In-Your-Face Preaching (Acts 8:4-8)
The preaching of Philip was not unto emotional highs and lows. He declared with in-your-face preaching the truth of God. He came with in-your-face preaching and its purpose: conversion. In-your-face preaching is not unkind but is unhindered by undue concern for feelings and positions because it is godward and God-honoring and relentless is calling for conversion. The aim of God-honoring preaching is the promotion of God’s will in the world. When pulpits aim lower than this they set aside the agenda of Heaven for lesser things like intellectual ascent, like applause, like appeasing the affluent folk in the pews, like avoiding statements that disturb sinners in the audacity to call out sin.
Philip, fleeing persecution in one place (Matthew 10:23), has come to another place declaring the truth concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ with the goal of getting people to abandon the kingdom of Satan for the greater kingdom. He is not satisfied with concurrence. Intellectual ascent will not wash away the stain of sin and will not cause a man to be born again. (What does it matter that you agree with the truth of the gospel if you will not live according to what it asks? Luke 6:46) They must make a decision – repent and believe the gospel or else reject God’s gracious offer of pardon and abundant life through Jesus Christ.
Philip wanted more than an amen and he preached to that end. And the Spirit of God gave it to him. He labored with words to the end that the hearers would heed the call to repent and be baptized.
In His grip by His grace,
Roderick L. Barnes, Sr.