A Preacher’s Burden
It is my deep and ever increasing conviction that faithfulness to the glory of God and to the souls of eternity bound men and women place a weighty demand upon the shoulders of every man who speaks to men in the name of God. I carry upon my heart this morning what the old prophets used to call “The burden of the Word of the Lord,” an awesome, heavy, heavy burden. The more often I am called upon to preach the gospel of the grace of God to eternity bound sinners, the heavier the weight of that burden is.
Repentance and Faith
It is my responsibility to proclaim to you who hear my voice the absolute necessity of, and to press upon your hearts the urgency of repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. Paul wrote, “Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men.” How can I plead with your hearts? “Except ye repent, ye shall in no wise enter into the kingdom of God.” Will you hear me? The wrath of God is upon you! If you die in your present condition, if you die as a God hating rebel, hell will be your portion forever. If you die without Christ, you will spend eternity without Christ! If you die without grace, without hope, without life, you will spend eternity without grace, without hope, without life! If you die with hell in your heart, you will spend eternity suffering the hell of God’s indescribable wrath in your heart, in your mind, in your soul, and in your body. It may very well be that you will meet God in judgment before this day is over. I beseech you therefore in God’s name, I pray you in Christ’s stead - “Be ye reconciled to God!” May God grant you life and grace by his Spirit and give you faith in Christ this hour. It is written, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.” Yet, I know that no sinner will ever be saved apart from that knowledge of the gospel of the glory of God which is revealed, imparted, and given to sinners through the preaching of the gospel.
Therefore I must proclaim to this generation the gospel of God’s free and sovereign grace in Christ. You must know the gospel. Else you cannot believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. Our Lord said, “Ye shall know the truth; and the truth shall make you free.” Sinners are saved by the knowledge of the truth; and Christ is the Truth. You cannot be saved if you believe the devil’s lie. I do not suggest and the Word of God does not teach that a person must be a learned, educated, well-read student of the Bible to be saved. I do not suggest and the Word of God does not teach that a person must believe a specific creed, be a part of a specific church, perform specific deeds, or experience specific emotions in order to be saved. However, the Word of God does teach and I am declaring that salvation is the result of a specific, God given knowledge, knowledge which comes by the power of the Holy Spirit through the preaching of the gospel. Hear what God says in his Word, and believe the gospel.
“And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent” (John 17:3). “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Rom. 10:13-17).
May God grant you life and faith in Christ by the power of his omnipotent, irresistible grace, for Christ’s sake.