A Brief Bit On Preaching And Listening

The high and lofty place of preaching has all but vanished from the contemporary church. Not only does the average churchgoer today no longer appreciate biblical preaching; they can’t even tolerate it. Lax listeners, disinterested in hearing God’s Word, have had their way, and people-pleasing pastors have all too readily complied. This should come as no surprise since the charge Paul gave to Timothy in 2 Timothy 4:1–2 regarding the preacher’s obligation to faithfully preach the Word was explicitly given in view of the fact that a time was coming when people within the church “will not endure sound doctrine, but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires; and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths” (vv. 3–4). That time has come.

In stark contrast to this low estate stands Paul’s testimony of the responsiveness of the first-century church in the port city of Thessalonica. The apostle Paul was immensely thankful for the manner in which they had received the preaching of God’s Word (1 Thess. 2:13). During his brief ministry there, Paul experienced an unusual sense of the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit while he was preaching the gospel to them, and the Spirit of God used the Word of God to perform an amazing work in the their lives (1 Thess. 1:5). Virtually overnight, these idol-worshipping pagans were radically transformed into devoted followers of Jesus Christ (1:9).

What was the reason for all of this dramatic change? They had accepted his teaching “not as the word of men, but for what it really is, the word of God” (2:13). The word accepted was used to describe welcoming a guest into your home. The Thessalonians had swung the door of their hearts wide open and warmly embraced the Word as a cherished guest. They understood that by heartily welcoming the words of Paul’s preaching, they were welcoming the authoritative counsel of God Himself into their hearts and lives.*

Ramey, K. (2010). Expository Listening (1–2). The Woodlands, TX: Kress Biblical Resources.


About lalvin1517

I'm married with two children and pastor McCall Baptist Church in McCall, Idaho.
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