I have a few random and disjointed thoughts to share here so I apologize if it sounds choppy.
Since I was quite young I have been exposed to many different street preachers with many different methods. And the father has brought me thru a lot of things so I could see what our focus is to be and how we are to present this most glorious message.
Not to pretend though that I am some sort of awesome person with great experience. I struggle every time with how I am to point to God and His glory revealed in the cross without dumbing things down and becoming humanistic in my preaching. By His grace He has moved me from one who used to cry out with the main motivation being a shallow fear that they go to hell to one who sees that the gospel call is going out from God so that He might be glorified.
‘That He might be glorified’. What does this mean? For the one standing on the street corner yelling about the Christ? How do we incorporate the awesome goal of all of redemptive history into our preaching. I wish we all could see the full breadth of the glory of God’s work! The work of the triune God from eternity past both to redeem mankind. For what purpose? That He would be seen as Holy.
So, flowing from that, if I just stand there and preach of Jesus dying on the cross then I think we must realize that I am not sharing a complete gospel. It is frightening to me to hear what some people think is the full gospel. Devoid of any reference to the claims that God has on our lives as our creator. Lacking is the strong emphasis on God’s holiness that makes our sin so exceedingly sinful. I mean for crying out loud why did Jesus have to come and die??? It is shallow and ridiculously deceitful to go out and just say that Jesus died for us and now we just need to trust Him as our personal Lord and savior. What does that mean that Christ died? Why did He have to die? Why do we need to trust Him? What does it mean to trust Him?
I am seeing more and more that in our preaching we need to be lifting up the entirety of the gospel. Front to back and cover to cover. Telling the story of the cross is not enough. Without the backdrop of a sovereign God who rules from on high and who is perfectly just and the epitomy of holiness we cannot see our sin as anything more than a simple slip-up. Christ’s death on the cross is all just a great big joke unless they can see how desperately wicked we are in the eyes of our God. But, when they see their sin as it is, and then they see the justice of God and His hatred for sin then and only then can they see the grace extended at the cross for the marvelous gift that it is.
On the side of this blog there is a quote from Charles Spurgeon. Read it if you would. While it is true that salvation is entirely the work of God and not something we can conjure up thru our passion in preaching or eloquence in speech it is also equally true that God uses men that know Him deeply so much more than men that know Him on a shallow level. May we be broken by this God so we can preach Him as He ought to be preached!
One thing we need to remember is that if are totally rejected by those we preach to so long as we are faithfully representing Christ we need not be disheartened. Christ will be glorified thru what we have done because the gospel does not only affect those who accept it. The gospel also greatly affects those who reject it in that it drives them further away from God and deepens their damnation. Natural man hates the true God that made Him and will do all in His power to hide himself from this God. They will reject us when we preach. But God will be glorified by them in spite of that. His mercy and grace are clearly seen thru His pardon of those He saves and His justice and wrath against sin are clearly seen thru His destruction of those he punishes. God will be glorified thru their lives and their pitiful rejection of Him does not foil His plans.
I pray that thru what I have said I do not seem to be calloused or uncaring for those that are lost. I do care for them and wish I cared more. But my chief goal is not to see them saved but to see our God glorified. The love should flow from us as we call men to repentance but we cannot water down His holiness nor the fact that He as sovereignly reigning over this world will see to it that He is glorified.
I mean to write some more very soon but this will have to do for now.
For the King!!!