Sermons are a great way to convey God’s Word, but it is not the only way. For instance, illustrations can tell the story in ways that sermons never can. Often asking a few needed questions with biblical answers can get the message across more clearly. Here is a good example of what I mean:
What if you were at work and your employer gave you a set of five duties to do. He told you to get them done before he got back at the end of the day. However, once he had left you took it on yourself to subtract two of his orders and added two things you wanted to do. Question: Do you honestly think that your employer would be pleased with your results? Yes, you accomplished three things he wanted you to do, but you failed to do the other two. Yes, you accomplished both things you wanted done, but none of those things were important to your employer. Question: Do you think this employee will be rewarded or fired?
Jesus commanded his apostles to preach the gospel to every creature but many have revised the gospel (Mt 28:19,20 f; Mk 16:15,16). Such is the case of those who obey portions of the gospel but fail to do the rest. Many believe and confess Jesus to be the Christ, and repent of their sins, but they fail to be baptized. In place of baptism they add “The sinner’s prayer” or a “death bed confession”. What will God do to these when they stand before him at the judgment (Gal 1:6-9)?
Jesus commanded Christians to worship God in Spirit and in truth (Jn 4:23,24) Yet, many will worship God as God commanded up to a point. They sing, but they add instrumental music (Eph 5:19). They take the Lord’s supper, but not every week (Acts 20:7). They give each Lord’s day but also on all other days they assemble (1 Cor 16:1,2). They have preachers and leaders but many of them are women (2 Tim 2:2 f; 1 TIm 3:1-13). What will God do to these when they stand before him at the judgment (Mt 15:7-9)?
The answer to these two questions is the same answer as the illustration up above: they will be fired. They will say to God exactly as Jesus illustrated in his sermon on the mount: “ “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ (Mt 7:21-23).
If we want to please God, let us do exactly as God commanded us to do __no more and no less! (1 Cor 4:6 ff; 1 Pet 4:11; Rev 22:18,19.