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Sermon: Tarentum, by Robert Johnson

The Preacher’s Work & Questions We Need To Answer

I. The Preacher or Minister's Job.
II. Some Questions We Need To Answer.

A. I would like to say thanks to all the young people and adults who attended the youth lectures yesterday.
1. Many good things were accomplished:
a. We got to know some faithful preachers and brethren better.
b. We got to hear the Word of God preached and applied to our lives.
c. We all became better prepared for the spiritual battles ahead of us.
d. We had good fellowship together and got to see several friends from camp.
B. But there are some things about yesterday that concerned and troubled me.
1. There were many teenagers and adults who could have been there who were not (Each congregation represented could have brought many more.--47 were present).
2. About twice as many invitations were issued compared to last year.
3. It was mentioned several times that perhaps the planned activities were not enough fun to draw young and struggling souls to hear the Word.
C. This brings me to my thought for this morning:
1 . Today, I want to talk about my job as a preacher and the goals I believe God has given me.
2 . Then, I want you to answer some questions I have about why my job seems so hard to accomplish.
3 . And why do preachers meet resistance at every turn in their efforts to accomplish their work?

I. The Preacher or Minister’s Job:
A. The preacher’s objectives and goals are unselfish and only concerned with the spiritual good of others.
1. The ideas and suggestions he presents are not for his personal gain.
2. His words are far more than personal opinion, even when his leadership is not the only way to go.
3. He is not the enemy of the congregation and never speaks words just for the purpose of upsetting someone, only for the purpose of helping.
4. He is a Christian who is concerned about souls and like Jesus is willing to spend his life in helping his brethren navigate the dangerous spiritual waters of life.
5. He may not always be the best man in the church, but he has the job of making everyone in the congregation the best that they can be by continually showing them God’s Word.
B. The Preacher’s job is to communicate the truth and help us apply the truth to our lives with the goal of saving our souls and bringing the church to spiritual maturity. (Keeping an eye on himself: Rom 2:20ff).
1. In order to do this he must evaluate the spiritual condition of those he is trying to help.
a. This process is not really as difficult or haphazard as you might think for Jesus has told him that you will know a tree by its fruits (Matt 7:16,20).
b. Please note that examination is not the same thing as being “judgmental.”
2. The job of communicating the truth is often made more difficult if the lives of the members are immature and their ears are “dull of hearing.”
1 Cor 3:1-3: "And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. 2 I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. 3 For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?"
Heb 5:11-14: "Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing. 12 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. 13 For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. 14 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil."

3. The preachers objective is to see Christ as PRE-EMINENT (NO# 1) in each member’s life.
Col 1:18: "And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence."
Col 1:25-28: "Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God; 26 Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: 27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: 28 Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:"

Col 2:1-7: "For I would that ye knew what great conflict I have for you, and for them at Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh; 2 That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgment of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; 3 In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. 4 And this I say, lest any man should beguile you with enticing words. 5 For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the stedfastness of your faith in Christ. 6 As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: 7 Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving."
4. Remember that his work is done for your sakes:

Heb 13:7: "Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation."
C. It is everyone’s job to be willing to listen, understand and apply the truth in their lives.
1. This means doing more than showing up and listening.
James 1:22-27: "But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. 23 For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: 24 For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. 25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed. 26 If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain. 27 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world."
2. This means having more love for truth and growth than for our imperfection and pride: We must seek spiritual wisdom to grow.
Prov 1:5: "A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels:"
Prov 9:8-9: "Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee. 9 Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man, and he will increase in learning."
Prov 9:9-10: "Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man, and he will increase in learning. 10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding."
Mat 7:24: "Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:"

D. Do most people in the congregation really want the preacher to do his job as God has commanded??
1. Do they want him to reprove, rebuke and exhort with the authority of God's Word??
2 Tim 4:1-5: "I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; 2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. 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; 4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. 5 But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry."
2. Does his efforts to be an example really make a difference in the lives of others.
1 Tim 4:12-16: "Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity. 13 Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. 14 Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery. 15 Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all. 16 Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee."
3. Do those who have been captured by the deceits of the devil want him to instruct them to repentance??
2 Tim 2:24-26: "And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, 25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; 26 And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will."

II. Some Questions We Need To Answer:
A. After growing up in the church and preaching for the last twenty three years, I have some questions which I have a hard time answering, or maybe it is the answers that I have a hard time understanding.
1. If you can help me with these questions, I would appreciate it, so I can do a better job.
2. You may think that my expectations for the church are a bit “ideal”, but then tell me what is wrong with that and am I wrong to strive for that?
Question: Why do those who have promised to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness seem to so often put opportunities for spiritual growth second in their priorities? (Matt 6:33).
Question: Why do those who are dead to the world, seem to be so involved and friendly with the world?? (James 4:4).
Question: Why can’t people who have experienced the love and mercy of God always show love, kindness and mercy to one another?? (Eph 4:31,32).
Question: Why do souls who have been forgiven so much, hold grudges and refuse to forgive their brethren? (Matt 18:27-35).
Question: How can people say they love God and not love their brothers? (1 John 4:19-21).
Question: Why do people who have died to themselves and have been crucified with Christ get offended so easily and so concerned about how they are treated?? (Gal 2:20).
Question: Why do people who have promised to present their bodies as a living sacrifice to God only participate in the pursuit of spiritual good when it is convenient?? (Rom 12:1,2).
Question: Why do those who are supposed to be hungering and thirsting after righteousness have to be shamed and begged to assemble with God’s children to feed on the Word? (Matt 5:6).
Question: Why are people who have “humbled themselves in the sight of the Lord” so resistant to someone “telling them what to do” if it is for their spiritual benefit? (James 4:7-10).
Question: Why do people who are to have the self-less mind of Christ, seek their own good more than the good of others?? (Phil 2:5ff; 1 Cor 10:23,24).
Question: Why do people who know the church is the body and spirit of Christ, not do everything in their power to make the church a beautiful, glorious body? (Eph 5:27).
Question: Why are so many members of the church content to be less spiritual than the best spiritual example they know (In scripture or on earth)??
B. Please make my job easier by considering these questions and if you know the answers, let me know.

A. I am deeply concerned about the church, because I have this belief that not everyone who attends church or has been baptized will make it to heaven (Rev. 2:10).
B. I am convinced that being an average or mediocre “Christian” is not acceptable.
Rev 3:15-19: "I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. 16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. 17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: 18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. 19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent."
C. Will you help me to have job satisfaction by making the changes you need to make in your life? Will you strive as I must constantly strive to be more spiritual and more active in the pursuit of God’s kingdom??

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