Listen to sermons at FreeGraceRadio.com
“The word preached did not profit them.” — What a sad statement! Here are some suggestions that, I hope, may help you to hear the Gospel with spiritual profit. — Gospel preaching is the ordinance of God, the means appointed by Christ himself for the saving of his people and the building of his Kingdom among men. This is the method by which God the Holy Ghost does his work in the souls of men. Consider these facts, and you will heed what I have to say here, though what you read may reprove you, and though the reproof may be painful.
1. Never come to the house of God to gratify your religious curiosity. When we come to the house of God, let us come seeking to know Christ, to hear of Christ, to learn of Christ, and to worship Christ. It is not an honorable thing, but a contemptible thing to sit around and discuss endless questions about nothing, ever learning but never coming to the knowledge of the truth ((2 Timothy 3:5-7). Flee, flee religious curiosity, as you would flee the plague! Come to the house of God with humility, ready to receive with meekness the engrafted Word, which is able to save your soul.
2. Listen carefully, attentively, to the message God sends his servant to deliver to your soul. Give earnest heed to the things that are spoken from the Word of God. Take great care to hear what God has to say to you. When God descended on Mt. Sinai in terrible majesty, to give his law, the children of Israel sat up and paid attention to his servant Moses! If they were earnest in hearing the thunderings, threatenings, and terrors of the law, how gladly sinners ought to sit up and anxiously hear the preacher of the Gospel, as he proclaims the glad tidings of free grace in Christ!
3. Do not allow Satan, or any by whom he is served, to prejudice your mind against faithful men, sent of God to preach the Gospel to you. Beware of entertaining any dislike of those the Holy Ghost has made overseers over you. If a man faithfully preaches the Gospel, receive him like the Galatians received Paul, before the Judaizers corrupted them, as an angel of God (1 Thessalonians 5:12-13).
4. Be careful not to depend too much on a preacher, or think more highly of him than you ought to think. God’s servants are instruments in his hands, no more and no less, just instruments by which God works in his vineyard. (1 Corinthians 3:5-9, 21-23).
5. Always seek grace from God to personally apply the message to your own heart and life. Always presume that the message was prepared with you in mind, and spoken to you alone. We are all terribly inclined to look across the room and behold a little splinter in our brother’s eye, rather than deal with the two by four in our own.
6. If you would receive a blessing from the Lord, when you hear his Gospel preached, you should do something before the sermon, during the sermon, and after the sermon. — Before the sermon, set things in order in your life so that you come to the house of God awake and alert; and pray for God’s blessing upon the preaching of the Gospel. — During the sermon, listen attentively, constantly praying for God to speak to your heart, for Christ’s sake. — After the sermon, discuss the message with one another, with your family, and ask God to plant the Seed sown in your own heart and in the hearts of others, for their everlasting good and his great glory (2 Thessalonians 3:1; Ephesians 6:18-19).