orangeleader.com (Orange, Texas)

October 13, 2012

The danger of good preaching

DAVID BERKHEIMER
The Orange Leader

ORANGE — The primary difference between preaching and teaching is that teaching is to impart truth as information to be learned, while preaching imparts truth to be lived. Preaching that doesn’t cause action, growth and aggressive involvement in the winning of souls is really a failure.

God’s Word a failure? Yes, because we have made it entertainment. We have let the excitement of the message and the presence of the Spirit become a religious entertainment. We have told ourselves that going to church and feeling God is what serving God is all about. Like one man put it, “Preacher, I don’t believe what you’re saying, but I like the way you say it.”

Once I had the opportunity to visit a church which was pastored by a well-known convention and camp meeting speaker. I expected a vibrant, alive, soul-winning congregation, but I was disappointed. The auditorium only had about a hundred worshippers who showed no enthusiasm about serving God.

Jesus referred to seed (the Word) being placed in good soil (people) bringing forth fruit. He expects His Word to bring forth a harvest. Farmers seldom celebrate planting like they do harvesting a good crop. Why do we feel so good about crop failure? James wrote, “Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you are a listener when you are anything but, letting the Word go in one ear and out the other. Act on what you hear!....Anyone who sets himself up as ‘religious’ by talking a good game is self-deceived. This kind of religion is hot air and only hot air. Real religion, the kind that passes muster before God the Father, is this: Reach out to the homeless and loveless in their plight, and guard against corruption fro the godless world.'” (James 1:22, 23 & 25 The Message)