From the July 22 sermon “Jesus Preached the Gospel,” preached by Pastor Mark Driscoll:
God preaches and sends out preachers, from creation forward (OT prophets, John the Baptizer, Jesus Christ, NT apostles, and pastors today). Satan also preaches a false sermon, contradicting the Word of God, saying that God is a liar; he preached it to Adam and he’s still preaching the same sermon today. Not all preaching is biblical or honors God. True preachers preach the Bible and repentance.
Therapy Has Overtaken Theology
Sadly, repentance is not something that is very common, even in the church today. Instead, what has happened is therapy has overtaken theology. [. . .]
A therapeutic model begins with this assumption: you’re basically a good person, and what is holding you back are the sins of others, and the nature of the culture; so what we need to do, we need to encourage you to love yourself, to esteem yourself, to embrace yourself, so that you could maximize your goodness.
Now, the Bible says, “You’re bad.” Completely different assumption. And you don’t need to just embrace yourself; you need to become a new self. You don’t need to just accept who you are; you need to have God change who you are. And what you don’t need is just to feel better; you need to be new.
They Killed Jesus Because of His Preaching
Why did they kill Jesus? Because of his preaching. Because he kept saying things like, “I’m God. You’re a sinner. I’m here to save you. Repent.” And when they didn’t, just like they treated the Old Testament prophets and John the Baptizer before him, they ascertain the only way to silence him was to kill him. And so they crucified Jesus. Of course he rose three days later to keep on preaching.
What’s your picture of Jesus? I would submit to you that the average person today, even the average evangelical Christian, sees Jesus more as a therapist than a preacher. Someone who listens a whole lot more than he talks. Someone who understands you a lot more than someone who makes demands of you. Someone who sympathizes with you far more than someone who rebukes you. On the scale of therapist to full-throated prophet, where is your primary view of Jesus?
There’s a difference between a charge and a criticism. Do you know what the difference is? A charge is an actual allegation of actual wrongdoing. Like committed adultery, taught false doctrine, stole money. A criticism is, “I don’t like them. I don’t agree. I wouldn’t have said it like that.” Be careful to only bring a charge and not to treat a criticism as a charge. [. . .]
I want us to be a people who pray for preachers, who honor preachers, who hold preachers to a high standard. And if there’s a charge, it needs to be investigated. But there’s a difference between a criticism and a charge.
And while you’re at it pray for me. James 3:1 says, “Not many of you should presume to be teachers because teachers are going to be judged more strictly.” I get that. I feel that. I honestly feel the weight of the burden of responsibility of the task that the Lord has called me to.
What's Your View of the Bible?
So, that being said, I love this verse, this is the Tweet-able verse on preaching in all of Scripture. “Preach the,” what? “Preach the Word.” Second Timothy 4:2. He just says it. “Preach the Word.” This is the Word of God. This is where preaching is so important. Preaching says that the Bible is true, and through the Word of God, God speaks. So the preacher is to open the book and to teach the people. [. . .]
Our view of the Scriptures is this: It’s the Word of God. It’s not something under us, it’s something over us. It’s not something that we have authority over; it’s something that we’re under the authority of. It’s not something that we can edit and change because this is what God says. [. . .]
It’s saying, “I’m under authority of the Word of God and leaders.” It’s saying, “I want to learn something, I don’t know it all.” It’s saying, “I know there’s sin in my life, and by the grace of God, if the preacher through the Holy Spirit and the Word of God can help me find it and deal with it, I welcome that.” It’s sitting with the people of God, as an act of worship, saying, “And we’re in this together, and we all belong to Jesus, and we’re here to obey, and apply, and explore the Word of God together.”
You’re not just sitting there, you’re worshiping God by being teachable. Thank you. By listening. Thank you. By being willing to consider what the Scriptures have to say.