Wednesday, July 23, 2008

An Urgent Need

"There is an urgent need for courageous preachers in the pulpits of the world today, like the apostles in the early Church who 'were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God with boldness' (Acts 4:31). Neither men-pleasers not time-servers ever make good preachers. We are called to the sacred task of biblical exposition, and commissioned to proclaim what God has said, not what human beings want to hear.

Many modern churchmen suffer from a malady called 'itching ears', which induces them to 'accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own likings' (2 Tim. 4:3). But we have no liberty to scratch their itch or pander to their likings. Rather are we to resemble Paul in Ephesus who resisted this very temptation and twice insisted that he 'did not shrink from declaring' to them what had to be declared, namely 'the whole counsel of God' (Acts 20:20, 27). We have to beware of selecting our texts and topics - even unconsciously - according to personal prejudice or popular fashion.

The medicine of the gospel has been prescribed by the Good Physician; we may neither dilute it nor add ingredients to make it more palatable; we must serve it neat. Nor need we fear that people will not take it. To be sure, some may leave, but most will respond. 'People are driven from the Church,' commented George Buttrick, 'not so much by stern truth that makes them uneasy as by weak nothings that make them contemptuous.'"
-John R.W. Stott, from Between Two Worlds

1 comment:

kshirley said...

All I can say is that i pray often for the Lord to raise up men...preachers of the word as described here. I also pray frequently for those already busy "in the work" of proclaiming God's Word.

I'm excited...God is merciful and gracious may He bless us with men like this for our time.

Shirley