“Hard” Preaching

2 Tim. 4:2 – Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.

Preaching the whole counsel of God sometimes requires “hard preaching” where we show people what God says about a particular issue and how true repentance and change may be necessary in an individual’s life for him or her to be pleasing to God. This idea of “correction and instruction in righteousness” may be out of favor with many in the 21st century, but it is certainly a Biblical concept. This lesson details how Peter, Paul, and John the Baptist all boldly proclaimed the truth and delivered “hard preaching” with the proper attitude when it was necessary.

  • Preaching God’s word entails different kinds of lessons—balance of truth, encouragement, instruction, etc.
    • Preaching whole counsel of God is more than warm fuzzies – Is. 30:10; 2 Tim. 4:3-4
    • No intention to step on toes or single people out, but do want to reach hearts and encourage repentance where applicable
    • Jn. 6:60 – Jesus could be a “hard preacher”
  • Peter
    • Acts 2 – Pentecost audience included Jews who demanded Jesus killed – 2:23
      • Peter could have preached various things that day, but what was more appropriate than convicting them of their sins? 2:29-37
    • Today, church is body of Christ – Col. 1:18. 
    • Our sins today crucify Jesus again – Heb. 6:6. Need to preach this just like Peter did.
  • Paul
    • Athenians wanted to hear some new thing
      • Paul politely called them idolators and ignorant about God, even though they were some of the most well-educated of the day – Acts 17:23
    • Today, we must teach those who don’t know God or how to worship Him
    • Paul was hard preacher to own brethren
      • Gal. 2:11-14 – Publicly corrected Peter, fellow preacher and apostle, when he was in sin and hypocrisy
      • Withstood him to his face—Hard preaching
    • Takes hard preaching today to reprove and correct brethren in error – 2 Tim. 4:1-2; 1 Tim. 5:20-21
  • John the Baptizer
    • Mt. 14:4 – Given opportunity to preach to King Herod, John addressed Herod’s major flaw/sin
      • Could have preached truth, but focused on other issues, neglecting sin
      • But he preached on adultery & told him he was in sin
    • Today, we much likewise preach against all forms of adultery and not shy away from such to be “nice”
      • Need to speak out against it like John – Mt. 14:4; 5:32; 19:3-9
  • Conclusion
    • Preach the truth to those who need to hear it, regardless of consequences
    • We don’t call out sin to be mean or self-righteous—do so out of love – Eph. 4:15
    • How much do you love and genuinely care for your family members, friends, etc. who are lost?  Enough to talk to them about Jesus?

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