As one of the 20th century’s most recognizable and respected names, Billy Graham set the standard for great evangelistic preaching. He proclaimed the gospel unashamedly with passion and integrity — exactly what an anointed preacher is supposed to do.
People hear sermons preached from pulpits in churches every week. Today, we have the privilege of bringing many of the great preachers right into our homes with YouTube, live streaming, and various other websites. All you have to do is Google a name and up comes a smorgasbord of spiritual food. Many times, you will hear something that will challenge your mind, bring you closer to Christ, and perhaps even change your life forever.
Paris Reidhead preached a sermon called, Ten Shekels and a Shirt, which can be found on www.sermonindex.net. It has been downloaded more than 150,000 times and is called by managers of the website the “most influential sermon of the 20th century.” It’s a message that will grip your heart and cause you to look more closely at a mask you could be wearing. You will even find yourself wincing as you hear truths that might hit a little close to home.
- On the same website Paul Washer offers, Ten Indictments Against the Modern Church, a sermon preached at a revival conference in Atlanta Georgia. It’s one of the longest messages you will ever hear, being more than two hours in length. According to an eyewitness, he was about to stop after his allotted 60 minutes but the congregation would not let him. They pleaded with him to go on and he continued with an impassioned plea to the church to stop playing games and become authentic as you live your life before the watching world.
- At the other end of the preaching style spectrum is Francis Chan who delivered a message cleverly titled, Luke Warm and Loving It. This can be found on YouTube. Using Luke 18:20-22 as his basis, he challenges Christians to look at their spiritual poverty and not to boast about wealth when, in truth, they are spiritually poor. Chan has a casual style that appeals to many of the younger believers in our midst. I love his clear anointed message, down-to-earth illustrations, and sense of humor.
- John Piper has become well known as both a speaker and an author, having written more than 30 books. His message to believers called The Price of God’s Own Blood is a clear reminder of the real reason Christ came to Earth. He uses the stirring account of Nicolaus Ludwig Zinzendorf and the Moravian church revival as an illustration of faith and sacrifice. You will be stirred to consider the sacrifice of Christ and the response of so many that have given their own lives for the sake of the Gospel.
- According to his website, Ray Stedman is considered one of the 20th century’s foremost pastors and Bible expositors. Although he has gone on to be with the Lord, his wife continues his ministry by making his sermons available online. They are all filled with rich content. Stedman’s passion was to preach through the Bible verse by verse. Some sermons are more topical in nature including one entitled, “The Body of Christ” which gives you a clear understanding of the church as a body, not a building.
So there you have it. Five preachers. Five sermons. But there are so many more men and women who, through their preaching, have touched hearts and changed lives through the power of the Holy Spirit. Start to listen and open your heart to what the Spirit might be saying to you.
Flickr photo (cc) by prosto photos