Monday, June 23, 2008

Don't assume the gospel

Haddon Robinson offers preachers some challenging thoughts on actually preaching the gospel:
How can a just and holy God declare sinners to be righteous? That is a key issue, but I don't find that being talked about much. I hear: "Jesus loves you, and he wants the best for you. He certainly doesn't want you to be sick, doesn't want you to be poor. It certainly isn't his will that you suffer." But you can't read the New Testament and make statements like that.

We want to reach people, but the clear terms of the gospel are seldom enunciated. It's probably an exaggeration, but I don't think in my lifetime I've heard twenty messages that I would say were clear gospel messages. If you didn't know any jargon, didn't have any religious background—if you came to church and wanted to know how to have a relationship with a holy God—the sermon would not tell you.

We'd be wise to tell our people that on every eighth Sunday, we're going to make every effort to clearly present the gospel. We should tell them, "If you have friends who are on their way to faith, by all means bring them!" If we do our job right, two things will happen: the unchurched who come will hear the gospel clearly, and our own people will hear it, too. The assumption that the guy who regularly sits in the eighth row has the gospel straight is not a good assumption.
That sounds right.

Update: I'm sorry to say that it looks like Preaching Today teased us with this interview. Although I was able to access it free last week, today the link leads only to a login page. Sorry about that.


Blogger Keith Brenton said...

I'm of the opinion that people who haven't heard the story of Jesus need to hear it, and the rest of us should never tire of hearing it.

9:12 PM, June 23, 2008  
Blogger Milton Stanley said...

I agree. Thanks for commenting.

9:30 PM, June 23, 2008  

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