Preach the Word#2. “The Sermon.”

Preach the Word#2. “The Sermon.”

One preacher quipped that he had found a “Binding example” for his lengthy sermons. He said that you need to look no further than Paul’s sermon in Troas (Acts 20). He added that Luke, who was in church listening to the sermon, attested to his theory when he wrote: “Paul was preaching to them, and since he was leaving the next day, he kept talking until midnight” (Acts 20:7b). Of course, one must ask if we also have there a “Binding example” for falling asleep in church? It pays to remember that, while Paul’s sermon was pushing on into the night, one of the members, Eutychus, was overcome with sleep and fell to his death from the third-floor window.

Sermons transform the lives of the hearers. This is not by the design of man, but by the design of God. “My word,” says God, “…shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it” (Isaiah 55:11).

Thus, the goal of every sermon is to preach God’s word and to let it do what it alone can do—convict the hearts of men.

Like singers and their songs, preachers and their sermons are subject to popular trends.

The old hell-fire-and-brimstone sermons from back in great-granddad’s day have been replaced by more measured, moderate tones. I do believe that sermons will return to that direct repent-or-perish style. This will happen first in the revivalist churches, and will again become a fad in most churches.

I have met those who believe that sermons are an anachronism, ramblings of egoists of a bygone error. They insist that their messages, be they brief homilies on the issues of the day, or long discourses extolling the virtues of their “exclusively scriptural messages,” they must be judged by the same standard as the rest of us.

The test is the content and the response:

“But some days later Felix arrived with Drusilla, his wife who was a Jewess, and sent for Paul and heard him speak about faith in Christ Jesus. But as he was discussing righteousness, self-control and the judgment to come, Felix became frightened and said, “Go away for the present, and when I find time I will summon you” (Acts 24:24-25).

John Staiger


Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *