Why some won’t listen
Have you ever heard someone say, “Don’t preach to me!” or “I don’t mean to sound like I’m preaching, but . . . .”?
Preaching is not always appreciated. Sometimes this is due to those who fail to practice what they preach. And at times preaching may come across as self-righteous, egotistic.
But perhaps the major reason preaching is not always welcome is that there is within many of us the attitude, “Nobody’s gonna tell ME what to do!”
This rebellious inner self, the Bible says, must be put aside. In its place there must be childlike humility. God calls us to yield control of our lives to Him and make Christ our Lord in every area of our life.
If our beliefs are false or we’re not living right, and the preacher tells us we’re wrong, isn’t he really doing us a tremendous favor, even if it hurts at the time? “Have I therefore become your enemy by telling you the truth?” Paul asks (Galatians 4:16).
Paul himself, at one time the violent persecutor of the church, had to learn the shocking truth that he had been working against God when he sincerely thought he was doing God’s will. He had to learn how wrong he was before he could get right. And so must we.
Why it makes sense to listen
If the preacher is true to the message God has revealed in His word, then resisting the message is resisting God Himself (Luke 10:16). The preacher is simply the messenger.
Balanced preaching contains both positive and negative and is geared to the needs of the hearers. It has often been said that preaching should comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. Sometimes we need to be afflicted.
Paul urged Timothy to “preach the word . . . reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction.” Paul then warns that people will reject unpalatable truth and turn instead to those who will tell them what they want to hear (2 Timothy 4:2-4). Doesn’t this happen in our day—a lot?
So what do we want? Pleasant words that make us feel good and never bad, or the truth that we so desperately need?
To receive the marvelous blessings of salvation we must be willing to repent by changing our minds and renouncing our sins, then humbly submitting to God’s gracious will (Acts 2:36-38; 22:16).
If it’s really the truth, can we afford to accept anything else?
Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: http://www.lockman.org/
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