God did not ordain the cross of Christ or create the lake of fire3 in order to communicate the insignificance of belittling his glory. The death of the Son of God and the damnation of unrepentant human beings are the loudest shouts under heaven that God is infinitely holy, and sin is infinitely offensive, and wrath is infinitely just, and grace is infinitely precious, and our brief life — and the life of every person in your church and in your community — leads to everlasting joy or everlasting suffering. If our preaching does not carry the weight of these things to our people, what will? Veggie Tales? Radio? Television? Discussion groups? Emergent conversations?
God planned for his Son to be crucified (Revelation 13:8; 2 Timothy 1:9) and for hell to be terrible (Matthew 25:41) so that we would have the clearest witnesses possible to what is at stake when we preach. What gives preaching its seriousness is that the mantle of the preacher is soaked with the blood of Jesus and singed with fire of hell. That’s the mantle that turns mere talkers into preachers.
Easter Sunday, we had a few visitors who attend once a year. This year we had a guest who was a granddaughter of one of our members. On April 17, 2012 this guest was nearly killed. Her husband killed himself and was planning to kill her. He shot himself while they were in bed (I am told).
What this tells me, the sermon I preached that Sunday was the lasts sermon that this guest hear. Can I say that the message was hear by her? I don’t know, but it tells me that every message I preach should have the passion to see athose who are losted come to Christ,. My prayer is that God would speak His Holy Spirit to those who come to our church and hear the gospel of Christ preached.