SUNDAY SERMON: ‘In Defence of the Gospel’

The Good News is important, needed, urgent, powerful and most relevant today in our generation. Prophet Ezekiel, as the watchman, gave God’s message to his generation. hearing from God and passing on the message to the people.  Ezekiel 33: 1 – 9. Failure to seek God, hear from him and tell people in our generation may bring grievous consequences! May the LORD deliver us from ignorance, laziness, selfishness, arrogance and blood–guiltiness! Let us do our part in sharing the love of God with all. The response to our message or witness is not ours to determine, but it is God who completes the rest if only we do our part.  ‘Cry aloud spare not’ or shout it aloud, do not hold back, says prophet Isaiah to his generation of leaders, messengers and prophets. Isaiah 58: 1. Prophet Joel said: ‘Blow you the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain Joel 2: 1 ff. That fiery, but academic of a preacher, and one time President of the British Methodist Conference, Dr. W. E. Sangster said, among other things, that ”all that concerns preaching is of an importance hard to exaggerate and perilous to ignore.” I believe it is hard to exaggerate, in the sense that you are committed to preaching it in the simplicity of truth. It is also perilous to ignore it, because doing so, spells disaster for anyone who rejects or undermines the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ! It is perilous to ignore it for the preacher or witness who fails to preach or testify and thus risk being guilty of the blood of sinners who die in their sins, without someone warning him or her of his or her dangerous, perilous condition.  This is a hard reality of life, but as preachers, commissioned to preach the good news, we are to persuade people, not coerce them. We are to love them and not to frighten them. We are to be good examples to them and not to judge them. Jesus said: ”For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn it, but that through him the world might be saved’ (John 3:17). The writer of Hebrews stated: ”How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation” Hebrews 2: 1-4. Jesus said: ”Not everyone who says to me, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?” Then I will tell them plainly, “I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers.” Matt 7:13-14, 21-27. God requires from all Christians, simple, child- like trust and obedience in small things as well as big things. May we no more be guilty of acts of omission and commission. Let us go out; out of our familiar comfort zones to meet worried, troubled people, waiting for us. Let us go because we have been called, commissioned and authorized. Let us go in the realization that the whole of the Kingdom of Heaven is backing us. Let us go because we are ambassadors for Christ and the message of peace and reconciliation which we have received is needed by countless millions around the world ; beginning at home! No better credentials are needed. Not even a degree or diploma in theology can withstand those God-given credentials, but having the college diplomas or degrees could be useful in addition. What then are we waiting for? WE ARE SINNERS SAVED BY THE GRACE OF GOD. WE ARE OUT TO TELL WHAT WE HAVE HEARD, SEEN AND EXPERIENCED OF THE GOODNESS OF GOD. GO AND FIND, TELL  AND BRING THEM – the sad, worried, lonely, fearful and confused around the world, beginning next room! God bless you.

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