Effective preaching does not always bring conversion

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For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish: To the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things? For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ.
(2 Corinthians 2:15-17)

Many have the mistaken idea that effective preaching causes people to come to Christ.  This is nonsense!  Truly effective preaching shines the light of God’s Word into the depths of a person’s being and exposes what lies at the core.  This has an affect on the hearer, and it produces 3 reactions: it makes the hearer mad, sad or glad!  Mad, that their sin is exposed; Sad, that they have sinned and Glad that there is a remedy for their sin and they can have peace with God through Christ!

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It matters not whether we preach aloud or simply hand out Gospel literature, the reaction is still the same.  The other week Amélia was approached by someone asking for a booklet, she obliged at which point he rubbed it on his backside and handed it back.  Other times people have spit in the booklets, torn them and thrown them back in our faces or ripped them up and tossed them to the ground.

As Miguel was preaching a couple of young women sat nearby to listen.  They were laughing and poking fun.  At one point they began to kiss passionately.  One of them got up and went to a nearby store and came back with a rainbow streamer and began to dance up and down in front of John and Miguel.  They were obviously trying to provoke us into some form of reaction.  Miguel continued to preach.  Whilst her friend had gone to the store one of them remained listening to the preaching, it was obvious that she was becoming convicted by the Holy Spirit.

Eventually they left as we did not react to their provocations.  They approached Amélia to ask her for one of the booklets.  This was effective preaching!

In the New Testament, Stephen, was preaching to a crowd of people.  His message was uncompromising and hard hitting.  The crowd were stirred to anger and stoned him to death.  This was effective preaching!

The Apostles preached, were often harassed and imprisoned.  Why?  Because they preached effectively!

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