Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Your Next Sermon May Be Your Last

Ed Stetzer with a good word on Language in the Pulpit.

Near the end, he writes:
My advice is simple. Be careful with your words. You only have so many to use in your upcoming sermon, so choose them wisely. Those words may comprise your very last sermon. Have you considered that?

Yes, I consider that every week.

One of the pastors who was shot and killed while preaching last year reportedly was speaking on "succeeding at work." God rest him and keep his family, and I mean no disrespect for a brother who is enjoying Jesus face to face right now, but I'll be danged if I'm going out like that. Whatever my last sermon is, God willing, it will proclaim the greatness of the gospel and the glory of Jesus. I try to guarantee this by guaranteeing each next sermon proclaims that. If you're a preacher, I hope you will too. Your church needs it more than anything else.

That's not the only (or best) reason for gospel-centered preaching, but it's a good one.


Jared said...

To all believers:
Let your words be seasoned with salt. You never know if you'll need to eat them tomorrow. :-)

But let your words be seasoned with salt, because you never know when they'll be your last.

Jason said...

Good points. I mean, do you really want someone to stand up at your funeral and through tears sob out: "And I remember that last sermon where he told me how important it was to always wear a tie when visiting elderly at the nursing home so I look like an upstanding Christian"? I sure wouldn't want that.

Chris said...

Wow. Nuff Said.

richard said...

Thanks, Jared. This is a great reminder.

I'm preaching on John 2this week (as per the Lectionary), te water to wine miracle: "[Jesus] thus revealed his glory, and his disciples put their faith in him." May I not get in the way of that!

Thanks again, brother



Jared said...

nhe, I rejected your comment. I hope you understand why. :-)

Dan said...

We usually think of telling those in our congregations that this might be THEIR last night on earth. I've never considered that it might be mine. This is very intriguing.