The Grace Proclamator

and Promulgator

"To testify the gospel of the grace of God." Acts 20:24


September 1, 2002

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In this Issue:


"If Some Are Elect, What Is The Good Of Preaching?"







By Wayne Camp

SCRIPTURE: II Tim. 3:15-4:5

TEXT: 2 Timothy 4:2 preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.

1 Corinthians 9:16 For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!


When Bill Hybels decided to plant a church at "Willow Creek" he took a three-man survey team through the community, asking those people that admitted to being unchurched, why they did not regularly attend a church. The survey revealed that people: "(1) didn't like being bugged for money; (2) found church boring, predictable, and routine; (3) didn't think that the church was relevant to their lives; and (4) always left church feeling guilty (the Christian message too negative with 'sin,' etc.)."

Hybels, a leading light in the modern church growth movement proudly boasts that his solution was to "program our Sunday morning service [in addition to a Saturday evening "seeker service"] to non-believers, and program our service to believers [called "New Community"] on another day or evening [Wednesday and Thursday nights]," so that the newcomers would feel welcome, unthreatened, and ENTERTAINED. Hybels states that it is absolutely essential that the "unchurched Harry's and Mary's" be introduced to a "creative, introductory level, positive, Bible-centered church experience on a Sunday morning ... a place designed for [the unbeliever]. He further states, "We have put a lot of time and thought into what nonchurched people WANT from a Sunday morning service. And we have concluded that they basically want four things: (1) anonymity; (2) truth presented at an introductory level; (3) time to 'make a decision'- and (4) EXCELLENCE IN PROGRAMMING, CREATIVITY, HUMOR, CONTEMPORARY [WORSHIP], RELEVANCY, ETC." (Source: Hybels' 1990 message: "Who We Are at Willow Creek.")

The Hybels' methodology is to: Take a poll of lost people, find out what lost people want in religion, then make an all out effort in the church to provide what lost people want.

The result of this methodology is an aggrandizing of entertainment and a minimizing of preaching. Hybels and his church pride themselves in their promise that in their services there will be no "Bible thumping" and no Hell-fire-and-brimstone preaching. USA WEEKEND describes a service as "a slick, showbiz service where drama and soft rock are served up on a stage washed in pink and blue spotlights. A soft-sell sermon is delivered by Hybels from a lucite lectern ..." The author of the article acknowledges the fact that people attending the services there "will not be bored as a combination of drama, humor, and pop music is presented with no archaic hymns." The church building is likened to "a 4,500 seat theatre complete with 12 big screen TVs showing close-ups of action on stage just like at rock concerts."

Bill Hybels says that 20-25% of his success in preaching depends on proper lighting.

Such is the methodology of most folks involved in the modern church growth movement when it comes to the preaching of the word of God.

Paul admonished Timothy to preach the word. He did not tell him to skit the word by presenting a play. He did not tell him to drama the word. Drama is for Hollywood, it has no place in the churches of the Lord Jesus Christ. He did not even tell Timothy to sing the word. I love good hymn singing and it has its place in our worship of God but it is no replacement for the preaching of the Word. There is no substitute fro the preaching of the Word of God.

The primacy of preaching may be seen in the following statistics. The word preach is found in Scripture 50 times. Preacheth is found 3 times. Preached is found 61 times. Preaching is found 27 times. Preacher is found 11 times. This does not include other words which mean the same thing. Romans 10:15 How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!


A Definition: The word preach used in our text comes from the Greek word kerusso { kay-roos’-so} khruvssw. It is translated preach 51 times in the KJV, publish 5, proclaim 2, preached 2, preacher 1; for a total of 61 times. It means "to be a herald, to officiate as a herald; to proclaim after the manner of a herald; always with the suggestion of formality, gravity and an authority which must be listened to and obeyed; to publish, proclaim openly: something which has been done. It is used of the public proclamation of the gospel and matters pertaining to it, made by John the Baptist, by Jesus, by the apostles and other Christian teachers. Three different sources that I read all said basically the same thing. The word preach suggests formality, gravity and authority in the proclamation of the Word.

Commentator John Gill says that the word implies doing it in a loud voice and that is born out by Scripture. The example of John the Baptist bears this out. John 1:23 He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias.

The example of an angel with the everlasting gospel bears this out. Revelation 14:6-7 And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, 7 Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.

God's instruction to Isaiah indicates preaching is to be done with a loud, authoritative voice; not just quietly. Isaiah 58:1 Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.

To preach infers that one lifts up his voice with strength. Isaiah 40:9 O Zion, that bringest good tidings, get thee up into the high mountain; O Jerusalem, that bringest good tidings, lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God! God instructed Jeremiah to lift up his voice and cry. Jeremiah 22:20 Go up to Lebanon, and cry; and lift up thy voice in Bashan, and cry from the passages: for all thy lovers are destroyed. Peter spoke with a loud voice when he preached. Acts 2:14 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words.


The content of our preaching is to be the word of God. 2 Timothy 4:2 preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.

By preaching the word we are to understand that the WORD is that which made Timothy wise unto salvation. 2 Timothy 3:15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. By the word we are to understand that we are to preach that word which was given by inspiration of God. 2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. By the word we are to understand that we are to preach the word that will throughly furnish us unto all good works. 2 Timothy 3:17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.


Some negative thoughts on what it means to preach the word.

It does not mean to sing the word as in congregational or in special singing. While I love good singing and it has great benefits to God's people, it does not suffice to serve as the preaching of the word.

Let the worldly churches seek to present the word in their skits, dramas, puppet shows, movies, etc. but that will not serve as the preaching of the word.

Preaching the word cannot be accomplished by telling a series of human-interest stories. While these may serve to illustrate the word, they are not sufficient to obey the call to preach the word.

As it is set forth in Scripture, the obedience to this charge to preach the word involves a preacher, the word of God, and listeners. Mark 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.


Before we were called to pastor; we were called to preach. God takes preachers and sets them in his churches as pastors. He does not take pastors and set them in his churches so that they may become preachers. A man may be a preacher without being the shepherd of a flock. He cannot, however, be a pastor without a flock to shepherd.

Let me tell you about my own experience when God was calling me to preach. It was a burning desire to preach; I guess I assumed I would pastor but my first call was to preach and that was what burned in my soul.

I was a preacher before I ever attended a day of seminary. I was a preacher before I ever earned any degrees from a seminary. I was a preacher before I was ever ordained. I was a preacher before I had a library. I was a preacher before I ever wrote an article for a religious paper. I was a preacher before I ever pastored a church. And, with all due respect to the church I pastor and to those churches with which I have fellowship, I am a preacher of the Word of God first and foremost.

I could get by without writing for the paper though I love to write; I could get by without pastoring a church though I love to pastor; I could get by without a lot of things; but woe is me if I cannot and do not preach.

Consider Paul's testimony of his own calling to salvation and to preach. Galatians 1:15-18 But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace, 16 To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood: 17 Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus. 18 Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and abode with him fifteen days.

Consider Paul's words to the Corinthians. 1 Corinthians 1:17 For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.

Consider Paul's words to the Colossians. Colossians 1:23 If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister.

Consider Paul's words to Titus. Titus 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.

Note that Paul was ordained a preacher. 1 Timothy 2:7 Whereunto I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle, (I speak the truth in Christ, and lie not;) a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and verity.

Again note that Paul was appointed a preacher. 2 Timothy 1:11 Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles.


Preaching has always been the primary means of getting out the word of God. 1 Peter 4:6 For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.

It is evident from Scripture that the gospel was preached to folks in Old Testament times. Hebrews 4:1-2 Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. 2 For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.

Paul makes if very clear that he gospel was preached to Abraham. Galatians 3:8 And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.

God has chosen to manifest his word through preaching. Titus 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. Dear Reader, there is a difference in preaching and singing. There is a difference in preaching and putting on a skit. There is a difference in preaching and putting on a dramatic play. Preaching is God’s chosen means of manifesting his word to the world.

God has chosen to use the means of preaching his word to reach his elect people. 1 Corinthians 1:21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. Paul, whom God had called to preach his word, declared that it was the means that God used to reach his elect. 2 Timothy 2:9-10 Wherein I suffer trouble, as an evil doer, even unto bonds; but the word of God is not bound. 10 Therefore I endure all things for the elect’s sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. Even in prison and bonds, Paul could still preach the wonderful word of God. He endured all things for the sake of God’s elect people so that they could obtain the salvation in Christ Jesus.

The first task in fulfilling the commission is to preach. Mark 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. Brethren, I hear a lot of speaking about going out to plant churches and that is well and good. But, I know of no explicit command to start churches but I do know of the command to preach the gospel into all the world.


We are to preach repentance and remission of sins in the name of Jesus Christ. Luke 24:46-47 And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: 47 And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. When Jesus sent out the twelve, he commanded them that as they went out they were to preach. Matthew 10:5-7 These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: 6 But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 7 And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Matthew 10:27 What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops. Luke 9:2 And he sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick. Note that he says, “As ye go, preach.”

There is nothing about the doctrine of election that discourages preaching the gospel of Christ. As a matter of fact, it demands preaching. The New Hampshire Confession of Faith, the confession of faith adopted by the American Baptist Association when it was organized that remains its confession of faith to this day, says,

We believe that Election is the eternal purpose of God, according to which he graciously regenerates, sanctifies, and saves sinners 2 Tim. 1:8-9; Eph. 1:3-14; 1 Pet. 1:1-2; Rom. 11:5-6; John 15:15; 1 John 4:19; Hos. 12:9; that being perfectly consistent with the free agency of man, it comprehends all the means in connection with the end 2 Thess. 2:13-14; Acts 13:48; John 10:16; Matt. 20:16; Acts 15:14; that it is a most glorious display of God's sovereign goodness, being infinitely free, wise, holy, and unchangeable Exod. 33:18-19; Matt. 20:15; Eph. 1:11; Rom. 9:23-24: Jer. 31:3; Rom. 11:28-29; James 1:17-18; 2 Tim. 1:9; Rom. 11:32-36; that it utterly excludes boasting, and promotes humility, love, prayer, praise, trust in God, and active imitation of his free mercy 1 Cor. 4:7; 1:26-31; Rom. 3:27; 4:16; Col. 3:12; 1 Cor. 3:5-7; 15:10; 1 Pet. 5:10; Acts 1:24; 1 Thess. 2:13; 1 Pet. 2:9; Luke 18:7; John 15:16; Eph. 1:16; 1 Thess. 2:12; that it encourages the use of means in the highest degree 2 Tim. 2:10; 1 Cor. 9:22; Rom. 8:28-30; John 6:37-40; 2 Pet. 1:10; that it may be ascertained by its effects in all who truly believe the gospel 1 Thess. 1:4-10; that it is the foundation of Christian assurance Rom. 8:28-30; Isa. 42:16; Rom. 11:29; and that to ascertain it with regard to ourselves demands and deserves the utmost diligence 2 Pet. 1:10-11; Phil. 3:12; Heb. 6:11.

Note that it says that the doctrine of election “encourages the use of means in the highest degree.” The nonsensical notion that election discourages or eliminates the necessity of preaching the gospel is without scriptural foundation and comes from minds bent towards Arminianism. Yes we are to preach so that the elect obtain the salvation to which they have been chosen. 2 Timothy 2:10 Therefore I endure all things for the elect’s sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. It has pleased God to use the preaching of the gospel to bring his elect sheep into the fold.

When the twelve apostles went forth they went forth preaching. Luke 9:6 And they departed, and went through the towns, preaching the gospel, and healing every where. When one was called to follow Christ and he wanted first to bury his father, Jesus revealed in his answer the high importance he placed on preaching. Luke 9:59-60 And he said unto another, Follow me. But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father. 60 Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God.

Paul's admonition to Timothy found in our text leaves no doubt that the first and preeminent duty of the God-called man is to preach the word. 2 Timothy 4:2 preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.

Preach the word when there is a great harvest of souls being gathered. Preach the word when it seems no one is hearing it and responding favorably. Preach the word when you are being praised for it. Preach the word when you are being castigated for preaching it. Preach the word when it is necessary to reprove one who is in doctrinal error. Preach the word when one must be rebuked for his sins. Preach the word when there is a need for exhortation and encouragement. Preach doctrinal messages. Preach evangelistic messages. No matter what the occasion calls for, at each and every opportunity preach the word.

The example of Christ shows the primacy of preaching. Mark 2:2 And straightway many were gathered together, insomuch that there was no room to receive them, no, not so much as about the door: and he preached the word unto them.

The example set by the disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ shows the primacy of preaching. Mark 16:20 And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen. Acts 4:22 Being grieved that they taught the people, and preached through Jesus the resurrection from the dead.

Consider the example of Philip. Acts 8:5 Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them. Acts 8:35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus. Acts 8:40 But Philip was found at Azotus: and passing through he preached in all the cities, till he came to Caesarea. Preaching was preeminent in the work of this man of God.

The very first thing Paul did after his sight returned was to preach. Acts 9:20 And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God.

When Paul and Barnabas were sent forth as missionaries from Antioch, they began preaching at their various stops. Acts 13:5 And when they were at Salamis, they preached the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews: and they had also John to their minister. When they came to Antioch of Pisidia they preached. Acts 13:38 Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins. When the Jews rejected their preaching the Gentiles desired that they be preached to. Acts 13:42 And when the Jews were gone out of the synagogue, the Gentiles besought that these words might be preached to them the next sabbath. When they had to flee to Lystra and Derbe, the preached. Acts 14:6-7 They were ware of it, and fled unto Lystra and Derbe, cities of Lycaonia, and unto the region that lieth round about: 7 And there they preached the gospel. Acts 14:21 And when they had preached the gospel to that city, and had taught many, they returned again to Lystra, and to Iconium, and Antioch. In Perga they did what they always did; they preached. Acts 14:25 And when they had preached the word in Perga, they went down into Attalia.

It is evident from a statement of Paul that they were preachers, first and foremost. Acts 15:36 And some days after Paul said unto Barnabas, Let us go again and visit our brethren in every city where we have preached the word of the Lord, and see how they do. When Paul was in Berea he preached. Acts 17:13 But when the Jews of Thessalonica had knowledge that the word of God was preached of Paul at Berea, they came thither also, and stirred up the people. Acts 17:18 Then certain philosophers of the Epicureans, and of the Stoicks, encountered him. And some said, what will this babbler say? other some, He seemeth to be a setter forth of strange gods: because he preached unto them Jesus, and the resurrection.


There are several other Scriptures that I could have used to show the primacy of preaching in the life and ministry of Christ and the apostles. These men put preaching the word above everything else. As I conclude this message I think of Paul's statement to the Romans. Romans 1:14-16 I am debtor both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians; both to the wise, and to the unwise. 15 So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also. 16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

And I think again of this statement in his epistle to the Corinthians. 1 Corinthians 9:16 For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!

God has been pleased to use preaching as the principle means of propagating his precious word. How dare men substitute singing, skits, drama, movies, plays, or any thing else for that all-important business of the preaching of the gospel. Woe be unto us if we preach not. After all, that is God’s chosen means for bringing his chosen people to Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 1:21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.

Acts 8:35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.

Isa. 52.10 The LORD hath made bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.

Psalm 98:2-3 The LORD hath made known his salvation: his righteousness hath he openly shewed in the sight of the heathen. 3He hath remembered his mercy and his truth toward the house of Israel: all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.


"If Some Are Elect, What Is The Good Of Preaching?"

By Charles H. Spurgeon

Captious and cavilling persons will object, "You say that God loves His people, and therefore they will be saved; then what is the good of preaching?" What is the good of preaching? When I say that God loves a multitude that no man can number, a countless host of the race of men, do you ask me what is the good of preaching?

What is the good of preaching? To fetch these diamonds of the Lord out of the dunghill; to go down to the depths, as the diver does, to fetch up God's pearls from the place where they are.

What is the good of preaching? To cut down the good corn, and gather it unto the garner.

What is the good of preaching? To fetch out God's elect from the ruins of the fall, and make them stand on the rock Christ Jesus, and see their standing sure.

Ah, ye who ask what is the good of preaching, because God has ordained some to salvation, we ask you whether it would not be a most foolish thing to say, because there is to be a harvest, what is the good of sowing? There is to be a harvest, what is the use of reaping? The very reason why we do sow and reap is, because we feel assured that there is to be a harvest.

And if, indeed, I believed there was not a number who must be saved, I could not go into a pulpit again. Only once make me think that no one is certain to be saved, and I do not care to preach. But now I know that a countless number must be saved, I am confident that Christ "shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days." I know that, if there is much to dispirit me in my ministry, and I see but little of its effect, yet He shall keep all whom the Father hath given to Him; and this makes me preach.

I come into this chapel tonight with the assurance that God has some child of His, in this place, not yet called; and I feel confident that He will call some one by the use of the ministry, and why not by me? I know there are not a few souls whom God has given me through my ministry, not only hundreds, but thousands. I have seen some hundreds of those who profess to have been brought to God through my preaching at Park Street, and elsewhere; and with that confidence I must go on. I know that Jesus must have a "seed." His people must increase, and it is the very purpose of the ministry to seek them out, and bring them into God's fold. Our Saviour tells us the use of the ministry is, that they may "believe on me through their word."

There is one peculiarity about this. Christ says, They shall believe on me through their word." Have you never heard people call out about running after men? They say, "You are all running after such-and-such a man." What then, would you have them run after a woman? You say, "The people go after one particular man." Whom else shall they go after? Some persons say, "We went to such-and-such a place, and the people there love their minister too much."

That would be very dreadful, but it is not so. As for ministers being in danger of being ruined by too much love in any particular place, they get too much of the reverse some where else. If we get a little sweet, somebody else is sure to put in much that is bitter. Is it not singular that Christ should say, "They shall believe on me through their word"?

Now, do God's people believe on Christ through the word of the ministry? We know that our faith does not rest on the word of man, but on the Word of God. We do not rest on any man, yet it is through "their" word; that is, through the word of the apostles, and through the word of every faithful minister.

(A tract published by Calvary Baptist Church, Ashland, KY)



Charles H. Spurgeon declared: "I have my own private opinion that there is no such thing as preaching Christ and Him crucified, unless we preach what is nowadays called Calvinism. It is a nickname to call it Calvinism; Calvinism is the gospel, and nothing else. I do not believe we can preach the gospel ... unless we preach the sovereignty of God in His dispensation of grace; nor unless we exalt the electing, unchangeable, eternal, immutable, conquering love of Jehovah; nor do I think we can preach the gospel unless we base it upon the special and particular redemption of His elect and chosen people which Christ wrought out upon the Cross; nor can I comprehend a gospel which lets saints fall away after they are called."

(Spurgeon's Autobiography, Vol. 1, Ch. 16. p. 172)



By J. R. Graves

Affiliationists deny—

I. That preaching of the gospel is official or strictly ministerial work but equally the duty of all.

We oppose to this, I. The plain teachings of the Scripture. Jesus specially called and ordained—i. e., commissioned those who preached during his public ministry—John the Baptist, the seventy, and the apostles. The very term he selected to designate their work, Kerusso, is used in the Greek to indicate the special official duty of proclaiming as a herald. 2. “Paul distinctly declares that he was specially called, ordained, and put into the ministry” (I Tim. 1:12, and 2:7). He reminds both Timothy and Archippus that they were specially designated for this office (I Tim. 4: 14 and Col. 4:17). He also declares that evangelists, pastors, and teachers, are special gifts to the churches. He commanded Titus to ordain elders in every city, and left Timothy in Crete for this purpose. Why ordain men to do a specific work—as preaching and administering the ordinances—if all Christians are equally obligated to do it? 3. We oppose to their position the almost united voice and practice of all denominations of Christendom, in all ages, and the unbroken practice of Baptists founded upon the word of God. 4. The unvarying practice of these very brethren themselves. They invariably require a Baptist to be baptized and ordained, by the authority of some church, before they deem him qualified to preach and administer the ordinances. Not one of them, if a member of a Presbytery, would lay his hands upon a brother who should confess he was not convinced that he had any special call to preach, or any impression of duty in that direction that members in common have not; nor would he presume to lay his hands upon him if he knew he was unbaptized. If “it is as much the duty of one Christian as another to preach the gospel,” then the doctrine of a special call and the duty of ordination should both be repudiated, and all men, women, and children, if only church members, should proceed to preach and baptize when, where, and whomsoever they please! The preaching of the gospel, and administering the ordinances, belong strictly to a specific officer of a local church—can only be done by its authority and under its guardianship.

The minister is then a church officer, and his work is official work. Should not Baptists promptly reject a theory that would so completely anarchize the whole polity of the church? Let all decide who are revolutionists and distractionists—those who plead for the “Old Landmarks” or modern “liberalists”—who are laboring to undenominationalize our people, and lead the denomination into open communion! Despite all their sophistries, it is as certain as the teachings of the Scriptures are true, that the preaching of the gospel and administering its ordinances, is official work; and that no one may take this office or work unto himself but “he that is called of God, as was Aaron” (Heb. 5 : 4).


Negative Preaching

By Tom Adams

Fifteen to twenty years after I started preaching, I began hearing people say, "Negative preaching: ... His preaching is too negative: ... He's a negative preacher." Before that time, I had never given it any thought. I assumed that when a preacher urged people to accept Christ, obey the gospel, and live godly, he was being "positive" and when he preached against sin and worldliness, he was being "negative." I considered this to be balanced preaching that all can appreciate.

It is my impression that critics who use these expressions think that "negativism" is a criminal offense, but do not see themselves as negative. Seemingly they think that this is about as low as a preacher can sink and God is so displeased that he cannot wait to deal with such perverters in a most severe way. In a twist of Paul's words of Romans 16:17, they seem to say, l "Mark preachers who preach negatively and avoid them at all cost."

Some years ago I heard of a large metropolitan church whose elders warned their ministers (they had several) that if a word of negativism came from the pulpit, the guilty one would be fired, which is being pretty negative. I do not know if any were fired for this reason, but I do know that many Bible spokesmen would not be allowed to preach from that pulpit. For example, God could not preach the ten commandments. Eight of them are negative. Jeremiah was told "to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build and plant" (Jeremiah 1:10). Four negatives and two positives; a two-to-one ratio. The apostle Paul instructed Timothy to "reprove, rebuke and exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine" (2 Timothy 4:2). Again, a two-to-one ratio in favor of negativism. Jesus could not preach in this church. At times he was a negative preacher. A simple reading of his denunciations of the scribes and the Pharisees (Matthew 23) would warrant this conclusion.

Seemingly some want a preacher to be a combination of Dale Carnegie, Norman Vincent Peale, and Bob Hope. In 20 minutes he can impart to them a few pearls of wisdom, some thoughts on how to win friends and influence people, an admonition always to think positive, and a few good one-liners to keep all in good humor and awake. Never mind that sin may be widespread in the camp, and the saving gospel is not presented.

I once heard of a man who preached God's Word on a weekly radio program and "let the chips kill where they may." The station manager offered this suggestion, "You should make your sermons more positive and less negative." The preacher said he would take that under advisement. The following week, he told the manager: "I have decided to do as you suggested. I'm going to be 100 percent positive against what it says is wrong." He did not change his messages, but now he was a "positive" preacher.

The bitter denunciation of negative preaching may be a variation of "if you don't like the message, shoot the messenger." Through the ages, God has told his spokesmen to cry aloud, tell this people, lift your voice, speak, preach, and prophesy. Often the man of God was to be against bad things. I have never found one passage where God gave the command to "eliminate all the negatives and accentuate only the positive." When a teacher "tells it like it is," toes are stepped on, and to get even with the preacher for exposing sin, he is branded as negative. In today's wishy-washy world, that will destroy him. Paul charged Timothy to "Preach the word; be instant 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; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth and shall be turned unto fables (2 Timothy 4:2-4).



By Wayne Camp

Bro. Anond Phoothaptim is busy preaching the gospel in Thailand. Mainly he works among the Hill Tribes of Northern Thailand. However, this brother is given the opportunity to preach and work with the highest of government officials. He was recently asked by the Prime Minister of Thailand to be in charge of a large convocation of people who met to review the work among the prisons.

It is a strange thing to this editor and pastor that the Buddhist controlled government of Thailand is so willing to give him the opportunity to preach in the prisons. In fact, the King, a Buddhist, has expressed a desire to have more of a Christian witness in the prisons. Bro. Anond preaches in four prisons each month. We have presented pictures of this work in previous papers. In the recent meeting mentioned in the previous paragraph, Bro. Anond took some prisoners with him to the meeting at which he was in charge. They gave their testimony of their salvation and what it meant to them to have the opportunity to hear the gospel in prison.

Due to the lighting in the large hall in which they met, I do not have a picture of the assembly but Bro. Anond said there were at least 4,000 present. Here is a picture of the choir with Bro. Anond and some of the officials present at this meeting. Bro. Anond is second from the left in the group in front. I apologize for the quality of the pictures but they are the best that I have. The lighting was such that they did not turn out to well. I am not suggesting that one has to be accepted by officials in government to be a good missionary. I just want you to see the abilities of this missionary we are trying to help with his work. Above, Bro. Anond is pictured with a group of officials. He is on the extreme left. Again, this picture is not very good and I had to increase the contrast a good deal to get it this viewable.

From the convention hall with several thousand people and government officials Bro. Anond can go to a new village and preach in bamboo houses. He has recently gone to two new villages to preach the gospel and it appears we will soon have two more churches started. There are already professing Christians in both villages who desire that Bro. Anond start churches in each of the villages.

He was asked to preach in this Lahu house that is in the village of Hoe-kh’am. This is on a jungle road that is almost impassable at this time due to the rains they are having in Northern Thailand. He had hoped to go back the weekend of August 25 but he told me today (August 19) that it is not safe on the road. Those of you who have not traveled through a mountainous jungle where roads are carved into the side of the mountain and a slip of two feet to the left or right could send you down the side of the mountain will have trouble comprehending this situation.

Below is the group to whom Bro. Anond preached in the village of Hoe-kh’am. He said that there are several in this village who are not Christians but have expressed and interest in hearing the gospel and will probably attend future services. As I said, there are Christians in this village already, but it is not unusual in the jungles of Thailand to find villages where the gospel has never been preached or God has never been heard of by the residents.

In the picture below you can see how the people assemble in a home in the village of Hoe-pong to hear the gospel preached. This photo shows only the women and children but I have another that shows the men who were also present for this service. They were across the room from the ladies and girls. When I was looking at these photos and reading what Bro. Anond has written about the meetings in these villages, I was reminded of the words of Cornelius when Peter and the six brethren from Jerusalem arrived at his house. He said, “Now therefore are we all here present before God, to hear all things that are commanded thee of God.”

Hoe-pong is a village in which Bro. Anond has recently, by invitation of a group of people in the village, had the opportunity to preach the gospel. It too must be reached by a dirt road that is muddy and slick at this time and he could not get there this week-end. But, he has already been there and preached the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. A preacher and his wife who live in this village attended the camp meeting this past march. They came to hear what we had to say. They are very interested in the doctrine we preach and teach. Things look very good for a sound church to be established in this village. The group at Hoe-pong gathered outside the house where they met for this picture.

Bro. Anond wrote recently, “Over there (Hoe-pong) they have one church there is Pentecost. Canu (the preacher who attended the camp meeting) don't like to speak tongues, he need to know real Doctrine Bible I have teaching to him he like and love for us doctrine.”

These brethren are studying the doctrines Bro. Anond preaches and teaches. The brother on the left is the preacher I have mentioned above. He will be one of the students in the Sovereign Grace School of Theology when we start it in November. Bro. Anond told me via e-mail today that we will probably have about 40 preachers enroll in November. Some other preachers from other groups are also desiring to attend. Pray for this endeavor!


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