Pointers for Preachers

"So Shall It Be", What Makes Great Preachers?, "The Missing Link"

"SO SHALL IT BE"


Traveling in East Africa by car, I suddenly came to a barricade on which a large sign was nailed. On it was a single word—"JAM." I could proceed no farther. This was the end.

Our world is stalled at the barricade. It is on a dead-end street. It is in a jam. To the Adventist minister this was not unexpected. For nearly one hundred years our eschatological pronouncements through prophetic preaching have challenged the attention of millions around the globe. And now in fulfillment, calamity follows calamity and con­fidence has fled the heart of man. Like a condemned prisoner he nervously awaits his summons to the death chamber. And it will come. But not until the world has heard the glad shout, "Lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh." Ours is not a message of calamity but of comfort, not of fear but of faith. The messenger is not fretful if judgment is delayed nor boastful when it comes. He knows his job and does it.

He refuses to end a message with shifting moun­tains and disappearing islands. He cannot leave his listeners buried in brimstone. He bids the world to look beyond to the glories of the world to come —to the New Jerusalem with its sparkling beauty, eternal life, and Paradise restored; to the coming of Christ, with heaven as His train; and'to the price­less privilege of unending fellowship with our Re­deemer. Let not this emphasis be lost as in God's name we preach the cross. For "so shall it be at last, in that bright morning." e. e. c.

WHAT MAKES GREAT PREACHERS?

There is general lament today that great preaching has long been on the wane. The great preachers, we say, are no longer with us. Unquestionably, this is not an age of great preaching, but is that because there are no longer great pulpiteers? Was it great men who made great preaching? Must we wait for great men to arise before the power of the pulpit is restored?

The New Testament begins in a setting of preaching. "There was a man sent from God, whose name was John." "He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness." "In those days came John the Baptist, preaching. . . . Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about Jordan." Such is the word of both John and Matthew. From then on the work of the church grew up with great prophetic preach­ing.

At the outset of the New Testament church, preaching was mainly centered in Messianic prophecy, which meant that preaching was Christ-cen­tered. To be such, it was of necessity based on the Bible. Elsewhere than in the Word of God there was nothing worth knowing about Jesus—certainly nothing to inspire great preaching.

AH this means that great preaching depends upon the Bible, not upon great men. The Word makes great preachers. Find a John Wesley, a Campbell Morgan, and you find a man of the Word.

Today men preach psychology (often in an ama­teurish way), philosophy, politics, history, anec­dotes, topical events, almost to the exclusion of that kind of expository preaching that brings men face to face with the Saviour of men. We are, there­fore, subjected to poverty-stricken preaching.

It is the greatness of God's Word that we must preach, the astounding Word that solves the prob­lems of human life. Then we shall be great preach­ers, and souls will be born again.

"The scriptures are the comprehensive equip­ment of the man of God, and fit him fully for all branches of his work" (2 Tim. 3:17).*

H. W. L.

* From The New Testament in Modern English by J. B. Phillips. Copyright 1958, by J. B. Phillips. Used by permis­sion of The Macmillan Company.

 

"THE MISSING LINK"

Repeated warnings from the Spirit of Prophecy and current news releases stress the importance of healthful living. Hospitals and church pews are filled with the sick and dying. The gospel minister longs for the apostolic power to lay hands on the sick that they might be healed. A casual study of history reveals that this power may be slow in coming. It is the minister's privilege, meanwhile, to teach men how to live. This teach­ing must be balanced. No one phase should be as­signed greater significance than another. The non-flesh diet, the necessity of fresh air, exercise, sun­shine, moderation in the use of pastries and ice cream, abstention from tea, coffee, and other stimu­lants, are necessary to the best spiritual, physical, and mental health of the Christian. To pound away at one of these important items to the neglect of others is to misrepresent the health program to the church and to the world, and to succeed only in making enemies for this important truth. Con­versely, to utterly disregard the total teaching, or any phase of it, is to be like a traveler who while motoring is faced with the sign "Travel at your own risk." The decision is his and the risks are his. At any rate, in the health program of the church the missing link is more than a Veja-Link!

E. E. C.


Ministry reserves the right to approve, disapprove, and delete comments at our discretion and will not be able to respond to inquiries about these comments. Please ensure that your words are respectful, courteous, and relevant.

comments powered by Disqus

August 1961

Download PDF
Ministry Cover

More Articles In This Issue

Evaluation of It Is Written Decision Films

The June issue of The Ministry carried the third and final article of a series en­titled "From TV Screen to Harvest," deal­ing with effective follow-up of the It Is Written television program. This third ar­ticle was devoted particularly to an intro­duction of the series of decision films only recently released.

A Happy Minister's Wife *

This talk was given to the ministerial wives in training at Columbia Union College and is shared with the field in the hope that other college groups will reciprocate and let us hear from them.

Our Friends the Disciples of Christ: Discussions on the Contemporary Religions of America—No. 4

Thoughts on the Disciples of Christ, an indigenous American religious group.

A God Upon Whom We Can Depend

Sermon outline: What is God really like? God's ancient purpose for this world, Jesus is the solution to the problem, etc.

The Dilemma of Adventist Medicine

ADVENTIST medicine got off to a good start in the latter half of the nineteenth century. There was an opportunity afforded for scientific research and develop­ment that would have placed Adventist medicine far in the vanguard of the medi­cal sciences. Instead of this, after some initial attempts at research by its first out­standing physician, controlled experimen­tal investigation was never established by the Adventist profession and never became a part of Adventist medical tradition. Why?

Some Thoughts on Eternal Life

Does the Christian who knows Christ already have eternal life? Some thoughts.

Australasian Evangelistic Goal

It is sev­enty-five years since three evangelists came to Australia from America and with much fervor and great earnestness began to preach the truths known so well to members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Down through the years many other men have raised their voices to glorify God and tell of His soon coming.

Evangelistic Leadership Emphasized in Extension School

From the challenging discussions in the class on pastoral care, led so ably by Charles E. Wittschiebe, these same students emerged with a clearer insight of human nature and the way to meet the many prob­lems of counseling. Professor Wittschiebe was also director of the extension course.

Andrews University Extension School, South American Division

From January 2 to Febru­ary 25, an extension school of Andrews University was held in the Colegio Adventista Brasileiro in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Eleven years had elapsed since the first one, held in Monte­video in Uruguay.

View All Issue Contents

Digital delivery

If you're a print subscriber, we'll complement your print copy of Ministry with an electronic version.

Sign up
Advertisement - RevivalandReformation 300x250

Recent issues

See All
Advertisement - SermonView - WideSkyscraper (160x600)