Monday, May 18, 2009


What we have in the modern church is nothing new. "Smooth talking" preachers have always been with us, and were plentiful even in Old Testament times. "Prophesy not unto us right things," the rebellious children of Israel said to the seers and prophets. "Speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits" (Isaiah 30:10). And multitudes in our day still love to hear "smooth things," not solemn truths about sin, the sovereignty of the Most High God, and the saving power of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Alistair Begg says, "We've become very familiar with preaching that pays scant attention to the Bible, is self-focused, and is consequently only capable of making the most superficial impact upon the lives of the listeners." And A. W. Tozer used to remind us that true prophets, who have "seen visions of God...stand in flat contradiction to everything our smirking, smooth civilization holds dear." The airwaves and pulpits are filled with those who "see not," therefore "prophesy not...right things."

The nations of the world hate Christ and the gospel. This is nothing new either (Psalm 2; Acts 4). What we must remember, however, is to never compromise God's absolute sovereignty in order to please the religious masses, who have no relish whatsoever to hear of "a God of judgment" (Isaiah 30:18). They love the "smooth talkers" to tell them of "sowing seed" in order to get a big harvest of material things in return, but they care nothing at all to hear of the Lord giving us "the bread of adversity, and the water of affliction" (Isaiah 30:20), which is what we deserve for all of our modern foolishness and lies.

Although God at one time told Jacob, "Fear not to go down into Egypt; for I will there make of thee a great nation" (Genesis 46:3), later Jehovah forbids His people from doing so: "Woe to them that go down to Egypt for help" (Isaiah 31:1). We must "go" where God tells us to go, but we can be sure the Lord is not telling us to barter with the Egyptians of our day, where men seek help in "very strong" numbers, even in the so-called "religious right." It is God's verdict alone that is the right one, "But they look not unto the Holy One of Israel, neither seek the Lord." The true God is now "sifting the nations with the sieve of vanity," putting "a bridle in the jaws of the people, causing them to err" (Isaiah 30:28). And that is no smooth talk, if you can hear it.