness and proclamation and then passed it on to others.
Borrowing from Dickens' famous opening to his novel A Tale of Two Cities, the past century has seen both 'the best and the worst of times'. No century before has seen such ideological ferment, global warfare, massive cruelty, wholesale genocide and widespread devastation threatening to push us to the brink of destruction. In the Church, tragically, the cancer of theological liberalism and worldly assimilation has accelerated a massive decline, particularly in the West. Decline in the quality and quantity of preaching has led to an emptying of the churches, even threatening their total demise. But I believe that wherever the Word of God and the Spirit of God are honoured, God will always ensure there will be a 'resurrection', and sometimes phenomenal growth in His Church as well.
Among my own recent heroes of the twentieth century are Oswald Chambers, and the triumvirate of Campbell Morgan, Martyn Lloyd-Jones, and R.T. Kendall from Westmin­ster Chapel. I am a great admirer of A.W. Tozer and W.E. Sangster; of Billy Graham, through whom I was converted; of Francis Schaeffer who taught me to relate the faith meaningfully to the culture in which I live; of John Stott, John Piper, Terry Virgo and David Pawson. Their spoken words have massively impacted their contemporaries, because they have never failed to let loose the Word of God in all of its primeval power.

So what of the present and the future of preaching in the twenty-first century? John Stott has written this: 'In preaching; God is bringing to each person's notice what holy Scripture has made publicly and permanently available, so that His timeless word comes to timely announcement, so that people believe the message and commit to the Saviour it announces.' 14 This, I am convinced, is the kind of preaching we need to see restored in the Body of Christ today — but there is a war on. There is a conflict for the minds, hearts, and welfare of humankind — particularly of the Church of Jesus Christ. We are at war! The Christian life is not like a war, it is a war, and Satan and his Republican Guard are out to halt our impact and progress in whatever way they can. If Satan cannot kill us directly, then he will try to starve us into weakness and disease, leading to a slow and certain death.
It brings no glory to God when His people are emaciated and weak to the point of withering. The necessity for the fullness of both the Word and the Spirit in church life is a matter for all-out spiritual warfare; something that we must constantly be prepared to fight for. Enemy propaganda has broadcast outright lies for years, telling us that preaching is passe, or that people today are 'Word-resistant'. We are led to believe that people cannot concentrate for more than seven minutes on any spoken
It brings no glory to God when His people are emaciated and weak to the point of withering. The necessity for the fullness of both the Word and the Spirit in church life is a matter for all-out spiritual warfare; 

What we need, they say, is entertainment, dialogue, fun! Let's bring in the soft lighting and smoke machines! Let's keep the people entertained!
We don't need more entertainment though the best preaching is truly entertaining, in the highest sense of the word, but we do need more authentic preaching that changes lives. If Christianity expands primarily through preaching, then if preaching disappears we will grow pale and sicken. Whole churches will eventually disappear from the map. The world could go to hell without a single soul being alert to the fact, or even strong enough to care.
In any war we need weapons; weapons that are clean, Well maintained, loaded, and fully functioning. How tragic, then, that we often appear to be firing blanks. It was said of the evangelist Charles Finney that when he opened his mouth he was aiming a gun and when he spoke the bombardment began. But we often engage in play fighting, firing corks from pop-guns, or making a noise with harmless caps and paintball repeaters. There may be a lot of smoke in connection with such activities, but there is definitely no fire!
Even within the 'best' of circles – the evangelical and Charismatic streams that once -experienced such vigour and health – preaching has fallen on hard times. It is partly due to
many critics voicing their opinions about preaching, and tragically we are believing them. But mostly the problem lies with leaders themselves. A catalogue of reasons could be given for the neglect of this as a priority activity in the ministry of God's leaders in His Church, but here are some suggestions why I think preaching is ailing today:
WHY PREACHING IS AILING
1. Some are too busy
Our schedules are jam-packed with programmes, people, networking, and socialising, so that time in the study has become either scarce or non-existent amid our hectic lifestyles.
2. Some are too lazy
Never begrudge the demanding work that good preaching entails. John Stott has said that
least one full hour of direct preparation is necessary for every five minutes of spoken utterance in the pulpit. He may well have underestimated that; he certainly hasn't overestimated Those who are too lazy to give that amount of time to preparation will
find that their preaching suffers.
3. Some are too ambitious
It is possible to fall into the trap of climbing some imaginary ecclesiastical ladder of success which demands a lot of time spent networking with people, at the expense of direct preparation. Such people may eventually discover that the ladder they have been climbing

What we need, they say, is entertainment, dialogue, fun! Let's bring in the soft lighting and smoke machines! Let's keep the people entertained!
We don't need more entertainment though the best preaching is truly entertaining, in the highest sense of the word, but we do need more authentic preaching that changes lives. If Christianity expands primarily through preaching, then if preaching disappears we will grow pale and sicken. Whole churches will eventually disappear from the map. The world could go to hell without a single soul being alert to the fact, or even strong enough to care.
In any war we need weapons; weapons that are clean, Well maintained, loaded, and fully functioning. How tragic, then, that we often appear to be firing blanks. It was said of the evangelist Charles Finney that when he opened his mouth he was aiming a gun and when he spoke the bombardment began. But we often engage in play fighting, firing corks from pop-guns, or making a noise with harmless caps and paintball repeaters. There may be a lot of smoke in connection with such activities, but there is definitely no fire!
Even within the 'best' of circles – the evangelical and Charismatic streams that once
perienced such vigour and health – preaching has fallen on hard times. It is partly due to
many critics voicing their opinions about preaching, and tragically we are believing -.em. But mostly the problem lies with leaders themselves. A catalogue of reasons could be given for the neglect of this as a priority activity in the ministry of God's leaders in His Church, but here are some suggestions why I think preaching is ailing today:
4. Some are too nervous
Some ministers are simply too afraid to speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, perhaps for fear of being disliked or alienated by their congregations.
5. Some are too polite and too politically correct
In the name of political correctness it is possible for the message to be so diluted that it leaves the congregation a sentence or two short of really hearing the truth; short of being rattled or offended at times, because the preacher feels it is too dangerous to do this. But doesn't the Bible tell us repeatedly that biblical ministry is not for the cowardly?
6. Some are too distracted
Perhaps they have many leisure pursuits, meals out, time with friends, time on the golf course, spectator sports and relaxation to timetable into their diaries. Well, they all have a 11 A place, but they are not our priority.
7. Some are too hard of hearing
In other words, waxy deposits have formed in their spiritual ears. In some cases they have been deafened by the booming, strident voices of men and their opinions, so that they become, in effect, stone deaf to the Spirit of God. It requires real sensitivity to hear what God would say in any situation; for some that faculty has been mislaid along the way.
8. Some are disillusioned
Under-developed preaching skills, little or no feedback of a positive nature from others, meagre results and the weariness of a constant struggle have taken their toll on many discouraged ministers, desperate for a personal renewal.
SO, WHY PREACH?
In the face of all this, one might well ask, why preach at all? Consider this: the devil would like to silence the preaching of the Word, precisely because good preaching is so effective. If the devil wants us to shut up, and he does, there must therefore be a very good reason for us to keep on speaking.
In 2 Timothy chapter 4, anticipating social conditions similar to those I have just described, the apostle Paul wrote to his apostolic protege, Timothy. It was to be his swan-song letter, written from the place of his final imprisonment in Rome. It is Paul's lasting legacy to the Church. The context for Paul's statements was the growing battle for truth that was being waged, even in his day. Deception and lies were threatening the spiritual health of the congregations he had planted, and of others too. Paul said that such lies and deception would characterise the last days, the whole period from Christ's first to His second advent.

Paul warned us in 2 Timothy 3: 1 that in the last days there will be 'terrible' times. The
Greek word used here was also used of the Gadarene demoniac in the Gospels and depicts
a condition of violence, of menacing, of times that are deranged and disordered that will be deadly to man. The evil one,says Paul, is going to use apostate men to drain the heart and life out of t:he Church of God - but thankfully there is a wonderful antidote. God has given us His Word, the holy Scriptures, and in 2 Timothy 3:15-16 he reminds Timothy of converting .g power in his life:-

from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you
wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is given by inspiration  of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equippd for every good work.
NKJVPaul speaks in glowing terms of the eternal attributes of God's written Word. He speaks of the Bible's
inspiration in verse 16. Its origin is in God; it is God-breathed - the 4 God's spoken Word. What Scripture says, God says. All modern-day preachers must recover their confidence in the potency of God's Word. His Word is - Paul says, to teach, to correct, to reprove, and to build one up in righteousness. The Bible possesses the divine power to change a person's life. It is capable of making damaged individuals progressively whole, over time.

Paul speaks of the sufficiency of God's Word in verse 17: 'that the man of may be
thoroughly equipped for every good work.' The Bible is complete in itself and needs no supplementation by the thoughts and ideas of men to accomplish the purpose for which it it is a complete tool kit containing all the resources to accomplish everything  God wants us to  to know and to do. But in order to accomplish this, the Bible must be loosed,set free,understood, and accurately  applied to whole churches and the whole lives of the people within them. Then Scripture is able to have its powerful effect. This is why  the apostle issues the following charge to Timothy:

In the Presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: Preach the Word;
Be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage - with great
patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears aside rom the truth and turn aside to myths. But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.
(2 Timothy 4:1-5)

THE APOSTLE PAUL'S CHARGE TO US
There are five things to notice about Paul's charge:
1. It is a solemn and serious charge (v. 1)
We usually pay careful attention to people's last words, especially when they come from a cell on death row, which is where Paul was incarcerated, but this adds a peculiar solemnity to what he is communicating here. Paul describes preaching as an activity that is done in the presence of no less a person than the triune God Himself. The charge to preach, therefore, is heaven-sent — it is not simply a good idea, it is a God idea! His criticism of our efforts in this regard is the only one that really matters. History is coming to a terrifying climax with the sudden appearance of history's Lord and Judge. Paul's single-minded fixation, therefore, is that we all preach the Word, while time allows.
2. It is a perpetual and timely charge (v. 2a)
So vital is it that the truth of the gospel be broadcast through human lips that Paul makes it clear that it is not merely an occasional or casual work we can do when we feel like it. Paul says we are to do it whether it is appropriate or not. There are only two times, he says, when you should preach the Word: in season and out of season — which is another way of saying, always. There is no closed season for preaching. It is always 'open season' on saints and sinners alike!
3. It is an all-out and manly charge (v. 2b) Paul is using a range of exhortations that we can sum up with a few vivid adverbs:
· We are to preach the word urgently, or as J.B. Phillips translates it, 'Never lose your sense of urgency.'
· We are to preach the word relevantly. Every word we utter is to be appropriate to the audiences we address. The preacher's task is to straighten out crooked thinking. An endless barrage of propaganda has fed people's minds. Thank God there's something more powerful in the hour we address them: the Word of God. We are reproving lapsed morals and bad choices, so yes, people need rebuking! Do it lovingly, yes, but do it! We are stirring up discouraged, timid, fearful and wobbling hearts. We are setting a course for new lives and new lifestyles. We do not preach to ceilings or to seats: we preach heart to heart and eye to eye to the people before us.
· We are to preach the Word persistently with the patience and careful instruction that Paul enjoins here. We realise that this is slow, cumulative work, and not all the results are instant. However, we must refuse to become disillusioned,
just because things haven't changed this month. We must refuse to adopt human pressure techniques or quick-fix gimmicks which seem to be on offer at every major conference we attend. Remember, the results of this are in God's hands.
4. It is a comprehensive charge (v. 3a)
It involves the whole truth and nothing but the truth. 'The truth' is found throughout the sixty-six books of the Bible, not just in our favourite texts or pet themes. Therefore, to preach the Word means to preach the whole Bible: its narrative, its wisdom literature, its prophecy, its poetry, the Gospels, the epistles. We must preach from wherever God shows us to whomever He sends us, with the message He has given us and with the power He lends us. That was Paul's burden and it must become ours as well.
5. It is a strongly resisted charge (v. 3b)
Finally, Paul warns us solemnly that some people cannot and will not tolerate the fact that we are determined to preach the Word faithfully. They will hate both us and what we have to say, and they may be confused in their own minds as to which they really hate most. Paul knew this would be the case, because there will arise people who are intolerant of sound truth and they will sponsor false teachers to instruct them and pay them generously to do so. 'Itching ears' can always find someone to scratch them if the price is right. That's why Dr John White once said, 'Christ weeps over sheep fed on lollipops.'
There are only two reactions to good preaching: receptivity or resistance. There is no neutrality. The same sun' that melts wax, hardens clay. The problem is not with the sunshine, the problem is with the substance it shines upon. It is a fact that as a preacher, you will not always be popular, and for this reason in 2 Timothy 4:5 Paul encourages us: `Always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfil your ministry', as the English Standard Version puts it. Paul is saying the same thing to us today. It may be prudent for us to shut up, to tone it down, to toe the line, but we do not have that option. We have a ministry and a charge to fulfil that the triune God Himself has called us to engage in.
So this is our great task now in the twenty-first century as it was Paul's and Timothy's in the first century AD. Christ is the one who issued it. He is also the one who will fully assess our faithfulness to this task and reward it accordingly. So, whether people love you or hate you, whether they receive you or resist you, whether you see great results or very few at all, do it anyway.
William Willimon, chaplain of Duke University in Carolina, is one who has truly recovered, I believe, the sense of awe appropriate to the task God has commissioned us to do. He says,

In that moment when the congregation settles itself in the pews and all is quiet and expectant as the people look to you, you are the preacher, the essential link between them and the good news. Without you the good news is not news. No one hears or believes it. Call it a burden, call it a privilege, a duty. You know that it is worthy of your best talents, worthy of a lifetime's labour and dedication. On any Sunday you can give it your all and still know that the Word deserves more. It is no small task that the Church has set upon your shoulders. Being called to preach the gospel, you can do no more than to promise as long as you have breath, and there is someone to listen, then by God's grace you will give them the Word. 15
Amen.   END OF FIRST CHAPTER
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CHRIS writes
In that moment when the congregation settles itself in the pews and all is quiet and expectant as the people look to you, you are the preacher, the essential link between them and the good news. 
 That very sentence is made within previously accepted paradigms...

  • That there is a congregation as such, 
  • that it is gathered to hear a speaker
  • that there be a main speaker with a prepared spiel
  • that this man is probably the pyramid leader of the assembled people, or the invited guest of such.

    Preaching is definitely a constant...it is a manner of Spirit speech....it declares and calls into being the Kingdom. But as to all the other paraphernalia, I  am just not sure.

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