SMOOTH STONES AND MELLOW PREACHERS
By Curtis Pugh
By Curtis Pugh
From ancient times similar problems to today have existed: the Israelites said, “...Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits,” (Isaiah 30:20). The people of national Israel had departed so far from the Lord, from right thinking and right living that they no longer wanted to hear from God. They wanted their prophets to speak “smooth things:” pleasant things. If they could not hear how good they were, at least they did not want to hear the truth about themselves.
Giving the public what they want is the way to popularity. It is the way to a good salary. It is the way to having a crowd speak well of you. But this preacher learned a long time ago that there is a difference between a crowd and a church. It was a crowd that called for the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus, the sinless Son of God. And if a preacher ceases to preach smooth pleasantries to his crowd, they will turn on him and crucify him via the moving van: the deacon-board will send him packing post haste.
Here is the truth about the natural man: man as he is born naturally; “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: Their feet are swift to shed blood: Destruction and misery are in their ways: And the way of peace have they not known: There is no fear of God before their eyes,” (Romans 3:10-18). But most do not want to hear these things read let alone preached. And so God's diagnosis of man's problem is ignored and for it substituted a lie: and that lie is that man is basically good and has the ability come to Christ and be saved. Man's supposed ability is assumed and preached.
But Jesus said, “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day,” (John 6:44). Those who will have a part in the blessed resurrection are those whom God the Father has drawn to Christ: not those whose spiritual experience consists of having “made a decision” or in some other way exercised their will. Those who have been made alive spiritually experienced a new birth wholly apart from any action of their will. Proof: “Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God,” (John 1:13) and “So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy,” (Romans 9:16). “Salvation is of the LORD,” (Jonah 2:9).
Grace Bible Baptist Church
26080 Wax Road
Denham Springs, LA 70726