The Bible says in 2 Timothy 3:16 that God’s word is useful for rebuking. It is important that preachers though not on a regular basis confront sin from the pulpit whenever the need arises. It’s a common factor however that preachers hardly confront sin today. Probably because of fear people will feel offended and leave the church. There are however some principles that I follow in confrontational preaching and most of the time the results have proved to be rewarding.
1. Don’t target individuals
Read John 4:4-7. Jesus didn’t confront the Samaritan woman in public. We must remember that pulpit is the wrong place for rebuking anonymous individuals. Such individual confrontation must take place in the privacy of the Pastor’s office, (Matthew 18:15-17).
2. Condemn sin not the sinner
3. Read John 8:11. Surprisingly this is a mistake common not only among new bye preachers but well-seasoned preachers too. Remember, God alone is the judge. You are just a messenger.
4. Address eternal consequences
Read Matthew 5:22b. Always address the eternal consequences of sin. Tell them why they need to turn back from their evil ways. You can’t just shoot spiritual bullets at your congregation and expect them to listen.
5. Exercise wisdom and discernment
Read John 4:15-18. Shooting in the dark was not Jesus’ way of confronting sin. Preaching against sin requires wisdom and discernment. Only the Holy Spirit of God gives these.
6. Verify the driving force
Read John 4:19. Jesus allowed the Samaritan woman to change the subject matter because he didn’t intend to hack her emotions. What is the driving force behind your sermon? Is it compassion or a desire to crush the listener.
7. Show there’s hope
Read Acts 2:37-38. Sometimes people leave the church not because the sermon was offensive, but it lacked hope. The prophets not only rebuked sinners but assured forgiveness if they returned to God. Follow this biblical pattern and people shall not just repent but stay.