Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Preach the Word

Preach the Word

Scripture: 2 Timothy 4 v 2 - 4:
"Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. 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; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables."

Every Christian should be able to preach the Word of God to one or more people. To use scripture whenever God prods you to reprove (show someone they are guilty of wrong thinking or behaviour), rebuke (convey stern disapproval), exhort (urge, give advice, warn, remind, inform) so that they may do better.

We must share our wisdom with those who need it, and do it with love, kindness and patience. People don't take in lessons when they are being shouted at. They need a quiet atmosphere to listen and understand. You need to invite them to ask questions and if you don't know the answer, find someone who does.

Unfortunately, the time has now come when many thousands of believers have shut their ears to sound doctrine and have joined the "anything goes" crowd. This has brought many into great confusion and heresy. They have itching ears to listen to the latest guru of enlightenment to appear in their midst.

How Paul, Peter, John and Jesus Himself would rebuke and reprove these preachers of false doctrines. They would exhort the people to come out of those churches that are bringing the Lord's ministry into disrepute. They are contaminated by the love of money which is the root of all evil.

Most of the churches that are in need of repentance before they lose their candlestick are stuck on the first principles of the doctrine of Christ: repentance from dead works; faith in God; doctrine of baptisms and laying on of hands; resurrection of the dead; eternal judgment. Paul says we must go forward from these basic principles, leave them behind and go on to perfection.

Many mainline churches have not got very far into the first principles, where their members have not heard of, or been discouraged from, being born again and baptized in water. They still christen babies into the church in a non-Biblical tradition, which is meaningless to Christianity.  

I once went to a Bible Study on a freezing and wet winter's night, where only a few true and mature believers pitched up. It was an opportunity for the pastor to give us some real meat and inspire us. He wasted it on "How to be saved"!  He knew everyone in the room but chose to continue his rehashed teaching, and wondered why no one came the following week.
The basics are called the milk of the gospel. Hebrews 5 v 13-14: "For everyone that useth milk is unskillful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil."

So we need to go beyond the first principles of the doctrine of Christ and allow the Holy Spirit to take us to another level which will inspire and exhort people to experience the fullness of all that God has for us. The church becomes stagnant when the Holy Spirit is not able to express the power of God to teach, heal, deliver, prophesy and perform miracles.

Sometimes God uses a broken vessel to pour out His riches. There was a man who had a speech impediment and could not make himself understood. The pastor called upon him one Sunday to open in prayer. He did his best and God did the rest. His presence filled the church and everyone knew exactly what was being prayed. 

So don't think you are too young, not clever enough, don't have a calling or any other excuse, to not share the Word with people around you with needs. Just open your mouth and the Holy Spirit will fill it with what He wants to convey.  Jesus will love you for doing so.

Prayer:  Heavenly Father, we can all do so much more to bring the truth to those around us. Fill us with the courage of Gethsemane, to fear no-one but do our part to bless the world with the knowledge of Jesus. In Jesus' name. Amen.