I Thessalonians 5:20 – “Despise not prophesyings.”
The word “prophesyings” would apply to both the prophecies of the Scripture, as well as the proclamation of the Word of God. For instance, the prophecies concerning the coming of the Messiah, His person and work, and the many prophecies that have been fulfilled in the coming of Jesus, are not to be despised. Equally, the prophecies concerning future events such as the return of Christ, the Judgment Seat of Christ, His future earthly reign, and other such revelations should not be neglected. Just as importantly, the preaching, or setting forth of Biblical truth, is also prophesying and should not be despised.
There was a tendency in the early Churches to exalt temporary gifts such as speaking in tongues (other languages), but then despise the faithful proclamation of sound doctrine. The inspired Word of God commanded them, and instructs us as well, not to undervalue the importance of Bible preaching. The stating of Bible truth in language simple enough to be understood is of inestimable value. Whereas certain temporary gifts were given to the apostles to confirm the messengers and messages of God’s Word, the gift and calling of setting forth the truth is a permanent office in the Churches. The Biblical means by which the lost are to be convinced and believers are to be edified is preaching. Men are to preach the truth as it is, to men as they are.
The despising of Bible preaching was not something peculiar to the New Testament era. It has become increasingly scorned in our generation. For many, it is considered outdated and offensive. Those who occupy the pulpits in many places of our land have been convinced that other methods are more effective and more palatable to the carnal mind. These trends are in direct violation to the clear teaching of the Word of God. Because the general population of our society has no appetite for Bible preaching does not give us the liberty to adjust God’s program or revise His plan. Bible preaching should be, and should always remain, the central activity of the Lord’s people and His Churches. Not only should we personally learn to love and appreciate Bible preaching, we should also lead our children to “Despise not prophesyings.”