Some Articles are Hard to Write
Many gospel preachers share the articles of other gospel preachers. Many of these articles merit wider circulation to readers of truthful teaching. While it is my pleasure to do so from time to time, and several have graciously shared words from my pen, it seems most publications like this one are extensions of the local preacher’s work. Admittedly, however, some articles are not so easily developed in my mind before reaching fruition in written form. It isn’t for lack of thinking; more commonly is the pondering of which subject is more pertinent to the needs of the reader!
First, the preacher’s foremost obligation is to have the hearers within his audience focus their attention upon the word of God, and not himself. As Solomon said, “And moreover, because the preacher was wise, he still taught the people knowledge; yea, he gave good heed, and sought out, and set in order many proverbs. The preacher sought to find out acceptable words: and that which was written was upright, even words of truth.” (Eccl. 12: 9 – 10) When the preacher devotes his time and effort to such work, the conclusion will God’s word and none other! Regardless of well the preacher speaks or writes, his talents will never exceed the power and wisdom of God, and there is no reason to try to exceed Him! Therefore, just speak and write the truth!
Second, if the preacher has some “musing” (as this author has frequently written) that musing is nothing more than his expression of thought. If his thoughts are righteous, as they must be to remain pleasing to God, then his musings will generate thoughts of God and godliness. Where better to obtain such thoughts than from the wisest of all – the God of Heaven? (cf. Ps. 119:97)
Third, what could any preacher write that could add one drop of additional righteousness to what God has already written? For this very reason, the Spirit told John, “For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.” (Rev. 22: 18 – 19) Peter declared, “According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue.” (2 Pet. 1:3) No preacher can improve on the perfect word of God! We can at best repeat it – and we must!
Too many preachers (including this author from time to time) desire to write something so profound that all are astounded at our intellectual comprehension of sacred writ. The sheer audacity of us to think ourselves be so astute with our finite and feeble minds is hypocrisy personified! Sure, some writers can mix in a few $10.00 words and “fancy it up.” But improve on what God has written? Absolute nonsense! His word is of such a nature as to inform all inquiring minds: young, old, educated, or barely able to comprehend. While Jesus communicated God’s word to some of the most intelligent of this world, remember it was the common people who heard Him gladly! (Mark 12:37)
The adage of “KISS” is the best for any writer: Keep It Simple, Stupid. To some, that acronym may sound harsh or crass, but it is accurate, nonetheless. There isn’t anything complicated about God’s word. As the apostle Paul said, “Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ” (Eph. 3:4). Why, then, do writers attempt to complicate it, or worse, think they have the wherewithal to explain it better than the inspired writers whose minds were guided by the Spirit Himself? (2 Peter 1:21; John 14:26; 16:13; et al)
Therefore, if writers of this modern era desire to write regarding Spiritual things, they are limited to truthfully copy what has already been written. Just as Paul told Timothy, “And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.” (2 Timothy 2:2) There should never be an appeal from the preacher toward the reader/hearer to give him (the preacher) audience; but rather the appeal toward the reader/hearer must be for all souls to seek the Lord! Notice the inspired apostle Paul was of this demeanor when he spoke to the intellectuals of Athens, Greece: “God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; Neither is worshipped with men's hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us:” (Acts 17:24 – 27).
Still, what makes some articles more difficult to write than others is the mind of the author: what is most needful and most important to the receivers? No present-day author can read minds, while most can certainly determine the needs of those with whom he associates. Even with that knowledge, we that care most for the souls of those who receive us realize the best information is God’s word (2 Peter 1:3). If our articles, sermons, studies, etc., can direct the minds of our receivers to read, study, learn and obey God’s word, then our task is complete. We need not be elevated as “men of great knowledge” for we have simply conveyed what the Greatest of all has given us to speak boldly!