Easter sermons present a challenge to keep the gospel simple. Since many non-Christians will hear sermons this weekend, it is incredibly important for the Good News to be clear and plain.
As I’ve worked on my message covering 1 John 5:11-13, I kept hearing the voice of Billy Graham (1918-2018) in my head. I’ve always marveled at the powerful simplicity of Graham’s evangelistic messages.
I’ll close my Easter message with a quotation from Graham. But I’m not going to give that away here. However, I’ll offer some of his other great quotes where the gospel is kept simple:
“I want to tell people about the meaning of the cross. Not the cross that hangs on the wall or around someone’s neck, but the real cross of Christ…With all my heart I want to leave you with the truth, that he loves you, and is willing to forgive you of all your sins. Sin is a disease of the human heart….There is no other way of salvation except through the cross of Christ. Today, I’m asking you to put your trust in Christ.”
“Salvation is always “good news.” It is news of God’s love and forgiveness—adoption into His family— fellowship with His people—freedom from the penalty of sin— liberation from the power of sin.”
“You cannot come to Christ unless the Spirit of God brings you. But what if you ignore His warnings? Then you are in the gravest danger, for some day God will no longer be speaking to you. Then it will be too late. Come to Christ while there is still time. Christ, God’s greater Ark, stands ready to welcome you to safety today.” (https://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/40328.Billy_Graham?page=2)
“The Lord is not only tender and merciful and full of compassion, but He is also the God of justice, holiness and wrath…Compassion is not complete in itself, but must be accompanied by inflexible justice and wrath against sin and a desire for holiness. What stirs God most is not physical suffering but sin. All too often we are more afraid of physical pain than of moral wrong. The cross is the standing evidence of the fact that holiness is a principle for which God would die. God cannot clear the guilty until atonement is made. Mercy is what we need and that is what we receive at the foot of the cross.” (https://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/40328.Billy_Graham?page=2)
May God help many preachers to make the gospel clear and plain this weekend.