Sunday, July 9, 2017
Stop Preaching About That!
Mic. 2:6 “Do not preach”—thus they preach—
“one should not preach of such things;
disgrace will not overtake us.”
God’s people were living in disobedience and the prophets were struggling with their message. When they preached God’s truth the people rebelled. They didn’t want to hear those words. The official religious leaders didn’t want to stir up the people and so they preached to the prophets, telling them to be quiet because their words were troubling the people. Then, they went on to preach the things that would tickle the ears of the people.
Preaching God’s truth may sometimes trouble the hearts and souls of listeners. The purpose of preaching is not to entertain or to make the people in the pew happy. One of the early General Superintendents of the Church of the Nazarene passionately preached on holiness and the crowd threw dead mice at him!
When preaching begins to make us angry and uncomfortable, it may just be touching a nerve it needs to touch! Instead of becoming angry at the preacher and telling them to “stop preaching about that,” we need to examine our own hearts. God’s people didn’t want to hear that there would be consequences for their behavior. They were determined to believe that “disgrace will not overtake us.” But they were wrong.
There are consequences that we must face for the ways in which we live our lives. There is fallout from taking drugs that will affect your own body and your ability to provide for yourself and your family. Children will be hurt by divorce, no matter how amicable you believe the situation may be. Your spouse will be wounded by your addiction to porn. The world will suffer when Christians insulate themselves and refuse to become a voice for those on the margins. Premarital sex will have a lasting impact on your marriage. And the list goes on and on…but the voices in the pew say, “stop preaching about that!” We want to hear about a God who loves unconditionally and will accept us no matter what. That is true, but this is a holy Father who sent his son as a living sacrifice so that we wouldn’t have to live trapped in the darkness of sin. The good news is that God does love us unconditionally and accepts us no matter what, so that we can be transformed into sons and daughters who do not have to live in sin. God can heal us from the consequences of sin, but we must stop making excuses.
We should never try to silence the prophetic voice, but be willing to be molded by God’s correction.
Lord, this day many will stand in your pulpit and preach. May our preachers not be inhibited to speak the truth you have laid on their hearts. Amen.