What kind of preaching does God want? There are many in the religious world who are not that concerned about wanting to know what pleases God. People just want to feel good about the message they hear, and they don’t want to hear what they need to change things in their lives to be right with God. Man’s liberal attitude in pleasing God isn’t new to society.
“Now go, write it before them on a tablet, and note it on a scroll, that it may be for time to come, forever and ever: That this is a rebellious people, lying children, children who will not hear the law of the LORD; Who say to the seers, “Do not see,” And to the prophets, “Do not prophesy to us right things; Speak to us smooth things, prophesy deceits. Get out of the way, Turn aside from the path, Cause the Holy One of Israel To cease from before us” (Isa 30:8-11)
These people would rather have lies told to them than the truth and this is the same problem that many are guilty of today. We also have an example of this in the New Testament and comes as a warning to a young Timothy from the apostle Paul.
“I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry” (2 Tim 4:1-5).
Sometimes people don’t want God’s truth taught, instead they want the preacher to preach sermons that will tickle their ears, even if what they are preaching will lead many down the wide road that leads to destruction.
So as Christians, we must stop asking what we desire to hear preached and instead we need to open up our Bibles and find out what God wants preachers to preach.
God’s Word should be the main thing that is taught. Those preachers who get up and tell stories and only briefly mention any Scriptures are certainly not preaching the Word. When preachers do it their way instead of God’s way it causes congregations to lose respect for God Word and it opens the door false doctrines to enter in. This is why Paul warns Timothy that if the Word is not taught then people will go astray. In fact, Paul tells Timothy at least 12 times in his letters for him to keep the doctrine and teach other to keep the doctrine of God.
“If you instruct the brethren in these things, you will be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished in the words of faith and of the good doctrine which you have carefully followed” (1 Tim 4:6).
A good minister is one that instructs the brethren with the Word of God. When this is done, this will help equip the saints with what they need to hear and not necessarily what they want to hear. God wants a preacher who will convict people of sin through His Word, so their hearts will be pricked and they will realize that they need to repent and change their ways. This is not something that a preacher enjoys doing, but if he is preaching the whole council of God, he will preach on topics that will eventually touch everyone because we all have our different weaknesses and strengths and God’s Word covers them all as Peter says, “Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue” (2 Pet 1:2,3).
Another thing we can learn about doctrinal preaching is that should be preached in such a way that everyone can understand what you are talking about. Some preachers like to show how intelligent they are and their lessons will be full of difficult terms and terminology that most people cannot follow. God doesn’t want His Word preached this way because He wants people to understand what His Word is saying and He wants it to be clear and plain (2 Cor 3:12).
Another thing we learn about God’s doctrine is that is to be taught with love for the brethren. If a preacher’s main goal is to belittle and make people feel low, then they have the wrong attitude. God wants preachers who have a love for brethren and who wants them to be right with God. They should not gloat in the sins of others instead they should rejoice in the righteousness of others. When a preacher speaks out of love for a person’s soul, he is going to do his best to reach that person at their level just as Paul did (1 Cor 9:19-23).
Now Paul is not saying that he would engage in sinful activates to reach these people, but that he would relate with them and come down to their level so that he might get them to listen to the Gospel. Again this shows how a preacher should preach with love for the lost and for the brethren.
The first thing preachers need realize is that if they offend someone while preaching the truth then they didn’t offend that person, God’s Word did. Preachers and teachers need to realize that we are a vessel for God’s Word and if we don’t preach or teach it than we are neglecting our duty. Notice what Paul says about this in Galatians 6:1-12).
Paul emphasizes twice that there is only one doctrine and we must not teach the doctrines of men (Tit 1:14), but he also is teaching us that God’s Word cannot be watered down to please other people. This is an area that all preachers and teachers need to understand. We don’t preach to people for the sole purpose of being pleasing to them, instead, we must be bold and preach the Word of God. Jesus told His disciples to fear God and not man, for only God can destroy both soul and body in hell (Matt 10:28).
We can see that His disciples took this advice to heart because when Peter and John were arrested for preaching about Jesus and when the Jews threaten them they said, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you more than to God, you judge. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard” (Acts 4:19,20)
This is the attitude that every preacher and teacher should have. We have to learn to set aside our own personal thoughts and desires and simply preach the oracles of God (1 Pet 4:11).
Preachers must practice what they preach (Rom 2:21,22). They must be an example worthy of following (1 Tim 4:12). If a preacher isn’t living his life according to God’s Word, yet he teaches others that they must, then they are no better than the Pharisees of Jesus time because that is exactly what they were guilty of. Concerning the Pharisees, Jesus said, “Therefore whatever they tell you to observe, that observe and do, but do not do according to their works; for they say, and do not do” (Matt 23:3).
This is not just a lesson for preachers and teachers, but it also a lesson for every Christian, because in one way or another we are all representing God in our lives. If we call ourselves Christians then we must also be willing to live like Christians so that we can all be good examples to those around us and so that people can see that we are practicing what we preach.
Conclusion: The kind of preaching that God wants is preaching that comes from His Word and He wants all of His word preached, not just the parts we like. He wants it preached with clarity and by people who are motivated by love for the lost and for the brethren. He wants preaching that is pleasing to Him and that is not watered down to please others. Finally, he wants those who preach His Word to live by it and to be good examples to others.