THE DUMB PREACHER
Many preachers are giving up the old ideas about the fall and total depravity of man. People are not often plainly told now that they are guilty sinners before a holy God. The sermons of our forefathers – who used to press this so constantly upon their hearers – are looked upon in many quarters as relics
of the dark ages, only fit for the old curiosity shop.
There is however, one preacher left of the old school, and he speaks today as loudly and as clearly as ever. He is not a popular preacher though the world is his parish, and he travels over every part of the globe, and he speaks in every language under the sun. He visits the poor, he calls upon the rich, he preaches to both churchmen and dissenters, and to people of every religion and people of no religion and whatever text he may have, the substance of his sermon is always the same.
He is an eloquent preacher; he often stirs the feelings which no other preacher could reach, and brings tears into the eyes that are little used to weep. He addresses himself to the intellect, the conscience and the heart of his hearers. His arguments none have been able to refute; there is no conscience on earth that has not at some time quailed in his presence. Nor is there any heart that has remained wholly unmoved by the force of his weighty appeals. Most people hate him, but in one way or another he makes everybody hear him. His name is DEATH!
You have heard many sermons from the old preacher. You cannot take up a newspaper without finding that he has a corner in it. Every tombstone serves him for a pulpit. You often see his congregation passing to and from the cemetery. Every scrap of mourning is a memento of one of his visits. Some day very soon he may have you for his text, and in your bereaved family circle, and by your grave, he may be preaching to others.
Consider this matter. Must there not be a cause for this? Is it by mere accident that a creature with such powers and capacities should come to so ignominious an end? There is but one answer to these questions, and as long as the old preacher goes on his rounds he will continue to proclaim it. Listen!
By one man sin entered into the world and death by sin! (Romans 5: 12)
The fall of man is no theological dogma, but is a fearful reality – to which the world’s history, and the stern sad facts of our own experience bear terrible witness. “Sin” is not simply an ugly word in the Bible. It is a dark, foul reality, which blights and curses the world with its presence. Nor is there any scope of its ravages. “Death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” My reader is implicated in this matter.
You have sinned. Upon you the sentence of death is passed. And very soon it will be said of you, as it was said of nine old men in Genesis, fifth chapter – ‘he died.’
How will you die? The Holy Ghost has written a short but solemn epitaph
In Hebrews 10: 28 “DIED WITHOUT MERCY”
An innocent man may plead for justice, but the sinner’s only hope is mercy.
The guilty one can only escape by the door of mercy. If the offended does not receive the due reward of his deeds, it must be on the grounds of mercy. The transgressor can only be pardoned at the mercy seat. Hence the penitent’s only cry is: “God be merciful unto me a sinner.” He is conscious that nothing but mercy will do for him.
There is another epitaph - short but blessed – in Hebrews 11: 13 Look at it
“THESE ALL DIED IN FAITH”
Yes! The dear men spoken of trod the path of faith, and as they lived, so they died – “in faith”
God has not been indifferent to the ruin of His creature, whose sin has brought death upon him. There is no denying the fact that “the wages of sin is death” but it is equally true that the gift of God is eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 6: 23)
The Holy Son of God has died in love upon the cross. Yes, God commends His love to us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
The old preacher never spoke so loudly, or in such solemn tones, as when Jesus went to Calvary. Divine love would bless the sinner, but Divine holiness could not make light of the sin.. The full penalty of guilt – the wages of sin in all its dark and dread reality – passed upon the sinless Substitute
You may die unsaved; you will not die unloved. The love of God – the work of Christ – urge you to turn to the Son of God whose soul-assuring words are: “He that heareth My words, and believeth on Him that sent Me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but is passed from death unto life.” (John 5: 24)
P.O. Box 432, Hastings. N.Z.