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A Message For Preachers
Revelation 1:8
by Don Fortner

"I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty." Revelation 1:8

In the Word of God, Christ is the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the Ending, the First and the Last. He is the same in all true gospel preaching. If Christ is not the Alpha and the Omega, the A and the Z of our ministries, then our ministries are a useless mockery to the souls of men.

Any sermon that is without Christ crucified is a sin in its conception and an abomination in its execution. The man who calls himself a preacher and yet devotes himself to anything except the preaching of Jesus Christ and him crucified is an imposter. Whatever the theme of our sermons may be, Christ crucified must be the beginning and the end. Our message is Christ himself.

It is Christ, my brethren, who commissioned us to this great and glorious work, who trusted to our hands the unsearchable riches of his grace; and it is Christ to whom we are responsible, to whom we must give account. You may have gotten your degrees from the finest colleges and seminaries in the land, the most highly acclaimed preachers of the day may have been seated on your ordination counsel, you may be a most talented and brilliant scholar; but unless Christ himself has sent you forth to labor in his vineyard, you have assumed a foolís errand!

It may be that you are an uneducated man, rejected by colleges and other preachers as one who is incompetent for the ministry; but if the Son of God has sent you forth into his vineyard, you are gifted and qualified for the work to which he has called you; and he will both sustain you in it and make you an instrument of usefulness in his hands. You are Godís servant!

If we are, indeed, Godís servants, let us act like it. Preach Christ! Preach Christ! Preach Christ! We are unfaithful to our Master, unfaithful to our calling, unfaithful to the Word of God, and unfaithful to the souls of our hearers if we take up any other subject for any reason.

Sermons devoted to logic, ancient languages, and historic creeds are as dry as last yearís corn husks, and just as useless. Hogs made feed on them, but not sheep. Sermons filled with emotionalism, sentimentality, and flowery speech are a mockery to eternity bound sinners. Such preaching is like throwing a pretty wreath to a drowning man. Sermons on morality, political issues, and prophetic mysteries are of no more value to the souls of men than ice cubes to an Eskimo.

What lost sinners need is Christ. What saved sinners need is Christ. Christ alone saves us. Christ alone sanctifies us. Christ alone keeps us. Christ is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Without him, there is no going in the way. Without him, there is no knowing of the truth. Without him, there is no living of the life. Christ is the Light to direct us out of darkness. Christ is the Rock on which we must build. Christ is the Refuge to shelter us in the storm. Christ is the Star to lead us by night. Christ is the Balm to heal our souls. Christ is the Example we must follow. Christ is the Rule by which we live. Christ is the motive and inspiration for all godliness, devotion, sacrifice, and self-denial.

If every preacher in the world lived a thousand years and preached ten times a day, Christ crucified is a subject we could never exhaust. Are we the servants of Jesus Christ? Then, let us preach Christ! Preach redemption by Christ to the guilty. Preach grace in Christ to the needy. Preach the strength of Christ to the weak. Preach preservation in Christ to the tempted. Preach deliverance by Christ to the fallen. Preach forgiveness by Christ to the sinful. Preach Christ our Peace to the troubled. Preach Christ our Advocate to the accused. Preach Christ our Life to the dying.

As Dewitt Talmage said long ago, "In that stern hour when we feel that we shall never preach again, and we have ascended to the pulpit for the last time, all but Christ will be nothing." So preach Christ my brethren, only Christ, all of Christ, nothing but Christ! The approval or disapproval of man is nothing. Our denominations are nothing. All the creeds, confessions, and debates of men are nothing. CHRIST IS EVERYTHING! Preach Christ! Preach Christ! Preach Christ! Preach Christ, or do not preach at all.

AMEN.



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