A Call For Churches and Preachers To Return to Bible Preaching

When I saw the headline “The Hottest Thing at Church Today,” I wondered what kind of new promotion or gimmick some mega church had devised enticing people to attend.

Then I read the post by blogger Tim Challies.

“According to a new study by Gallup, the hottest thing at church today is not the worship and not the pastor. It’s not the smoke and lights and it’s not the hip and relevant youth programs. It’s not even the organic, fair trade coffee at the cafe. The hottest thing at church today is the preaching.”

As a preacher that got my attention. But then this really surprised me.
“Not only is it the preaching, but a very specific form of it—preaching based on the Bible.”

According to Christianity Today magazine, “Despite a new wave of contemporary church buzzwords like relational, relevant, and intentional, people who show up on Sundays are looking for the same thing that has long anchored most services: preaching centered on the Bible.”

The problem, as Challies correctly states it, has been a pragmatic approach by many preachers, pastors, and churches. “Pragmatism insists that the end justifies the means.” This philosophy has been applied by too many for too long. And it is not confined to one particular denomination. In my fellowship among churches of Christ, we have witnessed brethren abandoning the authority of the Scriptures and resorting to carnal and secular means and methods.

The Apostle Paul told Timothy that the church is supposed to “the pillar and ground of the Truth” (1 Tim 3:15). Furthermore, he solemnly charged this young evangelist to “Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage — with great patience and careful instruction” (2 Tim 4:2-3).

Motivational speaker and former Mars Hills preacher, Rob Bell, was wrong when he appeared on the Oprah Winfrey show and suggested the Bible is irrelevant in today’s culture. The truth is that the Bible has never been more relevant than it is in the 21st century.

I’ve heard it said that we need to make the Bible relevant today. No. It’s already relevant. What preachers and churches need to do is preach it. And apply its eternal principles to the problems and challenges in people’s lives.

What the Apostle affirmed in the first century, is still true today. “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work” (2Tim 3:16-17)

While times have changed and technology has drastically affected our culture, the basic nature of humankind has not changed. We face the same problems. Fears. Frustrations. Needs. Wants. And our #1 problem is still sin. “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23).

The Bible reveals that Jesus is the Answer. He’s the way to the Father. The Savior of the World. And the atonement for our sins (Jn. 14:6; Lk 2:11; I Jn 2:1-2). Through Him, we can enjoy peace with God, discover our purpose for living and find fulfillment in life (Eph. 1:7-12; 2:14; Jn. 10:10).

Once I was preaching in a congregation where a sister invited her niece to attend.  The young lady said that she wasn’t interested.  She was tired of attending churches that preached politics, social issues and offered entertainment.  She was interested in the Bible.  When the Aunt assured her that we were strictly Bible focused, she reluctantly visited.  And was surprised.  A few weeks later she was baptized for the remission of sins (Ax 2:38).

It’s refreshing to know there may be a trend back to people wanting Bible preaching. However, whether it’s trending or not, Bible centered preaching and teaching is what people need, whether they know it or not.

“Preach the Word.”

–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman

4 Comments

Filed under Bible, Preaching

4 responses to “A Call For Churches and Preachers To Return to Bible Preaching

  1. Great post and very welcome news about preaching the Bible…I think preaching the gospel wins the culture wars…Jesus did not duck the political and cultural questions thrown at Him from His opponents…but elevated the issues and answers upward into a universal level…outside of the local tribal level…so as not only to not jeopardize the upcoming outreach to the Greeks and Romans…but also to create the message base of salvation and spiritual renovation (John 3) that beneficially changes people from the inside-out.

    One observation I would like to add to your excellent post. In looking at the way Jesus responds to the attempts of the religious elite in Jerusalem to “catch him in his words”…to trip Jesus up…paying tribute, which is the greatest of the laws, etc…His answers are so well formulated as to be outside of human creative invention.

    The answers of Jesus are both brilliantly divine yet calibrated to keep Jesus at the low level of humility so as to be offensive to humanistic pride and power…to still be at a low level that would enable Jesus to be rejected by the world and crucified as the Passover Lamb of God for the sins of humankind.

    The center of the gospel message is that the blood that Jesus shed on the cross has life and transforming power. It appears that the goal of God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit is to get Jesus to the cross…not to solve the current political, social, and cultural problems…even though the Bible addresses these issues in detail.

    God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit knew that there is life and power in the blood of Jesus. They have always known this…from the foundation of the world.

    Winning the culture wars starts with preaching the gospel message of salvation and redemption…through the cross of Christ.

    This is a balanced dynamic that is a huge apologetic argument for the divine origin of the Bible. It is beyond human literary fabrication.

    • James Shewmaker

      Biblically, the only agenda of the good warfare is winning the victory on the battlefield of the mind of the individual. First century Christians did not focus on society nor did they change societies. In fact, in order that the way of the cross might not be slandered they actually sacrificed their liberties to avoid societal issues and upheavals.

      Those who seek to change the society of America from the pulpit have abandoned the agenda of Christ that is the saving of that which will exist long after America is consigned to the rubble of history, the souls of those who are willing to listen and then be faithful to Christ.

  2. Pingback: Sharing your big scriptures for tough times – Belgian Ecclesia Brussel – Leuven

  3. A lot of preachers preach out of context these days. We need to preach according to the Bible.
    The Scripture cannot be irrelevant. Most preachers are not of God, even the devil knows the Scripture.

    May God help us.

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