The Need for Distinctive PreachingThe role of the teacher is to hold back nothing profitable, but to teach the whole purpose of God (Acts 20:20,27). That is the key to faithfully fulfilling the work of an elder or evangelist, i.e., that we hold back nothing that is profitable to the people. Preaching on the love of God is not going to help the young women of the congregation when they fail to hear a sermon directed toward their immodesty. Preaching on grace is good, but not if you fail to preach on how folks frequently absent themselves from worship in favor of their favorite sports or recreational activity. Preaching on mercy is wonderful, but sometimes people need to hear a lesson on social drinking or dancing (prom). Forgiveness is a grand theme, but sometimes brethren need to be warned of encroaching false doctrines and practices.
I believe there is a justifiable cause for concern today, not just because of what is preached from some pulpits, but even more because of what is not being preached! One of my heroes in the faith once observed, "If we don't preach on certain subjects, it won't be long before we can't preach on those subjects because people will not put up with it.” He was right and, in my opinion, we are seeing the fruit of that in our time. Again, the key to faithfully fulfilling the work of an elder or evangelist is to hold back nothing that is profitable. It is not always easy to properly assess and preach to the needs of the people, but by all means do it!
The "old Jerusalem gospel" has a distinctive ring about it. It is a message flooded with Scripture and practical application. It is not always popular, but it is always right when presented with the best interest of the hearers in your heart and on your lips (Eph.4:15).