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October 1, 2013

Text: “Where there is no prophetic  vision the people cast off restraint, but blessed is he who keeps the law.” Proverbs 29:18

Did you hear the one about the preacher?  There are zillions of humorous stories about preachers.  It seems everyone loves to lampoon the man in the pulpit. It apears that some people would like to ban preachers from our society.

But what would be the broad effects if preachers disappeared? What if some group organized a pogrom against them and extinguished them? Or perhaps churches had to close by government decree? If the preachers were scarce there would be a famine of Bible knowledge. Charitable acts would dwindle.   Morality would slide farther and farther downhill, and debauchery would multiply. Traits like goodness, love for neighbor, self control would perish.”Unlikely,” you say? Think again.

Let the Biblical record be heard. “Now the young man Samuel was ministering to the  Lord under Eli. And the word of the Lord was rare in those days; there was no frequent vision.” I Samuel 3:1  The people of God in this era had failed to obey the Lord, had abandoned proper worship and adopted foreign gods. The prophets had faded; the priests had abandoned the covenant; and the people’s hearts had become corrupt. Thus God had ceased communicating to his people: visions and prophetic revelation were withdrawn. The book of Judges paints moral conditions during this period  as horrifying.  The book  records only two prophets and five revelations during the entire era. Read Judges. You will see murder, rampant homosexuality, ethnic cleansing, and theft as regular occurrences.   Since the word of God had dried up, so also holiness, morality, and love for neighbor had withered.

The prophet Amos upbraided the citizens of Israel thusly: “Behold , the days are coming, declares the Lord God, When I will send a famine on the land ——–not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord.” Amos 8:11  How chilling! In light of the days of the Judges, we see what would occur.

What would be some of the effects if preachers vanished?  Men’s hearts would be empty of goodness and hope. The teaching which once changed people to salt and light for the betterment of society would have crop failure.  Matthew 5:13-18  The fruit of the spirit (Galatians 5:16-24) would fail to take hold in hearts and men would sink in total unrighteousness. Selfishness would reign and violence would multiply. It would be difficult for holiness and morality to grow.

The Gospel would also diminish. Paul was afraid that the gospel might not be appreciated in a waning spiritual atmosphere. He wrote to the Ephesians.  “He made known to us the mystery of His will (emphasis REM), according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him with a view to an administration, suitable to the fullness of the times, that is the summing up of all things in Christ…” Ephesians. 1:9-10b  Let’s hope the world never retreats to a situation as things were before the gospel was revealed in Jesus.

The last thing that the departure of preachers will accomplish: the conversion of sinners will be retarded.  The word is seed to give eternal life to men’s souls. “…since  you were born again, not of perishable seed but of  imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God.” I Peter 1:23  There must be preachers to proclaim the gospel of Christ and save the lost!

May our world never be  bereft of those who proclaim Gods word!

One Comment
  1. This is a chilling thought, that here would be no more preachers of the Word. But we see how God withdrew from the people when they withdrew from Him

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