Too many times teachers within the church speak in generalities instead of specifics. We don’t preach to what the congregation and the culture is personally struggling with. It is very easy to agree with a general assertion without applying it to your life. When you tell people what they want to hear instead of what they need to hear you are pandering. The fear of not offending the audience is destructive. The message doesn’t become applicable and it becomes easy to justify a sinful life.
2 Timothy 2:14-17 (NASB):
“Remind them of these things, and solemnly charge them in the presence of God not to wrangle about words, which is useless and leads to the ruin of the hearers. Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth. But avoid worldly and empty chatter, for it will lead to further ungodliness, and their talk will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus,”
Today we live in a culture that gets easily distracted by words. We are afraid to speak truth because we are afraid of the words that come out of our mouths. This leads to us speaking generally instead of specifically about a topic. For example:
A preacher on any given Sunday talks about the sin of lust. The preacher doesn’t talk about practical steps to avoid lust. Child proofing your phone. Talking specifically about pornography. (Only saying the word pornography) The message doesn’t specify the real-life consequences of the sin of lust. Also, the message doesn’t explain the spiritual consequences of sin. The preacher hops from verse to verse creating a narrative that isn’t relevant to the individual.
Every individual in the church agrees that a sin is bad. The thing that the individual may ignore is how a habit in their life makes the sin more accessible. Many times, when someone sins they manipulate an aspect of the Truth to make them feel better about the sin. One example is playing the blame game. Justifying your sin by saying that the action of the other person is so heinous still makes you a sinner.
I find teachers being nonchalant about some sins and brush past it in a sermon. Saying in every marriage we have this problem. Making a joke about a common marriage wedge point. That one issue should probably be what the entire sermon is about. If you want a marriage to grow and mature you should be poignant and specific. A common issue in a marriage should not be used as satire.
Within a sermon the consequences of sin should be paramount. The biggest thing you should take away from a message is a call to action that you need to change. If this isn’t the case, then the message is pointless and without purpose. When we fear the emotive response of someone we are pushing them over the cliff into Hell.