Preaching with Love and Humility
Chris' Corner -- Sunday, February 7, 2021
Theophilus Brown Larimore was a preacher of the churches of Christ in the late 1800's and early 1900's. He preached gospel meetings in 19 states and Mexico, Canada, and Cuba. In his meetings, he would preach twice each day and three times every Sunday.
His longest meeting lasted over five months and more than 200 people were baptized into Christ. In another meeting of three and a half months, 120 folks became members of the Lord’s body, the church.
One church historian wrote, “Brother Larimore was kind and gentle in his manner and very pleasing in his address. It was not his style or disposition to engage in controversy or to be offensive in his preaching.”
Brother Larimore did some writing which appeared in the religious papers and journals of the time, but he didn’t write any books. However, several books were written about him. One of these being the source of the quote below.
“The one and only church in the New Testament is the body of Christ; every Christian is a member of it; and there is no organization but local congregations in it. That which makes a man a Christian constitutes him a member of the church, and every Christian belongs to and works and worships in and through the local congregation wherever he is. Everything else ought to be dug up; and if I cannot dig it up, God can, and he will. ‘Every plant, which my Heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up.’ (Matt. 15:13.)” (Letters and Sermons of T. B. Larimore, pp. 227-228).
Preaching the truth about the exclusive nature and necessity of the church in salvation, will either be received with gladness and obedience, or rejected in favor of the religious melting pot of denominationalism. The attitude of the hearer is the key to how people respond to scripture. When we have preached the truth in love, we did our part. Let it never be said that someone rejected the truth because they were offended by our attitude or unkind words. Paul said, “speak the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15).
Jesus was known for His humility and honesty. He did not deviate from either, no matter who was in the audience. “And they sent to Him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, “Teacher, we know that You are true, and teach the way of God in truth; nor do You care about anyone, for You do not regard the person of men” (Matthew 22:16).
We preach to win souls. It takes humility and truth. “And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth” (2 Timothy 2:24–25).
When people object to our preaching or teaching. Remember, if we have spoken the truth with humility, patience, and love, they are not rejecting us. They are rejecting the truth that comes from God’s Word (1 Samuel 8:7).
Our loving Savior said plainly, “He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him—the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day” (John 12:48). Keep loving people and preaching the word!