Monday, January 31, 2011

Tackling Hell

This coming Sunday's sermon is on Hell. I have preached specifically on Hell, as the sole topic of the day, probably a 1/2 dozen times. I couldn't really say how many times I've referenced hell in sermons over the years.... maybe a couple of dozen times?

When it comes to the frequency of preaching on the topic of Hell, there's no sense in trying to please anybody. For some congregational members, the preacher never preaches on Hell enough. For others, they'd prefer not to hear about Hell, since they grew up on "a steady diet" of brimstone & fire sermons as a child...

So, I personally have two approaches to the frequency of preaching on Hell:
#1., Objectively: if the passage of Scripture I'm preaching through raises the subject, then that's an appropriate time to deal with Hell.
#2., Subjectively: if the congregation needs instruction on the subject of Hell.

Preaching, or not preaching, on a subject with frequency because of feeling pressured to/not to, never produces a quality sermon. People see right through insincerity... every time. The bigger question than the frequency of preaching on Hell, is the motivation...

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Death is on my mind:

This week I'm preparing a sermon (with the corresponding small group lesson) on the Resurrection... I thought I'd share a joke I was going to use in the sermon but decided to edit out:

The old man had died. A wonderful funeral was in progress and the country preacher talked at length of the good traits of the deceased, what an honest man he was, and what a loving husband and kind father he was. Finally, the widow leaned over and whispered to one of her children, "Go up there and take a look in the coffin and see if that's your pa."

We often use the old cliché, live your life so the preacher won't have to lie at your funeral... I doubt that saying has changed too many people's life, because nobody plans to die, or at least thinks about the inevitably of one's own death.

This Sunday hopefully I can talk about death and resurrection in a way that isn't perceived as morbid, depressing or sad. I hope that we walk away with a sense of encouragement, even empowerment, when all is said and done!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Sweeping the dust off...

I'm almost embarrassed, not quite, but I'm almost embarrassed by how long it's been since I've posted anything on my blog. Three people, or their comments actually, have motivated me to get back in the saddle of blogging.
One comment was made by a guy we've helped off and on, and we've studied with. He recently made a comment on how he likes my blog. Then, this last Sunday before class, someone asked me about a posting I wrote on a book series. And finally, last week Rodney asked me about the two of us doing some blogging, maybe even a daily blog entry with a devotional focus.

The picture, you ask, what's with that? Just one more personal reminder of how well I handle embarrassing situations :-)