North Korea will nuke someone soon. If not, then someone else will. Soon. Cain killed Abel, revealing the heart of mankind. Cain’s have been killing Abel’s ever since. Murder happens every day. The question of murder through nuclear weapons is not a matter of if, but when. And it will be soon.
How do I know? Leave 12 dieters in a room for a day with a plate full of double chocolate brownies. They will get eaten. And soon. It is the desire of those in the room. Mankind kills. Mankind advances technologically so that nuclear weapons multiply potential nuclear killers. Cain has a nuke. He wants to use it. He is going to use it. Eventually. Soon.
What does that mean for preachers? What do you preach after the nukes fall?
Answer: nothing should change in the pulpit.
A well prepared congregation will not expect a different message in the weeks after the nuke than before. However, if all is preached about before the nukes fall is the fluffy stuff of "helpful" sermons, short and tight, then the preaching will have to change, for it was wrong in the first place. If the sermons preached before the nukes avoided the tough subjects of the world, then preaching will have to change.
Application: Now, before the nuke falls, preach passionate, word-driven sermons that remind people that mankind is wicked....really wicked....really wicked. Quit apologizing for God because there is a hell and people are going there. Quit hanging your head and ignoring sexual sin (men sleeping with men, for instance) because it is easier to preach something else. Stop equivocating regarding the fact that people who don't know the name of Jesus will be punished if we don't bring them the gospel.
Preach that man is wicked. Man is evil. Believe it. It is not just a theological abstract, but a demonstrable reality. A reality that our culture struggles to believe. We are all wicked and all mankind is evil. We, mankind, will and do kill one another. We are filled with anger and envy and bitterness and jealousy and callousness and laziness and stubbornness. And not just a person or two, all of us. Look in the mirror, say hello to the evil one. Preach that mankind is evil.
Preach that God is holy. Because He is. So holy that millions of angels adore Him at every moment; and there is no, none, not-a-bit, not a hint, not a trace, of sin within Him or that He tolerates. Preach that God is just. His holiness coming into direct contact with any sin, no matter how small, means punishment and obliteration for that sin. Like a father would stomp a black widow in his child's nursery, so does God, with severity and confidence, stomp all sin.
Preach that God is merciful and good. He sent His Son, who took on flesh --He came to us, Human and Holy. He bore all the angry and justified wrath of the Father on His body. For us. For Cain. For killers. For you. For me.
Preach victory: Jesus rose, is alive, ascended into heaven and is coming again. He will eradicate the sin of the universe, rescue those who love Him.
Preach mission: We join Jesus when we are saved by faith. We join Him in life, in family, in future inheritance, and in mission and power through the preached gospel and the indwelling Holy Spirit of God. We join the mission expecting to be hated by evil men. Expecting that the gospel will do its work. Expecting that many will come to faith, but most won't. Expecting to find Him near as we are killed for His sake. Expecting to lose all the earth offers for the sake of the cause of the gospel.
Preach hope: The efforts of the righteous are never in vain. We will live again and forever. We will know justice and joy. We will be with God.
Preach love: First, we love each other, building a healthy family (the church). With that, we add to the family by loving even those who hate us. Find the family from every nation, bring them home.
If this is the daily diet of preaching, then when the nuke flies (and it will), yes, we will all be shaken in our emotions, but not in our foundations, nor in our convictions. Mankind is evil. He murders. That mankind nukes others might make the whole world think that all has changed. But really, it is just more of the same. Cain killed Abel. Jesus died to rescue Abel...and Cain.
Preachers, be done with little things. Preach by faith, not sight.