The Peril And The Power Of Preaching.Eph.6:20.

H.Beecher Hicks,Jr.gives some valuable insight and brutally honest exposition to pastors in his sermon:The Peril And Power Of Preaching.Eph.6:20Here are excerpts from that sermon.For which I am an ambassador in bonds:that therin I may speak boldly,as I ought to speak.

1.The First Peril Of The Preacher Is That You Will Go To Prison.

When you find yourself engaged in a life’s work that you can’t control,but it controls you,you’re in prison.When you find yourself surrounded by people who don’t understand why you do what you do,who hired you to do what you do and then won’t let you do it,you’re in prison.When you find yourself caught in an institution that calls a young man to bring about change in the church, and then the choir sings for its processional hymn “I shall not be moved,”you’re in prison.When you find yourself employed by people who call you to be the pastor,give you the title of “reverend”hang a sign on your door that says you’re the pastor,hold an installation to give you the keys to the church,and then hold a church meeting to remind you that you ain’t what they said you were,you’re in prison.There is a peril in being a preacher because you will go to prison.

Paul says here, “I am an ambassador in chains.”  and I just wanted to tell you that if you are in the chains of the preaching profession it means first of all that  you are not free.

Now there is a certain amount of freedom in the preaching and pastoral profession.  Yes, you can come and go when you choose.  Yes, you can give the call to worship and pronounce the benediction.  But I’m here to tell you that you are not free.

The church has voted to make you the pastor, but that only means they want you to be free to do what they want you to do.

But in another sense, let me remind you, you were called by a higher power.  You are not free.  You were consecrated by the hand of heaven.  You are not free.  You are commissioned to go by the apostolic urgency of the Holy Spirit.  You are not free.  You are to preach the preaching the Preacher bids you preach. You are not free and that, my brother, is the peril of preaching.

2. The second peril of the Preacher…Paul said, “I am an ambassador in chains.”  And if you are in chains it means that your integrity is vulnerable.  Everywhere you go, every step you take, somebody is watching to see if you mean what you say.  Why do you think folk know your license plate number?  They’re not just playing the numbers.    Somebody is watching you.  They want to know where you go.  That’s chains.  They want to know when you go.  That’s chains.  They want to know what time you got back.  That’s chains.

Somebody is watching you, watching to make sure you’re walking straighter than they are, watching so they can point a finger when you stumble and fall, watching so they can tell you a preacher is “Just a man” like any other man, watching to be sure you are just a boy scout with his collar turned backward-mentally alert, physically fit, and morally straight.  You are not free, and that means your integrity is vulnerable.

3.Paul said,I am an Ambassodor in chains,and that means the peril of preaching is that you must live with the..legacy of loneliness.

There is no lonelier man than the preacher.You will be lonely because you can’t make friends with everyone.You show me a preacher who is buddy-buddy with everybody in his church and I’ll show you a preacher who has lost his power.You can’t be friends with all your deacons,you must be their pastor.you  can’t be chummy with all your trustees,you must be their pastor.You can’t hang out until all hours of the night with the choir,you must be their pastor.

Paul didn’t have many friends.He had to send for Timothy to bring his books and his coat.He said that his good friend Demas had forsaken him because he loved this present world.It’s a lonely job.There is sometmes nobody-not mama,daddy,wife,children-nobody to count on.There is only one friend you can count on. “There’s no friend like the lowly Jesus,No not on!”

If you would be a preacher today I want to remind you that Paul said, “I am an ambassodor in chains.”Now,my brother there is a difference between a diplomat and an ambassador.A diplomat is one who is sent for the purpose of negotiation.A diplomat is a professional compromiser.A diplomat is one who tries to ssoth ruffled feathers and make everybody happy.

Well the pulpit is no place for a diplomat.Sometimes you have to say what folk don’t want you to say.Sometimes you have to tell the truth when it hurts.You can’t be a diplomat and be a preacher.Too many preachers now are sliping and slidding and trying to make the wrong right,trying to make bad good.The pulpit is no place for a diplomat.

No,Paul said,”I am an ambassador.”An ambassodor is just the representative of the king.He doesn’t have to apologize,compromise,or philosophize.All he has to do is say what the king tells him to say.Just be an ambassador,an emissary of eternity.Just be an ambassador.The Bible is your portfolio.The Word of God is your message.The gospel is your news.The angels will carryyour briefcase.The cherubim will announce your coming.The seraphim will protect you from hurt,harm and danger.The archangels will bear you up lest you dash your foot against a stone.Anf if anybody asks you who you are,tell them you are God’s man,tell them you’re heaven’s herald,tell them you’re eternity’s neswboy,tell them you’re an ambassador for the King.

I thought I ought to tell you there is peril in preaching,but…God bless your soul–there’s also some power.Paul said he was an ambassador in chains,but if he could just get somebody to pray for him he’d have power to open his mouth.God’s got power for you.

He has power.God will be your” refuge and strength.”

He has power.The eternal God will be your “refuge,and underneath are the everlasting arms.”

He has power. “As many as received him,to them gave he power.”

He has power. “Ye shall receive power,afterthat the Holy Spirit is come upon you.”

He has power. “Even the youths shall faint and be weary,but they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength.

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One Comment on “The Peril And The Power Of Preaching.Eph.6:20.”

  1. Bob Marcaurelle Says:

    Bill, You and I have both sais, “If this was a job i would quit today.” This is a very good message, not learned i books but on the firing lines. I always felt like the church came between me and God, because I dealt with Him and his word as a religious worker rather than a pilgrim. Keep writing on the ministry, we need it. BobM


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