If you desire the glory of God more than the praise of men; if you desire to walk in faithfulness to God and His Word more than ministry itself; if you desire to trust and lean upon God more than the many means of being in physical and financial comfort; if you love the pleasure of God more than the pleasure of denominations, creeds and popular leaders - then this corner is for you.
Well that cuts our readers down a bit!
This corner is reserved for preachers, both young and old alike, who have a deep desire to preach messages inspired of the Holy Ghost which are given straight from the throne of God, and who are commissioned by the Holy Ghost to feed the sheep and reach the lost. Here I will write from the depths of my heart concerning the issues which have kept a great many preachers from being God's vessel. We will look at motive's, warnings, problems, opposition, temptations, trials, and many of the ways of God in making a man fit to be His mouthpiece.
WHERE ARE ALL THE PREACHERS?
Rom.10:14 "...and how shall they hear without a preacher?"
All through the ages God has raised up preachers. Although the whole church is His unique instrument in the earth He especially sets aside those called "preachers" to birth forth Churches and to steer them into all the will of God. One of the greastest callings in the world is that of the preacher. They are God's mouthpiece. Spurgeon's famous saying has been quoted widely, "If God calls you to preach, don't stoop to become the King of England."
This act of preaching is not just old fashioned, it is most ancient. This was in the mind of God before creation itself. He devised a plan in eternity-past in which He formed all His thoughts, plan's, desires, blessings and revelations into one message. He then chose the means by which He would make known this wonderful plan and message - PREACHING.
I Cor.2:7 "But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:" Tit.1:3 "But hath in due times manifested his word through preaching, which is committed unto me according to the commandment of God our Saviour;"
This was to be His chosen means. He chose something that man in his carnal natural mind would think is foolish, weak, vulgar and despised. We are told in First Corinthians that there would be those who would think that this means of preaching was "foolish" and "weak." More specifically he says that it would be those who "perish" who think this act of preaching and message of the Cross was "foolish." How dangerous to take this invention of God, PREACHING, and to laugh at it, change it, reject it or to replace it.
Sadly most of those who treat preaching like this are inside the church today. How dare the human mind think it can replace it. How dare the human hand touch it. How dare the human heart despise it. How dare the human mouth ridicule it. How dare Christian pens write against it. Beware of those in the Church who despise this chosen means called PREACHING.
2000 years ago this act of preaching was thought foolish - today it is the same. So-called wise men are not satisfied with such simple foolish God-ordained actions like preaching.
2000 years ago this act of preaching was a stumbling block - today it is the same. That is why so many in today's church are removing it.
2000 years ago men were thrown in prison and killed because they would not stop preaching - today it is NOT the same. Preachers by the multitudes are lining up to exchange this ancient God-invented and God-given art of preaching for all the latest newest gimmicks and cheap shows. Why? Because they are ashamed of it.
Where have all the preachers gone? They have gone AWOL. They have left the post and commission given to them by God. His word says "Preach the Word" but they not only stop preaching the written Word of God, they also stop the act of preaching. If they are not scared to depart from the written Word then they certainly will have no fear in leaving the act of preaching.
Isa 3:1-4, “For, behold, the Lord, the LORD of hosts, doth take away from Jerusalem and from Judah the stay and the staff, the whole stay of bread, and the whole stay of water, The mighty man, and the man of war, the judge, and the prophet, and the prudent, and the ancient, The captain of fifty, and the honourable man, and the counsellor, and the cunning artificer, and the eloquent orator. And I will give children to be their princes, and babes shall rule over them.”
Most churches are glad to see the back of old-fashioned Holy Ghost preaching. They are also glad to see the back of ancient preachers - men who have stood faithfully preaching for many years. But God says it is an act of His judgement when prophets, mature men and men of ability in speaking disappear from the Church. In their place He gives them children and babes to be leaders. Such young scaly-wags bring their foolish childish games right into Gods House and desecrate holy altars with fun, games and entertainment. This is the sign of Gods judgement - eloquent preachers and prophets get replaced by children's entertainment.
Has it not happened in our churches? Yes it has. Where are the preachers? Where are those called of God to PREACH? Where are those who have turned from their own carnal inventions to Gods ordained means of revealing His thoughts and purposes? Today our Bible School's are turned into training grounds for the promotion of the social gospel, for acting out mimes which even Christian's cannot understand, to professionalise worship leaders who become the new fashion leaders of the youth, and for Bible illiterate leaders!
Where are the preachers? What Bible School today can produce preachers? Why is there such a down playing of preaching in the church today? Be sure that once more the Lord is going to bypass this circus which the church has become and raise up some untrained eloquent preacher who will be a prophet to this generation.
If you are a true God called Preacher reading this, I want to tell you that you are a very rare bred in these days. I really want you to see that nothing has changed in 2000 years. Woe to you if you shun this act of preaching! Woe to you if you become influenced by unsanctified children who have invaded the church! Woe to you if you are ashamed to open your mouth and to cry aloud!
For 2000 years God has ordained PREACHING as the means. Nothing else. Do you honestly think that this present generation knows better than God Himself, His Word and 2000 years of Christian Preaching? Beware lest you be a child-prince or baby-ruler of Gods judgement in a Laodicean Church. But if you are a young man who against all inability feels the fire of God shut up in your bones, and the zeal of God consuming your heart, Praise God, Answer the call of God that He may Revive His Church once more. This is the greatest of callings.
BORN TO PREACH
Jer.1:5-6, “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations. Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child.”
Just because God separates a man in his mother's womb to this great task of preaching does not mean that he will not face a great many struggles in the process of becoming a preacher.
We may well call some certain men "Born-Preachers" because from the word go they seem to have this unique gift of preaching and immediately ascend to the clouds when they open their mouths. But this is not the normal and is not the picture painted in Scripture of a God born preacher. In the Old Testament we read of true God-called men and preachers birthed amidst impossible situations, surrounded with great difficulties and filled with inward infirmities and doubts.
Few older preachers explain and make clear to younger preachers, the difficulties, failures and struggles in coming forth as Gods mouth-piece.
When Jeremiah was called of God and it was revealed unto him that the Lord (unknowingly to man) had separated him to such in the very womb, all he could say is "Ah, Lord GOD! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child.” At that very stage the Lord revealed to him that his message would be such that everyone would be against him but from Gods view-point he would be against everyone. The Lord warned him that if he didn't speak all that He gave him to speak then the Lord would confound him. Even later in ministry when this was fulfilled and men rejected him and scorned his message he said, "I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name. But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay." (Jer 20:9)
These are the trials that will most certainly face a young preacher especially in an hour of apostasy in the church as our day is. Discouragement may come, even terrible despair, but the Word of God will burn in the heart and bones of a true prophet or preacher.
Just recount the history of God-called men and you will see the many difficulties that birthed them forth into ministry. Moses had failed God terribly 40 years before and now seemed to lack any ability whatsoever to step forth into the calling. All he could say is "I am not eloquent" but that was the hour of his preparedness for Gods purpose. Oh what inward and outward trials he must persevere through to be Gods leader.
Then there was fearful Gideon who needed much assurance; David the young shepherd boy despised by his brothers and called proud; Samuel in the midst of utter apostasy, apathy and lukewarmness; Saul the greatest and most learned religious zealot who through conversion must become Paul the Apostle who counted all such religious zeal as dung; young timorous Timothy who felt his lack to minister in the churches but who must play the man and play his part.
All these and many many more must fight through the lack in their own personality and temparament, not to mention the surrounding impossible mountains of circumstances. But more than this. They must persevere in their calling as leaders and preachers when even Gods people reject and despise them. That's hard. Enemies arise to oppose them, false prophets lie against them, political powers persecute them.
God-birthed preachers do not just pop out of the womb. They must travail with tears over their own personal inabilities and rely in faith upon Gods ability. They cannot make up their own messages or steal other's, they must speak what God gives them. It is through all the inward struggles and outward opposition that God birth's forth a true preacher. Isa 48:10 "Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction."
One last thought. Gal.1:15-16, "But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb, and called me by his grace, To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen:" The first and greatest persecutor of the early Church who lived by the very breath of threats against Christ and Christians was in fact separated in his mothers womb to this great task of preaching. God does chose some of the most unlikely and most impossible for this great task of preaching.
While he was yet raging against the Christ of God; while he was fuming against the message of His resurrection; while he was yet dragging parents from children and throwing them into prison; while he was forcing Christian men and women to blaspheme the name of Christ - all the while he was in realtity a born preacher. In his very birth, though it seemed impossible by his life, he had been separated by Gods own hand and purpose to be a preacher, a born preacher!