Theme: Preaching Goodwill vs. End Times
Friday, March 04, 2011 by Ruth McDonnell

Dear Alphie,
The Lord is calling me to preach end times doctrine and preach it boldly … do you also feel the gravity of revelation unfolding … and why do most churches seem to be just preaching goodwill and prosperity … when at this time in history, we need to be preaching more “perseverance, strength, and understanding” for this time period will be one of trial and tribulation … we need to put on the full armor of God and prepare to be tested ….. refined by the refiners fire … and become as pure gold…. of course preach Jesus Christ crucified and His love, but also remember …. revelation is also His word … and His will … so why is this not being preached … prophecy is truth unfolding …. and we are in the midst of it … do you also believe this ?
Signed,
Mark

Dear Mark

Thank you for your question, it is very thought provoking. It seeks to discover, who is called to preach and what are we called to preach, in bringing the Good News to those we meet.

In answer to the first, I believe that we are all called to share God’s word. This can be done in many ways. Some are ordained to preach from a pulpit, others (and Biblical prophecy text bears this out) are anointed (called) by God to preach in the public forum from the desert to the market place. Others preach more silently through the actions of their everyday lives. St. Francis of Assisi reminds us that we should preach constantly, using words only when necessary.

What to preach is the next question. End times, judgment, perseverance in the face of unfolding revelation… these all have strong traditions in the history of our Church. The Redemptorists are well known from a certain age for preaching hellfire and brimstone sermons, literally scaring the Hell out of people.

Many of the Biblical prophets spoke of God’s coming judgment in order to invoke conversion. But this was never the sole message.

As you mention in your question, for every word of doom and gloom the prophets spoke also of God’s love, God’s compassion and God’s faithfulness to the covenant which had been struck with the people, Christ Crucified for our salvation.

End of days doctrine has a place in our faith but it does need to be balanced by the message of God that he sent his son so that our lives would be filled with abundant joy (see John 15:11).

As you explore your call to preach discern carefully what God is calling you to speak on his behalf. Remember that conversion won by love lasts far longer than conversion won by fear.

Above all give God thanks for your call. To many of the prophets God’s words first tasted bitter in their mouths but with time they became sweet as honey.

Sincerely,

aka Fr. Jon, C.Ss.R.