Dr. Bob Gray Sr.
Romans 10:14, “How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?”
In this wild, weird, and wicked time in which we live, the work of the preacher is being rethought, revamped, and re-examined. Some think the preacher is just to be an equipper of the laymen for their ministry. He has been pushed from the center of the platform to the wings in favor of celebrated experts and entertainers.
However, the Bible still says, “How shall they hear without a preacher?” Just what kind of preaching do we need today is the question in front of us? Do we need “seminars” for the worship hour? Do we need “lectures” for the so-called “worship” hour? Do we need a low-key monotone non-invasive speech for the so-called “worship” hour?
Shall we enter into the Warren Wiersbe sound alike contest? How about the John McArthur talk alike contest or the Rick Warren look alike contest? What kind of preaching do we need?
What kind of preaching do we need? Ladies and gentlemen we need the same kind we have always needed. Nothing important has changed! Just because we have split the atom and sent a man to the moon does not mean we need a new kind of Christianity. We have a new kind of preacher in some quarters, but we do not need him for we need the old kind of preacher in all quarters of our nation.
Naturally there are no Apostles today in the original sense, but an Apostle is one sent and a preacher is also a man sent from God. The Apostles studied at the feet of Jesus Christ. Our Lord said, “Learn of me” and that means studying the school of Jesus himself. It is possible to have a Magna Cum Laude from a college and be a first grader in the school of Jesus.
- An Apostle is a sent man
- An Apostle is a soul-winning man
- An Apostle is a separated man
- An Apostle is a spirit-filled man
- An Apostle is a scriptural man
- An Apostle is a schooled man
Divinely appointed and divinely anointed are divine twins! We have a new Madison Ave. school of the prophets complete with degrees, personality, travel experience, sophisticated methods, up-to-date communication, technically advanced, and public relations departments, but how many are God appointed and God anointed?
In Exodus 30:32-33 instructions are given about the anointing oil for a priest, “Upon man’s flesh shall it not be poured…whosoever compoundeth any like it, or whosoever putteth any of it upon a stranger, shall even be cut off from the people.”
One of our problems today is that we are running an old Adam improvement society. An unsanctified flesh that has never died to sin and risen to walk in newness of life is running down our church aisles to volunteer to be anointed. God cannot use such if it runs down those church aisles a thousand times!
Not many wise, mighty, or noble have been called. Why? “That no flesh should glory in his presence.” I wonder how long it is going to take us to learn that they that are controlled by the flesh cannot please God. The closer we are too God the closer we are too pleasing him.
The unction, the anointing oil, is not sold over any old counter! Simon attempted to buy it, but it was not for sale. It is not compounded by any Apothecary; it is not put together by chemistry. A preacher may be wrapped in the robes of learning and his study walls may be decked with diplomas. His home may be filled with travel souvenirs from many lands. He may wear all the trappings of ecclesiastical prestige and pageantry, but he cannot function without Holy Ghost unction!
John Wesley demonstrated that a long time ago! He began his ministry equipped with formidable qualifications. No man was ever better prepared and less ready to preach than he was. Many a pre-Pentecost Wesley today starts out to convert the lost without ever having been converted himself.
When we speak of being anointed by the Holy Spirit, we are not advocating weird hallucinations pretending to be the work of the Holy Spirit with unintelligible rambling or incoherent babbling or a false “thus saith the Lord” proclamation.
When the Holy Spirit becomes the figurehead in any blueprint, that movement becomes eccentric because the business of the Holy Spirit is to magnify Jesus Christ. My friend there must be a divine enduement when God calls a man to Apostolic preaching, for he must be in the appointed place for his anointing.
Matthew 28:16, “Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mount where Jesus had appointed them.”
The appointing and the anointing are God’s business not our business. My question is, were you at your appointed place last week and do you plan to be in your appointed place this week? Could it be the Sunday you missed was the Sunday where God gave the man of God an anointed message for an appointed place for you, but you missed it?
Sunday school is an appointed time, Sunday night preaching is an appointed time, Wednesday night Bible study is an appointed time, and weekly soul winning is an appointed time.
Were you at the appointed time for teachers and workers’ meeting, your appointed prayer time, your appointed quiet time, and your appointed Bible study time? I wonder how many, not only preachers, but laymen missed an appointed time and place for the special anointing of God?
No appointment, no anointment! All God asks of us is consent and cooperation! This does not mean that everyone who is appointed and anointed will become famous or well-known; however, he or she will be qualified for the tasks before them.
Jesus taught us with authority and not as the Scribes. Too much of our preaching today sounds like the Scribes. There is no King in Israel, and every man does what is right in his own eyes. When authority leaves, anarchy enters!
Jesus met the Devil not in his own name, not in his power, but with the Scriptures, “It is written…it is written…it is written…” If Jesus could defeat the Devil with three verses out of Deuteronomy, we ought to be able to do it with the whole Bible! This is the Word of God period, and It can be preached with authority.
The Scribes do not know what book to call the Bible, but we do, it is the King James Bible for the English speaking people! Never be ashamed of the old-time religion for there is nothing newer!
We have a NEW Testament about a NEW and living way. We are a NEW creature with a NEW name and a NEW song, walking in NEWNESS of life, and living a NEW commandment! We are headed for a NEW Earth and a NEW Jerusalem and almost the last word of the New Testament in Revelation 21:5 is, “Behold, I make all things new.”
No wonder the Gospel is good news. Old-time, new time, any time, and all the time! God is not running an antique shop!
Titus 2:5, “These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority, let no man despise thee.”
However, you can’t preach it like it is if you don’t believe it like it is! If you do not believe that the King James Bible is inspired, for the English speaking people, that Jesus Christ was virgin born, that he died for our sins, rose again from the grave bodily, is coming back again for us, then you can’t preach it like it is with authority.
You cannot preach “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, today and forever” if you don’t believe what He was yesterday. For what He was He is! This is no time to be apologetic with an inferiority complex in the presence of the new left that calls itself fundamental.
This modern day preacher with his Jesse Jackson tie bar, his sparkling cuff links, satin inside his thousand dollar suit coat, with his screens for preaching, his latest Rick Warren material for props, his non-offensive non-denominational sign out front, his certificate from the Shepherds Conference, his questionable KJB, along with his Wiersbe monotone style of speaking, and with Jack Taylor praise books have infiltrated old-fashioned authoritative pulpits and ruined many a good soul-winning church.
They have caused real men of God to be scared to say the KJB is the inspired Word of God, or say that Barak Obama is acting like a Socialist, or be afraid to pound their pulpits and cry aloud, that being a independent Baptist is better than belonging to a denomination, that the Shepherds Conference will kill a soul-winning church, or to preach against their Alma Mater when they begin to stray from the fundamentals, and preaching standards is going to destroy God’s work!
When a preacher forfeits his calling and lets the families just do whatever they feel right in their own eyes, it will destroy what God had in mind for his local church. If every family determines their own standards, the local church will soon have no standards. If anyone is embarrassed today it should not be the men of God who preach the Word of God with authority. The truth is it ought to be those who skirt their responsibility to cry aloud!
We do not need the latest Hollywood star to put the Gospel over. We are attempting to fix something that does not need fixing; it just need proclaiming. We are attempting to gild the lily, paint the sunset, hobnob with Sodom, and get chummy with Gomorrah.
We do not need something new so much as we need something so old it would be new to everybody. It is an insult to the intelligence of young people to give them the impression we have to cheapen the Gospel to make it understandable. The medical schools do not simplify their phraseology to please. The legal profession has not changed its terminology!
All the local church needs to do is to be a New Testament church. God never called his churches or his men to be an accompanist. He called his churches and his men to be a soloist. They say the end justifies the means, but the truth is the means determines the end.
- Apostolic preaching
- Anointed preaching
- Authoritative preaching
Today has become a day of relativism. Right used to be right, and wrong used to be wrong! Joseph Parker said of Spurgeon, “The only colors Mr. Spurgeon knew were black and white. In all things he was definite. You either were in or out, up or down, alive or dead to Mr. Spurgeon.”
Matthew 12:30, “He that is not with me is against me: and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.”
Wow, Jesus was awfully dogmatic there in Matthew 12:30! To Christ there is no such thing as an inactive church member.
When the Titanic sank in 1912 there were only two lists posted on the Canard Office in New York. The lost and the saved!
JUST A THOUGHT!
Dr. Bob Gray Sr.
Longview Baptist Temple