Wednesday, June 24, 2015

What Preaching Should Do

Preaching must either break a hard heart or heal a broken one.

--John Newton

Preaching (including internet preaching) is foolish, you know. The Apostle Paul said so himself:

Since in the wisdom of God the world by its own wisdom did not know God, God was pleased to save those who believe by the foolishness of preaching. (1 Corinthians 1.21)

"Preach" is something of a dirty word today: "Don't you preach at me!" Preaching today is usually assumed to be criticism.  But in reality, Christian preaching is supposed to be about the Gospel, the message Jesus sent us to spread all over the world.  And the Gospel is really an announcement -- the Great Announcement as we like to call it on this site: "The universe has a king, namely, Jesus of Nazareth! His Kingdom is here, now and will put everything right! Come join it; everyone is invited."

Oh, and as part of the bargain, every wrong, selfish thing you've ever done will be forgiven forever.

This is not criticism, it's good news.

As this blog frequently points out, Paul also said that this announcement, "is God’s power for salvation to everyone who believes," (Romans 1.16). This announcement, itself, is charged with that power.

When people hear it -- truly hear it -- the hardest hearts can break with compassion for their fellow beings, and the most injured hearts can heal.

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