EXCUSE ME IF I SAID
THAT OFFENDED YOU…
researched today’s preaching, have also done some
research on yesterday’s preaching, some research on the
attitudes of the Christians of yesterday, and on the
attitudes of the Christians of today, some research on
the preachers of today and some research on the
preachers of the past.
The conclusion of this research is; many of today’s
Christians are not what they are directed by God to be
in His Word.
Today's churches are 'loaded' with what I call composite
Christians. The kind that want to exchange soft gentle
pleasantries rather than hearing the truth.
Much of today’s preaching is not what it was in the past
because many of today’s preachers have gone the way of
preaching what is pleasant to their church members,
rather than the truth, which is pleasing to God. The
truth has left the building.
Many of today’s Christians are looking to be uplifted by
the sermon, rather than being corrected by the sermon.
Many of today’s preachers are preaching a soft watered
down message that will not anger his church’s
contributors into stopping their contributions. Many of
today’s sermons, are a uplifting message made by man to
please man, and are not of God. They are designer
sermons designed to uplift the church's contributors. In
many churches, the Pastors who don’t preach to uplift
the financial supporters are soon replaced by someone
In time past, after a church service, people would get
up off the hard wooden benches, and come though the old
creaking wooden church doors, telling each other how
they enjoyed that "hellfire and brimstone sermon." They
received God’s message, they were made known of some
changes they needed to make to become right with God.
Today, the people who are all dressed up in their
‘special designer church garbs’ politely arise from
their well padded pews, step lightly over the thick soft
carpet, exchange some social pleasantries with their
friends, and, as they pass out through the crystal glass
doors of their lovely palace of worship, they compliment
their preacher for the beautiful uplifting lesson that
he has so eloquently delivered. (And the preacher knows
he'd better continue to give those "uplifting" eloquent
chapel talks if he wants to stay long there).
A few years ago when Christians "knew their Bible" and
governed their lives in accordance to their Bible, and
the preachers preached hard against sin, there were a
few who didn't like it, there’s one or two in every
crowd, but the majority of truly converted children of
God appreciated it. They came to church hear what God
had to say and to find out what changes they needed to
make in their life and lifestyles because of what they
heard in the hard sermon. What happened that hard honest
preaching of yesterday? What happened to those honest
churches have become a place where many who call
themselves Christians, but do not live the Christian
lifestyle, go to hear pleasantries from the pulpit. If
they don’t hear what they want to hear, they will move
on because they are not there to hear God’s message of
change. The honour among today's thieves is gone and so
is the dedication and obedience to a church. The
majority of today's church members have convinced themselves they
are so holy with repentance that they
want to hear a nice gentle uplifting touchy-feely sermon
that will make them feel all warm in the tummy, rather
hearing a sermon that will convict them as to what an
awful sinner they are. Since they have deceived
themselves into believing they have found the right way to holiness, they do not want to hear anything that will
conflict with that
way of thinking and make them aware of all their glaring
They would rather believe in their mind they are
right with God than to do what it takes to be right with God
in their lives. Seeing how unholy
they really are will make them feel just the way they
really are…unholy. They have transformed God into their
own special god. A
‘special’ god, that is exactly the way they want him to be.
A god that yields to
their terms. They want nothing to change what they have in their god. They don’t want to
know what is right in God’s sight. They only want to
believe the god they’ve created for
themselves says what they are doing is right.
of today's composite Christians believe they will get to heaven,
but, they believe the god they have created, that fits
their needs, will get them to heaven...but, on their own terms, and they don’t want God there
when they get there. These people call themselves the
chosen people of today’s church. My question is: If you
are one of those, who are
you chosen by?
time Jesus said, "Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of
man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you." We
are then told that, "Many therefore of his disciples,
when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying;
who can hear it? When Jesus knew in himself that his
disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, Doth this
offend you?" (John 6:53,60,61). Jesus knew that His
preaching offended some, but he didn't change His
preaching to pander to them. Those who walked away from
Jesus didn’t want to hear the truth. Today’s Christian,
who is looking for his own way with his designer god
does not want to hear the truth either. The truth steps
on his toes, That’s unpleasant, and today’s composite
Christians are looking for pleasantries, not truth.
Another example of truth preaching: When John the
Baptist "saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to
his baptism, he said unto them, O ye generation of
vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to
come? Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance"
(Matthew 3:7,8). When John saw Herod married to his own
brother's wife, he said to Herod, "It is not lawful for
thee to have her" (Matthew 14:4). If John would have
told that to some of the Christians in today’s church,
there would be complaining because there are many
Christians today who do not want to hear anything about
them doing something wrong. How could it be wrong if it
is pleasant to them? Like I said, they have converted
God to a god that says whatever they think or do is
right. They created their own designer god to be just
that. That is worshipping a false god.
Peter told the Jews on Pentecost day (Acts 2:23),
"Him... ye have taken, and by wicked hands have
crucified and slain." He told them the truth. They had
slain the Messiah.
church, there’s a lot of people who ‘slay the messiah’
and them whine and grumble about it when a preacher
enlightens them about the sins they’ve used to ‘slay the
Messiah.’ The preacher let their cat out of its bag.
Once their cat is out of the bag, it’s a big fight for
them to get the cat back in the bag before they are
found out. So they complain and divert the attention
elsewhere. If complaining doesn’t change the preaching
from hard and truthful to their preference of
touchy-feely, these composite "Christians" will soon
move from one congregation to another in order to escape
hearing their own story in the hard preaching. But not
before a lot of rumbling and grumbling.
In light of this cry baby attitude, or this ‘I want to
hear a sermon that is pleasant’ attitude, I raise
several questions: First, what is hard preaching?
Second, is hard preaching wrong? Third, why would a
Christian be opposed to hard preaching? Fourth, why
would a preacher preach hard?
exactly is hard preaching? Each individual has his or
her own answer for this question. The answers will vary
and will be influenced by the sermon content, what sins
the church crier is guilty of, and the person’s attitude
toward God and the preacher. Webster’s dictionary
defines hard as "Opposed to soft; carried on
energetically or persistently; earnest; displaying
severity." Preaching is commonly defined as, "A sermon;
the delivery in public of a public message." Therefore,
hard preaching is basically a message of truth, right
out of the Bible, that is presented energetically,
persistently in words that some may believe to be harsh
or severe. That depends on the sinfulness of the
listener. If it shines light on some dark part of the
listeners life, or if the sermon convicts the listener,
and causes guilt in the listener, it is a hard sermon.
If it causes confusion as to whether the listener is on
the right path to God, then it is a hard sermon. If the
listener doesn’t want to hear the truth, it’s a hard
If a sermon is pleasant to the listener, and encourages
him that everything he’s doing is right, whether the
sermon is of God or not, then the listener will not
complain. God’s message is the truth and the truth cuts.
A hard sermon will cut to the truth, and sinners don’t
like to be cut by the truth because being convicted by
the truth causes an action on their part; change.
Is it wrong
to preach the word hard and persistently? NO! Not at
all. The area of disagreement seems to center around the
words used by the preacher in his preaching. Is there a
place for severe words in preaching? Jesus thought there
was; He said, "Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how
can ye escape the damnation of hell?" (Matthew 23:33).
In Matthew 23 Jesus called His hearers "hypocrites" over
and over. Jesus never held back to spare the feelings of
his listeners, and since Jesus didn’t why should today’s
preacher. Today’s Christian is supposed to be like
Christ, so should he preach a sermon that is deigned to
be pleasant or should it reveal the truth. Sorry, the
truth is usually hard for a sinner who does not want to
repent. If many of today’s Christians heard a sermon
from Jesus or John the Baptist they would probably cut
out the sermons. Church would not be on their agenda
On another occasion, Jesus said, "Full well ye reject
the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own
tradition," and then tells them that their kind of
worship is rendered in vain (Mark 7:9). The Master was
very strict when He said, "...no one cometh unto the
Father, but by me" Many were offended at
His preaching. (John 6:60,61)!
The Bible says, "Then came the disciples,
and said unto him, Knowest thou that the Pharisees were
offended, when they heard this saying" (Matthew 15:12).
Jesus knew the effect of His severe words, but He
continued to employ them. The Pharisees were not right
with God, so a truthful sermon angered them.
following Jesus’ lead, when someone is offended by a
sermon, the preacher should not make a change to his
style of preaching to suffice those who are offended.
Just because they are offended tells me they are also
not right with the Bible. They should have caught the
message of the sermon when they were reading their
Bible. They probably have one of those non KJ modern day
perverted bibles that omits verses and adds ideas, to
tell them what they want to hear. IF they were offended
the sermon was done properly. The truth cuts deep. The
preacher should deliver the truth rather than a sermon
pleasing to man.
Stephen also preached ‘hard.’ He said, "Ye stiff necked
and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist
the Holy Spirit: as your fathers did, so do you" (Acts
7:51). Steven told the truth…hard. His hard sermons cost
him his life! People today are no different than those
Steven was preaching to. Just because people don’t want
the hard truth, does not justify not giving the sermon
in a way that it won’t convict.
apostle of love, preached harder than most preachers of
today. "He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his
commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him" (1
John 2:4). John’s words could not be clearer. From the
example of Jesus, Stephen, John and many others, hard
preaching is not wrong. It brings the truth. Those who
need to hear it the most, want to hear it the least. The
key to hard preaching is speaking the truth in love
be several reasons why some oppose hard preaching. Here
are a few: First, a Christian who complains about hard
preaching does not understand that hard preaching must
be done. Second, the complainers are usually weak or
dishonest their Christian walk. It may be that he will
go along and not take a stand on anything, or tell
anybody that they are wrong, because he doesn't want to
offend anyone, or he may be a part of the wrong. Third,
and usually the most common reason, he is living in the
sin being preached and doesn't want those sins brought
to his attention. Someone said, "Our attitudes will
determine our destiny." Fourth, he may be looking for an
excuse to leave the church, or possibly cause trouble
among God's people. Fifth, he may be trying to get rid
of the preacher or at least shut him up. There may be
other reasons why a Christian may be opposed to hard
preaching, but they are all wrong.
preacher demonstrates otherwise, I believe that gospel
preachers should preach hard because it is the will of God for
them to do so. The faithful gospel preacher's commission
is, "Preach the word; be instant in season, out of
season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with all long suffering
and doctrine." And Paul warns, "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). We are there now. Therefore, in order to
be pleasing unto God and save his own soul, the preacher
must preach hard (1 Timothy 4:16). A reading of the New
Testament letters to Christians will reveal many hard
things that the preacher must use in his preaching. In
preaching hard, he will preach the "whole counsel of
God" (Acts 20:27).
certain subjects that some preachers won't preach on.
Other preachers succumb to direct pressure in a
congregation, and others attempting to pacify infantile
members sometimes refuse to deliver a much needed hard
sermon as a lesson. God's prophet was pressured in 1
Kings 22:13, "And the messenger that was gone to call
Micaiah spake unto him, saying, Behold now, the words of
the prophets declare good unto the king with one mouth:
let thy word, I pray thee, be like the word of one of
them, and speak that which is good." But his reply was,
"As the LORD liveth, what the LORD saith unto me, that
will I speak" (v. 14).
demanded of Isaiah, "Prophesy not unto us right things,
speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits" (30:10).
Did you hear it? Just like today, in other words, "We
aren't interested in the truth, we just want to feel
good, even if you have to tell us lies. Brother, let's
beware of a constant diet of "smooth things". No doubt
the psalmist had reference to literal honey when he
said, "Hast thou found honey? Eat so much as is
sufficient for thee, lest thou be filled therewith, and
vomit it" (Proverbs 25:16). Too much "sweet talk" is
also nauseating to those who realize we must all appear
before Christ's Judgment Seat.
honestly say just as the Apostle Paul said, "I kept back
nothing that was profitable unto you, but have showed
you, and have taught you publicly, and from house to
house" (Acts 20:20)? And, just as Paul, can you say that
you are "...pure from the blood of all men. For [you]
have not shunned to declare.... all the counsel of God"
than ever before, there is great need for hard
preaching. There is also a great need for the support by
God's people for that kind preaching. God's record shows
that it will strengthen the saint and save the sinner.
Preaching a touchy-feely sermon benefits only Satan.
Satan is the only one who gains souls by this type of a
soft touchy-feely message being delivered. If the
message does not convict and cause a Godly change in the
saints, it allows their unrighteousness to remain.
These are my thoughts on preaching in general. In
considering a sermon to be a hard preached sermon, or a
soft preached sermon, the determination is made by the
question, is it a sermon of truth or is a man pleasing
uplifting sermon? Man is a sinner and the more he is
reminded of that disposition, the better are his chances
of repenting and receiving salvation. That is my goal in
preaching. I do not think about preaching hard or
preaching soft. God gives me a message based on His
Biblical truth and I deliver it to the listener. It is
whatever God says it is.
I hope that God speaks to you through this memo about
this propaganda about preaching styles. I believe it is
another gyle Satan has chosen to use to tempt any kind
of conviction and repentance within the body of Christ
to change to no conviction or no repentance.
The way I deliver God’s message is the way God has
blessed me to deliver it. This is the style I use. I will
continue to preach the way God has given me tp preach until I receive
notice from God to change it. And…I am sure that if he
desires I change something in my delivery, I am sure it
will take place at the time He decides, not when you or
I or decide.