The Role of a Preacher (Jeremiah 5:12) - Radical

The Role of a Preacher (Jeremiah 5:12)

“They have spoken falsely of the Lord and have said he will do nothing. No disaster will come upon us nor shall we see sword or famine.”
– Jeremiah 5:12

Jeremiah 5 is a picture of God denouncing the prophets who are not proclaiming His Word, specifically they’re not proclaiming His coming judgment. They’re telling people everything is fine. Listen to Jeremiah 5:12, “They have spoken falsely of the Lord and have said He will do nothing. No disaster will come upon us nor shall we see sword or famine.”

Later on in Jeremiah 5:30–31, it says, “An appalling and horrible thing has happened in the land. The prophets prophesy falsely and the priests rule at their direction. And my people love to have it so.” What a picture. The prophets were telling people what they wanted to hear, but it wasn’t true. Judgment was coming. Sword and famine were coming, and they needed to be warned. Prophets needed to sound the alarm, but they weren’t doing it.

Jeremiah 5:12 Tells Us How Preachers Ought to Preach

They were making people happy by proclaiming what the people wanted to hear instead of what God was saying. We desperately need to hear what God is saying. We do in the church. It’s why pastors, elders, overseers in the church must be able to teach the Word and to teach it faithfully and clearly and why every Christian needs to be in a Bible-believing, Bible-proclaiming church, proclaiming what God has said, not twisting what God has said to accommodate our personal desires or personal convictions or personal opinions, but to clearly communicate what God is saying.

This is the role of a preacher, to stand up before God’s people and to say, “Thus says the Lord.” I remember my first preaching class, just hearing my preaching professor, Jim Shaddix say, “You better not stand up and say, ‘Thus says the Lord,’ if you are not saying what the Lord is saying.” This is such a responsibility for those who lead in the church as pastors, elders, overseers, but not just those who lead in the church in that kind of way. This is for every follower of Jesus who has the Word of God.

You have been empowered by the Spirit of God with the Word of God to proclaim to people around you, “Judgment’s coming and salvation is available.” So God help us all, we pray, to be faithful with the Word you have given to us. Help us not to be silent and help us not to speak falsely. God, help us to speak clearly and faithfully what your Word says. God, help us today to warn people of coming judgment around us, to tell people if they die in their sin, that they will be separated from you in judgment in hell forever.

Jeremiah 5:12 Helps Us to Speak about God’s Love

God, help us to speak this and at the same time to speak about your love and your grace and what Jesus has done to pay the price for sin. He’s died on a cross and risen from the grave so that we could be reconciled to you. Help us to proclaim the good news of the gospel to people around us today. God, help us to faithfully proclaim your Word in our lives. Help us to faithfully proclaim your Word in your church. God, help us to faithfully proclaim your Word to the nations.

Praying for the Madura People of Indonesia

We pray today for the Madura people of Indonesia, 7.7 million of them, 0.05% who have known and heard and believed the gospel, 99.5% who haven’t, most of whom have never even heard the gospel. God, we pray. Help us to faithfully tell the Madura people of coming judgment and available salvation. God, help us to work, to live our lives, our families, our churches, to make this good news known among the nations, to warn the nations of coming judgment and of your grace and your mercy in salvation.

God, we pray it would not be said of us that we stayed silent or we only told people what either we think they want to hear or they want to hear. God, help us to tell them what they need to hear even as we receive what we need to hear from your Word. In Jesus’ name we pray according to Jeremiah 5:12. Amen.

David Platt serves as pastor at McLean Bible Church in Washington, D.C. He is the founder and chairman of Radical. He is the author of several books, including Radical, Radical Together, Follow Me, Counter Culture, and Something Needs to Change.

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