SAVANNAH – Jim Perdue, pastor of Second Baptist Church in Warner Robins preached the doctrinal sermon at the Georgia Baptist Convention in Savannah on Tuesday, Nov. 15. The morning session ran a bit longer than the schedule allowed, so when Perdue got the pulpit the hands on the clock were nearly straight up, signifying that the noon hour was approaching.
Many messengers may have been hoping for an early exit in order to get to their favorite Savannah seafood restaurant. But once Perdue get started with his sermon people forgot about their stomachs, because the soul food in the church worship center was incredibly nourishing.
Perdue said, “I decided to preach the doctrinal sermon on Jesus, because I didn’t think I could go wrong with that subject.” Christology is a doctrine and Perdue was absolutely correct. He did not go wrong. In fact he gave one of the most interesting, compelling, and powerful sermons any listener would ever want to hear.
After Perdue’s sermon, his minister of music and administration, Gary Morton, was asked, “Does Jim Perdue preach like that every Sunday?”
Morton replied, “He is consistently a great preacher.”
Love for the world, love for what is better
The title of Perdue’s sermon was “Jesus is Better” and his text was Hebrews 9:11-15. He commanded everyone’s attention with his beginning remarks: “What are some things you love about this world? Jesus told us not to love the world. But He couldn’t have been talking about Krispy Kreme donuts. In fact, I’m almost certain that God allowed Krispy Kreme here on this earth as a taste of things to come.
“If you look at the description of manna in the Old Testament, you can almost picture those beautiful donuts falling from the sky. I love ice cream. I love donuts. I pretty much love all kinds of desserts. I’m a fan of sweets, but Jesus is Better.”
Although Perdue’s approach to crafting his sermon was interesting and relevant he was absolutely true to the text and explained that the Old Testament sacrifices never got the heart of the problem. “Those sacrifices,” Perdue proclaimed, “were a picture, a model: only a rough silhouette of things to come. They did serve a purpose. They reminded God’s people of the seriousness of sin and the bloody consequences of their transgressions.
The sacrifice of goats and lambs pointed to the high price that must be paid to atone for man’s sins. The old sacrifices simply pointed to a day when the perfect, spotless Lamb would offer up His life for your and me. That lamb is Jesus – the only spotless, perfect sacrifice, but the only one we needed.”
Perdue’s conclusion was so powerful that I asked permission to share it in its entirety. Every preacher will want to preach it at some time and every Sunday School teacher will want to share it with his or her class. It was a powerful conclusion.
Perdue exclaimed, “You see, there’s one major truth I want to drive home today: Jesus is better! He’s better than your own righteousness, better than religion and good works, better than Allah, Buddha, Mormonism or Jehovah’s Witnesses. He’s better than Mohammed, the Dali Lama, Joseph Smith, and Confucius.
“He’s better than astrology, astronomy, psychology, psychiatry. He’s better than Hollywood, New York, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas put together. He’s better than the Alabama Crimson Tide, the Seminoles from down south, the Clemson Tigers, and Lord knows He’s better than the Bulldogs.
“He’s better than Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram, better than insta-snap-face too!
“He’s better than Obama and his cabinet, Biden and his advisers, Hillary and her email servers, Trump and his new job.
“He’s better than Oprah and her OWN network, Dr. Phil and his advice and Rachel Ray and her cooking, better than Live! With Kelly and whoever, Better than all the Ladies on the View (God help us), or Good Morning America. Better than Scott Pelley on CBS, Lester Holt on NBC, and David Muir on ABC. Better than Anderson Cooper or Wolf Blitzer, better than Megyn Kelly, Shepherd Smith. or Sean Hannity. Jesus is better!
“He’s better than everything this world has to offer put together times ten! He’s fairer than the fairest of ten thousands, brighter than the brightest morning star, higher than the loftiest mountains, and stronger than all of my doubts and fears! Jesus is better.
“He’s better than academics, athletics, the arts, or extracurricular activities. He’s better than politics, religion, education, wealth, prosperity, fame, and fortune.
“He’s better than the best CEOs smarter than the smartest PhDs. He’s better than all that’s ever been, all that is now, and all that ever will be. Jesus is better! And if so … let go of what you’re holding on to that keeps you from Him! Jesus is better!
Perdue then got his audience to sing, “There’s Something About that Name” and he walked off the platform as everyone was singing, “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, let all Heaven and earth proclaim. Kings and kingdoms will all pass away, but there’s something about that name.”
Most had forgotten all about lunch, were standing spellbound by the message, and would have been happy if the sermon had gone longer.