May 30

Preaching our Message

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On page 20 of Charles Bradford’s book Preaching to the Times he states:

Seventh-day Adventist preaching should be distinguished by something different. It must bring to the present situation those insights and understandings that are found only in the prophetic portions of the Bible. All true Seventh-day Adventist preaching has Revelation 14:6-12 as its frame of reference…all sermons and doctrines wind up somewhere in the neighborhood of this threefold message.

Again we come to the unique aspect. I have often said, if I go to a Baptist church I expect to hear a Christian sermon, but yes I expect to hear something that lets me know that this is a Baptist church. The same with a pentecostal or methodist or whatever. Also the same with an Adventist church. Here Bradford gets to the core of the Adventist preaching identity. What are we doing? What should we be doing?

Now in preaching our “unique commission” we should not fall into the trap of simply lecturing on the facts of these portions of scripture without making it relevant to the people. If you preach the Sabbath, then the Sabbath must be seen as more than just a day you go to church on or a day you get to take off from work. If we are going to preach the Sanctuary, then it has got to be more than chronology and celestial geography. And if you are going to preach the Second Coming, it has to be more than just a threat of hell to entice you to come to the alter.

Preach Adventism, yes we must. But always find a way to preach Jesus in it. And also find a way to preach Adventism’s connection to real life in it. Because in the end, it is better to hear a great sermon that will help to strengthen and empower than hear a lecture on facts that seem by our presentation to be irrelevant to real life.

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