60 Seconds – The Thermopylae of ChristianityAuthor: Dave Arnold
George W. Truett, who pastored the First Baptist Church of Dallas for 47 years, and one of the most influential ministers of his era, stated, “The Thermopylae of Christianity is the pulpit.” Thermopylae is primarily known for the battle that took place there in 480 BC, in which an overmatching combined Greek force of approximately 4,000 held off advancing Persians under Xerxes, and the term since has been used to reference heroic resistance against a more powerful enemy.
Luke tells us, “He sent them to preach the gospel of the kingdom of God” (Luke 9:2). “Preach” means “to be a herald, or to proclaim.” Preaching is meant to proclaim the arrival of the King and His kingdom. Vance Havner wrote, “The very fact that the truth is not popular is all the more reason for preaching it. The very fact that men will not endure it is a reason for seeing that they get it. It is not our responsibility to make it acceptable; it is our duty to make it available.”
Deuteronomy 1:5 states, “On this side of Jordan, in the land of Moab, began Moses to declare this law.” “Declare” is from the Hebrew word baar, meaning “to expound, dig in or engrave.” He presented the law in finer detail, and greater depth, so as to affect a change in the people’s lives. Alan Redpath observed, “In many places a mutilated gospel is being preached. It majors on free grace, but minors on full obedience. Failure to preach the entire message, which includes not only the forgiveness of sins, but deliverance from the power of the sin principle, has produced a generation of independent Christians who simply have not progressed with God, and who do not grow.”
The great preacher of the past, Hugh Latimer, while preparing to preach at the Royal Court, heard a voice saying, “Be careful what you preach today, because you are going to preach before the King of England.” Then he heard another voice say, “Be careful what you preach today, since you are going to preach before the King of kings!”
“I am told sometimes today that if a man is to be successful in preaching, he must catch the spirit of the age. Never! Our business is not to catch it. Our business is to know it and correct it. In the majority of cases it needs correction, rather than catching” (G. Campbell Morgan).