2001-12-04 - Applying the Sermon
Psalm 31:23 O, Love the Lord, all you His saints! For the Lord preserves the faithful, and fully repays the proud person.
So you thought I was done with this topic? No, sorry, this is too important a topic to let die without a follow-up. Sermons can be very powerful. Even reading sermons can be food for thought. On this past Sunday I read a sermon that made me consider overseas missions in a very serious way. Later that day I learned that someone my family supported, church supported, and actually used to live with my family died on Saturday due to an illness contracted directly from the place she was working in. It made me long to serve Christ all the more and seek to reach those who have never heard the good news of the Gospel. Sermons can be powerful, even written ones.
In another book I have been reading I came upon a description of purgatory I had never seen before. It seems that Catholic Theologians suggest that purgatory is like being placed in a freezer or ice box for a while and then shifted into a burning furnace for a while and then shifted back to the ice box and so on... The idea being that the remaining sin in you that you need to work out will either be frozen out of you or burned out of you. Now we all know that Christ died to forgive sin and that means all our sin so this concept holds little truth, but it made me think about those who fail to apply sermons. It is just like going from the furnace to the freezer to work out sin. It is pointless. There is little use in going to hear a sermon if you have not intent to apply what you have learned in the sermon. You can't work out your sin from freezer to furnace just as you can't grow in Christ if you fail to apply what you know.
Applying the sermon, part 2
4. When you get home try to repeat the sermon to yourself. Your might say this is outrageous, and so it is, but what is more important to your soul, football or the Word of God? You can get the scores on headline news, your soul is much more precious. Meditate on the things that hit you hard. Why did they stick in your memory? Is there any truth to them in your life? Should you do inventory with God?
Soli Deo Gloria,