“Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.” 2 Timothy 4:2.
A Christian woman was hopelessly ill. She was suffering terribly, and her husband was trying to comfort her. As it had been their custom to read together a great deal, he suggested, “Suppose I read to you from Shakespeare.” She agreed and he selected those passages with which they were familiar and began to read them. She shook her head, and said, “No, not that.” Then he asked, “Shall I read from Longfellow?” Often they had read some of his shorter poems together. She said, “No, I don’t want that.” Then he suggested, “Let me read from the Bible. After reading some portions from the Gospel of John about Christ and the hope through Him, tears filled her eyes, and she said, “That satisfies.”
The Word of God alone satisfies and is to be preached to the world. Man’s traditions, philosophies, or fables do not comfort the soul. Paul once spoke on Mars Hill in Athens with very little success. He met his opponents with logic, science, eloquence and philosophy. After that experience, he made Christ and the simple story of His life, death and resurrection the theme of all his preaching. That had power to convict the sinners.
“Never should a sermon be preached, or Bible instruction in any line be given, without pointing the hearers to the ‘Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.’ John 1:29. Every true doctrine makes Christ the center, every precept receives force from His words.” Testimonies for the Church, vol. 6, p. 54.
“No discourse should ever be delivered without presenting Christ and Him crucified as the foundation of the gospel.” Testimonies for the Church, vol. 4, p. 394.
“There is a great work to be done. The world will not be converted by the gift of tongues, or by the working of miracles, but by preaching Christ crucified.” Testimonies to Ministers, p. 424.
“When a sinner once beholds the love of the Father, as seen in the sacrifice of His Son, and yields to the divine influence, a change of heart takes place, and henceforth Christ is all and in all.” Acts of the Apostles, p. 245.
When preaching from the Bible, sermons should be short and easily understood by all classes of people. Illustrations and parables are tools to enlighten the understanding. Never should critical and condemnatory words be spoken. It is far better to speak on the old gospel truths of repentance and faith. There are men, women, and young people in congregations who are ignorant of the plan of salvation. This is the key message for our times. The love of God will melt hearts and lead the sinner to the cross of Calvary.
In closing, Christ, our only hope, is to be uplifted in every lecture and sermon. Then we will be successful in reaching souls.