The Profitless Preached Word

The Hebrew writer tells us: “For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them; but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it” (Hebrews 4:20).

Beloved, what good is it to have the Bible read to us if we are not going to obey what we hear? What good is it to have the teacher expound upon the elementary principles of the doctrine of Christ if we are not going to abide by them? What good is it listening to preaching every Sunday, if we are not determined to follow the truth of what is being preached? What good is it to own three different copies of the word of God if we are not going to apply all that knowledge to our lives?

Now, friends, the answer to all those questions is “nothing!” Hearing alone is worthless (Matthew 7:24-27; James 1:22-27). However, let us not be confused. Preaching is powerful (1 Corinthians 1:18,21). Preaching is not powerful because the preacher is powerful, Yea contrariwise! Preaching is powerful because of the content of what is preached. The power is in the gospel (Romans 1:16). Preaching simply serves as a vehicle to transport that power. Praise the power — not the vehicle!

Friends, the gospel can be preached in its purity and completeness and sinners still go home unsaved. Let us remember Matthew 23:37 and how the Lord wept over disobedient Jerusalem. Today, will the preached Word profit because we’ve determined to obey it? Or will the preached Word not be heard with faith and souls go home unconverted and unconvinced?

Rest assured that we will answer this question, and then give account of “how” we answer! —Chris Kemp

Mike Riley, Gospel Snippets