“See, I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant.”
My wife and I love drinking coffee, but we both love our coffee differently. When my wife drinks coffee, she puts quite a bit of sugar and cream in it so that she can enjoy her coffee. I often ask her if she wants a little coffee with her cream and sugar. As for me, I like my coffee black with just a bit of sugar to take the away the bitter taste. I love the taste of coffee, but I think too much sugar ruins the taste.
The way that my wife and I drink our coffee is somewhat a picture of what the verse above says. When God told Jeremiah to preach, he told him to “root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant.” You will notice that four parts of his preaching would be considered negative by most people, and two parts of his preaching would be considered positive. God was giving a principle about preaching that builds strong Christians, and this type of preaching will keep His people from ruining their lives in sin. In other words, God was saying only to add a little sugar in the preaching, but that most preaching should be straight. There are a few observations about this type of preaching that I would like to point out to you.
First, scriptural preaching can’t be all sugar. There are many who think that preaching needs to be positive with no negative, but that type of preaching will not give the desired results that God wants. Soft and worldly Christians are made through sugar coated preaching. There is nothing wrong with a little sugar in the preaching, but sugar coated preaching all the time produces a Christian who is soft on sin and worldliness.
Second, scriptural preaching shouldn’t always be hard. You will notice that God did add a little sugar in the preaching. If all you do is preach hard, you will eventually run people off because they need the sugar to help encourage them. Be careful about having a constant diet of hard preaching. If all you listen to is the type of preaching that skins the Christian, you will find yourself being hard on people and likely pushing the weaker Christian away. Certainly, most of the preaching you listen to should be hard preaching, but don’t forget to add a little sugar to your listening repertoire.
Third, hard preaching with a little sugar produces strong and balanced Christians. You will never see a Christian building and planting without the type of preaching that roots out sin and pulls down and destroys the strongholds in a person’s life. You must remove sin before you can build and plant. Scriptural preaching will be twice as hard as it is sugar coated. Nothing wrong with having a little sugar every once in awhile, but strong Christians are built through four parts hard and two parts sugar.
My friend, our goal should be to become a strong Christian. You need to be sure that you keep yourself under preaching that is harder with a little sugar. It is this type of preaching that helps you make it through the storms of life and keeps you from being overcome by the wiles of the Devil. Certainly, most people like the sugar coated preaching, but a steady diet of this preaching produces shallow Christians. Be careful about being critical of the harder preachers, because four parts hard and two parts sugar is what builds strong and productive Christians.