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peppered in Other Truths Peppered In!
In teaching and preaching, there are more thoughts that flow out of a passage than the Big Idea, main points, and/or driving principle upon which we are focused.   It is not unusual for there to be more in a passage than what we are going to focus on in our message.
In the flow of the passage, there are lesser truths and/or unrelated biblical concepts which can be seen.  In fact, because of that reality, there will be individuals who will come up after a message and say, “Did you notice that in that passage it says . . . . . “
Sometimes we mention those lesser and unrelated truths, even though they may be interesting points which are found in the passage — “That free of charge this morning.”  At other times we choose not to divert from the point we are pushing toward and just leave then lay — “We could say a lot more about this passage, but time does not allow us to go the various directions we could in looking at this passage.”
Warren Wiersbe’s message reflects this propensity and temptation — and it is a temptation when preparing or preaching a message because . . .
  • The point is typically interesting and/or insightful.
  • The point may be very obvious.
  • We realize that the audience can’t help but see it.
  • We just want to make that point.
What Wiersbe does is not new to most all teachers and preachers, but there are some cautions worth consideration.
  1. Speakers should consciously do this.  They should keep the main things the main things and consciously realize that the lesser or unrelated points (or “rabbit trails”) which are being made are not part of the main point.  Some messages are just a running series of a number of lesser points which are made as a speaker provides a running commentary on the passage.
  2. Speakers should understand that the audience may be trying to connect these lesser and/or unrelated points with the main point(s) of the message.
  3.  Speakers might want to provide a verbal clue that you are going off the main point which is being made.

“There is also a lesson here that is worth our attention in verse . . . . “

“Now this is unrelated to where we are going or the point we are making, but it is worth noting that . . . . .”

“If you miss the main point I am aiming for — maybe it is this simple truth that God has for you today.”

“That’s free of charge — just a simple truth worth reminding ourselves of today.

Dr. Wiersbe illustrates the practice of making simple and brief points within the message that are typically unrelated to the point of one’s message.  This is typical Wiersbe in both his speaking and in his writing.  As you listen to him or read his books, you are struck with a number of insightful comments which flow out of the text, though not the driving purpose of the message.
The general aim of his message is focused on “worldliness” (i.e. — “Now there’s one word that describes Lot’s wife, and that’s the word — worldly.”).  Nevertheless, Dr. Weirsbe makes other short, simple, interesting, and attention-getting points which are unrelated to the focus of his content.
Warren Wiersbe — “The Woman We Must Never Forget”
In this message on Lot’s wife, Wiersbe has four main points . . . .
Lot’s wife had a worldly husband.
Lot’s wife had a worldly home.
Lot’s wife had a worldly heart.
Lot’s wife had a worldly hope.
Midst his message, there are other simple and unrelated biblical lessons which pepper his message.  I have highlighted a number of examples where Wiersbe makes a short simple point which comes from the passage but is not the main idea, nor is it related to one of the four points (at least it is not connected by Wiersbe).
 (Unrelated Point: Lordship & obedience go together)
Genesis 19:16-19
“And while he lingered, the men laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hand of his wife, and upon the hand of his two daughters; the LORD being merciful unto him: and they brought him forth, and set him without the city.
And it came to pass, when they had brought them forth abroad, that he said, Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed. . . .”
“And Lot said unto them, Oh, not so, my Lord” —
 how can you say “my Lord” and then say “not so”–
“Behold now thy servant has found grace in thy sight .  Thou has magnified thy Mercy which thou has shown unto me in saving my life — I cannot escape to the mountain lest some evil overtake me and I die — behold now this city is near to flee on to it is a little one all let me escape there.”
(Another Unrelated Point: You should have a time for morning devotions)

. . . . and Abraham got up early in the morning to the place where he stood before the Lord.

 

 — Do you have some place early in the morning where you stand before the Lord?  I hope you do. —

 

(Another Unrelated Point: God’s love is seen in His chastening)

&

 

(Another Unrelated Point: Only the godly are able to help the ungodly)

. . . . there he is living in Sodom and God warned him

 

— have you discovered in your Christian life that when you get backslidden — God spanks you? — 

 

have you discovered – that’s a great experience  – to know that God loves us too much to let us do whatever we want to do – and God came down and said Lot you shouldn’t be in Sodom and God started a war.

 

God allowed some kings to fight each other and they took the the goods and they took the people of Sodom and kidnapped them and a fella came running into Abraham’s camp and said Abraham lot has been taken — and Abraham got his army together.  And they went to rescue Lot

 

— did you ever notice that the backslider doesn’t go out and rescue the godly man — it’s the godly man goes out and rescues a backslider — 

 

And when Abraham showed up and delivered Lot and his family from those soldiers Lot should have said

 

Oh Uncle Abraham I’m backslidden — pray for me I should be with you I shouldn’t be

 

 

(Another Unrelated Point: Influence is part of being a successful dad)

Lot went to Sodom and he had no influence for anything that really counted.

 

— If it comes to the place where I have no spiritual influence over my own family I have lost — 

 

(Another Unrelated Point: Failing fathers fail to protect)

a man who was supposed to be a saved man –  sacrificing his daughters to the appetites of the world

 

— many a Christian father is doing that sacrificing his children to the appetites of the word — 

 

(Another Unrelated Point: The components of immorality)

Ezekiel 16:49 — Pride — Fullness of bread — plenty to eat — abundance of idleness

— you get pride and affluence and idleness together you’re going to have immortality

 

every nation that has ever had affluence and idleness and pride has ended up with immorality — 

 

–Warren Wiersbe — “The Woman We Must Never Forget”

 

While all those points can be found in the passage and are good points to make, that is not the point of the message, nor are they part of the four main points of the message.

In fact at one point in the message, after talking about Lot as a husband/father, Wiersbe states . . . .

 

And this family went to pieces because of a husband who was backslidden.

Now I’m not preaching on “Remember Lot” — I’m preaching on “Remember Lot’s wife” — but Lot’s wife had a worldly husband.

 

He said this because he recognized that the aim and points of the message did not fit what he was presently talking about — He was talking about Lot and not Lot’s wife.  In fact, many of the simple and quick unrelated points come from Lot’s words and actions, not Mrs. Lot.

Have you ever listened to a message and said, “I am a little confused as to where we are going with this.” or “What does this have to do with what was pointed to in the introduction?  I thought we were going to address . . . .”

Those “Free of Charge” biblical points” are worth inclusion!  Nevertheless, make sure you help your audience follow the aim and main points of the message when you get off message.  Think like your audience, not as one who has put the whole message together and gone over it repeatedly in your mind.  This is the first time they are hearing it and that within a 30-40 minute period of time.  Provide some verbal clues to indicate why these simple but unrelated points are being included.

 

Another Example:

The point Andy Stanley is making is NOT how temptation can or does come through the eyes.  However, he includes that thought along the way, which indeed may valuable and worth including.

TheBig Idea: The Big Idea is that “God is not trying to keep something good from you but to give something good to you.”

 

Over and over he found himself in trouble with Philistine women. . . . Samson went down to Timnah — and he saw there — because that is where it all begins — isn’t it — right -he saw there a young Philistine woman . . . . get her for me.

 

 

Then twenty minutes later he again calls up — temptation via the eyes. . . .

 

he goes to sleep — and he wakes up — with a haircut — and the Scriptures says — when she said the Philistines are upon you  — that he got up and expected to do what he had always done — but the Spirit of God had left him — and then the Philistines seized him — and gouged out his eyes — which had been his problem the whole time  — and they took him down to Gaza . . . .

— Andy Stanley: Right In The Eye — Nobody Is That Stupid

 

 

 

 

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