Summary: Preachin' is when the preacher steps on OTHER PEOPLE'S toes. When he sticks the bony finger of conviction in YOUR face, he has "done quit preachin' and gone to meddlin'" This sermon is Meddlin'
In chapter one, where we have been studying for the past two weeks, Paul preached a VERY STERN message against the Gentile heathens who did not believe God because they rejected the witness of creation and conscience.
God said they may not have the law… or the Gospel… but they had creation and conscience and those two things would stand as their judges… because they had sufficient light to believe in a wise creator who should be worshipped… but they did not worship that God instead worshipping their own idols.
Now, Romans 2 is not a transcript of a sermon that Paul preached in Rome… it is a letter. Had it been a sermon, the Jews would have been jumping up and down in the aisles, waving hands and shouting “Amen, Brother. Preach it Brother. You tell ‘em.” “Don’t hold back, alright now, that’s it.” It would have sounded like the last night of a charismatic camp meeting.
They would have been dancing on the pews, fainting in the aisles, and speaking in tongues.
Paul was singing their song… ringing their bell… preaching just what they loved… condemnation of the gentiles.
As a preacher you know when you hit a responsive chord with the people… they say “Amen” or maybe clap… [except in a SBC church]
Watch any black or charismatic preacher and he kind of preaches around trying to find a responsive place… and once he does… he camps out right there and rings that bell over and over.
Two excited women who were sitting together in the front pew of church with a fiery preacher. They were in the spirit and loving the message. They were shouting out and waving their hankies. They would use their paper fan to wave for Jesus and then to cool themselves off fearing they might just “get the vapors.” When this preacher condemned the sin of lust, these two ladies cried out at the top of their lungs... AMEN... BROTHER! So the preacher camped out and stomped the dickens out of those who lust. When the preacher moved on and condemned the sin of stealing, they yelled again....PREACH IT REVEREND! And he did… for 15 minutes. Then the preacher condemned the sin of lying.... and they jumped to their feet and screamed, RIGHT ON BROTHER.... TELL IT LIKE IT IS.....AMEN!
After another 30 minutes of raking liars over the coals and dangling them over the flames of hell the preacher condemned the sin of gossip. The two women sat down, got quiet looked in the other direction. The preacher, fearing he was losing his audience preached even harder against the unloving, unchristian tongues that were set on fire by Satan. Still the women were quiet. Finally the preacher stopped and asked… “Ladies don’t you like to hear good old-fashioned, fire and brimstone preachin’?” One of the women responded sarcastically… O yes Reverend, we love good strong preachin’but you done quit preaching and gone to meddlin'."
The Jews hated the gentiles… especially the wretched Romans because they were an occupying army… walking around defiling the promised land and particularly Jerusalem, the holy City and even THE TEMPLE the most holy spot on earth. When a self respecting Jew would say the word “gentile” they would spit to cleanse their mouth.
When Paul was nailing the gentiles in chapter one, the Jews were euphoric, on cloud nine, loving every word.
Paul knew it. He knew they would hear these words through the filter of hatred and nationalism.
See, they left the revival the first night… after chapter one… and came back for the second night ready to hear Paul preach the devil out of the gentiles.
Imagine their surprise when he read the text and started preaching about the sins of… THE JEWS.
I sure am glad to have ya’ll (Paul was a southern Jew) glad to have ya’ll back tonight. I know how much ya’ll enjoyed last night… “Amens” all around.
But ya’ll misunderstood my message. You thought I was blasting the heathen gentiles and condemning their sins. The truth is… everything I said last night about the gentiles was true of them… but it is also true of YOU.
What is the difference between preachin’ and meddlin”???… Preaching is when you step on the toes of those other people who need it, telling it like it is and pulling no punches--- preachin is when the preacher sticks the boney finger of condemnation in the sternum of other people and lays out their sins---preachin is when the preacher shines the light of God’s condemnation in the hearts of the sinners and exposes the filth and the stench inside------ meddlin’ is when the preacher takes that boney finger and sticks it in YOUR sternum and shines the light of scripture in YOUR heart and finds that same stench.