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When we look at the world


around us and the present
generation now growing up, we
must ask ourselves what kind of
preaching does this generation,
my generation, need to hear?
What exactly does this modem
world need to hear? Do we need
to preach and witness a. more
"relevant" gospel to ears
accustomed to the seductive
language of this age? Do we need
to make our presentation "slick"
for people who are used to
. television, movies and magazines
that entice and pamper their
egos? No. What my generation
and the world needs is
what God says it needs:
His pure gospel, no frills,
just the truth of His
inspired, complete Word.
The next question we
need to ask ourselves is,
what does God actually
prescribe pastors to
preach that will strengthen
and unify His children
who are striving to live for Christ?
When we look in the Bible at
what Jesus preached, we find the
perfect answer. What did Jesus
Christ preach and teach that took
Him thirty-three years to
complete? Though Jesus preached
on a number of things throughout
His ministry on earth,
unquestionably we can say that
one of His major themes was the
love of Christ towards His
children. InJohn 15:9-16,jesus
says:
'Just as the Father has loved Me,
r have loved you; abide in My love.
If you keep My commandments, you
will abide in My love; just as I have
kept My Father's commandments,
and abide in His love. These things I
have spoken to you, that My joy
may be in you, and that your jay
may be made fulL This is my
commandment, that you love one
another, just as I have loved you.
Greater love has no one than this,
that one lay down his life for his
friends. You are my friends if you do
what I command you. No longer do I
call you slaves, for the slave does not
know what his master is doing; but I
have called you friends, for all
things that I have heard from My
Father I have made known to you.
You did not choose Me, but I chose
you that you should go and bear .
much fntit, and that your fruit
should remain, that whatever you
ask of the Father in My name, He
may give to you."
And in the familiar passage in
John chap ter 3, Jesus tells
Nicodemus:
"For God so loved the world, that
He gave His only begotten Son, that
whoever believes in Him should not
perish, but have etemallife ... For
everyone who does evil hates the
light, and does not come to the light,
lest his deeds should be exposed. But
he who practices the truth comes to
the light, that his deeds may be
manifested as having been wrought
in God."
Later on in the same chapter
John the Baptiser explains his
mission and calling as Christ's
minister to his disciples: John
answered and said, "A man can
receive nothing, unless it has been
given him from heaven ... For He
whom God has sent speaks the
words of God: for He gives the Spirit
. without measure. The Father loves
the Son, and has given all things into
His hand. He who believes in the Son
has etemallife; but he who does not
obey the Son shall not see life, but
the wrath of God abides on him" In
other words, John is preaching
what Jesus, through His Spirit,
has given him to preach and Jesus
is preaching and passing on to
John and His disciples, the very
words and message of God
Himself.
What an awesome thing to be
loved by God! How does God
show this love for us?
Obviously God's love for
His children is shown
through His grace and
mercy. But why "grace"
and ''mercy''? By
definition of these two
terms, ("grace" or getting
what you don't deserve
and not getting what you
do deserve, and "mercy"
or forgiveness of sins rather than
requiring punishment that is
deserve), God's love is shown to
people who don't deserved His
love but rather deserve His wrath
and condemnation.
As we examine what Jesus
preached and taught, we find the
answer to the question, "What do
Christians and non-Christians
alike need to hear preached every
Sunday?" Jesus' love which is
exhibited in His grace and mercy
is not poured out on deserving,
flawless creatures, is it? It is plain
to see throughout all of God's
Word that only hell-deserving,
evil men and women receive
Jesus' saving love. A preacher of
this age, who considers self-
esteem, self-righteousness and
pride as prize-worthy
January, 1997 t THE COUNSEL of Chalcedon t 21
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characteristics, must ask what is truth) trying to learn what is for His children. Amazing grace
the most necessary and biblical pleasing to the Lord ... Making the how sweet the sound, that saved a
message to proclaim. Without a most of your time, because the days wretch like me! Jesus teaches us
dOMbt, that message must are evil. So then do not be foolish, of God's mercy in Luke 6:35, 36
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be, the greatness .of God's love but understand what the will of the when He says: "But love your
!,
emphasized against the backdrop Lord is." -Ephesians 5:1-10, enemies, and do good and lend,
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of man's awful sin and depravity: 16,17. expecting nothing in return; and
,":
"
,
"For God so loved the world .... " This your reward will be great and you "
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N dw some would say that this
verse says more ab.out the' quality
kind of preaching is judgmental,
will be sons of the Most High; for He
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of God's great love because it is
unkind and discouraging and
Himself is kind to ungrateful and
!:""i poured out on hell-deserving
should rarely be preached or else
evil men. Be mercifUl just as your
]
sinners than about the number of
the preaching will become tbO
Father is mercifUl." Once preachers
people who receive it. How can
"negative" and will dwell on sin,
and congregations of this age
,
we begin to appreciate our great overcome their sinful pride and
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death and hell. They think this
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salvation unless we understand, .
kind of preaching will dishearten
openly admit bef.oreGod, every
,
what great sinners we are? And
Christians and drive the non-
Sunday, their sinful condition,
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because we are such great sinners,
Christian away. This kind of
then and only then will God
we forget and need to be
response to biblical preaching of
spark revival because only then
constantly reminded of this fact
the kind practiced by Jesus
will Christians begin to
S0 that we will live in obedience
Himself as shown in the
understand the unfathomable
,
]:
and never become self-lovers and
Scriptures, only proves that
love our Lord has for us.
arrogant in our estimation of our
person to have a shallow "touchy' So then, when we research
ability to continue to follow
feely" relationship with God and a God's W.ord, we are reassured
Christ.
shallow understanding of that it is God Who saves sinners
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"Therefore, be imitators of God, SCriptures; this kind of and ignites love for Christ in cold
as beloved children; and walk in relationship will eventually " hearts, not we ourselves. "In this is
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love; just as Christ cilso loved you, deteriot:ate and prove itself never ' love, 110t that we loved God, but that
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and gave Himself up for us, qn to have been a s,aving one at all. He loved us and sent His Son to be
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offering and a to God as a
On the contrary, we can never be the propitiation for our sins." - 1
fragrant aroma, But do not let told too, stJ'Qngly or too many John 4:10. No where in Scripture
immortillity or any impurity oj'
times of our terrible condition does God call preachers to preach
greed even be named'among you, as
outside of Christ and our constant the warm, "fuzzy" feelings
is proper among saints; and there'
need for His saving, . Christians get when they read an
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must be no filthiness and silly talk,
grace. inspiring verse. And why should a
or coarse jesting, which are not
When preachers faithfully
preacher preach on such a thing?
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fitting, but rather giving of thanks.
preach on the depravity of man" .
If a congregation is really
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For this you know with certainty,
painting out our utter,
worshipping God in spirit and in
that no immoral or impure person or
helplessness to save ourselves or
truth, that warm feeling will come
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covetous man, who is an idolater,
do ariything in and of ourselves to
when they are convicted of their
,
unworthiness before God and
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has an inheJitance in the kingdom of
please a holy' GOd, there is no '
ChJist and God. Let no one deceive
better time in the world to tell of
assured that Jesus Christ's love for
ill
you with empty words, for because
God's grace and ):rlercy in
them is totally undeserved, a gift
of these things the wrath of God sovereign love towards hello'
from God and run to Him for
comes upon the sons of disobedience. deserving sinners. Why should an
salvation and assilrance of
Therefore, do not be partakers with awesome, holy Cod ever do
forgiveness for sin. Praise the
, them; for you ,were formerly- anything for us? Because we
Lord for His amazing grace to
darkness, but now you are light in deserve it? No, we deserve hell for
such worms as we are! n
I the Lord; walk as children of light all eternity. For almighty God
!
(jor the fruit of the light consists in . even to acknowledge our
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all. goodness and righteousness and existence shows His amazing love
\]
22 THE COUNSEL of Chalcedon January, 1997
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