Call To Die

Then [Jesus] said to them all, "If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me will save it. (Luke 9:23-24, HCSB)

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Follower of Christ, husband of Abby, member of Kosmosdale Baptist Church, and tutor/staff member at Sayers Classical Academy.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Teaching a Text: Focus and Feeling

Yesterday, at Kosmosdale Baptist Church, Pastor Mitch Chase preached from 1 Thessalonians 5:1-5. The text involves the Day of the Lord, a topic which carries themes of judgment and destruction for those who are opposed to the Truth. Mitch did an excellent job exploring these themes and urging the congregation to consider the coming judgment. In light of this, you might think that the sermon would be so focused on the threat of Hell and the call for repentance as to be oppressive to its hearers. However, this was not the case at all; instead, I found Mitch's preaching from this text to be deeply encouraging.

In expositional preaching (that is, preaching from the Scripture passage-by-passage, taking the points of the sermon directly from the passage), it is crucial that the preacher explain the meaning of the words in the text, giving the grammatical meaning and historical context. The preacher must also apply the text to the congregation's current situation. With a burden for people's eternal state, the preacher must always call his listeners to consider whether they have repented and are trusting Christ. While engaging the congregation with this kind of teaching, the preacher must also make sure to retain the tone and the overall intended purpose of any given text. Yesterday, I was once again impressed with how well Mitch models this kind of preaching.

The "Day of the Lord" passage from 1 Thessalonians 5:1-5 certainly calls for serious self-reflection. On the other hand, these five verses begin and end with encouraging words. These verses indicate that when the Lord comes, bringing judgment, those who trust in Him will be found safe. If we are able to stand firm in the Day of the Lord, how much more should we consider ourselves fully equipped to withstand the (comparatively) lesser trials that we face in this life.

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