A good friend of mine has been invited time and again to a church with which he has no affiliation to teach and preach. He has been startled to see their enthusiasm for someone who will just open the scriptures and teach them what the Bible says. Apparently they have been forced to eke out their spiritual lives on crumbs of philosophy and psychology garnished with a small dash of a single biblical verse. Their hunger for the Word has led them to invite my friend repeatedly.
Apparently there have been a number of young Apolloses who have put away such childish things as biblical texts and stories. Having thrown the Bible out of the study window, they now speak of immensities and starry galaxies to ears that have grown weary of hearing.
Perhaps a spoonful of Paul’s advice to Timothy has some beneficial healing results: “O Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to you. Avoid the godless chatter and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge, for by professing it some have missed the mark as regards the faith. Grace be with you” (1 Timothy 6:20-21).
My prayer is that such preachers, like the prodigal son, will begin to be in want. Then they will come to themselves and say “In my Father’s house there are texts enough and to spare.” And they will say, “I will arise and go to the Bible.”
The Gospel remains God’s power to salvation. Therefore, “preach the word, be urgent in season and out of season, convince, rebuke and exhort, be unfailing in patience and in teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own likings, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander into myths. As for you, always be steady, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry” (2 Timothy 4:2-5).