Who Is The Old School Preacher?
Many preachers are giving up the old ideas about the fall and total depravity of man. People are not often plainly told that they are guilty sinners before a holy God.
The sermons of our forefathers—who used to press this so constantly upon their hearers—are looked upon as relics of the dark ages. There is, however, one preacher left of the “old school,” and he speaks today as boldly as ever.
He is not popular, though the world is his parish, and he travels over every part of the globe, and speaks in every language under the sun. He visits the poor, calls upon the rich, and preaches to people of every religion and of no religion, but the subject of his sermon is always the same.
He is an eloquent preacher—often stirs feelings which no other preacher could reach, and brings tears into eyes that seldom weep. He addresses himself to the conscience, and the heart. His arguments none are able to refute; nor is there any heart that has remained wholly unmoved by the force of his weighty appeals. Most people hate him, for many quail in his presence, but in one way or another he makes everybody hear him.
He is neither refined nor polite. Indeed, he often interrupts public arrangements, and breaks in rudely upon the private enjoyments of life. He frequents the shop, the office, and the mill; he appears in the midst of legislators, and intrudes upon fashionable and religious gatherings at most inopportune times. His name is death.
What Will You Do About Death?
You cannot take up a newspaper without finding that he has a corner in it. Every tombstone serves him for a pulpit. You often see his congregations passing to and from the graveyard. The sudden departure of that neighbor, the solemn parting with that dear parent, the loss of that valued friend, the awful gap that was left in your heart when that fondly loved wife, that idolized child, was taken, have all been loud and solemn appeals from this old preacher.
Soon he may take you for his text, and in your bereaved family circle, and by your graveside he may be preaching to others. Let your heart thank God this moment that you are still in the land of the living—that you have not, ere now, died in your sins!
You may get rid of the Bible; you may ridicule its teaching; you may despise its warnings; you may reject the Savior of whom it speaks. You can get away from the preachers of the gospel. You are not compelled to go to either church or mission room; and you can cross over to the other side of the street if there be an open-air meeting.
It is in your power to burn this click off this article in an instant. But what will you do with the old preacher of whom I have spoken?
Why Does Death Preach?
Dying men and women, consider the prospect that is before you! Your little day will soon be passed, your pleasures ended. After all, “Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment” (Hebrews 9:27 NIV).
Pause and consider this matter. Is there not a cause for death? Is it by mere accident that a creature with such powers and capacities should come to so ignominious an end? There is but one answer to these questions, and as long as the old preacher goes on his rounds, he will continue to proclaim it. Listen.
Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin. (Romans 5:12 NIV)
The Fall of Man is no mere theological dogma, but a fearful reality evidenced by the world’s history and our own experiences. Sin is not simply an ugly word in the Bible or on the preacher’s lips; it is a dark universal power which blights the world by its presence. “In this way death came to all people, because all sinned—” (Romans 5:12 NIV). My reader is implicated in this matter.
You have sinned; upon you the sentence of death has passed.
One second after your death, it will be of no consequence to you whether you died in a palace or in a cellar, but it will be of eternal consequence the state of soul in which you died. If you “die in your sins,” having spurned the cleansing blood of the Son of God, your doom is sealed. All unbelievers “will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death” (Revelation 21:8 NIV).
What Will Your Epitaph Be?
Which of the two following epitaphs will be yours?
“DIED WITHOUT MERCY” (Hebrews 10:28 NIV), or “DIED IN FAITH” (Hebrews 11:13 NIV).
If only they were wise… and discern what their end will be! (Deuteronomy 32:29 NIV)
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23 NIV)
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8 NIV)
The old preacher never spoke so loudly, or in such solemn tones, as when Jesus went to Calvary. Divine holiness could not make light of sin. The full penalty of guilt — the wages of sin in all its dark and dread reality — passed upon the sinless Substitute. He took our place in death and judgment, that we might have his place of acceptance and favor before God.
Are You Facing Death with Jesus?
You may die unsaved; but you will not die unloved (John 3:16).
What will you do without Him?
When death has sealed your fate,
And the word of doom tolls thru your soul,
That terrible “Too late!”
What will you do without Him?
When the great White Throne you face,
And speechless you stand before Him,
A rejecter of His grace?
You cannot do without Him,
There is no other name,
By which you ever can be saved—
No way, no hope, no claim!
Without Him—everlasting loss
Of love, and life, and light!
Without Him—everlasting woe
And everlasting night! (F.R.H.)