Summary: The message of the preacher blessed by God will disturb the casual, even as it glorifies the Master. Contrary to every expectation, the message presented by the servants of the devil is boring, generating no excitement and no reaction.
“When they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews. And Paul went in, as was his custom, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and proving that it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead, and saying, ‘This Jesus, whom I proclaim to you, is the Christ.’ And some of them were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, as did a great many of the devout Greeks and not a few of the leading women. But the Jews were jealous, and taking some wicked men of the rabble, they formed a mob, set the city in an uproar, and attacked the house of Jason, seeking to bring them out to the crowd. And when they could not find them, they dragged Jason and some of the brothers before the city authorities, shouting, ‘These men who have turned the world upside down have come here also.’”
Recently, I read a blog posted by Professor Russell Moore, Dean of the School of Theology at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Doctor Moore had entitled his blog entry, “The Devil Is a Boring Preacher: The High Stakes of Dull Sermons.” The title of Dr. Moore’s blog post is too good to ignore. In fact, I found it so compelling that I could not permit it to go unused in my own preaching schedule. However, more compelling than the title are the issues raised by the good doctor.
The vital point that Dr. Moore emphasised in his blog is that the devil is a preacher. The devil does not, however, present some strange, occult ritual that blatantly contradicts the Bible. In fact, throughout Scripture he quotes the Bible, putting his own peculiar spin on the Word that God has given. He deceives the unwary through saying what they want to hear, giving them a good feeling about their efforts to be religious. However, when we stop and think about what is actually said, his message is boring. Hence, there is no lasting impact for good. Those who feel good about their own efforts soon pass into oblivion, and no one wants to hear “nice” sermons.
In contradistinction to the soothing message that the devil brings, those who preach the Word of God are disturbers—they turn the world upside down. The message they bring, when it is received, will cause trouble, create division, and compel disruption in staid lives. However, it is an exciting message if it is received. Join me in thinking about this vital subject, applying our best thoughts to seek God’s glory through the ministry of the congregation.
THE IMPACT OF BIBLICAL PREACHING — Jesus was a shocking preacher. Indeed, He is the Prince of Peace. However, this same Prince of Peace warned those who thought to follow Him, “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household. Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it” [MATTHEW 10:34-39].