How comfortable will you be if your pastor asks people to stand up during a sermon as he calls out different sins alphabetically and you identify your own?
Some responsibilities take a lot of courage to do. Pastor Dennis was concerned that many Pastors shy away from addressing the issue of sins in their sermons. People are careful not to offend anybody or make people feel uncomfortable. So, one Sunday, during his sermon, he used the alphabets ABC to Z to illustrate the sins that people commit. The congregation must spot their sins as the preacher dig them out from A to Z. It must have been a long list in a long day.
The message was not a popular one. Some days after the teaching, a member who attended the service invited the pastor out for a coffee. As they relaxed over the drinks the man started to talk. He told the pastor I hated you for your sermon on Sunday. As you started from alphabet A (Adultery), I was convicted of my adultery. Right there, he confessed everything to the pastor and the Lord used that man of God to resolve issues in the man’s home. This repentant man got his life back and got his home restored. So, mercy prevailed.
1 John 1:9
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
The topic of sin is a bitter one as it tampers with our fleshly lust. It infringes on our comfort zone of sinful pleasure. As indicated in the Bible, flesh conflicts with the spirit. The stress and challenges of life do not make things easy either. Regardless, God frown at sins. The Bible says God cannot behold iniquity. But then, He made provision for the forgiveness of sins by giving His only begotten Son for the redemption of man. To enjoy this benefit, we must accept that offer of salvation by repenting from our sins, turn away from them unto God. That is what the church is all about. Upon this foundation rest ‘every other thing’.
Matthew 28:18-20: And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
As Jesus ascended, he gave the commission to his faithful and loyal disciples to run with. That is why the preacher must bring that bitter truth of repentance from sins on the table along with the other meals. Sin is a battle of the mind, and in battle, you either lose or win. Issue of sins is the main reason Jesus gave His life. Christ delivers not only from afflictions and sicknesses but also from sin. He knew that we cannot help ourselves. He knew the prince of this world would do anything to bring his victims into the snares and keep them there. Christ knew that there are consequences for living in sins and dying in sin. So, Christ died to redeem us from the hand of the taskmaster. Jesus created a path and access to the fountain of life, who He is. To be a faithful preacher or minister is to obey the great commission by telling your congregation the truth “whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear,” People deserve to know the truth because it is the truth that sets free.
Proverbs says: The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso put his trust in the Lord shall be safe Proverbs 29:25.
The preacher can pray for boldness to declare the truth and to declare it in love, hope, and wisdom. Nothing else saves but the truth. This is the solid foundation of Christianity. The role of pastors and preachers is to preach the whole truth of the words of God. The persistent motivational preaching may appeal to the flesh but endangers the spirit.
May the Lord grant our pastors the needed grace, boldness, and wisdom in Jesus’ Name.