Two Christians, a preacher and a taxi driver, died and went to heaven. An angel met them at the pearly gates. "Follow me", the angel told the taxi driver. He then led the man to a spacious mansion, furnished with priceless treasures. “I'm overwhelmed!" exclaimed the grateful saint.
Returning to the preacher, the angel led him to a small modest structure, barely furnished. "Hold on", protested the preacher. "Perhaps there’s been a mistake. Shouldn't I have received the mansion? After all, I preached for nearly 50 years."
"Yes", replied the angel. "But many of those in the assemblies fell asleep." "Granted", replied the preacher, "But what entitles the taxi driver to a superior reward?" The angel said, "Because the passengers in his cab not only stayed awake, some of them prayed for the first time in their lives."
It’s been said, “A faithful preacher should comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.” The apostle Paul wrote, “Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.” (Col. 1:28) When preachers boldly speak the truth, even sleeping saints frequently awaken.
Tragically, some preachers “soften up ” their messages so as to pacify the listeners and avoid offending anyone. “Pacifiers”, however, were designed to make infants “comfy” and put them to sleep. Thus no preacher should blame anyone for nodding off during a watered-down lesson.
Although the apostle Paul preached the truth in love (Eph. 4:15), he never diluted it in order to appease anyone. “Have I therefore become your enemy because I tell you the truth?” (Gal. 4:16) Moreover, he exhorted Timothy, “Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables” (2 Tim. 4:2-4).
It also been said, “A faithful preacher aims to please God. If he seeks to please men, God is not pleased.” Paul expressed it this way, “For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ.” (Gal. 1:10).
Preachers - preach the word!
Jesus, always Jesus!