Summary: The Gospel is the GREATEST gift we could give any human being. That being said, it is important that ministry, and saints alike, learn that the spreading of that gospel is not giving people what they WANT to hear, but what they NEED to hear.
“The Gift of the Gospel”
Charles Spurgeon once said, “Where the gospel is fully and powerfully preached, with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven, our churches do not only hold their own, but win converts; but when that which constitutes their strength is gone-we mean when the gospel is concealed, and the life of prayer is slighted-the whole thing becomes a mere form and fiction. For this thing our heart is sore grieved.
How true are those words. What we need in this church age today is the whole and pure gospel preached. Not what people WANT to hear, but what they NEED to hear. We are not interested in creating and maintaining a “user-friendly” church, but a church that is designed after the WORD and WILL of God!
The word and the will of God is designed to speak LIFE into it’s hearers. At any stage, it is LIFE giving word.
The idea that, as some NEW CHURCH preachers have presented, “Different times require different messages,” is erroneous. Never before has there been such a need for pure, undefiled WORD like today! IT IS the power of God unto salvation! It’s what leads people to be saved. When the word is preached, people are healed. When the word is preached, lives are restored, answers are given, reproof and rebuke is administered, salvation is presented and obtained!
Biblical preaching, as compared to a user-friendly method, was God centered, sin exposing, self-convicting and life-challenging! It is the direct oposite of today’s light, informal sermons that Christianize self-help and entertain better then they convict.
There are so many illustrations in today’s market-sensitive sermons that the hearer forgets the biblical truth that is being illustrated. I fear that today, so many anecdotes are being administered, that the hearer knows the pastor or the preacher better than they know the Lord Jesus Christ...and that’s a problem!
I know that preachers are necessary to HEAR the gospel...
For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!
The disclaimer is that they cannot preach, or should not, unless they are SENT! And sent preachers preach CHRIST and HIS GOSPEL! Not themselves and their gospel! Personality driven messages grow masses, not churches!
We don’t need personality driven messages or churches. This is the church! It is your church. I know I am your pastor and I love you...I hope you love me...I REALLY DO! BUT, I don’t want you coming here for me...you should come here for Jesus! He’s the one that wrote the book I am preaching from. He’s the one I preach about! He’s the one that can deliver on every point where I will only fail miserably.
If we let it, what’s going on in the world today, and the decline of things that we already know are happening, can make it easier to listen to the Sunday sermon than to read the Sunday paper. It’s so practical that there is hardly anything to practice.
Nominal Christians today leave most churches feeling upbeat. That’s not always a bad thing...of course. But the word of God was not designed to always leave you with a feeling that your self-esteem is safely intact. Often, we need to be made aware that there is still a chance, as long as you are breathing, that you could walk back into the life God saved you from.
You have that power. That temptation is still there. And without the power and the word of God in your life, it will happen before you know it! It can even happen and you NOT EVEN KNOW IT!
Today, our hearts and minds have become soothed with “sound-bite” theology. But the word of God needs to penetrate our comfort zones. Pastors and preachers today are met with the temptation to deliver messages geared around work, and kids and success...because that’s where you are living! But before we realize it, we are giving folks what they want and not what they need.
This is not just a message for preachers tonight! It’s for the church! We need an attitude that beckons for preachers to penetrate our comfort zones. As a church, we need to realize that we cannot follow market driven strategies and messages and be faithful to scripture!
All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: