Michael Riley reminds us here that when we preach, it must apply. It’s too easy to teach about things our students, children, counselees, and congregations don’t struggle with. This method is helpful, edifying, and useful for warning, but we CANNOT avoid dealing with the real-life issues that the people around us are dealing with. When we do that, we give a false sense of security. “I’m okay because I don’t believe in transubstantiation.” or “I’m glad we don’t have that kind of music in our church.” But are you preaching about gossip, lust, gluttony, disbelief, anger, hurtful sarcasm, laziness, spiritual apathy and the plethora of other ignored sins? #Balance in Preaching
“Cassandra was that unfortunate woman who was cursed with an ability to foretell the future accurately, while at the same time never having her predictions believed. There is a sense in which that particular curse is a type for our times.”
Doug Wilson’s insights into the Christian’s “prophetic curse” are remarkably accurate. Every pastor, parent, counselor, teacher, and loving friend who has ever tried to warn someone about the consequences of their sin will understand what Doug is saying.
“The same thing happens to individuals. When someone starts making stupid and inexplicable choices, you can describe for him where it is all going to end up. Those concerns will just be taken as further proof of your lack of compassion. And the problem is, when it ends up right where you said, and he comes out of the closet (say), the chances are excellent that no one will say, “Whoa, boy, did you call that.” No, the more undeniably right you were, the more insufferable it will be for them, and the more bluntly it will be insulted.”
Christ tells us in John 15:18 “If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you.” The problem is, I don’t think we often ask the deeper question here . . . why did the world hate Christ in the first place? The answer is simple: He told the truth.
Christ told the truth about everything! He told them Who He was. He told them what He came to do. He told them about sin, righteousness, and judgement. And because He warned them, because He offered them a way to escape the ends of their sin . . . they hated Him. It doesn’t make sense to the believer, but it doesn’t make the reality any less real.
Therefore, since sinful man hates truth, if not for the grace of God, they will hate it when we share God’s truth with them as well. Of course, that doesn’t remove our responsibility to share God’s truth. Romans 10:14 states, “How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher?” Our simple mission is to do what Christ did.
We must share God’s truth.
We do not change people. We do not make people believe. We tell the truth, and if they hate us, we know it’s because they hate God and His truth.
Read Doug Wilson’s blog post here at The Cassandra Effect.