The trend with many today is to concentrate less on the Holy Scriptures, and more on other things in the pulpit and in Bible classes. Listeners are made to wonder: “Where is the Scripture?” In visits to congregations in recent years, I have left saddened because preachers or teachers used very little Scripture in the pulpit or Bible classes. In one instance, the preacher did not read or quote even one Scripture in his Bible class. How could this be called a “Bible class” at all? We also see this problem when preachers do not give the plan of salvation from the Scriptures when they extend the invitation. Do we assume that everyone knows what to do to be saved? Or, do we think that members no longer need to be put in remembrance of these important truths? This cannot be the case, according to Paul (1 Tim. 4:6) and Peter (2 Pet. 1:13-15; 3:1-2). Do children and youth not need to be grounded in the first principles, and adults as well, in this matter? Have some lost confidence in the Gospel to convert and to convict? Paul certainly did not. He said: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek” (Rom. 1:16).
Does not God command us to: “Preach the word” (2 Tim. 4:2a)? Sadly, book, chapter, and verse preaching is rapidly vanishing from many pulpits today! Could it be that some actually think that their words are greater than God’s Word? This sad situation can only be remedied by returning to a “thus saith the Lord.” Precious souls need to frequently hear the plan of salvation from the Scriptures preached, because the Word of God is “able to save your souls” (Jam. 1:21b). “The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple” (Psa. 19:7).
One who thinks so little of the Bible, and so much of himself, that he will fill his lessons with human sentiments, while leaving his audience starving for the truth, ought to humble himself and repent! When men who have a genuine reverence for God and His Word fill our pulpits and teach our Bible classes, then church members will be encouraged to: “Fear God, and keep His commandments” (Ecc. 12:13), but not otherwise. Church leaders ought to demand this kind of preaching/teaching!
In the long ago, God commanded Jonah: “Arise, go unto Nineveh, that great city, and preach unto it the preaching that I bid thee” (Jon. 3:2). The preaching that God has always demanded is the preaching of His word, and not man’s! “If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God” (1 Pet. 4:11).
- Danny Douglas, Mt. Pleasant, TN; via the Belvedere Beacon, the weekly bulletin of the Belvedere church of Christ, Belvedere, SC. Ken Chumbley preaches for this congregation, and he may be contacted at their website: http://www.belvederechurchofchrist.org