Is The Best Preacher The One Who Doesn’t Make Anybody Mad?

The other day I heard a mature Christian indicate the best gospel preachers were the ones who preached without making anybody mad. Nothing could be further from the truth. Notice who sometimes made their audience mad enough to stone them by preaching and standing for the truth …

· Old Testament Prophets Luke 13:34

· Jesus John 8:59, 10:31, 11:8

· Stephen Acts 7:58

· Barnabas Acts 14:5

· Paul Acts 14:19

· John the Baptist lost his head Mark 6:16-18

I guess the above were not very good preachers because they sometimes made their audience mad?  I guess Jesus was not a very good preacher because his teaching in Matt 15:3-12 “offended” the Pharisees?  Just the opposite – Jesus’ preaching is so good because it is always directed to what the audience in front of him needs, instead of what somebody who is not there needs.

It is easy to preach to not make anybody mad. Just be careful to avoid saying anything your audience disagrees with, i.e., avoid stepping on your audience’s toes. I’ve heard a few gospel preachers teach many times without once saying anything their audience would disagree with – they simply preached every time to the choir (https://bibledebates.wordpress.com/2016/03/18/preaching-to-the-choir/ ), and at people who were not there; they pandered to their audience (https://bibledebates.wordpress.com/2012/10/04/pandering-to-our-audience/ ).

The outstanding gospel preacher is defined by passages like Acts 20:26-27 and Ezek 3:17-21 – they declare the whole counsel of God (practicing kind and tough love) so both their listeners and themselves will be saved. When somebody does not believe or practice the truth on a particular subject, are we doing them a favor by always preaching on what they already agree with, avoiding the very thing they need? This method of preaching is perfectly described by II Tim 4:3 – “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears.”

We should always be kind and gentle in our teaching (Col 4:6), but when we preach the “truth in love” (Eph 4:15), sometimes someone is going to get perturbed with us (Matt 13:57, John 6:60-66). If not, something is wrong with our preaching (Luke 6:26, Isaiah 30:10, I Kings 22:8).  If we preach the truth that our audiences need, we will make enemies (Gal 4:16).

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