Text: 2 Timothy 4:1-4

    This sermon is going to be personal as far as preachers are concerned. There will be some no doubt who will read this and say a hearty "AMEN". There are others who will read it and get down-right mad. Some of our readers may give us a piece of their mind which they cannot spare. But when you throw a stone into a group of dogs, you can always know where the stone landed from the howl of the dog.

      In our present day preaching the human heart is not broken up. For several decades the ministry has been preaching only a half-gospel. Turn with me to God's Word (Luke 24:47) "And that repentance and remission of sins should be peached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem." Repentance and Remission of sins go together; they cannot be separated. We have preached and are preaching today only remission of sins. The gospel that is being preached today is — "Make a decision for Christ" or "Believe on Christ". This is true as far as it goes, but repentance is just as important. The average church member has never been made to feel the keen edge of the sword of God's Word. He has never seen himself as utterly doomed, condemned, sin cursed, Hell deserving and on his way to torment.

    Who is to blame for this half-gospel? The preacher is guilty because he has failed to preach the word of God. It is nothing else except that the majority of the preachers have sold out to the devil and have compromised with the world. They are afraid to condemn sin and preach the pure gospel because someone might get their feelings hurt or get mad and not come back any more. This would never work, for they are the ones who help build up the weekly budget. Go ahead, please the mop-tops but Preachers, there is a day of reckoning coming.

    Most preachers never open their mouths about nakedness and immorality because their church is chucked full of it. Sometimes their own wives and the preachers themselves will parade about three-fourths naked. I can almost hear some compromising preacher say, "You mean me?" Yes, YOU! Your backbone is like a well-soaked piece of spaghetti and you let that fuzzy headed, semi-nude wife of yours, plaster your mouth shut with her influence.

    Then there is another kind of preacher who preaches just enough Bible to make people feel he is preaching the Bible. But he never preaches on lying, cheating, stealing, drinking, pleasure, madness, gambling and the late hours at night with some other man's wife.

    Let a preacher go into the pulpit and pull the lid off some of their sins and they are shocked to death. They begin a howls and want to run the preacher off. Just let him mention the things as vulgar as hell and they are thrown into hysterics and nervous fits.

    They do not mind hearing about the sins of Adams, Achan, Judas or their neighbor, but they want nothing said about their own low-down ways.

    They will agree with a preacher who proves there is a devil in the slums, but will fall out with the preacher who will prove there is a devil on the boulevard . . . What they really want is a preacher who will sanction their rotten meanness.

    Then there is the fence-standing, popularity seeking, spineless wire-puning, ear-tickling preacher who says that some Evangelist (like Bro. Maze) comes in and stirs up a lot of trouble and then lets the poor pastor try to iron it out. The truth is that the pastor is so skinny in his convictions so spineless in his stand, so contradictory in his preaching that he is just afraid for his people to hear the truth. Then when the Evangelist comes along, takes the word of God and starts getting into what little hair they haven't clipped off, a million devils start crying that he is going to kill the lambs or tear up the church. Let the Evangelist try to put some clothes on some of the near-nude grandma's who want to look like sweet sixteen and another legion of devils is stirred up.

    Preacher, how long has it been since those little cupie dolls heard you open your mouth about the barn yard paint they smear all over their faces, their plucking out their eye brows and then painting them back on, their fingernails like a cat's claw and their ears loaded down until they look like an African headhunter less the nose ring . Of course you don't like this but the devil is not shouting either.

    What is wrong with these gospel-dodging, back-scratching, ear-tickling, popularity seeking preachers?

    Most of them are possessed with "no-harm" devils. Preaching on pet sins would step on the toes of some board member or church boss, and if old fuzzy got offended he might run the preacher off. The clergy is guilty of pleasing men rather than God. They preach about current events saying nothing, hit nothing, encouraging no one and excusing everything by saying you see things one way and I see things another. Worldliness is called non-essentials, sin is excused by allowing every man to settle in his own mind what is right and what is wrong.

    Layman, if you will sit and listen to a gospel-dodging, compromising, man-fearing preacher who will not call sin by name and will support that kind of mess you are as guilty as that spineless preacher. You are stewards in God's vineyard so be careful what you stand back of and support. If you have a modern compromising man for a pastor, collar him, demand he preach the truth. If he refuses to do so then go to church where the pastor is preaching and standing for the truth.

    Preacher examine yourself. If you are a compromiser, we plead with you to ask God to forgive you and then turn back from that terrible sin. Ask the Lord to forgive you and give you the backbone to preach the whole council of God.

    God is looking for a preacher that will stand in the gap in this critical hour, and declare the whole council of God. In bygone days there was John the Baptist, Paul, Luther, Knox, Wesley, Whitefield, Finny, Moody? Sunday, and many others. Will you be God's Man for this dark hour?

Maze Jackson  
1958