Standing to preach, we oppose the forces of evil in the world by proclaiming the truth of the gospel (Ephesians 6:10-17). We spread the salvation of Christ to the spiritually lost, so they can have their sins remitted (Mark 16:15-16; Acts 2:38; 1 John 1:7).
In our commission to preach, apathy often rears its head against us (1 Timothy 4:2). Most people do not seem to care about sin and its consequences (2 Corinthians 4:3-4).
However, another foe sneers at the preaching of truth. Weak Christians build their defenses against truth with rationalizations and justifications. Eager to avoid the pain of indictment, they arm themselves prior to the sermon with obfuscation and deflection.
We have sins that are very prominent in our lives. Sometimes we welcome them into our homes as permanent residents. They ostensibly become members of the family and we will vigorously defend them.
If a preacher attacks our family, we will find a way to ignore the message or, if necessary, destroy the messenger in order to return harmony to our home. We are at war with our conscience and simply will not allow the preacher to be the spokesperson of our current enemy.
God spoke through Isaiah to this very group:
“That this is a rebellious people, Lying children, Children who will not hear the law of the LORD; Who say to the seers, “Do not see,” And to the prophets, “Do not prophesy to us right things; Speak to us smooth things, prophesy deceits” (Isaiah 30:9-10, NKJV).
As preachers, we must be aware of the maneuvers people use to avoid being charged with sin. We become scholars of humanity and teach the Gospel in a fresh way that will penetrate their defenses. Use wisdom and cunning and a relentless passion for Biblical truth to circumnavigate the rationalizations of sinners.
“Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching” (2 Timothy 4:2).
They will attack us, demean our character and search our lives for shortcomings, so the message can be silenced. Persecution will come, as a result (2 Timothy 3:12).
Preach anyway. Never let them win!