It is no coincidence that the half brother of the Lord Jesus said, "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." (James 4:7)
Being carried along by the Holy Spirit, James wrote the truth of God. Resisting the devil in total submission to God forces the adversary to flee. So, does it not also stand to reason that the preacher who submits himself to biblical preaching will have also have "members" who flee from him?
In essence, they are not fleeing the preacher, they are fleeing the truth of God's Word. It is a bitter thing for the wicked to sit under the exaltation of the gospel. In every gathering of God's people there is a response. The response of the righteous is humble submission and obedience to God's truth. The response of the wicked is to flee from God's truth and begin a pattern of self centered idolatry, hissing, moaning and back biting.
28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. 29 They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32 Though they know God's decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.
I recently read an encouraging word from D.J. Ward:
"The best way to purify the church and keep it pure--is to get rid of all the goats! And the best way to run the goats out of the church--is to feed them 'sheep food'. God's sheep will grow in grace under the preaching of grace--but goats will go hungry because they choke on 'sheep food'. They will soon leave and go somewhere else. Preach sovereign grace!"
Is this not what scripture teaches? Did the Lord Jesus not say, "Feed My sheep." John
Did the apostle Peter not commission church elders to, "Feed the flock of God entrusted to you." 1 Peter 5:2
Pastor, elders and saints, be encouraged by those who gather together faithfully to be fed the Word of God. It is gospel that satisfies the sanctified!
And now I commend you to God and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified.