The Foolishness of Preaching

Preaching is to Proclaim Publicly with Authority

Proclaim: to speak out with a loud voice...this is not rude or ungodly, for God has a loud voice and his prophets preached their prophecies in a loud voice.

Isaiah 8:19Familiar spirits peep and mutter
Deuteronomy 5:22The LORD spake with a great voice
Micah 6:9 The LORD's voice crieth
Proverbs 1:20 Wisdom crieth without, uttereth her voice in the streets
1 Kings 13:2 He cried against the altar in the word of the LORD
Isaiah 13:2Exalt the voice unto them
Isaiah 40:3,6,9 The voice said, Cry...lift up thy voice
Isaiah 58:1 Cry aloud, lift up thy voice like a trumpet
Jeremiah 4:15-16 A voice declareth...give out their voice
Jeremiah 31:6The watchmen shall cry
Amos 3:4-8 The lion roars, God speaks and men prophesy
Jonah 1:2, 3:2 Cry against it...preach unto it
John 7:37 Jesus stood and cried
John 12:44 Jesus cried
Acts 2:14 Peter lifted up his voice
Acts 23:6 Paul cried out in the council
Romans 9:27 Esaias also crieth concerning Israel
Revelation 5:2 An angel proclaiming with a loud voice

The following verses are used as objections to defining preaching as speaking with a loud voice.

Isaiah 42:2 He shall not cry, nor cause his voice to be heard
Matthew 12:16-21 He charged not to make him known to fulfill Esaias
Acts 5:42 In every house ceased not to preach Jesus Christ
Acts 8:35Unto him alone? It does not say he was alone.

Publicly: preaching is a public exercise, and our ministry is primarily a public ministry, not a closed-in meeting as it usually is today.

Jeremiah 11:6 Proclaim all these words in the cities and in streets
Jeremiah 17:19 Stand in the gate, in all the gates of Jerusalem
Matthew 10:27 Preach ye upon the housetops
Acts 10:42Commanded to preach unto the people
Acts 13:44 Came almost the whole city to hear
Acts 16:13Went out of the city by a river side
Acts 17:22 In the midst of Mars' hill
Acts 18:28 Convinced the Jews and that publicly
Colossians 1:23 Preached to every creature

With Authority: boldness, assurance, warning. We are accused of being dogmatic arrogant, proud, aggressive, accusative, divisive, and lacking in love. But here we can see that preaching is speaking boldly what we know, not for pride, but because we believe what we preach.

Authority delegated by God to men:

Numbers 12:8Wherefore not afraid to speak against my servant?
Acts 23:4-5 Thou shalt not speak evil of ruler of thy people
1 Samuel 24:5-8,11 The LORD forbid seeing is anointed of the LORD
1 Samuel 26:9-11 Against the LORD's anointed be guiltless?
2 Samuel 1:14Wast not afraid to destroy LORD's anointed?
Matthew 7:29 He taught them as one having authority
Matthew 28:18-19 All power is given unto me, go ye therefore
Luke 9:1-2 Gave them authority and sent them to preach
Matthew 10:40 He that receiveth you receiveth me
Luke 10:16 He that despiseth you despiseth me
John 13:20 That receiveth whomsoever I send receiveth me
2 Corinthians 5:20 We are ambassadors for Christ
Titus 2:15 Speak, exhort, rebuke with all authority

Authority for being the very words of God:

Exodus 4:22Thou shalt say, Thus saith the LORD
1 Samuel 2:27Man of God said, Thus saith the LORD
1 Kings 22:14 What the LORD saith unto me, that will I speak
Jonah 3:2Preach the preaching that I bid thee
Acts 4:19-20 We cannot but speak things we have heard
Galatians 1:11 The gospel preached of me is not after man
1 Thessalonians 2:13 Not the word of men, but the word of God
1 Peter 1:25 The word of the Lord is preached unto you
2 Corinthians 2:17 As of God speak we in Christ
2 Corinthians 4:13 I believed, and therefore have I spoken

Authority by understanding, by being right and upright:

Proverbs 28:1 The righteous are bold as a lion
John 7:25-26 Lo he speaketh boldly and they say nothing
John 19:35 He knoweth that he saith true
Acts 4:13 The boldness of unlearned and ignorant men
Acts 4:29,31 Grant that with all boldness they may speak
Acts 9:20,27,29 He had preached boldly at Damascus
Acts 14:3 Speaking boldly in the Lord
Acts 18:26 He began to speak boldly in the synagogue
Ephesians 6:19-20 That I may speak boldly as I ought to speak
Philip. 1.14 To speak the word without fear
Philippians 1:20 Not ashamed, with all boldness, as always
Philippians 1:28 In nothing terrified by your adversaries
1 Thessalonians 2:2 We were bold in our God to speak the gospel

Preaching is God's method of evangelism.
God chose a specific method to spread the truth, and if we do not preach it, we do not obey him.

He chose preaching as his method:

1 Corinthians 1:21 Pleased God by foolishness of preaching to save
Romans 10:13-17 How shall they hear without a preacher?
Titus 1:3 Hath manifested his word through preaching
Hebrews 1:1 God spake by the prophets
Revelation 19:10 The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy

God commanded men to preach:

Mark 16:15 Go and preach the gospel to every creature
Luke 9:60 Go thou and preach the kingdom of God
Luke 24:47 Repentance and remission should be preached
Acts 10:42 He commanded us to preach unto the people
2 Timothy 4:2 Preach the word
Amos 3:8 The LORD hath spoken, who can but prophesy?

God chooses and calls certain men as preachers:

2 Chronicles 36:15-16 The LORD sent by his messengers, his prophets
Isaiah 6:8-11 Whom shall I send? Go and tell this people
Isaiah 61:1 The LORD hath anointed me to preach
Isaiah 62:6-7 Have set watchmen which shall never keep silence
Jeremiah 1:5-10 I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations
Ezekiel 33:7 I have set thee a watchman
Haggai 1:13The LORD's messenger in the LORD's message
Amos 2:11 I raised up of your sons for prophets
Amos 7:14-15 I was no prophet, LORD took me, Go, prophesy
Acts 9:15 He is a chosen vessel to bear my name
Acts 13:2 Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work
1 Thessalonians 2:4We were put in trust with the gospel
1 Timothy 2:7 I am ordained a preacher
2 Timothy 1:11 I am appointed a preacher

This calling, how it is done, how it is known. Not all are called to preach, but all are responsible to see it is done.

God calls sometimes by speaking directly:

1 Samuel 3:3-10The LORD came, and stood, and called
Numbers 12:8With him will I speak mouth to mouth

Sometimes through recognizing the need:

1 Colossian 15:34Some have not knowlege of God, your shame

Sometimes through recognizing your gift:

Acts 6:8-10Stephen, full of faith, power, wisdom and spirit
Acts 16:1-3Timotheus, well reported, him would Paul have
Acts 18:24-26Apollos, eloquent, instructed, fervent, diligent

Sometimes through the understanding and the faith a man has:

Amos 3:8The LORD hath spoken, who can but prophesy?
Acts 18:24-26Apollos, mighty in the scriptures
2 Corinthians 4:13I believed, therefore have I spoken

Most often through an inward necessity:

Psalm 39:1-3 My heart was hot within me, then spake I
Jeremiah 4:19My bowels, my bowels! I cannot hold my peace
Jeremiah 20:9 His word was as a burning fire in my bones
Luke 24:32-34 Our heart burned within us...returned, and told
Acts 17:16 His spirit was stirred in him, therefore disputed
Acts 18:5Paul was pressed in the spirit, and testified
Acts 20:22-24 I go bound in the spirit...to testify the gospel
Romans 9:1-3 I have great heaviness and continual sorrow
1 Corinthians 9:16 Necessity is laid upon me, woe is me if not

The Purpose of preaching

To teach all the world the truth:

Matthew 28:19-20 Teach all nations, all things I have commanded
Acts 5:28 Ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine
Titus 1:3 Manifested his word through preaching
Proverbs 1:23 I will make known my words unto you
Ecclesiastes 12:9 Because the preacher was wise, taught the people
Psalm 105:1 Make known his deeds among the people
Acts 4:10 Be it known unto you all
Romans 16:25-26 Made known to all nations
Ephesians 6:19 To make known the mystery of the gospel
Colossians 1:28 We preach, teaching every man in all wisdom

To give an opportunity to all men to be saved God knows that these men will despise the gospel, but he desires to give the opportunity anyway:

Mark 1:38That I may preach there also, therefore came forth
Luke 4:43I must preach to other cities, for therefore am sent
John 5:33-34 I say these things that ye might be saved
Romans 10:13-16 How shall they hear without a preacher?
1 Corinthians 9:22 That I might by all means save some
2 Corinthians 10:16 To preach in the regions beyond you
2 Timothy 4:17 That all the Gentiles might hear

Notice that God wants to give opportunity even to the rebellious:

Luke 20:13 It may be they will reverence him when they see him
Jeremiah 36:3It may be that they will hear, they may return
Ezeekiel 12:3 It may be they will consider, though be rebellious
2 Timothy 2:25 If God peradventure will give them repentance

To produce faith in the hearers. Preaching has characteristics that make it effective. One of these is that preaching demonstrates the faith of the preacher, both by the foolishness in it, the boldness, and the endurance of persecution. The preacher's faith produces faith in the hearer.

Faith comes by hearing the message preached:

John 13:19I tell you that when it is come ye may believe
John 19:35He saith true that ye might believe
Acts 4:4 Many of them which heard the word, believed
Acts 8:12 They believed Philip preaching
Acts 10:44 The Holy Ghost fell on all which heard the word
Acts 15:7 Hear the word of the gospel and believe
Romans 10:17 Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by word
1 Corinthians 3:5 Ministers by whom ye believed
1 Corinthians 15:11 So we preach and so ye believed
2 Thessalonians 1:10 Our testimony among you was believed
1 Corinthians 1:21 By preaching to save them that believe

Preachers actually persuade unbelievers:

Acts 13:43 Speaking to them, persuaded them
Acts 18:4 He reasoned and persuaded
Acts 18:13 This fellow persuadeth men to worship God
Acts 18:28 He mightily convinced the Jews
Acts 26:28 Almost thou persuadest me
1 Corinthians 14:24-25 If prophesy, he that believeth not is convinced
2 Corinthians 5:11 Knowing the terror, we persuade men
Titus 1:9 Able by sound doctrine to exhort and convince

To condemn the unbelieving. We know that we are not worthy to condemn anyone but God uses our preaching as a supreme condemnation. And who is sufficient for these things?

Our faith condemns the world:

Matthew 12:41-42 Niniveh shall rise in judgment because repented
Luke 11:31-32 Queen shall rise in judgment, she came to hear
Hebrews 11:7 By his faith Noah condemned the world

Christ came as a stumbling stone also:

John 3:18-19 This is condemnation, light is come into world
John 9:39-41 I am come that they which see might be blind
John 15:22 If I had not come...they have no cloke for sin
Romans 9:32-33 They stumbled at that stumblingstone
2 Peter 2:21 It had been better for them not to have known

Job well done when we are rejected:

Matthew 10:14-15 Not receive you, shake off dust of your feet
Mark 6:11 For a testimony against them
Luke 9:5 For a testimony against them
Luke 10:11 We do wipe off against you, be ye sure of this
Acts 13:46,51 Necessary first been spoken...shook their feet
Acts 14:22 We must through tribulation enter the kingdom
Galatians 5:11 The offense of the cross is necessary

That God may be justified when he judges:

Rom. 1.19,20 Shewed unto them, so they are without excuse
Rom. 3.1-4 That thou mayest be justified in thy sayings
Eze. 2.5 Yet shall know hath been prophet among them
2 Co. 2.14-16 Savour of death to death...who is sufficient?

Results we should expect.
By these things we may judge our preaching. If we do not receive generally these same results then we are probably not preaching correctly.

Opposition. Disputes. We have been told that true servants of the Lord never argue, or strive, and they quote 2 Timothy 2:24. We do not intend to strive, but strife is often inevitable.

Acts 4:2 Being grieved that they taught the resurrection
Acts 4:18Commanded them not to teach in name of Jesus
Acts 5:17 They were filled with indignation
Acts 5:28 Ye intend to bring this man's blood upon us
Acts 6:9 There arose cetain disputing with Stephen
Acts 9:22,29 Saul confounded the Jews, disputed with Grecians
Acts 14:4 The city was divided
Acts 16:19 The hope of their gains was gone
Acts 17:17-18 Disputed he in the synagogue
Acts 18:4 He reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath

Uproars, stirring of the people. We have been told that our causing uproars proves we are doing something wrong.

Acts 14.2-4 The unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles
Acts 17.5 Set all the city on an uproar
Acts 17.13 Came thither also, and stirred up the people
Acts 19.23 There arose no small stir about that way
Acts 19.29 The whole city was filled with confusion
Acts 21.27 Stirred up all the people

Persecution, false witness This should not surprise us, we must be careful not to give opportunities to false accusers.

Acts 4:3 Put them in hold unto the next day
Acts 5:18Put them in the common prison
Acts 6:13 Set up false witnesses
Acts 7:54-59 They stoned Stephen
Acts 8:1-3 There was a great persecution against the church
Acts 9:1 Breathing out threatenings and slaughter
Acts 12:2 Killed James with the sword
Acts 13:50 Honorable women raised persecution against Paul
Acts 14:19 Having stoned Paul
Acts 16:23 They laid many stripes upon them
2 Timothy 1:8 Be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel
1 Thessalonians 3:3-4 These afflictions, we are appointed thereto

Dishonor, ridicule

Matthew 13:57 A prophet is without honor in his own country
Acts 2:13 Others mocking
Acts 5:41 Worthy to suffer shame for his name
1 Corinthians 4:9-13We are made a spectacle unto the world
2 Colossians 6:8 By honour and dishonour

False brethren, cults. It doesn't much matter which false doctrine they teach, but false brethren are a hindrance to the truth.

Acts 8:18-19 When Simon saw, he offered them money
Acts 13:8 Elymas the sorcerer withstood them
Acts 19:13-16 Certain vagabond Jews, exorcists
Acts 20:29-30 Grievous wolves, to draw away disciples
Galatians 1:7 Some trouble you to pervert the gospel
Galatians 2:4 False brethren unawares brought in
1 Timothy 1:6-7 Some having swerved unto vain jangling
1 Timothy 1:19-20 Some having put away concerning faith

Burdens, stress, fears, labours, weariness. Watch for laziness.

Acts 4:29 Behold their threatenings...grant unto thy servants
Acts 18:9 Be not afraid, but speak
1 Corinthians 15:19We are of all men most miserable
2 Corinthians 1:8-9 We were pressed out of measure, above strength
2 Corinthians 4:8-9 Troubled, perplexed, cast down
2 Corinthians 7:5 Flesh had no rest, without fightings, within fears
2 Corinthians 11:27-28 Weariness, painfulness, watchings, fastings
1 Thessalonians 2:9Labour and travail, night and day
1 Thessalonians 3:7 We were comforted in our affliction and distress

Loss, great disappointments.

Acts 13:13 John departing from them returned to Jerusalem
2 Timothy 4:10 Demas hath forsaken me
2 Timothy 4:16 All men forsook me

Envy, rivalry, contention, and pride among us. This ought to be avoidable, but it is very common among preachers

Numbers 11:27-29 Enviest thou for my sake?
Mark 9:38, Luke 9:49 We forbad him, because he followeth not us
Acts 15:37-39 The contention was so sharp between them
2 Corinthians 10:12-14 Comparing themselves among selves are not wise
Galatians 2:11 I withstood him to the face
Philippians 1:15-16 Some indeed preach Christ of envy and strife

Success, believers, churches established.

Acts 2:37 They were pricked in their heart
Acts 2:47 Favour with all people, the Lord added to church
Acts 16:5 Churches established in the faith
Acts 19:20 Mightily grew the word of God, and prevailed

Followers, preachers, helpers.

1 Thessalonians 1:6-8 Followers of us, from you sounded out the word
1 Thessalonians 2:14 Ye also have suffered like things
2 Timothy 1:6Gift in thee by the putting on of my hands
2 Timothy 2:2 Commit thou to faithful men who shall teach others

Proper Attitudes of Preachers.

Meek, not seeking vainglory. Understanding that our meekness is concerning ourselves, not concerning the defense of truth.

2 Corinthians 4:5 We preach not ourselves
2 Corinthians 10:12 Dare not compare ourselves, commend ourselves
Galatians 6:14 God forbid that I should glory
Philippians 2:3 Nothing done through vainglory, but in lowliness
1 Thessalonians 2:6-8 Nor of men sought we glory
2 Timothy 2:24-25 Gentle unto all men, in meekness instructing

Sincere, not covetous. A sincere longing to save others.

John 5:34 I say, that ye might be saved
Acts 26:29 I would to God that thou were such as I am
Galatians 6:13 Desire to have you that may glory in your flesh
2 Corinthians 1:12 In Godly sincerity to you-ward
2 Corinthians 2:17 As of sincerity speak we in Christ
1 Thessalonians 2:5 Not flattering, nor covetousness...desirous of you

Grave, serious, not lightness

Romans 9:1-3 Great heaviness, continual sorrow
2 Corinthians 1:17 Did I use lightness?
2 Corinthians 5:10-11 Knowing the terror of the Lord
Jude 23 Others save with fear

Frank, not with wisdom of men, not pleasing men, not proselytizing.

Exodus 4:10 I am not eloquent
Jeremiah 1:6 I cannot speak: for I am a child
Mark 10:21-22 Jesus loved him...one thing thou lackest
1 Corinthians 1:17 Not with wisdom of words
1 Corinthians 2:4Not with enticing words of man'w wisdom
2 Corinthians 4:2 Not craftiness, but by manifestation of the truth
Galatians 1:10 If I pleased men I should not be servant of Christ
1 Thessalonians 2:4 Not as pleasing men, but God

Aggressive, blunt, rebuking, contentious, fearless.

Luke 11:38-44 Ye fools, hypocrites, woe unto you!
John 2:14-18 The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up
Acts 2:23 Ye have taken, wicked hands have crucified
Acts 4:10 Whom ye crucified
Acts 7:51-53 Ye stiffnecked, ye do always resist
Acts 9:22,29 Confounded the Jews, disputed with the Grecians
Galatians 2:5 We gave place, no, not for an hour
Jude 3 Earnestly contend for the faith

Energetic, spirited.

Mark 3:17 Sons of thunder
Isaiah 13:2 Exalt the voice, shake the hand
Ezekiel 6:11 Smite with thine hand, stamp with thy foot
Acts 26:1 Paul stretched forth the hand
Acts 4:33 With great power gave the apostles witness
Acts 18:28 He mightily convinced the Jews

Subjects of Bible Preaching

Jesus. We preach about Jesus, we learn to praise Jesus.

Acts 3:20, 5:42 Jesus was preached unto you
Acts 8:5,35 Preached Christ unto them
Acts 9:20 He preached Christ in the synagogues
Acts 17:3,18 Jesus, whom I preach unto you
Romans 16:25 The preaching of Jesus Christ
1 Corinthians 1:23 We preach Christ crucified
2 Corinthians 1:19 Jesus Christ, who was preached among you
2 Corinthians 4:5 We preach Christ Jesus the Lord
Galatians 1:16 To reveal his Son in me
Philippians 1:15 Preach Christ of good will
Colossians 1:28 Whom we preach, warning every man

Repentance. Repentance is the principal demand of both testaments. Without it faith is vain, we preach to produce it, we do not avoid hard doctrines that actually provide the opportunity of repentance in the hearers.

Matthew 3:2 Repent ye
Mark 6:12 Preached that men should repent
Luke 3:3Preaching the baptism of repentance
Luke 24:47 Repentance should be preached among nations
Acts 14:15 We preach that ye should turn from these vanities
Acts 17:30 Now commandeth all men everywhere to repent
Acts 26:20 Shewed that they should repent

Faith:

Mark 1:15 Believe the gospel
John 10:37-38 Believe the works
Acts 16:31 Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ
Acts 20:21 Testifying faith toward our Lord
Romans 10:8 The word of faith which we preach

The word, doctrine. We teach the ignorant.

Matthew 10:27 What ye hear, that preach ye
Matthew 28:19 Teach all nations
Acts 5:28 Ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine
Mark 2:2 He preached the word
Acts 4:2 Preached the resurrection from the dead
Acts 13:5, 14:25 Preached the word of God
Acts 17:13 The word of God was preached
1 Corinthians 15:12 If Christ be preached that he rose from the dead
2 Timothy 4:2 Preach the word
Hebrews 4:2 The word preached did not profit them

The law, sins, righteousness, judgment. It has been said that we should not preach against fleshly sins because that implies salvation by works. Nevertheless this subject is Biblical.

Psalm 40:9I have preached righteousness
Isaiah 58:1Shew my people their transgression
Lamntations 2:14 They have not discovered thine iniquity
John 16:8-10 Reprove the world of sin, righteousness, judgment
Acts 3:26Turning away every one from his iniquities
Acts 24:25 Reasoned righteousness, temperance, judgment
Romans 2:22 Preachest a man should not steal
2 Corinthian 11:15 Ministers of righteousness
Titus 2:10-12 Grace teaches denying ungodliness, worldly lust
2 Peter 2:5 A preacher of righteousness
Colossians 1:28 Warning every man
2 Thessalonians 2:12 Believe not, had pleasure in unrighteousness
Hebrews 12:4 Striving against sin
Jude 14,15 To convince of their ungodly deeds

The kingdom of God. The spiritual world, the second coming.

Luke 9:60 Preach the kingdom of God
Luke 16:16The kingdom of God is preached
Acts 8:12 Preaching things concerning the kingdom of God
Acts 19:8 Things concerning the kingdom of God
Acts 28:31 Preaching the kingdom of God

The gospel, forgiveness, salvation.

Isaiah 61:1 Preach good tidings
Matthew 11:5The gospel preached to them
Luke 4:18-19 Preach gospel, deliverance, liberty
Luke 24:.47 Remission of sins should be preached
Acts 13:38 Preached unto you the forgiveness of sins
1 Corinthians 1:18 The preaching of the cross
1 Corinthians 9:16 I preach the gospel
1 Corinthians 15:1-4 The gospel I preached, Christ died for our sins
Galatians 2:2 The gospel which I preach among Gentiles
Ephesians 3:8 Preach unsearchable riches of Christ
Acts 10:36 Preaching peace by Jesus Christ
Ephesians 2:17 Came and preached peace to you afar off

Suggestions for preaching:

Remember that truth and accuracy are most important:

  • Quote correctly, know where to find the text.
  • Avoid unclear arguments, twisting scripture, confess ignorance.
  • Do not accuse or allege what you cannot prove

Remember that the message is what is important:

  • Preach from the Scripture.
  • Preach on pertinent, relevant themes.
  • Be specific and detailed, not vague and general.
  • Repeat a lot, quote a lot.
  • Keep it simple.
  • Don't get sidetracked into politics, invented sins, and the like.

Remember that being ridiculed is necessary:

  • Do not avoid ridicule, because it awakens curiosity in those that pass by, pricks the conscience of sincere, and illustrates your faith.
  • Do not let mockers guide your message...getting back at them only demonstrates your weakness, fear or anger...and it cheats the sincere listener of your message.
  • Do not mock when you are mocked. It is not profitable, and even though it might satisfy the flesh for a moment, that is not your objective.

Do not forget that we are in debt to all men:

  • Never assume that no one will believe, always expect someone to be curious, never expect to be ignored.
  • Give the listener the benefit of the doubt, do not assume he is against you let him tell you so.
  • Do not feign indifference or apathy when you are rejected.
  • Do not try to draw a crowd, address those listening.
  • Do not speak harshly or severely when it isn't necessary, never in order to shock, get even, or get attention.
  • Do not deceive, let all men know who you are and what you believe.
  • Make sure that all the listeners learn something, even those who pause only a moment, and even those who are obviously not in agreement.
  • Always provide the solution, leave well understood what God expects the listener to do next.
  • Always require a decision, invite to believe, warn the unbelievers, provoke them to choose well.

Remember that your faith is demonstrated in your preaching:

  • Be fervent, not delirious or raving, but also not monotone or tired.
  • Never feign passion, meditate your message until it burns in you.
  • Do not use cute expressions, or practiced gestures...let your spirit move you naturally.
  • Do not entertain...teach, clarify, communicate.
  • Speak with grace seasoned with salt, not salt seasoned w/ grace.
  • Keep in mind that you are the hope of those who hear you.
  • Speak with authority, boldness, without fear.
  • Never apologize for your ignorance, or lack of ability...You are not the issue, and you are all they've got.
  • Remember the gravity of your message, do not become a clown, a beggar, a con-artist, nor a "holier than thou."

Consider and prepare for the natural characteristics of your listeners:

  • They are in a hurry, impatient...be pertinent, relevant (2 Timothy 2:23).
  • They are indifferent, passive...be urgent, insistent (2 Corinthians 5:11).
  • They are bored, disinterested...be spirited, vehement (Acts 18:28).
  • They are skeptical, suspicious...be accurate, reliable (2 Peter 1:16).
  • They are arrogant, conceited...be meek, genuine (2 Timothy 2:25).
  • They are distracted, easily confused...be focused, distinct (Acts 6:10).
  • They are forgetful, mistaking...be patient, repetitious (2 Timothy 2:24).

Conclusions. Principles among the Bible's preachers.

Zero Deception

They taught the whole counsel, even controversial doctrines, without softening, adjusting or modifying...They confessed their faults and true beliefs...They recognized and challenged their enemies...They did not calculate the consequences of their obedience.

Zero Advantage

They avoided human wisdom and eloquence...They lacked (and didn't miss) education, money, buildings, modern equipment and methods... They did not use entertainment, games, gifts, politics, nor fads...Nor did they use celebrities, popular artists nor heroes... They were decidedly unbusinesslike, disorganized and materially unprepared.

Zero Compromise

They did not avoid controversy, conflict, persecution, nor even their own death...They did not long for unity, popularity, nor mutual respect...They accepted no truce with a lie, made no friendship with false brethren, countenanced no yoke with unbelievers...They demanded sincere and public decisions of faith, required true repentance and the fruits thereof, expected real humility, commitment, and total surrender...They made nothing easy.

Zero Conditions

They did not count on success, crowds, a good income, or the respect of their peers... They attached no importance to consequences, trials or persecutions...They were unmoved by failures, betrayals, and disappointments...They were neither pessimists nor dreamers... They demanded nothing from God, not health, wealth, miracles, not even freedom.

Selected Sermons

All of the Prophets except Daniel portray Bible preaching:

John the Baptist (Matthew 3:7-12, Luke 3:2-18) Peter (Acts 2:14-40)
Jesus (Matthew 11:7-30, Luke 7:24-35) Peter (Acts 3:12-26)
Jesus (Matthew 23:1-39, Mark 12:38-40) Peter (Acts 4:8-12)
Jesus (Luke 4:18-27) Stephen (Acts 7:2-53)
Jesus (Luke 11:29-36) Peter (Acts 10:34-43)
Jesus (Luke 11:39-54) Paul (Acts 13:16-48)
Jesus (Luke 12:15-31) Paul (Acts 14:15-17)
Jesus (John 5:19-47) Paul (Acts 17:22-31)
Jesus (John 6:26-66) Paul (Acts 22:1-21)
Jesus (John 7:37-38) Paul (Acts 26:2-23)
Jesus (John 12:44-50)  

Take these sermons with care as our examples, and notice:

  • Unflattering speech: Generation of vipers
  • Accusations of sin: Hypocrites
  • Demands of hearers: Fruits meet for repentance
  • Warnings of judgment: Thou shalt be brought down to hell
  • God's promises, invitations: Come unto me

Take care when following Jesus' example, he had a special understanding of men's hearts.

Notes:

John the Baptist (Matthew 3:7-12, Luke 3:2-18)
Used strong language...required fruits, ran off hypocrites...belittled traditions, religion, and homeland...exalted Christ...warned of judgment

Jesus (Matthew 11:7-30, Luke 7:24-35)
Quoted Scripture...accused of unbelief, implied they were fools...warned of judgment... Offered a solution, invited

Jesus (Matthew 23:1-39, Mark 12:38-40)
Spoke frankly, specifically, accused directly of: vainglory, hypocrisy, error, sin... taught doctrine...warned of judgment...invited

Jesus (Luke 4:18-27)
Quoted Scripture...Angered his listeners...Accused of unbelief...Warned of damnation

Jesus (Luke 11:29-36)
Accused of evil...spoke of judgment...warned of danger...gave a solution

Jesus (Luke 11:39-54)
Accused...called fools and ignorant...taught doctrine...did not try to please...belittled tradition...spoke of judgment

Jesus (Luke 12:15-31)
Dealt with a particular sin...used a parable...called a fool...spoke of judgment...solution

Jesus (John 5:19-47)
Spoke of judgment...accused of ignorance...required study...based doctrine on scripture

Jesus (John 6:26-66)
Spoke hard doctrine purposefully...allowed anger...demanded surrender

Jesus (John 7:37-38)
Offered salvation...used the scripture...invited

Jesus (John 12:44-50)
Explained true faith...invited...spoke of judgment...exhorted to faith

Source: Sojourners of the Truth