Agonizomai: Sermon of the Week<br>The Missing Note in Everyday Preaching

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Sermon of the Week
The Missing Note in Everyday Preaching

Here again is Henry Mahan preaching some home truths in his uniquely direct way. This time he mourns the state of preaching in many places today, including the tendency to preach up a cheap grace and to overemphasize the love of God for the lost above His hatred for sin and those who dwell unrepentantly in it.

His aim is partly at the hypocrisy that some preaching affords to hearers by encouraging them to come in over the wall, rather than via the foot of the cross. The cross humbles the sinner. It confronts him with his own sin and his powerlessness to deal with it. It baldly states a man's need for for a salvation he cannot attain to of himself. It is the place where the blood of atonement is spilled - where sorrow and love flow mingled down - a veritable fountain filled with blood.

To be convinced of sin a person must hear preached the truth about his own corruption. In this sermon Mahan states something like this - "Men see sin in proportion to their view of God's holiness"; I would add "and vice versa".

I would also remind listeners that preaching sin is not to be confused with the conviction of sin. Preaching is the responsibility of man but only the Holy Spirit can take that truth and open the ears and eyes of a lost sinner to it all. The lostness of the sinner, the sinfulness of sin, the universality of corruption, the wrath of God against all sin (especially our own) - these MUST be preached so that the Holy Spirit can take the words uttered through vessels of clay and make them life-giving water to souls made thirsty by the Great Seeker of the lost.

Sin ought not to be preached without the hope that is in Christ - but that's not the problem in a lot of churches. The problem is so often found in the offering of Christ without the consciousness of what it is to be a lost sinner.

So, according to Mahan, the missing note in present day preaching is the conviction of sin. I agree. And I agree that we must preach upon sin far more than what we so often hear; we must do it both to the lost and to the professors of religion that sit in our pews (or stadium seats). Those who are truly saved will not be offended. But the false converts will be outraged. Those who are being drawn to Christ by God will not be turned away, but those who got into the kingdom over the wall, or who seek to get in that way, rather than through the narrow gate, will be out for blood. Here, then, is Henry Mahan redressing the balance:

The Missing Note in Everyday Preaching - Henry Mahan


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