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Home The Light Articles from 2009 Listen to What You Hear

Listen to What You Hear

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In his book, "History and the Church," brother Bob Johnson wrote that the great falling away began from within the church. Brother Mackie Bounds in an excellent article in The Light asked, "Who is going to preach for you tomorrow?" Now the question is: what are they going to preach? Peter warned in 2nd Peter 2:1-2, "But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them and bring upon themselves swift destruc­tion. And many shall follow their perni­cious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of."
The false prophets were popular. They told people what they wanted to hear. Isaiah 30:9-10 says, "This is a rebellious people, lying children, chil­dren that will not hear the law of the Lord, which say to the seers, see not; and to the prophets, prophesy not unto us right things, prophesy deceits."
Paul spoke of two grades of spiritual food in Hebrews 5:12: milk and meat. Sadly, some do not serve either of these. They serve a sermon of vanilla yogurt. It tastes good and won't upset anyone's stomach. However as a con­tinual diet it will cause spiritual anemia. Jesus gave this warning in Luke 6:26, "Woe unto you when all men shall speak well of you; for so did their fathers to the false prophets."
Popularity is the goal of some preachers. One told me he could not afford to teach what he believed on divorce and remarriage because he made his living by preaching. He said, "They wouldn't call me for meetings." This is true. A brother told of going to visit brother Fred Kirbo shortly after he began to preach against divorce and remarriage. Fred showed him a stack of envelopes and said, "Those are from congregations canceling their meetings." He lost both popularity and money for preaching the truth. Jesus said in Luke 6:22, "Blessed are ye when men shall hate you and when they shall separate you from their com­pany and shall reproach you and cast out your name as evil for the Son of Man's sake." In Galatians 1:10 Paul wrote, "For do I now persuade men or God? Or do I seek to please men; for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ."
Those who hold the truth are often evil spoken of. A woman of the divorce and remarriage persuasion gave my granddaughter Altina Robinson a pam­phlet to read. Altina became angry before she read very far and threw the pamphlet away. The writer said that George Bentch and Wayne Robinson were two very divisive teachers. Altina felt that both her Grandpa and Great Grandpa were maligned. For me, it was an honor to be in the same sen­tence with Wayne Robinson. We never met, but he had a reputation of stand­ing for the truth. He defended it against one and all.
Jesus said in John 8:32, "Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free." As he prayed for His followers in John 17:17 he said, "Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth." Paul told Timothy in 2nd Timothy 3:16, "All scripture is given by the inspiration of God and is profitable
for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness." It is a sad commentary on the lack of respect for God's Word when some would exclude parts of it from their teaching. Preachers know if they teach on cer­tain subjects, they will not be called back for a meeting. If brethren know that you know what to avoid, they will call you to preach. That is why the vanilla yogurt sermons are popular. They are truth and they are interesting, but not spiritually challenging. Can one really support truth without opposing error?
Paul wrote in 1st Corinthians 9:14, "They which preach the gospel should live of the gospel." True gospel preach­ing doesn't pay well. Most truth teach­ing preachers have a supporting occu­pation. This is not new. In Acts 20:33-34 Paul said, "I have coveted no man's silver or gold or apparel. Yea, ye your­selves know that these hands have ministered unto my necessities and to them that were with me." It is interest­ing to note that although they were wealthy, the Jewish boys were taught both a profession and a trade. Luke wrote in Acts of Aquila and Prisilla saying, "Because he (Paul) was of the same craft, he abode with them and wrought: for by their occupation they were tent makers." He goes on to tell how at the same time, Paul preached. So you might say that our preachers who have a job or a trade are doing what Paul said, "Be ye followers of me." It may also relieve them of the worry of, "If I preach on this will they call me back for a meeting?"
Hardships are a part of life. In 2nd Corinthians 11:27 Paul describes some of his, "In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness."   Then   in verse 28 he wrote, "Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches." It seems the lack of physical comfort bothered him less than his continual concern for his brothers and sisters in Christ. Paul reminds us of Moses of whom it is said in Hebrews 11:25-26, "Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; es­teeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompense of reward." It is better to preach all the truth and be hungry than to preach part of the truth and be well fed.


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