A study of 1 Corinthians 14 shows that God wanted prophets, not tongue speakers, in the assembly of the church. It also shows that the church at Corinth wanted tongue speaking more than they wanted prophets. When there was no interpreter present, those in the assembly knew that God was in their midst, but they did not have a clue what God was saying through those speaking foreign languages. It was exciting, but Paul said it was not beneficial. On the other hand, when God gave His message in a language everyone understood by using His prophets, the Corinthians had little interest in this matter.
Was this disdain for prophecy only found in Corinth? Consider the words of Paul to the church in Thessalonica. “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies” (1 Thess. 5:16-20). Evidently the church in Thessalonica had some who wanted to hinder the work of the Spirit because they did not want prophecies to impact their lives.
Wonder if the same attitude exists in our world today? While we do not have “inspired prophets” to deliver His message, we do have godly preachers delivering His message through an inspired book. Biblical preaching in the 21st century is the equivalent of prophecy in the first century. Both groups of speakers are doing exactly the same thing. They are delivering God’s inspired message to the listeners.
Have you seriously considered what our lack of love for Biblical preaching says about us? Preaching is God’s appointed way for changing lives in our assemblies. Do we seriously want God to work in our lives to bring about change? Paul shows that in Bible study we are changed into the image of Jesus by the Spirit (2 Cor. 3:18). God knew that there was nothing else that had so much power over mankind as preaching, and He ordained it in our worship.
It is obvious that, to the carnally minded, worship would be far more “exciting” with miracles, shouting, uncontrolled emotional outbursts, planned dramatic experiences and tongue speaking, but when all is said and done, it is only in preaching that God speaks to us! He speaks not to the carnal, fleshly part of us, but to our eternal souls. If the design of worship is to make it exciting and entertaining, then push preaching aside. However, if the design is to remove sin and create holiness, then His plan and His place for preaching must be honored.
Think about it. “Despise not preaching!”