Encouragements & Provocations for the Pilgrimage to Zion
7 Reasons Why Foundational Proclamation Has Almost Diminished In Modern Times
True preaching has almost diminished in modern times because prayer has diminished. When prayer decreases, all true proclamation becomes extinct. In prayer the preacher is fit to proclaim eternal realities, and the people of God are fit to receive them. If you stifle prayer, the giving and receiving of God’s Word become an impossibility.
Preaching has almost diminished because the Church and its ministers are no longer preoccupied with the glory of God. When the Church and those who are called to establish it are occupied with the fading lights of this world, there will be no hunger for God and no savoring of His Word. This diminishes a value for the Scriptures in the Church, and all true preaching is paralyzed by worldly distraction.
Preaching has almost diminished because we’ve lost a value for the gift of speech, and the Church has mostly lost its prophetic distinction in the world. The Church is the only entity in the earth that bears the stewardship of proclamation, and if we have lost the value for it, there will be no bearing witness of Jesus’ glory to Israel or the nations.
Preaching has almost diminished because we’ve catered to a generation that is too undisciplined to still its heart and too smug to listen for the voice of God. Our preachers and congregations are mostly distracted by technology, entertainment, and the praise of men, and have failed to function in their distinctive priestly calling as men of prayer and of the Scriptures. This lethargy has passed on to the saints at large, and has produced a generation of undisciplined, purposeless, self-satisfied Church-goers.
Preaching has almost diminished because we have forgotten that God’s choice is to speak through flesh and blood, not through machinery. We have not seen to the formation of foundational servants, but to the carrying out of impressive programs. We have mastered the art of performing services, but we have scarcely seen incarnational preaching, where men speak, “as it were, the utterances of God.” “God anoints men, not methods.” –EM Bounds
Preaching has almost diminished because we have had in mind the preservation of our ministries rather than the salvation of men and the building up of the Church. We have had little concern for foundational doctrine and have been dull to eternity. True preaching becomes irrelevant and old hat to the Church that has left its first love, for it is only when the people of God have a vital affection and honor for the Lord Himself that His Word becomes their treasure.
Preaching has almost diminished because our conception of God is too small, and many do not see Him or His purposes as worthy of the time, energy, and labor that foundational proclamation requires both of the speaker and the hearers. When we see Him as He is, glorious and worthy of supreme attention, those called to proclaim Him will catch fire inwardly, and a fresh eagerness for the Word will grip the people of God. Life-giving, convicting, heart-lifting proclamation will increase in the Church, our vision of Christ will become fuller and richer, and we will be empowered to set Him forth as witnesses in these last days.