Summary: describes what this evil generation needs to see and hear
WHAT DOES THIS EVIL GENERATION NEED?
As if the scribes and Pharisees had not provoked Jesus enough, they demand a sign from heaven from him. Their demand was swiftly and categorically denied. What more could He had done to convince them? The attitude that demands miraculous signs as a condition for belief is not the attitude that pleases God.
He called them an evil and adulterous generation.
We live in an evil generation. II Timothy 3 states, "This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded , lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away." Paul was informing us that the evil was going to be of greater intensity in the last days. Evil is being accepted and promoted by society in a bolder way today than ever before. Verse 13 informs us that "evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse."
What does this evil generation need?
Some things this generation needs to observe and see!
I. This generation needs PREACHING THAT BRINGS REPENTANCE (II Timothy 4:1,2)
Charles G. Finney used to have a sermon entitled "How to preach so as to convert nobody." In the message he stated, one way to do it is to talk about sin in general, but never name the sins of anybody in your present congregation. No man makes truly preaches who deals in generalities. Vague preaching sounds all right. It offends nobody, and it will take you a long way in this world, but it is the other world we are going to have to give an account at.
Just because we have a generation of people with itching ears is no reason to trim our preaching to suit their condition.The preacher is not an ambassador with the privilege of negotiation; he is a messenger with a proclamation to be heard and heeded. He is not to give them what they want to hear but what they need to hear.
Dr John R. Rice once said, "The pulpit has failed the churches, and the churches have failed America."
A. Preaching that brings repentance disturbs (Acts 2:37)
"Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins," (Isaiah 58:1). There must be preaching on sin.
Man calls sin an accident, but God calls it an abomination.
Man calls sin an infirmity, but God calls it iniquity.
Man calls sin a liberty, but God calls it lawlessness.
Man calls sin a trifle, but God calls it a transgression.
Man calls sin a weakness, but God calls it willfulness.
Man calls sin an alternate lifestyle, but God calls it an abominable lie.
"We have been far too afraid of disturbing people , but the Holy Spirit will have nothing to do with a message or minister who is afraid of disturbing."
Light disturbs....and if one preaches the Word he will preach light...."The entrance of thy word giveth light" Light disturbs because it reveals dirt and disorder. The light may call for negative or positive action in the life.
Dr. Martin Lloyd-Jones, the great Welsh preacher, said, "Present-day preaching does not save men. Present- day preaching does not even annoy men, but leave them precisely as they were, without a ruffle and without the slightest disturbance."
B. Preaching that brings repentance directs (Acts 2:38)
Psalm 119:105 - "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path."
1. Clarity of what is said
"A fog in the pulpit will produce darkness in the pew."
2. Certainty of what is said
C. Preaching that brings repentance divides (Acts 2:40,41)
1. Attitude of reception
2. Attitude of rejection
II. This generation needs PEOPLE THAT BRING RESPECT (Philippians 2:15)
We are to shine in a depraved world by a distinct walk with the Divine Word.
Far too many who profess and do not practice. "They profess that they know God: but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate," (Titus 1:16).
A recent Gallup poll reported "very little difference in the behavior of the churched and the unchurched on a wide range of items including, cheating, and stealing." The poll went on to say that "most people’s religion is secondary."
Vance Havner once said, "We have to many noun Christians and not enough adjective Christians."
Christians are not respected anymore. Oh the need for saintly believers! To make a difference, you have to be different. You cannot change anything by adding more of the same.