1 Corinthians 1:17-21 “For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect. For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.”
The church at Corinth was recorded to be a very carnal church; one that lacked spiritual maturity. Paul repeatedly admonished them for contentions and divisions among them over things they should have learned. He often spoke of truths he had given, but just did not apply.
God set the stage at the beginning of His communication to this church that He was going to use a potent vehicle to deliver this truth – preaching. I hear so often, the complaints of saved, children of God who would like to hear more teaching, softer delivery, and not so much shouting. The Bible tells us:
Isaiah 58:1 “Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.”
We know we need truth. But too often, we want to regulate just how much truth we will be willing to hear. We want to tell the preacher just how he should deliver the truth. Some want a bit of ‘sugar’ added to make the truth more palatable. Not so much shouting and please… don’t NAME my sin!
Adopting a biblical worldview means the Bible becomes the standard by which we operate and live our lives. Our churches have become more like social clubs than spiritual hospitals. It has become more about pleasing the members than satisfying the One who owns it.
This world is sin-sick in need of the right medicine.
Someone once told me that when looking for a good church, find one that has a preacher willing to point his finger in my face and tell me those things I am unwilling to say to myself. We all have some level of acceptance to the truth we hear. But sometimes, there are truths we don’t like; truths that rub us the wrong way.
Someone likened it to grabbing a cat by the tail and stroking it’s fur toward its head (trust me, it is no more pleasant for the cat as it will be for you if you dare to try it!).
We often overlook a compelling element needed when preaching the Bible.
We, who deliver the truth must do so as directed by the Holy Spirit of God. Preaching to ‘get’ someone, or ‘nail them to the wall,’ will come across as harsh, vindictive and judgmental. But when done in the power and fullness of the Holy Spirit, that same truth can be preached with love and received with the understanding that it is God speaking through the preacher.
The world and worldly churches will condemn what they call ‘hellfire and damnation’ preaching. But to reveal to an unsaved soul that without the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior, they will receive an eternal judgment and punishment in a place called hell.
If warning someone about an eternal decision that will affect them so dramatically comes across as harsh – what might the fires of hell feel like for all eternity? I would much rather preach what God tells me in the manner in which He desires and pleases Him than to please a man.
Lastly, if I were to feed the individual ingredients of flour, shortening, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and an egg; you would say they don’t taste delicious. But combined together and formed into a ball and baked correctly, I could feed you some wonderfully tasting biscuits.
We may not like the ingredients that go into the recipe by themselves, but the fruit of it tastes incredible! It is God that gave the method. We may not like the present situation or circumstances, but the final product of a life pleasing to Almighty God is priceless!