How to Evaluate Your Sermons -- By: Joel R. Beeke
PRJ 3:1 (January 2011) p. 255
How to Evaluate Your Sermons
Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man? I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour. For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building. According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.
—1 Corinthians 3:5-15
In the 2010 Winter Olympics, speed-skater Sven Kramer was poised to win a second gold medal. He pressed forward in the last eight of twenty-five laps in the grueling 10,000-meter race. He had a six-second lead on the men behind him, and victory seemed sure. But then Kramer’s coach shouted, “Inner lane!” Kramer hesitated, then changed lanes, finishing the race for what he believed was a sure win.
His race earned him nothing, as Olympic officials ruled that Kramer’s cross into the wrong lane disqualified him from the race. The loss was far worse for his coach. “This is the worst moment
PRJ 3:1 (January 2011) p. 256
of my career,” he said.1 What a tragedy for those highly skilled men after years of training!
It is far worse for a servant of the Lord to cross the boundaries of his calling, thereby losing some of the heavenly reward that might have been his. The Bible reminds us that an athlete does not receive the victor’s crown unless he competes according to the rules (2 Tim. 2:5). This tragedy is not limited to scandalous falls and apostasies that bring open shame to ministers of the gospel. It is also evident in the quiet lane changes by which godly preachers of the Word operate outside their Lord’s will. These errors do not ...
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