It was the most watched syndicated television special in 1986 with 30 million viewers. I remember it well. The hype was incredible. Television reporter Geraldo Rivera had convinced television producers that they would do a live following of Geraldo as he took the audience into an unopened vault. It was an unopened vault of the famous gangster Al Capone.
This two-hour special had the music, the drama, and everybody’s interest. But at the end of the two hours, as Geraldo took us into the vault all that was found was some dirt and empty bottles. It was empty. And viewers were left feeling empty when all was said and done.
The Apostle Paul exhorted Timothy in 2 Timothy 4:2 to “Proclaim the message.” Like Timothy we are to preach and teach His Word to the local flock He has entrusted to us. When we do not know sound doctrine or preach sound doctrine then we are leading our people to emptiness. Our wisdom, our stories, our insights are all empty. But when we commit to knowing sound doctrine, the whole counsel of God’s Word, and preaching sound doctrine then two powerful things will happen both in your life and in the life of your congregation.
1. The first is that when you know sound doctrine you will have the confidence that a preacher of God’s Word must possess.
This is not a time for weak preaching. This is not a time for the man in the pulpit to be filled with doubt. When God’s Word is your foundation for every point, every principle, every facet of your message, then you can preach with confidence to a congregation that is hungry for a man of God to preach with confidence the Word of God.
I love what God says to Joshua in Joshua 1:6-8,
“Be strong and courageous, for you will distribute the land I swore to their fathers to give them as an inheritance. Above all, be strong and very courageous to carefully observe the whole instruction My servant Moses commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right or the left, so that you will have success wherever you go. This book of instruction must not depart from your mouth; you are to recite it day and night so that you may carefully observe everything written in it. For then you will prosper and succeed in whatever you do.”
God was very clear with Joshua that connected to his being strong and courageous was a commitment on Joshua’s part to knowing what God has said about all things. God’s Word in the heart of Joshua would produce a courageous and confident heart. And if Joshua was going to be able to lead God’s people effectively then he needed to know what he believed. And once he settled on believing God’s Word in all things then he was indeed a courageous man for God to use.
The great evangelist Billy Graham once faced a time of questioning and doubting concerning God’s Word. His friends were challenging him in his belief in God’s Word and sound doctrine. And one evening he went out into the woods and set his Bible upon a tree stump. And that night he confessed that he may not have understood everything about God’s Word, but he was accepting all of it by faith as the true, authoritative Word of God. And with a heart committed to sound doctrine God has used Billy Graham in a powerful way.
As pastors we may not understand everything in the Bible but if we commit to believe His word, trust His word, and study His word then we can know sound doctrine and preach with a Spirit-empowered confidence that can impact generations for the glory of God!
2. The second powerful result of knowing and preaching sound doctrine is that God’s Word will bring clarity to your people.
It is so encouraging to read Paul’s words to Timothy in 3:16,
“All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness.”
God’s Word speaks to everything we face in this life and what we can expect in eternity. And our people need to hear God’s truth about all these matters. In an age where there are so many religions being espoused, where cultural boundaries are being redefined on every level, we must be confident in our sound doctrine and we must be clear with our people and this generation that is listening and seeking truth.
One of the things I enjoy is going to the amusement park called Silver Dollar City with my family. I love that park! I don’t like all the fast rides but I do love a lot of the food. But every now and then, my kids will talk me into going onto one of the larger, faster rides. It’s intimidating at first. But one thing I appreciate is that there are signs explaining where to turn, where to step, and what to expect all along the way. I’m still intimidated but the clear signs help me navigate the ride.
Our people need sound doctrine, the whole counsel of God, as they navigate this intimidating, sin-filled world. They need to know what God clearly says about Himself, His Son, His Spirit, His church, His salvation, His plan for our lives, His plan for this world, His plan for eternity and so much more!
Preaching sound doctrine gives people the clarity they need for the only One Who can save them from their sins, lead them in this life, and give them the hope of life beyond the grave.
This is a critical time. It’s a time where all of us, called by God to preach, must preach confidently and courageously the clear doctrine of the Word of God. God has given us His Spirit and His Word and by His grace we can know and preach His sound doctrine.
Dr. Brad Jurkovich is a man committed to reaching this generation with the hope of Jesus. He is the Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church in Bossier City, LA. This multi-generational church is reaching families throughout Northwest Louisiana, America and the world. He and his wife Stephanie have 4 children, Cassidy, Carter, Caroline and Catherine. Prior to moving to First Bossier Dr. Jurkovich served as the founding pastor of Victory Life Church in Lubbock, Texas. Before answering the call to pastor Dr. Jurkovich traveled throughout America preaching for city-wide outreach events, youth camps, speaking in schools and ministering in numerous churches. He received his BA in biblical studies from Southeastern Baptist Theological College, his Master of Divinity from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and his Doctor of Ministry degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.