In pondering a quote by Lenard Ravenhill:
"If Jesus had preached the same message that ministers preach today, He would never have been crucified."
I found this very worthy of pondering...
I had a very healthy discussion recently with a Brother about balance in preaching. We agreed on many points and had different thoughts on a few others. But the main thrust of what we were talking about was the preaching of Gods word to the True Church, to Believers, to Gods Elect, and presenting more of a message of joy and celebrating our having all our sins forgiven.
Now I need to make a distinction here, that the Church we attend is a Calvinist Church, and every sermon is preached expounding Gods attributes, from Wrath to Forgiveness. But the discussion engaged 2 t church types, either the American Arminian (seeker-friendly) man centered, or the Doctrines of Grace (God is Sovereign).
The discussion led to a... "Do we really need to preach Wrath to the True Church, if the True Church is not under the Law and therefore Wrath and condemnation no longer apply to it?"
In theory I guess this would be true, but that is in theory.
But I find that most American Churches are already preaching a message like that. Although they may mention the word "sin" most do not mention it, In fact the word "sin" is on an un-written banned-word list, let alone words like "wrath".
And the question arose, should we preach a message without mentioning wrath and sin, and only expounding on the glories of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. Then the question was posed to me "couldn't God use just those things to regenerate someone?" And the answer is yes He can.
But although that question is true, it is not demonstrated that I can see in Scripture.
In all of Paul's letters to the Churches, he always presents a message that never forgets to outline, expose, and convict his hearers of sin and the serious consequences of sin, and this many times will be immediately after he opens in a blessing of Love and Grace.
Part of the Glories of God is also Gods Righteousness! A Righteousness that also demands and displays a Holy hatred and wrath towards sin.
To leave this out of a preached message is to only demonstrate a partial display of Gods Wondrous Glory.
All in all as much as we may contemplate on what the ideal Church should be, one thing it is not is perfect, until our Lords coming that is. I do not find any example of a Church where all the congregation are saved Saints who and to whom a message was preached without True Repentance being preached.
I also notice that when ever large crowds are addressed, it is NEVER in a LOVE sermon only.