Have you ever said, or heard someone say, “I don’t want someone to preach to me?” As I was doing my personal Bible study time the other day a certain word started standing out repeatedly. That word was, “Preach.” It got me thinking about how often I have heard people say that they don’t like someone preaching to them. Is that a Biblical viewpoint? Or, could it be an indication that there is a root of pride and arrogance within that person’s heart? Let’s see what the scriptures say.
First of all, who and what does God tell to do? In Deuteronomy 6:5-9 5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6 And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
2 Timothy 4:1-5 I charge you (Paul is speaking to the Church) in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: 2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. 3 For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, 4 and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. 5 As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. (Emphasis added in both scriptures.)
We, Christians, are told to preach the Word to our children and to others. We are told to be ready in and out of season. Everyone is to preach the Word, not just pastors, not just teachers.
Why are we to preach the Word? Ephesians 3:7-10 “Of this gospel I was made a minister according to the gift of God’s grace, which was given me by the working of his power. 8 To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, 9 and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God, who created all things, 10 so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places.”
Romans 10:14-15 “How then will they call on the him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? 15 And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it written, ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!’”
We are to preach the gospel, the good news, to everyone. We are to preach so that they hear the good news and so that they will know the unsearchable riches of Christ. We are to preach so that everyone may know the mystery of God and his eternal plan. We are to preach so that the manifold wisdom of God is made known to rulers and authorities in heavenly places, that is both demonic and heavenly spiritual beings. Wow! What a responsibility! We are to preach so that others will hear and are able to call upon the name of the Lord and believe in him. And finally, we are to preach to honor God.
How are we to preach? Acts 4:29 “And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness, 30 while you stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant Jesus.”
Acts 28:31 “…proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ with all boldness without hindrance.”
The word tells us that we are to preach with all boldness, not a little measure, but with all boldness. We are not to be weak in our preaching. As we preach we are to expect healing, signs and wonders to be carried out through the name of Jesus. We are to preach without hindrance. Nothing should stand in the way of our preaching. Not fear, timidity, shyness, lack of good oration skills…nothing.
Where are we to preach? Mark 16:15 says, “And he said to them, ‘Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. 16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.’”
Matthew 28:19-20 “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of age.”
We are called to preach the word in all the world. There is no limit. Everywhere we go we are to be ready in and out of session to preach the gospel with all boldness and without hindrance to all people everywhere with the goal being that they call upon the name of the Lord and believe in Him and be saved.
Anyone who says that they do not want to be preached to is in actuality saying that they refuse to hear the truth of the heart of the Father. When someone openly admits that they do not want to be taught about the truth of the gospel what they are actually saying is that they refuse to hear the truth because they believe their understand is superior. This comes from a heart posture of arrogance and pride. It comes from a hardened heart. It can also stem from fear. They could fear that if they hear the truth they will have to submit to the truth and thus, lose ruling their own life.
When we encounter someone who says they don’t want to be preached to, perhaps the next question for us is to ask them why? Then, we must pray for them. Preaching the gospel is very much a part of being a Christian. We are all called to preach the truth. This will not come without persecution. So, stand firm, be strong and courageous, and preach the gospel with all boldness without hindrance. May God bless you!
How do you respond?
In the flesh, I would carry that hurt around like a sick, little puppy needing to be nursed back to good health. I would pridefully attempt to defend myself. I would hold judgement over them, as if I was the Judge.
This would create roots of bitterness in my heart and bring separation between me and my Heavenly Father. It would also destroy the relationship between me and that person. Often times, they never even know they've said something that hurts.
In the Spirit, we are called to love and see others with the heart of the Father. Instead of being concerned with how their actions or words could bring us hurt, we look rather, into their heart and seek to find what could've possibly caused them pain to react in such a way. Their heart condition becomes more important than our feelings. Our desire becomes the Father's desire, that all be reconciled to Him. (2 Corinthians 5:18-21)
We begin to operate from a heart posture of humility and love rather than pride and defensiveness. We begin to truly see and understand the heart of the Father is to see all be reconciled to Him and that we all be reconciled to one another. Chances are very likely that the person has no idea they've even hurt you. When people are hurting inside their focus is typically on their own pain. As believers in Christ we are to walk in the Spirit, not the flesh. This allows us to not be hurt by others' words or actions, and rather, respond with a heart of love and ministry.
2 Corinthians 5
11 Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade others. But what we are is known to God, and I hope it is known also to your conscience. 12 We are not commending ourselves to you again but giving you cause to boast about us, so that you may be able to answer those who boast about outward appearance and not about what is in the heart. 13 For if we are beside ourselves, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. 14 For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; 15 and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.
16 From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer.17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. 20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.