Google makes an astounding number of words available to us. Whether the words are spoken in podcasts or written on blogs, articles, and books, it is simply staggering. The availability of so many words is both a blessing and a cursing. It is a blessing because one can download outstanding Biblical preaching and teaching from some of the finest Christian preachers and teachers alive today. It is also a cursing because, conversely, one can also just as readily access some really bad preaching and teaching.
Please understand, I do not say this from the perspective of one who has arrived as a preacher. While I work hard to bring expository, doctrinally rich, and practically useful sermons, I know I miss the mark more often than I’d like. You can listen to our church podcast and draw your own conclusion. Nevertheless, to observe that the one can quickly discover some really bad preaching on the internet is simply the frightening reality.
Contemporary preaching may be devoid of truth or lacking in conviction or both because we lack the confidence that God has something to say today. God not only spoke in times past, recorded in the Bible (Hebrews 1:1-2), but because we hold God’s word in our hands, God still speaks. The notion that God still speaks is at the heart of this piercing quote from Albert Mohler in his book He Is Not Silent. His words are a pointed call to all of us preachers to preach expositionally and to do so with passion and conviction or go do something else. They are also an important reminder to all Christians of the timelessness and timeliness of God’s word for our lives in this generation.
I fear that there are many evangelicals today who believe that God spoke but doubt whether He speaks. They know and talk about the fact that God spoke in the Old Testament but think now that He no longer does so and that they must therefore invent new ways to convince people to love him. But if you call yourself a preacher of God’s Word, and you think that all of God’s speaking was in the past, then resign. I say that with deadly seriousness. If you do not believe that God now speaks from His Word—the Bible—then what are you doing every Sunday morning? If you are not confident that God speaks as you rightly read and explain the Word of God, then you should quit.
But if you do believe that—if you truly believe that God speaks through His Word—then why would you substitute anything else in place of the expository preaching of the Bible? What is more important for your people than to hear from God, and how else is that going to happen unless you, like Ezra, open the book, read it, and explain it to them? Just as in Deuteronomy, this is a matter of life and death, and far too many pastors who deeply believe that God does speak have abandoned His voice in Scripture (R. Albert Mohler, He Is Not Silent, 57-8).