‘Give it, preach it, live it — for all eternity hangs in the balance,’ Killian says comment (0)
November 21, 2013
By Julie Payne
"Friends, the message of Christ is the only hope this world will ever know. Give it, preach it, live it — for all eternity hangs in the balance.”
It was a message focused on the eternal, and it was one John Killian delivered passionately during the president’s address of the Alabama Baptist State Convention annual meeting Nov. 12 at Whitesburg Baptist Church, Huntsville.
Titled “Eternity in an Old Pot,” Killian referenced 2 Corinthians 4, where the apostle Paul speaks of the power of the gospel and the lasting nature of salvation that dwells in us.
Killian said “this glorious gospel is the only hope for a darkened sinner.” He noted that in the beginning of the chapter, Paul speaks of “our calling to ministry.”
“Friends, you and I don’t have power to convert,” he said. “You and I are up against what Ephesians 6 calls spiritual wickedness in high places. … But verse 4 clarifies that the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine in hearts that we might believe.”
While many are concerned about the social ills of today’s culture, “the ultimate answer is not found in social reform, economic development or political upheaval,” Killian said. “The answer is in the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Citing verses 7–15, Killian said the glorious gospel gives hope to the preacher in times of discouragement.
In verse 8, Paul said he’s hard-pressed on every side yet not crushed. “One who carries forth the gospel is going to face opposition … but that gospel declarer is not utterly defeated,” Killian noted. “We live with the promise that we can bear our opposition, as the gospel truth inside of us is eternal. [The] gospel truth is a treasure far more valuable than the troubles of this life are destructive.”
When “we come to grips with the fact that we are simply the earthly vessels, the old clay pots, and that which is valuable is the gospel within, then we learn that the thrill of ministry is that we are handling the very gospel of Christ,” he said.
Killian pleaded with pastors to take joy in knowing they are impacting eternity as they proclaim God’s truth. “Preach [the gospel of Christ] powerfully, with integrity, joyfully, boldly (and) unashamedly, for you are God’s vessel to disseminate His eternal message,” he said.
Killian added that one can earn a doctorate from seminary and conjugate Greek verbs and process Hebrew idioms, but one’s greatest need is to be “engulfed with the awe of the gospel,” he declared to rousing applause.
Citing verses 16–18, Killian noted this glorious gospel is all that matters when life ends.
“These last verses … are an oasis for the preacher,” he said. “While the world may oppose us, we don’t lose heart because that which we are proclaiming … will last long after this world ends.
“Friends, when you give out the Word of God, you’re giving out the only message that will change darkness to light, change the wicked to righteous, take the unbelieving and give saving faith.”