Why You Should Boldly Preach Christ Crucified

For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

(1 Corinthians 1:18, NASB95)
Peter preaching
  1. Because It is Not Popular (v. 18)
    Not only is it not popular, it is moronic (moria in Gk.). Consider the fact that the gospel of Jesus Christ demands that we say to sinners that a poor and humble Jewish man was God, and that he was nailed to a cross to die a criminals death despite his perfect innocence. We proclaim that this man is not only a man, but that he is God in the flesh. That he is perfect and sinless and that he was born of a virgin.

Furthermore, we proclaim that all of humanity is lost and that each individual man, woman, and child is a wretched sinner.
We proclaim that Christ is the only hope for humanity and that all other claims are lies from the pit of hell and all who seek salvation in any other name are doomed to eternal damnation.


We proclaim that Jesus Christ has done all that is necessary for our salvation, and that he rejects all attempts to earn salvation on our own. He, being the King, demands our allegiance and one day every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess that He is Lord.

Brothers, when we proclaim this the world will overwhelmingly reject us as fools of the worst kind. We will be called bigots, intolerant, and uneducated religious zealots. And that is why so many bow to the pressures and soften their message. Paul was keenly aware of the propensity of men to soften the blow of the gospel by using soothing words that made the hearer feel at ease.
He said in 1Corinthians 2:1-5 that he purposely made it his aim to proclaim the unvarnished gospel of Jesus Christ crucified. Today, preachers everywhere are trying to make Jesus look cool. They are trying to make Christianity attractive. They are doing just what Paul avoided.

Brothers, the cross was not cool. It was brutal and bloody.

The call of Christ is not popular. True Christianity will never court the world. But pastors will continue to attempt to make our precious faith more palatable in order to gain the popularity of the world. This is nothing but pride. Nobody should enter the ministry or the pulpit in order to make his own name great.

Isaac Watts wrote, “When I survey the wondrous cross on which the Prince of glory died; My riches gain I count but loss, and pour contempt on all my pride.”
PREACH CHRIST BECAUSE IT IS NOT POPULAR!

2. Because They Are Perishing (v. 18)
When we preach the message of the cross, the world sees it as folly because they do not see the danger to their souls. Sometimes they fail to see the danger because they do not see it in our eyes and do not hear it in our voices as we proclaim cold truth from our pulpits.
Brothers, do you feel the truth of Hell?
Do you remember the days when you were among the brood of vipers?
Do you recall that you were once a vessel prepared for destruction?
Have you forgotten that you were on the precipice of the bottomless pit and you were ready in due time to slip into eternal fire separate from God to be tormented for all eternity?
HAVE YOU FORGOTTEN?

When we remember our former state we will be quick to point people to the only remedy for their souls—the cross of Christ. When we remember that they are perishing, we will not care about their mocking and their cries for ear-tickling sermons—we will give them what we know they need.

Wrote Thomas Brooks, “The damned shall live as long in hell as God himself shall live in heaven.” That fact alone should drive us to preach Christ crucified. Check your hearts brothers. Do you feel the terror of hell and do you cry out with Paul on Sunday mornings: “For we (!) are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things?”(2Cor. 2:15-16)

PREACH CHRIST BECAUSE THEY ARE PERISHING!

3. Because It is the Power of God (v. 18)
Power in the pulpit. Power evangelism. Power encounters. Pastors want power.
But the power of God is not found in the usual places.
It is not found in business models or worldly philosophy (1Cor 1:22).
It is not found in dramatic, emotionalism (1Cor 1:22).
It isn’t found in phony encounters and confrontations with demons and the occult.

The power of God was displayed on the cross, where God sent His Son to be crushed for our iniquities. Jesus became sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God! That is power!

Concerning the justification of God, John Calvin said, “Wherever the knowledge of it is taken away, the glory of Christ is extinguished, religion abolished, the Church destroyed, and the hope of salvation utterly overthrown.” This is the power of the cross.

Why is the Church so weak and utterly incapable of making an impact in our nation? Because many so-called Christian churches have left this message behind and taken up the banners of politics, pop psychology, health and wealth, and so many other empty promises.

The Roman Catholic system, the Emerging movement, the Seeker Sensitive movement and the Liberal mainline denominations have all shown us what becomes of those who lay aside the cross of Christ. But it hasn’t stopped many men from flirting with those compromising philosophies.


Puritan pastor Richard Baxter has written, “If a hardened heart is to be broken, it is not stroking but striking that must do it.” The only thing that can cut another stone is a diamond, the hardest gem on earth. In order to cut the hardest heart, we must use the sharpest tool.

In Hebrews 4:12 we are reminded, “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”

Brothers, even in our fundamental Bible churches the temptation can be overwhelming to give up expository preaching in favor of sugar coated sermons that aim to please the itching ears of people. We reason in our hearts that once we have them in our churches we can preach the gospel to them, we just need to ease them into it. Don’t fall for this pragmatic lie!

You are merely a tool in God’s hand. He uses you as His minister to wield His weapon of choice. You cannot change the soul of a man in any way without the intervention of the Word, the Spirit and Christ. It is the Word of God preached—the Gospel alone that brings a sinner to his knees.

PREACH CHRIST BECAUSE THE MESSAGE OF THE CROSS IS YOUR ONLY POWER!

Pastor-Brothers, Be Strong and Very Courageous

“Moses My servant is dead; now therefore arise, cross this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them, to the sons of Israel.

(Joshua 1:2, NASB95)

Along with the headlines of a fallen Evangelical leader, Christian social media has also been alerted to the situation in Alberta, Canada, where Pastor James Coates has been arrested for refusing to submit to the unjust laws of the land. These laws require him to limit his church services to 15% capacity and stop serving our God with his responsibility to lead Christ’s Church. Currently Pastor Coates is in custody and will not be given bail unless he agrees not to hold services. The church was ordered to close in January and Pastor Coates was arrested and charged in early February. You can read the story from a Canadian news source here: (Global News), and see the official statement of Pastor Coates’ church here: (GraceLife Church). The aim of this post is not so much about Pastor Coates, but about the growing need for pastors to take up the courageous charge to lead in the face of growing adversity.

The times are changing. For Joshua, a new era began the moment Moses took his last breath (Joshua 1). To Joshua and the Israelites, the days must have looked very dark. But the Lord gave him and Israel courage as they looked to the future. What can we learn from God’s words to Joshua?

  1. Although we may lose key people and leaders, we will never lose God’s presence. Therefore, we take courage because God is always with us.
  2. We cling to the promise of our inheritance of a heavenly city, believing that God does not lie. Should we die in service to our God, we will be in the presence of the Lord.
  3. Just as no enemy could stand before Joshua and Israel, so too Jesus has told us that the gates of hell shall not prevail against his church.
  4. We are commanded to be strong and courageous, trusting in our God. The child of God seeks to obey even in the face of fear of the enemy and the unknown.
  5. As we follow Christ and move forward in faith and courage, the same message of walking by faith is communicated to our people and they too, gain courage in seeing our faithful obedience.

Whether it is governmental restrictions, personal attacks from the enemy, disgruntled members, destructive wolves or some other form of attack, be strong and courageous. Our God is with us.

One day, all of these challenges and threats will be a distant memory as we are gathered together worshipping the Lord God in his presence. Remember this future as you face these light, momentary afflictions. Jesus is coming soon!

Not Fair-Weather Followers

Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation.

Habakkuk 3:17-18

I had a friend in my seminary days named Dave, who was a die-hard Cleveland Browns fan. In case you have never heard of the Browns, they are an NFL football team, and according to the Bench Report, they are in the top 10 worst football teams in NFL history. But Dave was willing to endure friendly ribbing and a bit of ridicule because, for whatever reason, he loved his team.

This sort of faithfulness through good and bad times can be recounted over and over in more important ways–in marriage, in business relationships, and in friendships. But it is especially critical when we are talking about our faith in the Lord Jesus.

The Apostle Paul warned Timothy, “But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty.” (2 Timothy 3:1, ESV). This can be expected because the unrighteous people of this world will rebel against those that they perceive to be lovers of God and His Word.

Jesus himself said, ““If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. But all these things they will do to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me.” (John 15:18–21, ESV)

Today is Election Day here in the USA. I don’t know the results, but I do know that somebody has to lose. I am hopeful that those who love liberty and justice will rise up and vote to protect our freedoms as they vote. But there is no guarantee that this will happen. On the evening of the last presidential election, I went to bed while the votes were still being tallied and the pundits were making their predictions. I awoke to hear the news in the morning.

No matter the results, I am not a fair-weather follower of Jesus. Even if this country flips over into anarchy and chaos, so that the economy tanks, the banks are emptied, and the streets are filled with hatred and violence. I will mourn, and pray, and resist–but I will not stop looking to Jesus Christ as my hope because I am not a fair-weather follower. …”I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation.