Thanks to David Attebury one of my excellent Southern Seminary preaching students for sending me to this amazing video of Billy Graham teaching at the SBTS First Congress of Evangelism on December 3, 1982. In this clip Graham explains sermons and sermon preparation.
A few quotes that I hope will whet your appetite to watch the 8-minute clip:
“If you’re faithful in proclaiming the gospel—I don’t care how bad a preacher you are—if you are faithful in proclaiming the gospel the Holy Spirit is going to use it.”
“You do not have to water it down and dilute it and try to be relevant. The day for relevance is finished. Lay it out there straight, call hell, hell, and call the blood, the blood. God will honor it.”
“I asked, ‘John what was wrong tonight?’…He said, “Billy, you didn’t preach the cross. If you don’t preach the cross and the resurrection, you’ve got no gospel’… There are certain things that go into every evangelistic sermon…The cross and the resurrection have to be there. The fact that God loves them has to be there. The fact of sin has to be there; there has to be conviction of sin and righteousness and judgment…. The evangelist is using a rifle; the pastor can use a shotgun. The evangelist is accused of preaching the same sermon over and over—and that’s exactly what you ought to be doing. Not the same text and the same illustrations. But the sermon ought to be the same because the gospel is the same—if you’re doing the work of an evangelist. You’re preaching the gospel because there’s only one gospel.”