Albert E. Farley
The above article, written by brother Tim Dooley, is well written and, I pray, will be well received. We rejoice in the number of younger gospel preachers who are able, prepared, and dedicated to preaching the gospel, saving the lost, and building up the Lord’s church in their local works. Brother Tim is such a one in his good work in Paulding, OH.
We lament the loss of every soul. When the number of lost and erring souls increases within the area of responsibility of the Lord’s church (and especially in the church), the church and her preachers must bear their burden of responsibility. “It pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.” Tim’s lesson reveals a failure among us: to convict sin.
As Tim well stated, Paul’s closing charge to Timothy was: “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.” 2 Timothy 4:2. Note that two out of three of these elements are negative. Note, also, that the charge ends with exhortation. Encouragement and comfort follow reproof and rebuke. Preaching that eliminates reproving and rebuking and concentrates on exhortation is not gospel preaching. Godly sorrow must precede true repentance.
An adage used by wise men says, “Afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted.” We seek wisdom to know who needs what! All who are comfortable in their sins must be afflicted. Eternal damnation is the negative incentive. There is a great comfort in Christ. In faith, repentance, and baptism, we find rest for our souls – peace that passes all understanding, joy that is unspeakable and full of glory, and hope that enters within the veil. This is the positive incentive of gospel preaching. –Albert.
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