There must be passionate preaching of the Word of God from our pulpits.
If someone can stand in the pulpit and manage to make the Word of the living God sound dry and dull,
that person ought to sit down and let someone else preach.
A preacher's task is to preach the Word!
Paul reminds Timothy of this tremendous responsibility in 2 Timothy 4: 1-5:
"I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead,
and by His appearing and His kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season;
reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction.
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but going to have their ears tickled,
they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires;
and will turn away their ears from the true, and will turn aside to myths.
But, be sober in all things, endure hardship, to the work of an evangelist, and fulfill your ministry."
This is a solemn charge, when the scripture states: "... in the presence of God."
This is a simple charge: "... preach the Word."
We are charged to: "Preach... in season and out of season."
This is a serious charge: "... reprove, rebuke, exhort," and to "... be sober in all things."
The temptation to be popular and to please the crowd can cause us to compromise our call to "preach the Word."
It has become the fashion to merchandise the divine message of God and sell it cheaply to a fickle crowd.
Every church has its share of church-shoppers who are just seeking peddlers of the Word.
They are content with having their ears tickled instead of having their heart changed.
It is not only a fickle crowd to which we preach.
It is also an apathetic, lifeless, and uncaring crowd.
Such people need preaching that can awaken them from their spiritual sleep.
People in our pews need passionate preaching.
Most preachers are preaching the Word faithfully.
They follow the text, and preach sound Biblical messages.
Yet their churches are unresponsive and listless.
And for many their congregation grows smaller each year.
The content of the sermon is not the problem.
The problem is with the delivery of the sermon.
The problem is not what is said; it is how it is said.
Too many sermons are preached without passion.
Many are simply preaching sermons, not the Word of God.
Their sermon is biblical, but the message of God has been deadened by a lifeless delivery.
Sermons must burn through our being.
Our sermons must come alive.
Passionate preaching is heart preaching.
So many empty churches are due not so much to a lack of desire of people to hear the truth
as it is with an absolute boredom brought about by preaching without passion.
Our empty pews speak to us.
The people to whom we preach are in need of a word from the Lord.
The element of emotion is a vital one.
Without this element we tend to become over-intellectual.
There is a great danger of falling into a purely cerebral proclamation designed exclusively to enlighten the intellect.
Preachers can become obsessed with doctrine and end up as brain-oriented preachers.
We must remember that God has called us to preach the Word.
He has not called us to deliver a lecture or an address.
Passionate preaching must be heard in our pulpits.
Passion is the power, the drive, and the energy in the delivery of the sermon.
Without passion the sermon is only a lecture or a moral speech.
If there is no passion, there is no preaching.
We must not deliver essays to be heard for the majority's opinion or for people to casually consider.
Preaching is a confrontation of the pastor in the people with Almighty God.
The preacher must have a burning passion within him to preach,
and must deliver the sermon in the authority of the Holy Spirit.
In our sermons we are dealing with the nature of God and of His love for humanity.
This is why our preaching must be passionate.
This passionate attitude must be present in the study.
If it is present in the study, it will be powerful in the pulpit.
Magnificent truths must not be preached as though they were mundane!
Preaching is logic on fire!
Preaching is eloquent reason!
Preaching is theology coming from a man of God who is on fire.
Someone has said that we are not passionate because we are not considering the people who we preach.
In other words, too many preachers are like the mailman.
They deliver the mail, but don't really care if their congregation reads it.
We must deliver the content -- the truth of God's Word.
We must also be concerned that our people are listening an understanding.
True conversation takes place when one is speaking and another is listening with comprehension.
When either of these two ingredients is missing, communication stops.
It is the same with our preaching.
When our congregation stops listening, the sermons over.
They have tuned out.
Many preachers keep on preaching and never become aware that their congregation has already departed.
Passionate preaching is crucial to audience awareness.
The preacher must know his audience before he preaches to them and as he is preaching to them.
Lack of awareness leads preachers to preach sermons that no one hears, and that no one wants to hear.
We must preach with passion!
Passionate preaching comes from spiritual power!
"But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you;
And you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria,
and even to the ends of the earth." (Acts 1: 8)
The secret to passionate preaching is spiritual power.
It is simply God at work in our lives.
Our work is a spiritual work!
We are not CEOs of some secular organization.
We are God's ministers called and given the authority to proclaim His Holy Word.
We must remember that God's Word is:
"... Living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit,
of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart." (Hebrews 4: 12)
Spiritual work demands spiritual power.
Our work is a spiritual warfare!
Our warfare is not "against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers,
against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places."
(Ephesians 6: 12)
Our armor is spiritual and our weapons are spiritual.
We do not abide by the rules of Wall Street or of popular opinion.
Our rules are divine!
God gives them to us.
Paul says, "For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh,
for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses."
(2 Corinthians 10: 3-4)
We will not learn to preach powerfully and passionately from secular communication.
The secret to powerful preaching comes from God, not from man.
A great vocabulary and a pleasing personality do not make a preacher.
God makes the preacher.
We must not mistake skill and talent for spiritual power.
For a preacher to rely upon skill and talent and not upon the power that comes from God
is a spiritual and ministerial tragedy.
Passion originates in the heart of God and is processed into the heart of man.
Our God is a consuming fire.
He is awesome in power.
When He speaks, the earth shakes.
If we will just be content to be channels to which God preaches to the hearts of people,
the consuming fire of God will penetrate into the hearts of our hearers.
We must be empty vessels ready to be filled with God's power.
When we are passionate about God, we will be passionate in our preaching!
Sermon by Dr. Harold L. White