June 20, 2024
Reflections By Rev. Fr. David Okolie

PREACH TO THE SINNER

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Rev. Fr. David Okolie

Dearest friends, one of the greatest challenge of our generation is the belief that it is no longer necessary to *PREACH to the SINNER.* This belief is erroneously supported with the idea that God is LOVING and MERCIFUL. But we seem to forget that God is also *JUST;* rewarding the VIRTUOUS and punishing *UNREPENTANT* SINNERS (cf. Lk 13:3).

Now, the opening line of the Public Preaching of Jesus Christ is: *REPENT and BELIEVE in the Gospel”* (cf. Mk 1:15). A constant calling of SINNERS to REPENTANCE is the *DUTY* of every Christian, pastor and religious leader. Whenever this duty is played down upon, a lot of harm is unleashed on the souls of the people. Remember that *‘FAITH comes through hearing and the people cannot hear unless the Preacher Preaches to them’* (cf. Rom 10:14-17).

Do not also forget that calling a sinner to repentance does not make you the most righteous person. No! Instead, as you are preaching to the sinner, you are also preaching to yourself. Thus, St. Paul affirms: *“Listen to yourself and to your teaching. Pursue these things. For in doing so, you will save both yourself and those who listen to you”* (cf. 1 Tim 4:16). Now the question is: have you ever talked to that your friend about his/her sinful lifestyle?

Finally, beloved friends, a true friend is he who praises you when you do good but also has the COURAGE to discourage you from your WRONG DOING. On the other hand an *ENEMY* and a *SYCOPHANT* is he who encourages you to continue in your EVIL/SINFUL lifestyle by making you believe that there is nothing wrong with such lifestyle. Indeed, TRUTH is bitter but the same *TRUTH is LIFE.* The greatest truth is: *REPENT from SIN and embrace VIRTUOUS lifestyle.*

Merry Christmas🙏🏼

Remain blessed🙏🏼

contributor
Rev. Fr. David Okolie is a Priest of the Catholic Diocese of Okigwe, Imo State, Nigeria. He is a prolific writer, retreat preacher and social media evangelizer.

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