Sunday, 10 August 2008

Peter Jensen preaches

We had a wonderful sermon at church this morning, from Peter Jensen, on the subject Why did Jesus have to die?

What hit me most powerfully, however, were Peter's first words in response to the question "How did you become a Christian?"

Peter responded immediately, and I quote, "The thing that appealed to me first was that God judges."

An extraordinary statement! Peter became a Christian as a teenager at the 1959 Billy Graham crusade. I may come back with a bit more on what he actually said in his sermon at some stage, but I sat contemplating those particular words for quite a time. There is a school of thought that says we need to preach judgement less rather than more, especially when dealing with teenagers who may be sensitive and emotionally vulnerable. Whatever we may think of this, Peter's experience was that the understanding of God's terrible judgement was quite literally the key to his teenage conversion to Christ.


Ruth said...

preaching on judgement inspired me to stay Christian when I was a questioning teenager - a decision I've never regretted. :-)

The Pook said...

To say we need to preach on judgement less assumes something that ain't necessarily so, namely that preachers are talking about judgement at all!

Speaking about the judgement of God is especially important in evangelism and preaching to the unconverted or those who know little about it. In most contexts it should be part of gospel preaching.

However, our emphasis on judgement over time in our overall teaching program to Christians probably should be in similar proportions to the emphasis of scripture, which is ovewhelmingly weighted towards the mercy and grace of God towards his people in Christ. Too little on judgement and we tend towards a low view of the consequences of sin and human responsibility and perhaps even become universalists. Too much and we veer towards legalism and even despair.

Gordon Cheng said...

in similar proportions to the emphasis of scripture, which is ovewhelmingly weighted towards the mercy and grace of God towards his people in Christ.

Hey GM,

I used to think this was so but regular reading of Scripture has persuaded me otherwise. The Bible is overwhelmingly a book of judgement and suffering.

Alex C said...

Judgement also highlights God's holiness. We can only really have a proper view of God's grace by knowing where we were heading without Christ.

Alex C

David McKay said...

I baulked at Jeremiah for a long time, because of all that judgment stuff, but when you read it a few times, you really appreciate the blessing stuff more, as it is interspersed amongst the warnings!

Pete said...

Even sitting in a foreign land I can appreciate the context of this blog post.

I need to keep hearing judgement, a great warning to stay on the straight and narrow when the world temps away.

The Pook said...

I know a man who was converted when a preacher spoke (in no uncertain terms) about hell at a funeral. No doubt some were offended. But one was saved for eternity.

Lisa Hall said...

Judgement shows that God is opposed to sin. A god who isn't opposed to sin isn't a god worth investing our lives in.