Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
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Bored at True Preaching?


Chrysostom: "Every day, you say, one hears the same things [in sermons]. Tell me, then, do you not hear the same things in the theaters? Do you not see the same things in the race-course? Are not all things the same? Is it not always the same sun that rises? Is it not the same food that we use?" (Commentary on II Thessalonians 2:5).

John Calvin: "For these are the two causes why we see many abandoning the pure doctrine of salvation. Firstly, because they are moved by their pride to seek out new things, but it is God's will that His hearers be humble. Do we wish therefore to profit in his school? The let us have this humility and not presume to know too much, but only to be taught by Him as seems good to Him. Secondly, there are others who are so unstable that they are not content to have heard what is contained in the Gospel but become restless. It seems that their ears are too used to hearing the same things which would profit them in godliness, when we preach of the power of our Lord Jesus Christ and of His grace. It seems that they know this too well already and are too used to it. As therefore many minds are shaken with this curiosity, God leaves them to feed themselves on wind; for indeed they are not worthy to be nourished with good pasture. Thus, if we wish God to uphold us in the purity of His Word let us first of all be humble and submissive, let us be sober and not desire in vain curiosity to know more than is lawful and expedient for us" (Sermon on I Timothy 1:3-4).

Jeremiah Burroughs: "... when men of understanding and parts come to hear, this temptation is ready to come upon them, that unless they hear some new thing that they did not understand before, why should they come? I am able to understand as much in such a point as can be said, and when I have come and heard many times, I have only heard that which I knew before. Upon that they think there is no use in coming to hear. Now this is a great mistake. When you come to hear the Word, you do not always come to hear what you did not know. It may be sometimes God may dart something that you did not think of before or so fully understand. But suppose it is not so. You are to come to it as an ordinance of God for the conveyance of spiritual good to your souls" (Gospel Worship, p. 201).

J. C. Ryle: "The devil, no doubt, is everywhere. That malicious spirit is unwearied in his efforts to do us harm. He is ever watching for our halting, and seeking occasion to destroy our souls. But nowhere perhaps is the devil so active as in a congregation of Gospel-hearers. Nowhere does he labour so hard to stop the progress of that which is good, and to prevent men and women being saved. From him come wandering thoughts and roving imaginations—listless minds and dull memories—sleepy eyes and fidgety nerves—weary ears and distracted attention. In all these things Satan has a great hand. People wonder where these things come from, and marvel how it is that they find sermons so dull, and remember them so badly! They forget the parable of the sower. They forget the devil."