Every Friday I have the great opportunity of participating in a class in the Our Generation Training Center, the missionary training department of our church. Today we came to a discussion about preaching the “full counsel of God”.
It is apparent from reading Criswell’s sermons and books that he had a great affinity with Charles Spurgeon He noted that Spurgeon preached over four thousand sermons that covered almost every verse of the Bible. While their preaching style was different the effect was similar; they both preached the whole Bible and preached the whole Bible as true. In his book, Why I Preach the Bible is Literally True, Criswell said: “We frequently hear discussions concerning whether the Bible is the Word of God or only contains the word of God. If, by the former, it is meant that God spoke every word in the Bible, the answer, of course, is not. But if it is meant that God caused every word in the Bible … the answer is yes.” This author remembers hearing Criswell preaching on this subject at the First Baptist Church of Euless, Texas in the late 1970’s. He was commenting on the increasingly common use of Redaction Criticism among Bible scholars. Criswell quipped: “They believe the Bible is inspired in spots and they are inspired to spot the spots.” To Criswell, the Bible was inspired from Genesis to Revelation and he preached the whole counsel of God.
Acts 20:27 For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.
Today “the fertilizer” that has helped me is the fact that … I am responsible to teach “all the counsel of God”
Here are some ways to help make sure I do not preach the same topics continually:
1. Save every message I preach to the teens and save them with the date I preached it. Saving your messages just for the sake of saving them is a good idea. I may not love them know, but they may help me as I prepare stronger and better messages in the future.
2. Make a list of all the topics I believe should be covered and strive to preach as many of possible in a 4 year period. Paul normally only had 3 years. I gave myself an extra year.
3. Go through series. This helps guide me into what direction we will be preaching in 3 weeks. This will keep us from only preaching on the same topic or reacting to the issues of the teens. Responding is great.. Reacting is dangerous!
I found myself preaching on “invite others in to this transformational environment”, “stay pure”, “work to create influence”, “be a good friend”. I bounce back and forth between just a limited number of subjects. Today I have been helped and desire to “declare unto (my teens) all the counsel of God”.