February 9, 2018
Acts 7:54… Now when they heard these things they were enraged and they ground their teeth at him.
Verse 57-58… They cried out with a loud voice and stopped their ears and rushed together at him. Then they cast him out of the city and stoned him.
This chapter gives us the only ‘recorded’ sermon by Stephen. The crowd listened patiently until he implicated them. At that point they became angry and violent. And crowds are the same today. A preacher can preach the Bible all day long without resistance but if he meddles with commonly accepted world view or lifestyle, the listening crowd will turn on him or walk away from him.
There is a preacher on line that I like to listen to. He is blunt but honest. I read a review from one person who said he would not listen to him because he did not talk about the love of God. People can choose whom they will listen to, so I guess his reaction is good, but his reasoning could damage him. When people will only listen to preachers who make them feel good about themselves, they enter into a danger zone and they follow a path warned about by Paul.
2 Timothy 4:3-4… For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.
The truth is a path and when we get off that path, we will wander… into myths. The truth presents many contradictions to worldly living. It often hurts. Don’t turn away from the pain of truth. You may have to make a lifestyle adjustment. Make it, and stay on the Path of truth. That Path ends in heaven with God; all other paths lead to hell. I know how rude that last statement sounds. Most people want to argue it. I caution you against arguing it. Jesus is the only way to the Father and He is not wishy-washy; He speaks only Truth. I am thankful to live in a country where the crowd doesn’t stone a preacher for saying what it doesn’t want to hear. As a preacher, I have been walked out on, and I have been argued with, but I have never been stoned to death. Some preachers will take the challenge out of a message. That hurts.