Lloyd-Jones said, “If our preaching is not good news, it is not Christian preaching….. Joy is the effect of true hearing.”*
Can you remember the first time you heard the gospel? What about when you heard the gospel and it clicked? (As if a light came on). Was it not joyful to hear that your sins can be forgiven if you place your faith in Christ? Does it bring joy to your soul to be reminded that you were lost, but now found? You were once blind, but now you see. You were once lame, but now you can walk. You were once dead, but now you are alive. This is the effect of true preaching and true hearing! – Joy!
Are there any imposters in the pulpit?
Lloyd-Jones said, “The mere fact that a man gets up and preaches in a pulpit which is called Christian does not mean that he is preaching the gospel. This is really almost too pathetic for words. People today seem to think that you define an evangelist as a man who speaks in the open air! But it is not where a man preaches that decides whether he is an evangelist, it is what he preaches. And a man can preach a lie in the open air as easily as in a church building. But that is the kind of loose, sentimental way in which people think”.*
How do we know if the man is an imposter?
One question: Does he stray from the text? (Do the sermons stay in the text, walking in the word verse by verse or do they start with the Word and then go astray after that?)
Another question: Is the man bringing his own thoughts to the Scripture? (Is he letting the Scriptures drive the message or is the person preaching bringing his own thoughts?)
A final question: How does this man view himself behind the pulpit? (Is he giving stories that puff himself up or is he emphasizing the work of Christ?)
There are multiple things that we can think through when we talk about imposters in the pulpit. So we must be careful when we hear the Word but also rejoice when the Word is preached, Christ is proclaimed, and the people that hear see Jesus.
Faith comes by hearing, hearing by the Word of Christ. We must not neglect preaching and our evangelism. But rejoice! We should be joyful when we hear the Word! It is a privilege to hear the Word! Do not take what we have been given for granted!
We only get one life and it will soon pass. Only what is done for Christ will last.
*Quotes from Lloyd-Jones taken from his work on Romans 10: Saving Faith. Purchase from WTS Books here.
Evan Knies is an elder at North Hills Church in West Monroe, LA. He is married to Lauren and Father to Maesyn. He is a graduate of Boyce College and The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. You can follow him on Twitter @Evan_Knies