OBSERVATIONS AFTER 50 YEARS OF LOCAL PREACHING
At the end of 2011 I completed 50 years of local preaching. Recently I thought about changes that have taken place over those years. Gospel meetings have changed. Some of my first meetings in the early sixties lasted eleven days and included two Sundays. In those days we stayed in homes of members and had breakfast, lunch and dinner with a different family each day. Other changes have taken place such as more and more preachers are becoming elders. Forty years ago we were afraid to make a preacher an elder for fear he would take over the congregation. Preachers are staying longer in congregations. It was just accepted that a preacher would stay two or three years and then move to another congregation. Now it is not uncommon for a preacher stay in one congregation for 10, 15 years or longer. However, some things have not changed in 50 years. Here are some of those:
1. The Bible hasn’t changed. It is still the powerful word of God (Heb. 4:12). It is still the lamp to our feet and light to our path (Ps. 119:105). The Bible will still keep us from sin (Ps. 119:11). The message of the Bible is just as relevant as ever. It will teach us what to do to be saved (1 Cor. 15:1-4) and how to love one another (1 Cor. 13). “Forever, O Lord thy word is settled in heaven” (Ps. 119:89).
2. The world hasn’t changed. Men are still sinful (Ecc. 7:20; Rom. 3:10, 23). Read Romans chapter one and see if things are any different today. Men still rejected the creator and exalt men – this is the humanism we see around us today. Sodom and Gomorrah were wicked cities (Gen. 18 & 19). Do we not see the same today as homosexuality is becoming more rampant?
3. People haven’t changed. Men are still greedy and covetous (Lk. 12). Some are unkind, rude and crude.
4. The faithfulness of good brethren hasn’t changed. It is wonderful to see the wonderful works of congregations and good Christians (1 Pet. 4:16). Paul describes some of them in Romans 16. We have Christians today who faithfully give themselves to the work of the Lord. Faithful gospel preachers who mount the pulpit each Sunday and preach the unsearchable riches of Christ.
5. Opportunities to preach the gospel haven’t changed. It is easier today to carry out the preaching of the gospel but the opportunities are there as they were fifty years ago. Since men are lost without Christ then we must follow his example (Lk. 19:10).
It’s wonderful to be a gospel preacher.