Preaching to the conscience means something concrete. It means explaining the listeners’ obligations to God, their failure to meet those obligations, their impotence to make up for that failure, the eternal consequences of that failure, and God’s astounding grace offered to all who will humble themselves, repent, and believe the good news. In other words, preaching to the conscience is provocative. It seeks to disturb the comfortable and to comfort the disturbed….The great obstacle to this kind of preaching is when the conscience is awakened, people react. The humble repent, rejoice, and enter God’s kingdom. The proud become angry: “Who are you to tell me I am a sinner?” or “This is not the God I learned about in Sunday school.” Men dominated by the fear of man will not preach to the conscience. If you’re seeking a reward from men as you preach the gospel, you may get it, but that’s all—you won’t get anything from God. The world needs pastors who fear God, love sinners, and understand the need to preach to consciences. This will only happen to the degree that God’s Spirit liberates God’s leaders from the fear of man as he humbles them with a deep sense of their own need.
WILLIAM P FARLEY
(Source: Gospel Coalition)