Hard Preaching 2 Tim. 4: 2-4 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
Back in the old days, preachers preached with hard preaching. They fulfilled Paul’s charge and admonition to Timothy, “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.” They didn’t hesitate to get under your skin because they knew you needed it and the people who came to hear them preach knew they needed it.
But today, people would rather listen to a lie that makes them feel good than to the truth [2 Tim 4:3-4; Jer 5:30-31]. And there’s an abundance of preachers who will gladly take your money and make you feel good [Rom 16:17-18].
You need hard preaching. Paul was hard on the Corinthians because they needed it [2 Cor 2:2-5] and they were much better off after enduring it [2 Cor 7:9-11]. And you will be much better off after enduring it. But you must sit there and take it until the Lord has done his work in your heart.
Hard preaching deals with truth – Paul said, “Preach the word” – in Corinth Paul wasn’t dealing with feelings or conjectures; he was dealing with the truth of sin and the truth of God’s words. Like one preacher said, “Preach the word and let the word preach to the people.”
Hard preaching is direct – in Corinth Paul was dealing with sin and there was no misunderstanding what he was saying and what needed to be done about it – there’s no double meaning to anything he said – his preaching was “waist high and right over the plate” – it works like the roller works on injured muscles… right to the problem area.
Hard preaching hurts – in Corinth the folks were made sorry by Paul’s preaching – it pained them spiritually – hard preaching is painful to your spirit like that roller is painful to sore muscles. Feel-good preaching is like a pain pill – it makes you feel better temporarily but never gets down to the source of the problem.
Hard preaching heals – in Corinth the problem got straightened out – surgery hurts but surgery heals – and as you begin to heal the hard preaching doesn’t hurt as much.
Hard preaching takes time –Paul said, “exhort with all longsuffering” – hard preaching doesn’t accomplish everything in a day – it whacks on you little by little and it works on you after you get home – if its right and you attend unto it, it will work until its work is accomplished – the roller hurts, but it is healing – yet it takes time – you have to keep going back!!
Hard preaching is not offensive – some preachers are down right mean and personal from the pulpit – that’s not hard preaching; that’s derogatory preaching – however, the right kind of hard preaching is not an offense [Ps 119:165] – if you love the Lord’s words, you will love hard preaching.
Hard preaching is desirable for those who want truth – in Corinth the folks got used to Paul shooting straight with them – they didn’t like it at first – an old preacher friend of mine used to preach hard but he loved hard, too – an old friend of mine couldn’t stand hard preaching until he got saved and then after he got saved he wondered why I had suddenly become so nice – I hadn’t; he changed. Hard preaching is undesirable to those who don’t want the truth – they turn away from it.
Conclusion: Where are you? Are you among those who don’t love his law and are therefore offended at hard preaching? Are you among those who love his law and therefore love hard preaching? We pray that you are among those who love hard preaching.