The Word of God has a lot to say about preachers and preaching, particularly in 1-2 Timothy and Titus. Their qualifications are very important. Men who preach the gospel should be fearless Christians in the fullest sense of the word.
But the Word of God also points out that there are some men who shouldn’t preach. We are blessed by many men in several countries who read these posts, so we wanted to look at this subject and suggest a list — with the gospel as our guide — of men who shouldn’t preach.
- Men who don’t love God supremely and don’t put Him first in their lives (Matthew 22:37).
- Men who don’t know the will of God (Acts 22:14; Ephesians 5:17).
- Men who are afraid to preach the “whole counsel of God” (Acts 20:26-27).
- Men who have a desire to please men and work to do so (Galatians 1:10).
- Men who see preaching as a way to make material gain (2 Peter 2:3; Titus 1:11).
- Men who won’t pay their honest debts (Romans 12:17).
- Men who don’t set a godly example before others (1 Timothy 4:12).
- Men who love to have preeminence and can’t work under godly elders (2 John 9; Hebrews 13:17).
- Men who don’t love the brethren (John 13:34-35).
- Men who are “eaten up” with jealousy of other preachers, elders, or other brethren (Galatians 5:20-21).
- Men who are given to hate, revenge, and bitterness (Ephesians 4:31; Romans 12:19).
- Men who won’t learn contentment (1 Timothy 6:6-8; Philippians 4:10-11).
- Men whose wives are discontent, worldly, jealous, gossips, or who have no real devotion to the cause of Christ (1 Timothy 2:9-10; Titus 2:4-5; 1 John 2:15-16).
- Men who aren’t willing to make real sacrifice (Romans 12:1-2; 2 Timothy 2:3).
- Men who aren’t able to “bear up” under constant problems (2 Timothy 4:5; 2:3).
- Men who can’t constantly preach the vital truths of the gospel in a stern and unrelenting way in opposition to error and sin (2 Timothy 4:2-4).
- Men who can be “bluffed” out of preaching what needs to be preached by guilty members who squirm under the fire of the gospel of Christ (2 Timothy 4:2-4).
- Men who won’t deal with vital issues that face God’s people as they live in a world of religious error (1 Timothy 4:1-6; 1 John 4:1).
- Men who have “eyes full of adultery” (2 Peter 2:14), who “creep into houses” (2 Timothy 3:6), and “beguile unstable women” (2 Peter 2:14) into adultery (1 Corinthians 6:18; 1 Timothy 5:2).
- Men who aren’t willing to “take hold” and deal with vital subjects which directly affect his hearers in the workplace, in business, and in home and social life. Subjects like honesty, immodesty, fornication, drinking, cursing, divorce and remarriage, etc. have to be exposed (Romans 12:17; I Timothy 2:9; 1 Corinthians 6:18; Matthew 19:9; Galatians 5:19-21).
H. Leo Boles concluded our thoughts well in two paragraphs he wrote in 1932 in The Gospel Advocate. The first paragraph says, “No hypocrite can preach the truth of God with the power and persuasion that should ever accompany the preaching of the gospel … No preacher can preach the gospel as it should be preached unless he preaches because his heart is in the work, and not for ‘filthy lucre’s sake’, but of a ready mind”.
The second paragraph reads, “If churches today are to continue their mission, they must be taught … by preachers who are clothed with the humility of Christ and have the courage of their convictions. All the churches should be praying that God will give us God-fearing, truth-loving, earnest, faithful men for preachers and teachers of His word”.
If there are men in pulpits across the world who manifest any of the above traits, Christ calls you to repent and do the faithful work of an evangelist.
Adapted from Donald Townsley