By Roy Burner (Minister of the Gospel)
Without a preacher text is taken out of God's Word which assures the necessity of a preacher; possibly even more so in the unhealthy environment we live in. Scripture gives numerous illustrations of what happens when spiritual strengthening is not prevalent.
In late 19th century such a concept become feasible due to secularization which is indifference to or rejection of religious consideration. Immorality begin to dominate through failed spiritual leadership to countermand such.
With the instructor having failed to be instructed, as we are presently witnessing, there is failure to pass on biblical instruction to the next generation. Replacements for the previous generation are not of the same caliber as the former, bringing the without a preacher concept into existence?
Are we seeing the lessening of the instructive Word of God due to seeking greater numbers, with the tickling of the ear, rather than the Adulterated (or pure) Word of God? Could the "without a preacher" concept not be implied due to what is being allowed; as the church comes into acceptance of worldly ways, with biblical guidelines being diminished or removed?
The Apostle told Timothy, a young Evangelist: Preach the word; be instant (or ready) in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned into fables (or that which is fictitious (2 Timothy 4:2-4).
Teachers who appeal to itching ears tell people what they want to hear, not what they need to hear; bringing into focus the "without a preacher" concept. One may bear the title "Preacher" but fail to fulfill the fullness of that title.
In a poem, written by an unknown author, titled "Church Walking with the World" are these words: The World said, Your preachers are all too old and plain. They frighten my children with dreadful tales that I do not like to hear. They talk of judgments, fire, pain, and the doom of the darkest night.
They warn of a place that should not be thus spoken to ears polite! I will send you some of a better stamp, more brilliant and fast, who will show how men may live as they please and go to heaven at last. So she called for pleasing, deemed gifted, and great, and learned; and the plain old men who had preached the cross were out of her pulpits turned.
This poem, written many years ago, bears the traits of a society that has come into acceptance of the leadership of a worldly nature; bringing the without a preacher concept into focus, with just enough spiritual insight to lead one astray from the Unadulterated (or pure) Word of God.
Scripture reveals: Be not conformed to this world; but be you transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God (Romans 12:2).
A Bible commentary noted: This verse implies God's direction in all of life's decisions. The believer should evaluate every decision on the basis of biblical principles, knowing that obedience brings God's blessings.
Without a preacher concept plays into focus when biblical instruction fails to bring one into a mature relationship with the heavenly Father, the Lord Jesus Christ, through God's Word and Spirit!
Martin Luther stated: The call is watch, study, attend to reading. In truth you cannot read too much in Scripture; and what you read carefully you cannot read too carefully, and what you understand well you cannot teach too well, and what you teach you cannot live too well. Therefore, pastors and preachers, pray, read, study, and be diligent. For this evil, and shameful time, is not the season for being lazy or sleeping.
The Apostle Paul said: When I came to you (speaking to the church at Corinth), came not with excellence of speech or of wisdom, declaring to you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified (1 Corinthians 2:1-2).
And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing (or persuasive) words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: That your faith should not stand (or be) in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God (1 Corinthians 2:4-5).
Paul's message, and method, reflected divine wisdom given through the power of God's Spirit. The people knew that a man of God had truly been among them; tossing aside the without a preacher concept!
That Apostle Paul wrote: You have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty (or shame), not walking in craftiness, nor handling (or adulterating) the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God (2 Corinthians 4:2). Paul was declaring the truthfulness of some; also identified the falsehood of others, who were failing to bring forth the truths of God's Word.
Sometime prior to his death, General Booth of the Salvation Army, uttered this significant prophecy: I consider that the chief dangers that confront the coming century will be Religion without the Holy Ghost (or that of God's Spirit); Christianity without Christ; Forgiveness without regeneration; Morality without God; and Heaven without Hell.
Scripture reveals: Shall horses run upon the rock (which would become lame if they did). Will one plow there with oxen (if so the plow would be broken). For you have turned judgment (or justice) into gall, and the fruit of righteousness into hemlock (Amos 6:12).
It is interesting to note that the word hemlock refers to a plant that poison is derived from. Poison infects or pollutes a body until injury, illness, or death occurs. It can be of a harmful influence such as will ruin, taint, inhibit, or embitter. When this influence creeps into a church, oftentimes unawares, it creates a powerless church.
A church of pomp, splendor, where true worship is taboo and sin no longer identified. Lives are without change or with little endurance if change occurs. In such a setting the "without a preacher" concept could certainly come into focus; even though one bears the title "Preacher" the fruits of such are far different than what the Apostle Paul proclaimed!
He preaches well that lives well (Spanish proverb). Good preachers give their hearers fruit, not flowers (Angelina Collins). Practice what you preach (Plautus). The test of a preacher is that his congregation goes away saying, not what a lovely sermon, but I will do something about it (Francis de Sales).
The Psalmist David wrote: I have preached (or proclaimed the good news of righteousness) in the great congregation; lo, I have not refrained (or restrained) my lips, O Lord you know (Psalm 40:9). King Solomon wrote: Because the preacher was wise, he taught the people knowledge; he gave good heed, and sought out, and set (or arranged) in order many proverbs (Ecclesiastes 12:9).
The text of this message is formulated from: Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher (Romans 10:13-14).
A Bible commentary noted: There can be no true calling upon God without faith, no faith without hearing, no hearing without preaching, and no preaching without divine mission. No hearing of Christ, and salvation by Him, without the preaching of the Gospel; the usual and ordinary way of hearing from God, and of Christ, is by the ministry of the Word.
Scripture reveals the necessity of a calling to the ministry helping alleviate the without a preacher concept: And how shall they preach except they be sent? As it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things (Romans 10:15).
A Bible commentary noted: This verse presents the universal proclamation of the gospel; that hearing requires a preacher, preaching requires being sent! The one who sends is God. Salvation is completely from God. So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God (Romans 10:17).
A Bible commentary noted: Preaching is the means God makes use of, to convey faith into the hearts of His people; with preachers as instruments of God by whom others believe. He bestows gifts on His ministers, some more, some less, but all have some.
These words; as well as previous ones, should bring attention to the need for God-ordained, God-anointed preachers, to boldly proclaim the entirety of God's Word; its soul-saving, life-giving, message of the hour! The Apostle Paul said: For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; woe unto me, if I preach not the gospel (1 Corinthians 9:16).
Paul felt a compulsion to preach the Gospel message to its fullness; not through the wisdom of men, but according to what God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, had placed upon his heart; through the anointing and direction of God's Spirit. He could readily proclaim: Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles (2 Timothy 1:11).
Without a preacher concept need not enter into the picture; if God's Word is wholeheartedly received, and practiced, by those who bear the title "Preacher."
That the hearer will know they have set under divine guidance, through the ministry of a God-sent preacher of the Gospel message, not according to man's wisdom but the wisdom of God, imparted to them through His Spirit.
This world is in need of a spiritual, life-changing revival sent from on from God! Ungodliness has surfaced, and flooded many a land, with allowance made through laws and rulings! It will take God-anointed, Spirit-filled, preaching and teaching, to offset the immorality of today!
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