“For neither at any time used we flattering words, as ye know, nor a cloak of covetousness; God is witness.” (I Thessalonians 2:5)
I have seen over the past several years a professional pulpiteerism that is both nauseating and disgusting to endure. This type of preaching has not Christ and the gospel at the center, but rather self,
achievement, and money. The Independent Baptist churches are not exempt; instead they seem to be birthing the growing ranks of preachers given over to it. Preaching of this sort exalts self either
consciously or subconsciously and is adept at making appeals for the necessity of money for ministry purposes. This professional pulpiteerism sheds a negative light on the character and ministry of our
Lord Jesus Christ, the Bible’s model preacher. It brings defilement to those who practice and accept it, inoculating the church against any intervention of the Holy Spirit both individually and corporately. Dearly
beloved, beware of it and run from it, using the Apostle Paul’s letters to identify it and “all the counsel of God” as the only standard of measurement for godly preaching. This type of preaching may be sound doctrinally, dynamic in delivery, and true to the gospel message, yet it subtly adapts to the arena in
which it gets opportunity with financial means as an underlying motive. The preacher who either makes or allows the pulpit to be his profession can be a pastor, an evangelist, or a missionary. God help us to escape
from our ranks and to find preaching in the fashion of Christ and his pulpit ministry. The man called to preach by God, and to stand in the pulpit in the house of God, is just that ---Called of God! God has
ownership of him; God will take care of him, and provide for him. God wants him to be a man that cannot be bought, and money cannot dictate his theology or be the motive for his ministry. Paul, as stated in the verse above, said, “For neither at any time used we flattering words, as ye know, nor a cloak of covetousness; God is witness.” Paul and Silas had gone into Macedonia on his second missionary journey preaching the gospel in Thessalonica with folks getting saved and baptized, and a local church being established. Notice carefully that in expressing his pure motives for preaching, Paul vehemently repudiates the use of flattering words and a cloak of covetousness. He made no attempt to take the Word of God and
deceitfully appeal to his hearers nor did he use material gain as his ambition. Paul openly declared that “God is witness” with a clear conscience and utter transparency. The godly preacher who exalts Christ in his own heart and denies self with no affection for material gain will do the same.
James N. Spurgeon’s poem titled “Job or Ministry” is a good template for identifying the preacher who is sold out for Christ and Him alone.
A job is your choice;
a ministry is at Christ’s call.
In a job you expect to receive;
in a ministry you expect to give.
In a job you give something to get something;
in a ministry you return something
That has already been given to you.
a job depends on your abilities;
A ministry depends on your availability to God.
A job well done brings you praise;
a ministry done well brings
honor to God.
The Preacher of preachers, Jesus Christ, offered the greatest example of a godly preacher with the following attributes:
1. “For your sakes he became poor…” (II Corth 8:9) 2. “[He] made himself of no reputation…” (Phil 2:7) 3. “…yet learned He obedience by the things which he suffered; (Heb 5:8)” The pulpit ministry should always
be an honorable representation of Him in manner, message, and motive.
The Watchman's cry