Monday, February 5, 2018

Preach the Word!

In my sermon last Sunday morning I spoke against the philosophy of many churches today which makes the ministry all about pleasing people instead of preaching the word. That evening I read a sermon preached by E.W. Bullinger in 1894. I was amazed at how he was preaching against the same thing going on in churches over 120 years ago! If he only knew what was happening today! Below is an excerpt from his message.

Leading up to the comments below, Dr. Bullinger was pointing out the downward course of the last days: "turned away from me" (2 Tim. 1:15); "concerning the truth have erred" (2:18); "resist the truth" (3:8); "turn away their ears from the truth" (4:4). 

2Tim. 4:1-5
(1)  I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;
(2)  Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
(3)  For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
(4)  And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
(5)  But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.

     What is to be done for men who deliberately turn away their ears from the truth of God, and are satisfied with the fables of man?
     Nothing! Humanly speaking, their case is hopeless!
     But what is God's servant to do?
     "Preach the word" (v.2). "Do the work of an evangelist" (v.5).
     But men will not endure sound doctrine? - "Preach the word."
     But men "will not endure" it!
     Never mind. - "Preach the word."
     Are we not to seek for something they will endure?
     No! "Preach the word," and all the more simply, earnestly, and faithfully because we know that men will not have it.
     This, then, is truth for the times. This is truth for the day in which our lot is cast. No wonder that this simple command, which is for the most part unheeded, is introduced by so solemn a charge in v.1. No wonder it is introduced by a solemn reference to the coming Judge (v.1). No wonder it is followed and closed by a reference to the coming same "righteous Judge" (v.8). 
     When those who should "preach the word" are making it their aim to please the people, and preaching the newspaper philanthropy, temperance, and a social gospel; when those who should preach "the gospel of the grace of God" are preaching to "raise the masses" to a higher social level; when those who should preach of "judgment to come," and make sinners "tremble" (Acts 24:25), are at their wit's end to invent new methods for making everything "pleasant" for poor sinners' amusement; when we see multitudes of so-called "pastors" intent on amusing the goats, instead of feeding Christ's sheep; I say, when we see this to be the character of our times, then we may be sure that judgment is not far off.
     Aaron made the golden calf to please the people, but judgment speedily overtook them (Ex. 32:26, 28). 
     Pilate crucified Christ to please the people (Mark 15:15), but the Lord in judgment soon destroyed the city and scattered the nation. 
     Herod, to please the people, slew James, and was proceeding to slay Peter also, when he was smitten by an angel of God - was eaten of worms, and died (Acts 12:3, 23). 
     Believe me, dear friends, judgment is not far off - yea, it is even at the door! We are here to-day to witness of it as Noah witnessed; to walk with God as Enoch walked; seeing what manner of persons we ought to be, while we repeat his prophecy in the ears of a worldly church and a religious world, "Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints" (Jude 14). 
     But there is a blessed hope bound up with this fourth and last characteristic of these evil times. It is recorded in v.8: "Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day; and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing."


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