The Priority of Preaching - Part 3


You should gauge and judge every ministry and podcast on how they handle the Word of truth.  


Welcome to No Compromise Radio Ministry. Duplex brought to your radio. I can keep saying it over and over and over, but if we don't change anything, it doesn't really matter.
You can write me, Mike, at nocompromiseradio .com. Yes? Yes.
All right. Well, today on No Compromise Radio, it seems weird to say that because I've just recorded another show.
I recorded, I think, three yesterday. I'm trying to catch up because I was in California for a while.
I saw so many friends at the Shepherds Conference, and I don't know, going down the list,
I saw Marco. I saw Eric. I can just give you a bunch of names, but it wouldn't matter.
I think only one person, maybe two, wanted to talk to me about my newfangled beliefs.
That was funny. Well, anyway, I, today, on No Compromise Radio, want to remind you of the new books, and then we'll get into our discussion of Jesus today.
Let's talk about Jesus. Sexual Fidelity, I wrote 10 years ago for my son because I wanted to talk to him about sex because I needed to be the one versus Billy down the street in a very father -son type of relationship and with the
Bible and the goodness of God and the warnings from God. And therefore, I just wrote down some of those discussions because I thought other men could find that helpful, and they could talk to their sons and, of course, daughters too.
If you read it, you'd say, well, my daughter could read this in benefit, but my sons could probably benefit more. And I've become more
Christ -centered in the last 10 years, as you know, more law gospel, more Christ for pardon,
Christ for power, more covenantal, you know, more, just more.
I've become more, more, more. And then I thought, well,
I should update the book and kind of go through it again. So, I did, a little more grace -centered, although it wasn't too bad, and expanded some things, clarified some things.
The first time I wrote the book, I basically ordered 2 ,000 copies, and they delivered it to my door, and I had to ship them out, so I wanted to put it on Amazon.
There are some appendices, and one of the things that happens when you're teaching the
Ten Commandments, if the commandment says, and it does, thou shalt not commit adultery, of course, there's the positive side.
Thou shalt be faithful to your spouse. Thou shalt not...
Oh, no, I already got the not again, the negative, the negation. There's just the positive side.
So, I included some Reformers, like Luther and Thomas Watson and others, what they said about the
Seventh Commandment. I think it's the Seventh Commandment. How do I not know the number? Thou shalt not commit adultery.
That's that. That should be online, a 31 -day guide to purity, different color cover, not black, but white.
I don't know why I ever did the black cover. People don't want to buy that book.
The bookstores are going to think they have problems, but most everybody I know, seriously, most everyone
I know has a struggle when it comes to sexual purity, either with their mind, with their body, with both.
It's one of those things where, I think it was Piper a while ago, if you struggle with the same sins that you used to struggle with 30 years ago, how can you call yourself a
Christian? Now, I can't remember the exact quote. So, if he said to the same degree and the same number with the same intensity, don't you think there should be some growth in your life?
You know, kind of question like that without a dogmatic statement. I still struggle with sexual temptations and sexual sins and trying to make sure
I squash those. And I don't want to be some dirty old man. And that's just,
I mean, because of the fall, I mean, there's nothing wrong with hormones. There's nothing wrong with sex. There's nothing wrong with all that stuff.
But what happens is the fall tweaks it all. And then we have to struggle. All that to say, I think if you are young or old, you could benefit from the book.
And then the second book that's out probably by now is Cancer's Not Your Shepherd, 31 -Day
Guide to Suffering, with the first half of the book written by me dealing with cancer, but could apply to really anything.
And the second half of the book, just dealing with physical suffering. So, it would include sickness.
It would include if you had MS, if you had a broken leg, if you just felt bad, or if you have cancer.
So, that book should be out as well. Amazon, 31 -Day Guide to Suffering.
So, that's the fourth 31 -Day Guide, 31 -Day Guide to Parenting I'm working on. And I hope to have that released in the fall.
I'm not sure if I could do it or not. I'd like to do that. If you don't set a goal, you never get it done. It's about half written.
So, normally if I have a half -written book, like Cancer's book, then I just add other authors at the end, as long as they're published 90 years ago or more, they're free game.
I think I originally got that idea, and I could be wrong which book it is, but it was a
MacArthur book, maybe on heaven, the glories of heaven, the glory of heaven. And then
I think it had a Spurgeon article at the back, or it could have been maybe Ashamed of the Gospel. Out of all the
MacArthur books that I've read, I probably like Ashamed of the Gospel the best, or maybe
The Love of God. Those would be the books. So, all that to say, we here like to write books.
We don't. I actually don't. I don't even think I'm very good at it, but I just have certain ideas, and I'm thinking, okay, we need new equipment.
I took my old equipment home and thought about having a little studio there, but it just takes up space.
So, anyway, right now we just have the Rodecaster Pro 2, and we just go to the church, and I think
Cooley's microphone needs to be fixed. We'll have to work on that a little bit. I was in India once, and well,
I was in India three times, and there was a guy who was going up the platform steps, the stage steps, and I was in the front row because I was told to sit in the front row because I was a speaker, and it was a place of honor.
I wanted to sit in the back. So, if I was a preacher, get done preaching, and when I'm done with my responsibilities, I go sit in the back.
I've done that before at other conferences, but here I was asked to sit in the front. Okay, fine. And there was a video, live video of John MacArthur, and it was probably 4 a .m.
in Los Angeles or something, and it's 7 p .m. in India, although India time,
India standard time, I -T -A, I -S -T, there's a half hour difference. So, for me, the culture was so different, and then we have the time change, and it was a half hour.
All that to say, John was live, MacArthur was live, and he was projected onto a screen, so John really wasn't there, but there was a camera where he could see us as well.
Anyway, and I think he said, hi, Mike, before his message even got started. Somebody walked up while MacArthur was talking about,
I think at this time, maybe the atonement of Jesus or how God doesn't speak any longer through people, something like that, and the guy didn't like it, and he walks up the steps to the stage, to the platform where the screen was, and he takes a screen and he slams it on the ground.
And then starts stomping on it. Well, the camera to see us did not reveal what was happening because of its placement, and of course, the light projecting onto the screen had no screen, but it just shot all the way to the back of the platform there, and so you could see somewhat still
MacArthur. You could still hear him. It was all very odd. I was told later that the man had an epileptic fit, and he was drawn to lights.
That was not true. This guy didn't like what MacArthur was saying, so he went up there and tried to stomp him down.
Years later, I told John that's that story, and it seems to me that some people have that view when it comes to preaching, since there are things in the scripture that expose, that reprove, that rebuke, that open up our hearts and show us our sins, and people don't like that.
The exclusivity of Jesus, the eternality of hell, there are doctrines that people don't like.
Jesus just dies for the elect. I mean, predestination, reprobation, there are things that are difficult in the scriptures.
We see our sins, and if you don't have a Savior to run to, you can get pretty mad. Who are you to tell me that?
Therefore, we should not be surprised that some people don't like preaching.
But I know you, dear listener, you like preaching because that's basically what I do. I kind of talk on the radio show.
I take my sermons and put them into a talk thing, but it's really, let's take a look at what the
Bible says, and I think if you're like me, and this is the grace of God working in your lives and my life, that while you might not have liked preaching in the past, now that you're saved, you love it, and you even like it when you're convicted and then the balm of the gospel comes alongside and comforts and then encourages.
You like to hear about God. You like to learn new things. I like it when for years
I've thought one thing, and I hear preaching, and it's convincing me about a different view, and I think
I'm wrong. There are lots of problems in my life, but one of my problems is not saying
I was wrong when it comes to a theological position. I'm happy to say, oh, I used to think eternal functional subordination.
I don't think that anymore. I repent, and I'm happy to believe the right thing. Oh, I believed,
I don't know. Jesus wasn't the eternal
Son. Today I begotten thee. He becomes the Son of the Incarnation or something, whatever my favorite pastor used to teach.
I'm happy to say, oh, I don't believe that anymore, and that's good. That's a sign of maturity and growth when you and when
I just confess that and repent of that and change our minds and stop teaching what we used to teach.
I'm glad for that. I know you are, too. I think that's a sign of the
Spirit of God working in you. You say, well, I don't even know if I'm a Christian or not. Eternity is a long time.
Do I really believe? Well, this is a good sign. It's a good fruit. It's a good evidence of the Spirit of God working in you where you used to hate something, preaching, and now you love something, preaching.
Who did that for you? Satan? CNN? I don't think so.
We love preaching. J .C. Ryle said, beware of despising preaching.
In every age of the church, it has been God's principal instrument, that is preaching, for the awakening of sinners and the edifying of the saints.
The days when there has been little or no preaching have been days when there has been little or no good done in the church.
Let us hear sermons in a prayerful and reverent frame of mind and remember that they are the principal engines which
Christ himself employed when he was upon earth.
Jesus comes to preach. We saw that in Luke 4 and in Mark chapter 1. I was sent for this purpose.
I need to go to the other cities and preach because that is why I came. That's what I came for, to use the exact language of Mark.
The office of a preacher, preaching, how important is that? When you think of means of grace, that's exactly what we're talking about.
In addition, as we said yesterday, or I said today in real life, signs and wonders, ministries, signs and healings, that's all they do.
That's the focus. If we're going to think about grammar, the main verb is preach.
The modifier is heal. The secondary thing is to heal. And so, it's just like with, you know, go make disciples, going baptizing and teaching, right?
The key is making disciples when it comes to Great Commission, Matthew 28, 16 to 20.
The primary focus of Jesus you see in Mark chapter 1 and Luke chapter 4 is preaching because eternal souls are more important than physical bodies, right?
We're all going to get new bodies one day, and we want to have bodies fit for heaven, to be in heaven with the
Lord the whole time, not the other way around. Jesus isn't just the healer.
Of course, He's a healer. Don't misunderstand what I'm saying.
I mean, people want Him as the healing ministry person. They want Him as a wonder worker. They want Him as entertainment. They want to say what they want, but we have to keep the focus, gospel preaching, good news preaching.
And that, my dear friend, is how you should examine or judge or evaluate every ministry, every radio ministry, including
No Compromise Radio. You go to oneplace .com, and you like to listen to so -and -so and brother such and such.
For the church that you attend, for books that you read about Jesus, you judge them based on their fidelity to the
Word and its proclamation. I mean, there's some pretty scary language for people that aren't good preachers, and I don't mean homiletically.
I'm talking about doctrinally. Second Corinthians 2 .17, for we are not like so many peddlers of God's Word, but as men of sincerity, as commissioned by God in the sight of God, we speak in Christ.
How'd you like to be a peddler? There are thousands of things I do wrongly, but I don't want to be a peddler.
I don't want to play games with God's Word. I'd look back in my life, and of course, there's some doctrines that might have been changed or matured or, you know, more
Reformed than I used to be, that kind of thing, but I don't want to be a peddler.
If you say anything about me, that's the one thing I hope you don't say, that I somehow peddle
God's Word, because I'll tell you this, if you peddle God's Word, you have moral problems, because people with moral problems peddle
God's Word. So I rest behind the fact, and I'm thankful for the fact that while I sin in many ways, shapes, and forms,
I don't peddle God's Word. And so by the Spirit's power and by the
Spirit's power, there's some integrity there. There is some fidelity there.
Not because of me. If you knew me, you wouldn't say that. If you knew my unbelieving life, you wouldn't say that.
But if you peddle God's Word, you have a moral problem. It exposes something, right? Out of the heart, the mouth speaks, and the mouth peddles when it comes to God's Word.
We don't want to do that. There's other kind of scary language as well. 2 Corinthians goes on to say in chapter 4, but we have renounced disgraceful underhanded ways.
We refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God's Word.
But by the open statement of the truth, we would commend ourselves to everyone's conscience in the sight of God.
Do I want to be a peddler of God's Word? No. Kind of just do it for money and that's what my wares are?
No. But I also don't want to be disgraceful. I don't want to be underhanded when it comes to God's Word.
I mean, especially because it's truth and I'm going to corrupt it.
Paul says we refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God's Word. I'm not going to adulterate God's Word in other words, and in other ways for that matter.
Cunning, you know, the great part about being a Bible teacher is I just teach the
Bible and I don't have to sell. I can be enthusiastic. I can try to be persuasive, but I don't close the deal, right?
My old sales rep days, summarize situation, state the idea, explain how it works, reinforce key benefits, close.
I don't have to close. I don't want to close. And some people have accused me over the years, well, he's just a sales rep.
No, I'm not trying to sell. I defy you to pull up one sermon where I'm trying to sell something like a sales rep.
Enthusiastic? Yes. Persuasive? I hope so. But selling, like I have to close a deal like a car salesman, an insurance salesman, a laser operating room laser salesman.
I don't have to close. Would you like the order delivered on Monday or Tuesday, assuming a cent?
I don't need to do that. Well, if price wasn't an issue, would you still buy it?
I don't need to do any of that. I'm free. Just because my background sales doesn't negate the message.
Peddling, practice with cunning, disgraceful, underhanded ways and tamper with God's Word?
No, we're not going to do that. We are not going to tamper with God's Word. So you ought to judge every ministry, your church.
Say, well, I don't like the parking lot. Well, so -and -so doesn't run the church like I want them to.
So -and -so is not my best friend. That's a big one. Oh, I don't really want to go to that church because I can't be best friends with the pastor.
Newsflash, I have one best friend and I'll always have that best friend. Her name's
Kim. She's my wife. Can't be my best friend. I don't want a best friend. Now, can we be friends?
Could we spend time together? My friends are usually people that I spend time with doing things in ministry or house projects or stuff like that.
I want to be friendly to everyone. Of course, it's a different season of my life now because I used to spend a lot of time with my children because I knew that was the most important thing in terms of, do
I go spend time with everybody else and all their children? What about my children? So I made a focus on spending time with my children.
And then now that my children are moved out of the house, my wife and I want to pour into other people. And we kind of have a strategy for trying to do that.
And then part of the strategy in the last five months has been hijacked, although the
Lord knew it the whole time, by leukemia and just hospital visit after hospital visit.
So that's a little different now. I just sometimes don't feel that good. And I lost my train of thought.
No, I actually haven't. We judge ministries by the proclamation of God's word and their fidelity to it, right?
That's it. I want to go be the pastor's friend. I remember one guy said to me, this was 15 years ago.
No, let's go have lunch. I'm a brand new attendee and everything else. Okay, fine. He said, well, I've always been best friends with my pastors and they can just tell me anything and kind of off the record.
I said to myself, warning, warning. I want to be friends.
I want to have friends. Then learn how to ride a bike. Let's go ride bikes together. There's enough church things that we can do friends stuff around there.
We had a little dance party a while ago. We hired a swing dance teacher and had some of the young adults. Come like 18 to 30, come and have a dance lesson and get to meet other people.
We invited other churches. So there you go, friends. The critical role of preaching in every local church and ministry say, well,
I go to the, what do they call them?
Food pantries. I give out food to people. Great. Figure out a way to proclaim the truth.
Give a track, talk to people after. I think in the old days, all right, we will feed you, but you have to sit and listen to a 10 minute devotion.
And then they sit and listen. They snore, they grumble. Fine. I don't think there's anything wrong with that.
We promoted ahead of time. We will feed you, but there's going to be a five minute Bible lesson first. You want to have food? Come hear the
Bible lesson. Is there anything wrong with that? I don't think so. Paul said in 2 Timothy 4 .2,
preach the word, be ready in season and out of season. Reprove, rebuke, exhort with great patience and instruction.
Isn't that the summary of a faithful pastor in terms of what he does? Oh, train men.
Yes. Pray. Yes. There's lots of things a pastor should do. Counsel, disciple, of course.
But here, preach the word. And I think it's more than just the word, like Genesis to Revelation.
Of course, back in these days, Paul writes and you know what has been written, certainly 1
Timothy has been written, certainly Genesis through Malachi slash Genesis through 2
Chronicles in the Jewish canon. Preach the word. Preach Christ, the word incarnate.
Just when you see the word, word, I don't think you should just be thinking the word of God, Old Testament only. When you hear word, logos,
I think you should think the word became flesh and dwelt among us. And so, we want to proclaim with earnestness the
Lord Jesus. And when you proclaim all the word, you will be proclaiming
Jesus, right? Because he's the center. Paul said in Acts 20, therefore, I testify to you this day that I'm innocent of the blood of all men, for I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole purpose of God.
And that purpose resides in and is focused on and has a focal point of the Jesus, the word incarnate.
Preach the word. I used to teach my children. That's a pastor. What do you say to pastors?
Preach the word. We were still in Grace Church at the time, and I said to my little daughter,
Haley, she must have been four years old, that man there's a pastor. I was pointing to John MacArthur.
She waddles up. Preach the word. This is a sacred trust.
Again, I do a thousand things in my life that I wish I wouldn't do. But by the grace of God, if it is a
Juana youth group, funeral, wedding, Sunday morning, Sunday school,
Sunday night, family Bible time, Bible time, rest home, prayer breakfasts, promise keepers get togethers,
I'm going to open the Bible and talk about Jesus. Resolved to do that.
This is a sacred trust. There has to be Jesus there. Sermon without Christ, Spurgeon said, as its beginning, middle, and end is a mistaken conception and a crime in execution.
He also said Christless sermons make merriment for hell. Christless preachers, Christless Sunday school teachers, Christless class leaders,
Christless track distributors. What are all these doing? They are simply setting the mill to the grind without putting any grist into the hopper.
All their labor is vain, in vain. If you leave Jesus out, you are simply beating the air or going to war without any weapon with which you can smite the foe.
Leave Jesus out of your preaching and the Holy Spirit will never come upon you. Why should he?
Has he not come on purpose that he may testify of Christ? Did not Jesus say he shall glorify me and he shall receive of mine and shall show it unto you?
That's exactly right. My name is Mike Ebenroth. This is No Compromise Radio Ministry.
Accept no substitutes, accept no storytelling, accept no lectures, no talks that are devoid of the word and the word incarnate.