Friday, January 18, 2008

Instructions For A Young Preacher #9

Many of the things a preacher must do, being called by God into service, may not be pleasant. Positive things are easy to speak of, but many times God speaks through preachers concerning the problems of the day concerning those who have gone away from the faith. That is why Paul tells Timothy in 1 Tim. 4:6 If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained.

Young preachers love to preach on the basic truths of God's word: his grace, faith in Christ, repentance, and a whole litany of other things; but in doing this the preacher is not preaching the counsel of God as he should. He must put many in remembrance of those who have departed from "the faith" and have made faith shipwreck.

Paul is speaking of those mentioned in 1 Tim. 4:1-5, who have departed from the faith, have given heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils, have spoken lies in hypocrisy, having their conscience seared with a hot iron, forbidding to marry, and have commanded to abstain from meats. These are things of which the preacher must bring brethren into remembrance.

Who speaks these lies? Who heeds seducing spirits, etc.? I would say that any religion that contradicts the basic belief that Jesus is the Son of God and that he was manifested in the flesh to take away our sins by this death, burial and resurrection would be in this category.

Rome has departed from "the faith," that set of doctrine that was once for all delivered unto the saints. Rome has given heed to seducing spirits and doctrine of devils through their statues and relics which supposedly have power to heal and do other miraculous things.

They forbid the priesthood to marry, and even others besides the priesthood are not allowed by their doctrine to marry without their blessing. They command people to abstain from certain meats, which God has created to be received with thanksgiving. And all those who follow in Rome's path are under the same condemnation with her.

The Roman church did not exist in Timothy's day, but even then pagan religions flourished, and they gave heed to seducing spirits, the spirits of men who claim to have the Spirit of God but who do not. Also, the doctrines of devils are those lies which the Devil himself tells through his preachers, he being the father of lies, and many are taken away with his deceit.

Timothy is to put in remembrance these things to the brethren, the true brethren, lest they, too, be taken away from the doctrines of faith, which God has laid down with his proper ministers. Pray that God will give us the fortitude, the wisdom and the opportunity to bring these things into remembrance. Some have forgotten from which they have been brought, and they have turned back to the beggarly elements of the world. They need to be reminded of their roots of faith in Christ so that they may through the true preaching of the word be converted to the right way. Young preachers have an awesome responsibility. Let young and old preacher alike carry out his responsibility so that he may be "nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine."

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