Quote of the Week

Today we hear from Doug Kelly, from his commentary on Revelation, p. 292:

I have never understood how, when the gospel is explained, and the great love of God to us in Jesus is held forth, some people are angered and will not accept it. After a fairly long preaching and teaching ministry, I have gained the impression that preaching the sheer grace of God is far more likely to anger sinners than preaching the requirements of the law. In my early years, I had assumed that it would be the opposite, but the years taught me better.

I will never forget one Sunday night, many years ago, at an evening service at the First Presbyterian Church, Dillon. I preached a rather long sermon on Psalm 22, setting forth the wonderful grace of God in Christ, who was forsaken that we need never be forsaken, whose blood is the only thing that can get any sinner into heaven. One man at that service became extremely angry. he was not angry over the length of the sermon, but over what was said. At times, I have made people angry, but I have never seen a person more infuriated than on that night. That older gentleman said something like this: “What do you mean by saying we cannot do something to please God to help us get into heaven, and that if we do good works, they are not sufficient? I have never heard such things! You are excluding people here who are trying to do good.” I quietly and calmly replied, “Well, do not argue with me; argue with the Lord.”

It worked out well. Time went by, and he was getting into the Word of God, attending every service and reading Holy Scripture daily. God saved his soul! Then he was very glad that grace would be preached. Sinners do not like the law, but there is something they like even less: the mercy of God in the cleansing blood of Christ, that requires them humbly to bow at the foot of the cross. But keep preaching it, for it is the only way lost men and women can get in touch with that tabernacle and the God whom it represents.