Continuing from Part 3.
IX. Preaching is Wordy (v. 40a) According to verse 40, the text reads: “And with many other words he solemnly testified.” What we have here in Acts 2 is only a synopsis of Peter’s preaching, not the actual word-by-word full sermon transcript. This means that the actual sermon of Peter lasted far longer than what it takes to read here. Hence this clearly helps to clarify the length of a sermon. There are very few subjects over which preachers receive more criticism than the length of their preaching. In the OT Ezra read the book of Torah to the people “from morning until midday” (Neh. 8:3). And in the NT, Apostle Paul in Troas preached a sermon and “continued his message until midnight” (Acts 20:7). People sometimes complain about how long the sermon is or how jam-packed the message is, but as we have learned from the Beatitudes a soul who is hungry and thirsty for the spiritual food doesn’t see it that way. When we go to restaurants, do we complain why the food is so jam-packed with precious meat or that the restaurant takes time feeding the people with much care and precision? The people in many parts of the world, especially, those in the third-world countries think such complaining is ludicrous. Many Christians in the third-word countries would be shocked to know how churches in America can complain about how long the sermon is or how jam-packed the message is, when at least we are getting the spiritual food! There are thousands of thousands Christians all around the world who desperately wish and would love to be at a church where the truth of God is preached clearly and boldly without compromise. Even here in America we cannot take biblical preaching for granted since we too are experiencing the famine for the truth.
- NAU Amos 8:11 “Behold, days are coming,” declares the Lord GOD, “When I will send a famine on the land, Not a famine for bread or a thirst for water, But rather for hearing the words of the LORD.
So, next time you are tempted to complain how long the sermon is, thank the Lord instead for feeding you the Word that you desperately need to hear and learn. And don’t be so proud of the fact that you already know when in fact you don’t. In his book Thinking Spiritually, the great Puritan John Owen said:
Many Christians come little further than the forgiveness in their spiritual experience. They are foolish to be content with so little, when there is so much to know. And more than foolish; for to be content with little, when there is so much, is a denial of the Savior’s teaching that little seeds become large trees. Their behavior also denies the glorious promises of the OT which anticipated the kingdom of gospel grace as a splendid kingdom.
One Baptist evangelist notes that churches in America are weak, feeble, carnal, immature, lackadaisical, and self-seeking all because they’re running around with spiritual junk food in their system, as oppose to longing for the purity of the Word.
- NAU 1 Peter 2:2 like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation, 3 if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord.
Stay tune for the final post.
 “How Long Do You Preach?,” http://www.padfield.com/1999/sermons.html (accessed on January 11, 2007).
 John Owen, Thinking Spiritually (London, England: Grace Publication Trust, 1998) 76.
 “Preacher, Please Shut Up!” http://www.baptistpillar.com/bd0076.htm (accessed on January 11, 2007).