Guest Blogger: Jason Helopoulos

Reading great sermons from the ranks of earlier generations of Christians is a good discipline. This pursuit helps to provide perspective in our own era, with the added benefit of sitting at the feet of some of the ablest teachers the church has enjoyed. One of my favorites is Jonathan Edwards. Here is an excerpt from one of his sermons. It addresses a subject of the Christian life that I seldom hear of in our day and age. Edwards is concerned that we truly press into the Kingdom of God. That by God’s grace, we throw off every encumbrance and lean into the Kingdom with all our energy and strength. Here is an excerpt, with the hope that it will lead you to read the whole sermon and onto reading other sermons for the good of your soul:

“He that is pressing into the kingdom of God, commonly finds many things in the way that are against the grain; but he is not stopped by the cross that lies before him, but takes it up, and carries it. Suppose there be something incumbent on him to do, that is cross to his natural temper, and irksome to him on that account; suppose something that he cannot do without suffering in his estate, or that he apprehends will look odd and strange in the eyes of others, and expose him to ridicule and reproach, or anything that will offend a neighbor, and his ill-will, or something that will be very cross to his own carnal appetite-he will press through such difficulties. Everything that is found to be a weight that hinders him in running the race he casts from him, though it be a weight of gold or pearls; yea, if it be a right hand or foot that offends him, he will cut them off, and will not stick at plucking out a right eye with his own hands. These things are insuperable difficulties to those who are not thoroughly engaged in seeking their salvation; they are stumbling-blocks that they never get over. But it is not so with him that presses into the kingdom of God. Those things (before he was thoroughly roused from his security) about which he was wont to have long parleyings and disputings with his own conscience-employing carnal reason to invent arguments and pleas of excuse-he now sticks at no longer; he had done with this endless disputing and reasoning, and presses violently through all difficulties. Let what will be in the way, heaven is what he must and will obtain, not if he can without difficulty, but if it be possible.”

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Kevin DeYoung


Kevin DeYoung is senior pastor of University Reformed Church (RCA) in East Lansing, Michigan, near Michigan State University. He and his wife Trisha have six young children. You can follow him on Twitter.

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