Some in our church say our pastor is preaching too much of the law and some feel as if they are being scolded. One of our council members said that if a new person attends one of our services, they won’t come back; it doesn’t make them feel good.
I have talked to several of members and some don’t like the changes that our pastor has made, but they do enjoy his services and the energy he brings. My wife and I thoroughly enjoy his sermons.
He has made us look deeper into our faith and to learn. I guess I don’t see how his style would upset or scare away anyone. Can too much law be preached? Is it a minister's job to make people “feel good”?
Part of the silent prayer I offer before preaching is that God would use me to “convict and comfort” the people who are on the receiving end of my sermon. I ask that God convict them and me through the preaching of the law and comfort us through the preaching of the gospel.
Can too much law be preached? Yes, if there is little to no gospel content in a sermon.
Is it a minister’s job to make people feel good? No. The minister’s job is to be faithful in preaching God’s word to people. God will take over after that. The person preaching the sermon cannot bring about reactions or feelings to his sermon.
Pastors will look to have a balance of law and gospel in their preaching, with greater emphasis on the gospel message. The gospel is “good news.” There is certainly reason for joy and happiness when the good news is received in faith.
The apostle Paul first gave these inspired words and instructions to Timothy, a young pastor: “In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry” (2 Timothy 4:1-5). Those instructions are valuable for pastors of all ages.
God’s law can be an unpopular message with people because it stirs up consciences and makes them feel uncomfortable. Regardless, pastors are to preach God’s law.
God’s gospel can also be an unpopular message with people because they consider the idea of salvation through Jesus Christ alone an offensive, exclusive message. Regardless, pastors are to preach God’s gospel.
The right kind of conversations about sermons in your church are the ones that take place between the members and the pastor. Do encourage your fellow members to have that kind of conversation.