“Getting the Cart Before the Horse”

We hear much today of love, grace, mercy, tenderness, kindness, longsuffering, etc. So much of it is an abuse or misuse and accomplishes very little in the way of saving the lost. Here is the reason that such is the case. Love, etc. only has meaning to the person who is under the guilt of sin. Most people, at least in America, feel no guilt of sin. Thus, they are not interested in love,etc. This is also true of many members of the church regarding their Christian duties.

This is not to say that such people are happy. So many are miserable; but, they do not equate their unhappiness with the fact that they are sinners before God (Romans 3:23). Hence, they continue to seek happiness in the “...lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride (vain glory) of life...” (I John 2:16). WHAT DOES GRACE AND MERCY MEAN TO A PERSON WHO DOES NOT SEE THE NEED OF IT? The answer is: ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!

God’s grace has also provided God’s Word (the standard of conduct for man) (II Timothy 3:16, 17; James 1:25; Colossians 3:17; John 12:48). The Word of God reveals to man what sin is (I John 3:4; James 4:17); that man is a sinner (Ezekiel 18:14); that he has no one to blame for his sins but himself (Isaiah 59:2); and, that man must change his thoughts, words, and actions to comply withGod’s infallible Word (Acts 17:30; Matthew 3:7, 8; Acts 8:22).This is the approach found in every single, solitary sermon recorded in the Bible that was addressed to men who needed salvation but did not know it!

Until Christians, especially preachers, supply sinners with that specific truth(s) that exposes and condemns their sin(s) we have not loved them enough to provide them with the wherewithal for them to see their need of God’s love, mercy, grace, etc. (Acts 2:23,36; 24:25; Galatians 2:11)! Jesus, our loving Savior, said more about hell and who is going there than anyone else. Does anyone wonder why (Titus 2:11, 12; Revelation 21:8)?

The material above should be among the first things taught one who desires to be a preacher. If one never learns these points, he will misuse and abuse the marvelous and “Wonderful Story ofLove” as well as wonder why he is not an effective preacher.

David P. Brown