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I am left in awe and silence concerning this series. I am silenced by the power and responsibility of this calling on my life. I thought I was doing it correctly, but I have found that I have fallen short in many areas.
Preaching the "good news" of Jesus Christ must never be taken lightly. We cannot just "preach" an event like the three Hebrew boys without introducing and discussing the background of those verses. We cannot ignore the customs of the land of captivity. We cannot ignore the customs and culture of that time. We cannot skip over the reaction of the king. We can no longer skip over the word studies, and the meaning of the words of the story.
We have too much responsibility to skip over the reading, the exhortation, the references of the Bible concerning a specific scripture. Last night, I heard a man "preach" from Matthew 28:19-20. He read the text, and went off in another direction. He did not explain the text as he should have. He did not flesh out the supporting scriptures. He did not mention how the apostles felt at that time. He did not discuss the culture. Instead he ran on making the congregation act like babes and not mature believers. There is nothing wrong with "emotionalism" to a fine point. The gospel must be preached with conviction and power from the Holy Ghost. It is not a feel good speech. Too many times people preach "feel good" messages. The people have itching ears, and the "preacher" falls in line with the people's desires. Preaching should bring about a change in the lives of the hearers. If our preaching and teaching does not affect a change in people's lives, then we are not really fulfilling the call upon our lives. I say "Ouch" to this. What about you?