Positive, Negative, or True

When I felt led of God to preach the messages under the heading, “A Jonah Moment”,  I had to ask myself “why these messages?”; and ” what will be the reaction?”  We live in a time when an amazing number of preachers are far more concerned with the marketability of their message than with its purpose.  I never want to bring a message that is intentionally negative, but the primary question should always be “Is it true?”  Was Jesus being negative when he called the religious leaders of his day “blind guides.”   Was He being negative when he called them “white washed tombs?”  Was Jesus being negative when he said to Peter, “Satan get behind me”?  The intent in all of these remarks by Jesus was positive.  They were words of warning.  They were words intended to lead to soul searching repentence and change.  It must have broke His heart to say such things.  It certainly makes my own heart heavy to challenge the frivilous approach to God’s Word that is all too prevalent in our day.  The purpose is positive though the message may be painful.   A great old evangelist of days gone by was named Vance Havner.  He used to say that people ought to be mad, sad, or glad after hearing a sermon.  He said the worst result would be indifference.  Interestingly he said a single group of people could hear the same message and respond in all of the above ways.  Great is the mystery of the proclaimed Word of God.

Dan Wooldridge

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