Check out other parts of this series, “Preaching Like Jesus”:
Even though Jesus kept his sermons simple enough for everyone to understand, it does not mean that everyone that heard them agreed with what he taught. He taught in ways that many people were not used to hearing…straight.
The use of shocking statements in your sermons can be a great addition. However like anything else, there is always a Godly balance. Just in John 6-7, listen to some of these shock statements that Jesus made:
- “I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.” (6:35,41)
- “He that believeth on me hath everlasting life. I am that bread of life.” (6:47-48)
- “Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.” (6:54)
- “Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil?” (6:70)
There are several others. Jesus had to make his points loud and clear. Many preachers have wanted the green light to be blunt from the pulpit. Here is how you keep from going off the deep end in the process:
Jesus never made outlandish remarks just for the sake of controversy, but to bring people into a greater understanding of God’s will and purpose. MOTIVES MATTER!
I preached a sermon a while back about trying to answer the question of whether you can be a Christian and drink. I had tons of scripture to back up what I said. My facts were straight, I’s dotted and T’s crossed. But after the message, God convicted me about one thing…My motive for preaching this message. I wanted to preach something that would shake everyone up. Trust me…this definitely did it! But I thought it interesting that God did not have anything negative to say about what I preached, but WHY I PREACHED IT! When you use shocking statements, don’t just let them be attention-getters. Let them be revelation-statements that will bring people into a better understanding of the Father.
Shock statements will help bring true converts, not fans.
Be ready for the backlash. People love to criticize the one thing you said that they did not agree with while forgetting all the other stuff that you said. Before you use a particular shock statement, the question you should ask is, “Will this statement disciple those who already know Christ? Will it help to bring more true converts?” If you’re trying to fight a battle with no spoils involved, is that truly honoring to God? Make sure that the statements you use are ones that are biblical and ones that bring about a great reward in the end. It would be a terrible thing to make more enemies without gaining any ground for the Kingdom.