TIDEWATER PRIMITIVE BAPTIST CHURCH

NORFOLK, VIRGINIA

 

Preacher Page

 

WHAT SHOULD WE PREACH

 

After spending about 42 years as an ordained Primitive Baptist minister, I pray and ponder often what the Lord would have me preach when service times come. I have failed many times and felt liberty many times, also. My lesson was learned a long time ago that I do not know all the answers to every question and neither does any other preacher. In every instance, I pray God will get the glory and the truth will be preached. We need to preach the word, but how much greater when we have the Spirit with us.

Preaching is a full time occupation. 1 Corinthians 9:14 “Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel.” There are a few Primitive Baptist Ministers that are full time, but so many of us serve smaller churches and would not want to put an undue burden on those churches. Neither should churches that are able to support a preacher, regardless of the size of the church, be deprived from that opportunity.

We are instructed in 2 Timothy 4:2 to “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.”  Notice that not all preaching is comfort, but sometimes rebukes and reproves churches and members. We are also instructed in 1 Thessalonians 1:5 “For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake.”

I will be the first to admit that some subjects are easier to try to preach, because we know that the brethren are far more receptive to doctrinal points than many others.  It still takes the same grace to preach one subject as another.  There have been times I tried to ignore God and preach something else.  The cause could have been a fear of how the subject on my mind might be received.  I suffered the consequences of it. It is much better to follow the Lord than man.  The lesson learned is to follow the leadership of the Lord, regardless of what I may think or what someone else may think.

There have been parts of the country that grace is all that is preached. Grace is good, and we cannot get too much grace. It’s just that sometimes not enough of other things are preached. There are many churches across our country with just a few older members, and then there are some with more members and many young people. Why is this?

As I was growing up, it was wonderful to hear about God’s grace, but I also desired to know more of what the Bible taught on daily living and what was right or wrong.  I desired to learn about things like choosing a spouse, how to raise children, what Bible we should use, what to do when there is a divorce, how to deal with church issues, how to get along with an ungodly employer, how to get along with others, how to refrain from peer pressure, as well as hundreds of other topics that the Bible teaches.  Paul says, Acts 20:27 “For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.” While parents are to instruct children in everyday living, some do not.  Sermons are for young and old. Preachers should preach the whole truth.

There were many times Paul and others were in trouble for preaching the truth. Galatians 4:16 “Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?” or 2 Timothy 4:16 “At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me: I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge.”  I do not believe that Paul ever sugar-coated one sermon he preached.  He preached what God blessed him to preach.  Sometimes he got into trouble, as shown above, but he did what was right.

While Primitive Baptists sometimes have had doctrinal issues through the years, many more seem to be practical issues on dealing with everyday living, in or out of the church.  When God impresses a man to preach on a specific subject, we ought to be praying for him and encouraging him.  Could he make a mistake? Absolutely. He is human. I pray I learn from my mistakes and try to do better. When I try to preach, I try to keep it simple so that even the youngest can understand.  I try not to throw stones at anyone on purpose.

Years ago, a preacher preached on how to behave ourselves in the house of God.  When he finished, a man came to him and asked, “Why are you talking about us?”  The preacher related a story about a litter of pigs. He said that he picked up a rock and threw it, and the only little pig that squealed was the one the rock hit.  The gospel sometimes does the same thing. The one who complains about a sermon is sometimes the one who needs it most.

My conviction is very simple. I try to preach what the Lord gives me to preach and pray the congregation receives it with the love I attempt to preach it. There are churches I visit that are starving for practical preaching.  Whether I preach on it or not depends on the Lord.

There have been times someone will ask me to try to preach on a specific subject.  Again, that depends on the Lord and His leadership.  We study, pray, meditate, and ask the Lord to place something on our heart and mind.  This is what preaching is all about.  It has always been my belief that if God blesses a man to preach, he will enable someone to benefit from that preaching.

 

May God bless,

 

Tommy Sarber