by Given O. Blakely
HOW IMPORTANT IS PREACHING?
When you stand to preach, you at once engage the attention of God the Father, Jesus Christ the Son, the Spirit of truth, and the holy angels. A gallery of witnesses also bends over the ramparts of paradise to hear your representation of God's truth. If Abraham, in Paradise, knew about Moses and the Prophets, he surely knows of those that speak for Jesus today!
Your hearers are, for a season, in your hand. You can clarify the things of God or mystify them; bring them within the grasp of the people, or push them beyond their reach. It is in your power to make heaven loom large, or accentuate "this present evil world." Within your power is the capacity to strengthen the lower nature of your hearers, or their higher nature; their flesh or their spirit; their "old man" or their"new man"; the "natural man" or the "spiritual man." You can give Satan the advantage, or the Holy Spirit. You can bring the people within the circumference of Divine influence or evil impression.
Do not imagine for one moment that when you preach your words are incidental! Jesus or Satan will influence people that hear you because of what you say. Holy or wicked thoughts will be spawned in their minds because of your words. Your hearers will be handicapped or advantaged in the good fight of faith because of what you have said. You yourself will be judged for what you preach. God will commend or condemn your sermon. Through it, you will either lay up treasure in heaven, or your inheritance will be diminished. If men will give an account for every "idle word," what of words calculated to produce an effect upon the hearts of men?
Take preaching seriously! God will either bless it or curse it; underwrite it or overthrow it; use it or ultimately destroy it. When you speak for God, it is absolutely serious! Dare not consider it from any other view. Preach with "fear and with much trembling" not because of men, but because of the gravity of your mission (1 Cor 2:3).
In joyful expectation of glory,
Given O. Blakely
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