“We Preachers Do Not Preach Hell Enough” — J. Gresham Machen
“We preachers do not preach hell enough, and we do not say enough about sin. We talk about the gospel and wonder why people are not interested in what we say. Of course they are not interested. No man is interested in a piece of good news unless he has the consciousness of needing it; no man is interested in an offer of salvation unless he knows that there is something from which he needs to be saved. It is quite useless to ask a man to adopt the Christian view of the gospel unless he first has the Christian view of sin.
But a man will never adopt the Christian view of sin if he considers merely the sin of the world or the sins of other people. Consideration of the sins of other people is the deadliest of moral anodynes; it relieves the pain of conscience but it also destroys moral life. Many persons gloat over denunciations of that to which they are not tempted; or they even gloat over denunciations, in the case of other people, of sins which are also really theirs. King David was very severe when the prophet Nathan narrated to him his sordid tale of greed. ‘As the Lord liveth,’ said David, ‘the man that hath done this thing shall surely die.’ But Nathan was a disconcerting prophet. ‘And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man.’ (II Samuel 12:5, 7) That was for David the beginning of a real sense of his sin. So it will also be with us.”
- J. Gresham Machen
taken from: Sin’s Wages and God’s Gift.