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The Preaching Ezine, Issue #34-- What's New at
June 29, 2014

Preaching: All about the Messenger, the Message, & the Ministry.

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The Preaching Ezine (the newsletter of

Issue #034, June 29, 2014

What's in this Issue:

1. Is our call based on man or God?
2. July 4th Sermon on "Freedom as Truth" (at bottom of ezine)
3. New sermons, outlines, and illustrations (Some great poems too!)!
4. You could have your own sermon web page on!!


Mark Hollingsworth here. I hope you had a great Father's Day!

Continuing on the thought of being "Called to Preach." So I'm continuing my questions...Is our call based on man or God?

From John Henry Jowett: But how different is the setting in the call of the Prophet Isaiah! Isaiah was a friend of kings: he was a cultured frequenter of courtly circles: he was at home in the precincts of kings' courts. And through what medium did the divine call sound to this man? "In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord." Isaiah had pinned his faith to Uzziah. Uzziah was "the pillar of a people's hopes." Upon his strong and enlightened sovereignty was being built a purified and stable state. And now the pillar had fallen, and it seemed as though all the fair and promising structure would topple with it, and the nation would drop again into uncleanness and confusion.

But on the empty throne Isaiah discovered the presence of God. A human pillar had crumbled: the Pillar of the universe remained. "In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord." Isaiah had a vision of a mighty God, with a vaster sovereignty, moving and removing men as the ministers of His large and beneficent purpose. Isaiah mourned the fall of a king, and he heard a call to service I "Whom shall I send, and who will go for me?" One man fallen: another man wanted! God's call sounded through the impoverished ranks, and smote the heart and conscience of Isaiah, and Isaiah found his vocation and his destiny. "Here am I, send me!"

I think he is right! What do you think? More on the subject next time!!

2 Tim. 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.

Happy Independence Day!!
...from the Hollingsworth Family.

YOU are a blessing to me and the ministry!

2 Tim. 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears...

What's New at

There are new sermons and some great poems on my website...take a look!

Keep praying for us as we minister at the Prison to the prisoners and the officers and pray as Janey and I minister at the church as well.

I am praying for you and your ministry and enjoy hearing from you with your prayer requests.


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Preachers, let's be an encouragement to other preachers by sharing our sermons and outlines and commenting positively about other preacher's sermons.

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Go to the... Your Sermons to submit your sermons and outlines and be a blessing to other preachers. There are some new sermons there right now!

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Until next, there, or in the air!

Well, that's it for now.

Do you have any comments, ideas, or feedback? I'd love to hear from you personally and thanks to you who have made contact with us. It truly is a blessing and encouragement to us. Thanks for the comments we received last time!

You can either reply to this ezine or go to the form on the "Contact Me" page on my website and tell me what you think.

And thanks for forwarding this newsletter to your friends.

Yours for Powerful Preaching,

Mark Hollingsworth

Preachology Home Page


Freedom as Truth

(A Independence Day Sermon!)

John 8:31-32

1. The greatness of Christ’s aim — to make all men free. He saw around Him man in slavery to man, race to race; men trembling before priestcraft, and those who were politically and ecclesiastically free, in worse bondage to their own passions. Conscious of His Deity and His Father’s intentions, He, without the excitement of an earthly liberator, calmly said: “Ye shall be free.”

2. The wisdom of the means. The craving for liberty was not new, nor the promise of satisfying it; but the promise had been vain. Men had tried —

(1) Force: and force in the cause of freedom is to be honored, and those who have used it have been esteemed as the world’s benefactors — Judas Maccabaeus, etc. Had Christ willed so to come, success was certain. Men were ripe for revolt, and at a word, thrice three hundred thousand swords would have started from their scabbards; but in that case one nation only would have gained independence, and that merely from foreign oppression.

(2) Legislative enactments. By this England could and did emancipate her slaves; but she could not fit them for freedom, nor make it lasting. The stroke of a monarch’s pen will do the one — the discipline of ages is needed for the other. Give a constitution tomorrow to some feeble Eastern nation, and in half a century they will be subjected again. Therefore Christ did not come to free the world in this way.

(3) Civilization. Every step of civilization is a victory over some lower instinct; but it contains elements of fresh servitude. Man conquers the powers of nature, and becomes in turn their slave. The workman is in bondage to his machinery, which determines hours, wages, habits. The rich man acquires luxuries, and then cannot do without them. Members of a highly civilized community are slaves to dress, hours, etiquette. Therefore Christ did not talk of the progress of the species; he freed the inner man that so the outer might become free. Note —


The truth Christ taught was chiefly about:

1. God. Blot out that thought and existence becomes unmeaning, resolve is left without a stay, aspiration and duty without a support. Christ exhibited God as — (1) Love; and so that fearful bondage to fate was broken. (2) A Spirit, requiring spiritual worship; and thus the chain of superstition was rent asunder.

2. Man. We are a mystery to ourselves. So where nations exhibit their wealth and inventions, before the victories of mind you stand in reverence. Then look at those who have attained that civilization, their low aims and mean lives, and you are humbled. And so of individuals. How noble a given man’s thoughts at one moment, how base at another I Christ solved this riddle. He regarded man as fallen, but magnificent in his ruin. Beneath the vilest He saw a soul capable of endless growth; hence He treated with respect all who approached Him, because they were men. Here was a germ for freedom. It is not the shackle that constitutes the slave, but the loss of self-respect — to be treated as degraded till he feels degraded. Liberty is to suspect and yet reverence self.

3. Immortality. If there be an idea that cramps and enslaves the soul it is that this life is all. If there be one which expands and elevates it it is that of immortality. This was the martyrs’ strength. In the hope and knowledge of that truth they were free from the fear of pain of death.


1. Political freedom. Christianity does not directly interfere with political questions, but mediately it must influence them. Christ did not promise this freedom, but He gave it more surely than conqueror, reformer, or patriot. And this not by theories or constitutions, but by truths. God a Spirit, man His redeemed child; before that spiritual equality all distinctions vanish.

2. Mental independence. Slavery is that which cramps powers, and the worst is that which cramps the noblest powers. Worse therefore than he who manacles the body is he who puts fetters on the mind, and demands that men shall think and believe as others have done. In Judaea life was a set of forms and religion — a congeries of traditions. One living word from Christ, and the mind of the world was free. Later a mountain mass of superstition had gathered round the Church. Men said that the soul was to be saved only by doing what the priesthood taught. Then the heroes of the Reformation said the soul is saved by the grace of God; and once more the mind of the world was set flee by truth. There is a tendency to think, not what is true, but what is respectable, authorized. It comes partly from cowardice, partly from habit. Now truth frees us from this by warning of individual responsibility which cannot be delegated to another, and thrown off on a church. Do not confound mental independence with mental pride. It ought to co-exist with the deepest humility. For that mind alone is free which, conscious of its liability to err, and, turning thankfully to any light, refuses to surrender the Divinely given right and responsibility of judging for itself and having an opinion of its own.

3. Superiority to temptation. It is not enough to say that Christ promises freedom from sin. Childhood, paralysis, impotence of old age, may remove the desire of transgressions. Therefore we must add that ode whom Christ liberates is free by his own will. It is not that he would and cannot; but that he can and will not. Christian liberty is right well sustained by love, and made firm by faith in Christ. This may be seen by considering moral bondage. Go to the intemperate man in the morning, when his head aches and his whole frame unstrung: he is ashamed, hates his sin, and would not do it. Go to him at night when the power of habit is upon him, and he obeys the mastery of his craving. Every more refined instance of slavery is just as real. Wherever a man would and cannot, there is servitude.

4. Superiority to fear. Fear enslaves, courage liberates. The apprehension of pain, fear of death, dread of the world’s laugh at poverty, or loss of reputation, enslave alike. From all such Christ frees. He who lives in the habitual contemplation of immortality, cannot be in bondage to time; he who feels his soul’s dignity cannot cringe. (F. W. Robertson, M. A.)

Spiritual and scientific truth: — There is a well-known picture by Retzsch, in which Satan is represented as playing at chess with a man for his soul. The pieces on the board seem to represent the virtues and the deadly sins. The man is evidently losing the game, while in the background stands an angel sad and helpless, and statue-like. We need not stay to criticize the false theology implied in that picture, because our immediate concern is with a meaning which has been read into that picture by a great scientific teacher of our day. We have been told by Professor Huxley, that if we “substitute for the mocking fiend in that picture a calm, strong angel who is playing, as we say, for love, and would rather lose than win,” we shall have a true picture of the relation of man to nature. “The chessboard is the world; the pieces are the phenomena of the universe; the rules of the game are what we call the laws of nature. The player on the other side is hidden from us, We know that his play is always fair, and just, and patient. But also we know, to our cost, that he never overlooks a mistake, or makes the smallest allowance for ignorance.” Such is the modern reading of the picture. And here there is a great truth, or at least one side of a great truth, expressed. It puts before us in a very real and concrete form the fact that, in our mere physical life, we are engaged in a great struggle. We must learn to adapt ourselves truly to the physical conditions of our life, or we must perish in a fruitless opposition to natural laws. But that physical life which we live is not our whole life, nor are what we call the laws of external nature the only laws which we need to know. We are surrounded by spiritual forces in which our moral life is lived. In that more real life we have relations with spiritual beings, some like ourselves and some above us, and One whom we love to call our Father, which is in heaven. Are there no laws in that spiritual world? No truths there, the knowledge of which will make us free? If the violation of physical law is death, is there no death in the moral and spiritual sphere? Is the life of the soul less real, its death less terrible than that of the body? And if not, what do we know of the great spiritual realities which environ life?

1. All truth gives freedom. To know nature is to gain freedom in regard to her; to know her fully is to conform ourselves to her. And to know God is to cease to be afraid of Him, to know Him fully is to love Him perfectly, and to conform ourselves to His likeness.

2. Why, then, is there such fear and jealousy of dogma amongst men who gladly welcome every new truth about their physical life? If all truth is from God, and every truth sets us free, why is it that men hesitate to allow these characteristics to that which, above all, claims to be from God, and to give us perfect freedom? It is here that we touch the characteristic difference which exists between the laws of the spiritual and the laws of the material world. The laws of nature are discoveries; the laws of the spiritual world are revelations. The former are found out; the latter are given. The former are confessedly imperfect, added to continually as years go by; the latter are complete, the same yesterday, to day, and forever. The former lay claim to no finality; they may be challenged, put upon their trial, called upon to justify themselves. The latter, if they are from God, claim our reverence, our obedience, our willing submission. (Aubrey L. Moore, M. A.)

Freedom only to be found in God: — Last summer the good ship Wieland brought over a large number of caged birds. When we were about midocean one restless bird escaped from his cage. In ecstasy he swept through the air, away and away from his prison. How he bounded with outspread wings! Freedom! How sweet he thought it! Across the pathless waste ha entirely disappeared. But after hours had passed, to our amazement, he appeared again, struggling towards the ship with heavy wing. Panting and breathless, he settled upon the deck. Far, far over the boundless deep, how eagerly, how painfully had he sought the ship again, now no longer a prison, but his dear home. As I watched him nestle down on the deck, I thought of the restless human heart that breaks away from the restraints of religion. With buoyant wing he bounds away from Church the prison, and God the prison. But if he is not lost on the remorseless deep, he comes back again with panting, eager heart, to Church the home, and God the home. The Church is not a prison to any man. It gives the most perfect freedom in all that is good and all that is safe. It gives him liberty to do what is right, and to do what is wrong, there is no rightful place to any man in all the boundless universe. (R. S. Barrett.)

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