Saturday, September 18, 2010

THE COURAGE TO PREACH ON HELL!

“Every member of fallen humanity needs to have thrust in front of him the radical and total inexcusability of sin and the absolute justice of God's condemnation. Only then will he, can he, take hell seriously. The preaching of these truths is intended to tear away the blindness, to arouse and pierce the slumbering conscience. Otherwise, we persist in our assumption that whatever fate befalls others . . . we ourselves are safe from divine condemnation. . . .
It is in this context that preaching on hell belongs to the preaching of the gospel. When we understand that this is what the death of Christ means, when this grips our soul, we will begin to find the apostolic model of preaching reduplicated in our own ministry. . . . It takes courage and commitment to preach hell. Courage is needed because in many contemporary contexts one mention of hell is enough to guarantee the accusation of a harsh spirit and a bigoted mind. . . .
The Christian preacher is a debtor because through Christ he has himself been delivered from future judgment. He is a steward, because the message of reconciliation has been committed to him. He is to employ the resources provided by his Lord, not to diminish, add to, or transform them.He is also an ambassador, whose task is always to represent his Master and faithfully to deliver his message. This is why our own excuses must never prevail (“I am not that kind of preacher”; “the congregation would not receive it well”; “people do not take these things seriously any longer”; “we are living in a day when that kind of emphasis does not draw people to Christ”).”