Pastors on the Offensive
If there is anyone in the world who ought to have courage, it must be pastors. You have to have courage to fulfill your responsibility. Why? Because you have to confront the world with its fallenness and with its sin—not just in general but in specific. You have to confront people.
You have to say to people, “The soul that sins will die. There is death and there is everlasting punishment and there is hell.” You have to warn sinners that apart from faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, they will spend eternity in hell. That takes courage.
You have to confront the world with its fallenness and with its sin—not just in general but in specific. You have to confront people.
You have to stand up against the cultural trends and say, “That is a sin, that is wrong, that dishonors God, that brings divine judgment.” That kind of courage rises from convictions.
Pastors Need Conviction
There’s nothing worse than a pastor who doesn’t have any convictions. And when I say convictions, I mean convictions about the things that are laid out explicitly in Scripture. If you will compromise what the Bible says, you’re the worst substitute for a pastor. We—of all people—must take what the Word of God says. It must become part of our conviction to such a degree that we will earnestly contend for the faith, that we will fight for the faith, that we will boldly proclaim the faith—even if it means death.
And that’s just part of fulfilling our responsibility. I am saddened that there seem to be so many pastors who aren’t willing to demonstrate the level of courage that should be essential to the responsibility.
By courage, I don’t mean that you’re brutal, unloving, or unkind. I just mean that you speak God’s truth into a world and a culture that is going to be offended by it. But you do it because you’ve been called to do it and you know it honors the Lord. You know it’s the truth and people need to hear it if there’s to be any hope for them to come to Christ.
We are weak. We are common, plain, fragile, breakable, dishonorable. But our weakness does not diminish the power of the gospel.
Preaching is central to the pastor’s ministry because that is primarily our calling.
It is deeply wounding to be accused falsely and to be treated as if you dishonored the Lord when you haven't.