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By Curtis Pugh

There are at least two senses in which preachers preach without authority. First of all in this New Testament church age, men are to be called by the Spirit and ordained (set apart) to to preach by a congregation. Following the information given in Acts 13:1, 2, we read: “And when they [the church] had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away. So they, being sent forth by the Holy Ghost...” (Acts 13:3, 4). It was the church acting in the will of God that authorized these men to go and preach. The second way a man can preach without authority is when he says things not taught in the Bible. A preacher is to preach for God, preaching what God said: not his own ideas.

It amazes me sometimes how far preachers will go in making statements that are totally without anything in the Bible to back them up. Reminds me of Jeremiah 23:21 where God said, “I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran: I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied.” Like Ahimaaz in the 18th chapter of 2nd Samuel, they run without a message. If God has not revealed a thing – if He has not “spoken” it - no man has authority to preach it.

Preachers can put out volumes of words about some things that just are not found in the Bible. Let me mention a few. First of all some assert without a single Scripture as proof that there is such a thing as a universal invisible church: a congregation that never meets: that has never met: cannot meet: never called a preacher, heard a sermon, sent out a missionary or paid a preacher's salary. It is an oxymoron – a contradiction in terms because the Greek word “ecclesia” means an assembly or congregation, but an invisible universal something or other made up of people from all over the world, living at different times, some living and some dead can exist only as a figment of the imagination. Men preach it without authority from the Bible because it just is not there.

Second, men very often close their religious services with what they call an “invitation” during which the lost are “invited” (cajoled, pressured) to “come forward” and do something in order to be born again. Nowhere in the Bible did God's men ever do such a thing. Nowhere in the Bible are we instructed to “give invitations” like this. They do this and preach that it is right without Bible authority to do so.

Other things that are preached up and promoted are associations, conventions, denominational organizations, so-called “fellowships,” “deacon boards,” “mission boards,” etc., ad nauseum. All these things are without Bible authority: mere inventions of men. Such things were not needed by the apostles and their fellow New Testament preachers who got the job done and never dared to invent such things.

When will preachers cease preaching without authority from the Bible? Not until God's people demand it of them!

Grace Bible Baptist Church
26080 Wax Road
Denham Springs, LA 70726

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