I am a pastor. I preach the word of God regularly to the congregation that I serve. And this morning I am thinking about and praying for other pastors across the country who will be ascending the sacred desk tomorrow morning to deliver a message to God’s people. Some of them are wondering what to say in the wake of a Supreme Court decision that seems designed to marginalize our ancient faith. I don’t know that I have anything particularly earth-shattering to offer here, but I would like to encourage you pastors in several specific ways as you prepare.
1. Be Biblical
“We do not preach ourselves But Christ Jesus as Lord” (2 Cor. 4:5). We are not the subject matter of our own sermons. Jesus is. And we do not know him by what we have conjured from our own imaginations. We know him as he has revealed himself to us in the scriptures. That is why if we want our people to know the man, we have to proclaim to them the book—because the book testifies about him (John 5:39).
Pastor, your job tomorrow is unchanged from last week. You must preach the word. That is your task. If you haven’t been doing that up until now, that needs to change. Right now. Make it your aim to preach verse by verse, passage by passage, through as many books as you can until they cart you off or lower you in the dirt. Teach them the whole counsel of God and don’t hold anything back (Acts 20:27). They need all of it, and your job is to give it to them.
You can’t deliver it all in one sermon, so don’t try. But you can start this work with one sermon. Let tomorrow be that day, and don’t ever look back. I promise that you won’t run out of material.
2. Be Courageous
The apostle Paul tells us to preach the word “in season and out of season” (2 Timothy 4:2). That means that you deliver the goods when it’s popular and when it’s not. It means that we preach Christ’s word when people congratulate us and when they actively oppose us. And as the Supreme Court and public opinion are going against us, there is no question that you will face opposition—maybe even from some in your own congregation. But don’t be cowed by that.
Right now, your people need you more than ever. They are facing difficulties at work because of their unpopular views on marriage. They are facing ostracism from certain circles that they have always run in. The social pressure to conform is ratcheting up on them. That’s what the folks in my church are facing. No doubt your people are facing the same. How will they stand if you don’t?
God’s people will rally to the truth. Take your stand. Wave the flag high so that the troops will know where to muster. Tribulation and opposition will arise, but that is no reason to back down. The sheep know the voice of their Shepherd. Be his mouthpiece, and they will come (John 10:27).
3. Be Practical