“A weather vane preacher is any preacher who changes what he preaches or how he preaches when the wind changes direction. The preacher who alters his message or his method because of the ever-changing advice, counsel, and opinions of men is not a leader, but a follower. Such weather vane preachers are worthless! They only do harm to the souls of men, and they need not preach at all. True, gospel preachers are pillars in the church of God–not puppets in the hands of men.”
“On the contrary, we speak as men approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel. We are not trying to please men but God, who tests our hearts.” 1 Thessalonians 2:4
Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage–with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths!” 2 Timothy 4:2-4
But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed. (Galatians 1:8, 9 ESV)
This evening I had the honor of speaking at one of our sister churches. It was an appointment that I’d prepared for all week, having a particular scripture in mind to preach on. However, the evening was chaotic leading up to time for church and by the time I was called my entire thought had left me. But the Lord gave me another entirely different one and I went with it. After I finished up the pastor remarked that it was like a continuation of the message he had preached that morning; several of the verses I used he had also and our thought line must have been parallel. One of the dear sisters then said “you know, I think that’s kind of how the Bible was written, too”. And I agree with her, though neither I nor the pastor would ever try to equate ourselves with the inspired writers of God’s Word.
If you read and really look at the Bible it is 66 books in one volume yet it is seamless cover to cover. The Word, though penned over some 3500 years and through around 40 human “quills” is all as if it written by one person in one session. The reason for that? Because the is only one actual Author, God Himself.
Scripture, from the first verse to that last, is all about God’s magnificent plan of salvation through Jesus Christ. It never contradicts itself and it always reaffirms the one and only Truth. The Bible: it truly is all about Jesus.
10 And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews.
11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.
After hearing Paul and Silas preach the Bereans then searched through Scripture for themselves to determine if what they heard was truth. They took it upon themselves to make certain they weren’t being taught bad doctrine.
This evening I turned a Christian tv program that I wasn’t familiar with. I watched for a few minutes, interested in who the man was and what he was preaching about. After about five minutes I turned the channel; he was teaching incorrect about a passage from the Old Testament. (I should say that this was not a prophetic teaching, just so you don’t think I was biased. Clearly there are differing views on eschatology and I don’t think that is an issue with our salvation.) He was just plainly teaching it wrong: bad doctrine. I knew this only because I had studied on this passage a few months, maybe longer, ago so I was familiar with the meaning.
The Bible exhorts us to study for many reasons. Not the least of these is so that we will know if someone is teaching or preaching bad doctrine. If you have not studied a subject or passage and you hear it taught or preached on it is your duty to study it and see if it has been presented right. If you think about it, quite a large portion of the New Testament addressed heresy and bad doctrine at the time of it’s writing. And God’s Word clearly tells us there will be false teachers and heresy to deal with until the end. Being mislead by a teacher or preacher is very serious; both his and your eternal destiny could be at stake.
My speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom . . . ―1 Corinthians 2:4
In My Utmost for His Highest Oswald Chambers wrote:
“Paul was a scholar and an orator of the highest degree; he was not speaking here out of a deep sense of humility, but was saying that when he preached the gospel, he would veil the power of God if he impressed people with the excellency of his speech. Belief in Jesus is a miracle produced only by the effectiveness of redemption, not by impressive speech, nor by wooing and persuading, but only by the sheer unaided power of God. The creative power of redemption comes through the preaching of the gospel, but never because of the personality of the preacher.”
Preachers of old, along the lines of Whitefield, Spurgeon, and Wesley, some of the greatest of the past few centuries, took this very literally. Most often their sermons were written out word-for-word and delivered in a monotone voice. The results of what our generation would likely call boring presentation? Huge revivals with untold numbers being saved. Most assuredly the message not the messenger is what holds the key to salvation.