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. (Hebrews 4:12 ESV)
To promulgate a dry creed, and go over certain doctrines, and expound and enforce them logically, but never to upbraid them for their sins, never to tell them of their danger, never invite them to a Savior with tears and entreaties – what a powerless work this is! We want laborers, not loiterers.
Now, see what the laborer brings with him. It is a sickle. His communications with the corn are sharp and cutting. He cuts right through, cuts the corn down, and casts it on the ground.
The man whom God means to be a laborer in His harvest must not come with delicate words and flattering doctrines concerning the dignity of human nature and the excellence of self-help and of earnest endeavors to rectify our lapsed condition and the like.
Such mealymouthedness may God curse, for it is the curse of this age. The honest preacher calls a sin a sin and a spade a spade and says to men, ‘You are ruining yourselves; while you reject Christ you are living on the borders of Hell, and ere long you will be lost to all eternity.
There shall be no mincing of the matter; you must escape from the wrath to come by faith in Jesus or be driven forever from God’s presence and from all hope of joy.’ The preacher must make his sermons cut. Our sickle is made on purpose to cut.
The Gospel is intended to wound the conscience and go right through to the heart, with the design of separating the soul from sin and self, as the corn is divided from the soil.1
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