When was the last time you were challenged from the pulpit? When was the last time you heard a gospel sermon that caused you to seriously consider the condition of your soul and cause you to make a change in your life? Sadly, this is happening less and less in the Lord's church. We have too many people walking out of services "aglow" because the preacher has determined to gloss over the plain, simple and powerful gospel of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ or, worse, they are too lazy to put in the effort to work up a sermon which would reach the heart of the listeners. That leads me to two simple questions; 1) what is their problem and 2) why do we let them get by with it?
The scriptures are very plain about what is to be preached. Paul writes in Romans 1:16-17, "For I am not ashamed of the gospel: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is revealed a righteousness of God from faith unto faith: as it is written, But the righteous shall live by faith."
The Gospel is defined as good news or good tidings and it originated because of God’s divine love; John 3:16 - For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have eternal life.
The reason for preaching the Gospel is also provided to us. Hebrews 4:12 states, "For the word of God is living, and active, and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing even to the dividing of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and quick to discern the thoughts and intents of the heart."The Gospel, when the whole counsel of God is preached, is able to bring a person to the understanding that their life needs correction in order to be reconciled to God. When preachers neglect the role they have been given, they are in rebellion to the clear directive from God.
The gospel is God’s power to save the believer, not some gimmick filled or story laden "talk" that many "preachers" seem to believe fulfills the responsibilities they are clearly given in the scriptures.
Since the gospel is God’s power to save the believer, then it follows that there is no power to save the unbeliever apart from the gospel. In the gospel of John, we are told, "He that believeth on him is not judged: he that believeth not hath been judged already, because he hath not believed on the name of the only begotten Son of God" (John 3:18).
Belief = active faith = obedience
Unless the unbeliever turns from their unbelief to belief of the gospel, they are lost. We preach the truth, the gospel, and the doctrine of Christ, to the unbeliever that they may have the opportunity of believing and obeying the gospel.
The scriptures teach that no one can be saved without the gospel. Mankind needs to be saved. God uses the gospel to save mankind by revealing righteousness based on saving faith in Jesus Christ.
Preachers need to remember that the power is in the message rather than the messenger. Since the gospel is God’s power to save, one who refuses to preach the gospel, or preaches it with great carelessness, places himself outside the reach of even God’s help.
In rejecting that which is God’s appointed means of saving mankind, one does not merely make a show of carelessness or indifference — he defies God.
I challenge each of us to quit allowing sermons that seek to serve the belly of man instead of doing the will of God.