Start reading The Hardest Sermons You'll Ever Have to Preach on your Kindle in under a minute. Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here or start reading now with a free Kindle Reading App.

Deliver to your Kindle or other device


Try it free

Sample the beginning of this book for free

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Anybody can read Kindle books—even without a Kindle device—with the FREE Kindle app for smartphones, tablets and computers.
The Hardest Sermons You'll Ever Have to Preach: Help from Trusted Preachers for Tragic Times

The Hardest Sermons You'll Ever Have to Preach: Help from Trusted Preachers for Tragic Times [Kindle Edition]

Bryan Chapell
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: £6.99 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
This price was set by the publisher
* Unlike print books, digital books are subject to VAT.


Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition £6.99  
Paperback £10.93  
Kindle Summer Sale: Over 500 Books from £0.99
Have you seen the Kindle Summer Sale yet? Browse selected books from popular authors and debut novelists, including new releases and bestsellers. Learn more

Special Offers and Product Promotions

  • Purchase any Kindle Book sold by and receive £1 credit to try out our Digital Music Store. Here's how (terms and conditions apply)

Product Description

Product Description

Cancer. Suicide. The death of a child. As much as we wish we could avoid tragedies like these, eventually they will strike your church community. When they do, pastors must be ready to offer help by communicating the life-changing message of the gospel in a way that offers hope, truth, and encouragement during these difficult circumstances. Those asked to preach in the midst of tragedy know the anxiety of trying to say appropriate things from God’s Word that will comfort and strengthen God’s people when emotions and faith are stretched thin. This indispensable resource helps pastors prepare sermons in the face of tragedies by providing suggestions for how to approach different kinds of tragedy, as well as insight into how to handle the theological challenges of human suffering. Each topic provides a specific description of the context of the tragedy, the key concerns that need to be addressed in the message, and an outline of the approach taken in the sample sermon that follows. Topics addressed include: abortion; abuse; responding to national and community tragedies; the death of a child; death due to cancer and prolonged sickness; death due to drunk driving; drug abuse; and suicide. Bryan Chapell, author of Christ-Centered Preaching, has gathered together messages from some of today’s most trusted Christian leaders including: John Piper, Tim Keller, Michael Horton, Jack Collins, Dan Doriani, Jerram Barrs, Mike Khandjian, Robert Rayburn, Wilson Benton, Bob Flayhart, and George Robertson. Each chapter provides you with the resources you need to communicate the life-giving hope of the gospel in the midst of tragedy. In addition, the appendices provide further suggestions of biblical texts for addressing various subjects as well as guidance for conducting funerals.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1637 KB
  • Print Length: 304 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Up to 5 simultaneous devices, per publisher limits
  • Publisher: Zondervan (23 Aug 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007HSNR9O
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #273,536 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  •  Would you like to give feedback on images?

Customer Reviews

3 star
2 star
1 star
4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful 30 Mar 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This would be a great help to young people coming into the church as preachers and teachers as it informs them of pitfalls to look out for.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
4.0 out of 5 stars Great resource 18 Jan 2014
By Lee
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Bough the kindle edition for a funeral involving a stillbirth, which didn't really work on this occasion but this is a great resource.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.4 out of 5 stars  9 reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent collection of essays on pertinent topics 31 Aug 2011
By William D. Curnutt - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Dr. Bryan Chapell has put together a wonderful collection of essays from well known established Pastors who often are called upon to preach the tough sermons at funerals that have devastated a family, a church or a community. How do we as faithful Pastors respond in such times of crisis? How do we write and preach sermons that will be tools in the Redeemer's Hands to bring comfort and care, show empathy and compassion, and yet preach the Gospel in all situations?

The books is broken down into five sections, they are;

Part One: Preaching in Response to Tragedy
Part Two: Preaching after the loss of a child
Part Three: Preaching funerals with Especially Difficult Causes or Circumstances
Part Four: Preaching funerals for Public figures
Part Five: Preaching after Suicide

Then there are three Appendixes to help the pastor deal with putting together these sermons and helping families to cope with the stresses they are facing.

Within the Five Categories listed above there are twenty-five chapters written by people such as John Piper, Bryan Chapell, Tim Keller, Michael Horton and others. The combined wisdom of these men and the years they have spent in preparing and teaching these difficult sermons gives them a unique perspective and they provide us with guidance that is difficult to find almost anywhere.

If you Shepherd a Flock of any type you will eventually be faced with a difficult crisis. I'm convinced that this will be the first reference book that you will reach for when you sit down to start writing that sermon that you desire to bring hope and healing to your congregation.

I want to thank Dr. Chapell for putting this together and believe he has given a very valuable gift to the Body of Christ.

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Resource 23 Sep 2011
By Jacob Sweeney - Published on
Preaching is difficult. Ask any pastor who preaches regularly. For those who are called to it, there is considerable joy and life to be found in preaching. But that doesn't mean it's not difficult. In fact, I would suggest that those who are the greatest of preachers understand the fullness of the difficulty and embrace it.

As tough as preaching is, there are times when it is profoundly difficult and painful. Suicide. Abortion. Murder. Illness. How do you preach hope to a couple who has just experienced their third miscarriage? What do you say when a local teenager takes her own life? How do you apply the healing balm of Christ to a divorcee - while avoiding shallow advice or cliche? It's times like these that remind us of the importance of the body of Christ. Each one has been given diverse and varying gifts for the building up of the body.

Bryan Chapell will be familiar to any who have taken courses in preaching. He is the President and a Professor of Preaching at Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis, MO. His most well-known book is one titled <em>Christ-Centered Preaching</em>. It is an excellent text on preaching. His latest book published by Zondervan is aimed at helping preachers with those particularly difficult messages. "The Hardest Sermons You'll Ever Have to Preach" is a collection of sermons that serve as examples for difficult circumstances. Some have been written by Dr. Chapell, others have been written by contributors (including Tim Keller, John Piper and Dan Doriani). He has edited them all in a helpful volume.

Each chapter begins with a paragraph describing the situation, another the concerns and one the approach taken towards the text. Immediately following is a manuscript of the message. This is a great resource for preachers to see how seasoned expositor's have brought the message of Christ to bear on the difficulties of life in a sin-cursed world.

The only potential negative I can foresee arising out of this text is the potential for abuse. The hard work has been done. The sermon is prepared. It would be easy for the anxious pastor needing a word for a hurting family to simply steal the messages. That would violate the purpose of this text. The purpose is to provide a model for emulation not provide free sermons. Despite that potential I don't see that reflecting poorly on the book itself at all. For the distraught and struggling preacher sometimes an example is all he needs to have the confidence and competence to preach.

This is another excellent tool provided by one of evangelicalism's finest preachers. I plan on keeping it on my shelf for many years to come. I think you should get one too.

NOTE: In accordance with the regulations of the Federal Trade Commission I would like to state that I received a complementary copy of the aforementioned text for the purposes of review. I was not required to furnish a positive review.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Goldmine of Gospel Wisdom & Guidance on Preaching 12 Mar 2012
By Life Long Reader - Published on
Few, if any, would disagree that one has ever felt prepared to preach what every preacher would consider their hardest sermons. So often we go through preaching classes and read books on how to hone the preaching craft and never think about those sermons that we will have to preach that will be the most challenging on so many levels. Pastors are never prepared for the first and hardly feel more prepared for each subsequent one.

Death. It befalls us all whether we see it around the corner or it comes to us unexpectedly. Every preacher will have their share of sermons tied to death through community tragedy, the death of an unborn or young child, death by suicide, death by tragic circumstances or death by sudden or prolonged natural causes. Though no funeral is easy to preach some are harder than others due to the nature of the circumstances and every preacher hopes he can receive help and guidance on how to preach his first and many more after.

Perhaps the first of its kind, Bryan Chapell has brought together some of the hardest sermons ever preached on a wide variety of topics. The Hardest Sermons You'll Ever Have to Preach is a compilation of sermons by well-known pastors like Mark Dever, John Piper, Bryan Chapell, Tim Keller and Michael Horton. In the introduction, Chapell points out that all of the preachers featured in this book are from "the Reformed theological perspective, believing in the sovereign control of God over all things" (p. 12).

This sovereign control of God over all things is one of the defining and unifying features of this collection of sermons. Each pastor believes that God is not hands off in the midst of tragedy but is sovereignly working all things together for good to those who love Him and are called according to his purpose (Rom. 8:28). At the same time, these pastors realize that as finite creatures we cannot comprehend all the workings of God and that God ash seen fit not to reveal to us here on earth the reasoning and wisdom of everything he does and allows. Thus, there is always mystery in tragedy. Yet, within the mystery of God's sovereign control amidst tragedy is a message of hope - the message of the cross. It is only because of the cross and Christ's redemptive work on it that we can have any hope amidst tragedy. "The cross of Christ is the warrant for confidence in God's promises of ultimate good, despite great heartache" (p. 15).Though the believer grieves in the death of others, we can come out of it with the hope that Christ has died to death for those who put their faith in Him as the only salvation from the penalty of death for their sins. Further, though He has died to death on our behalf He has risen to life and thus conquered death. It is because of the resurrection that our hope is secure and that one day "He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things has passed away" (Rev. 21:4, ESV).

It is these truths, the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ that runs deeply through each sermon in this book. Each sermon is drenched in the hope offering message of the gospel. Though the circumstances of each death and funeral are different, the ever applicable message of the cross is the same. This is the unifying and underlying thread that runs through each sermon presented here. There are times in reading through a sermon that you will be so emotionally drawn into the situation and the joyfulness of the hope of the gospel that you will be brought to tears.

The book is broken into five parts and each has sermons dealing with preaching in response to tragedy like 9/11, after the loss of a child like a miscarriage, at funerals with difficult circumstances like premature death, after the death of a public figure like a celebrity and after a suicide like that of a friend.

The setting in which the sermon was preached is explained followed by any concerns the preacher had to take into consideration while preparing for and preaching the message. This part is very helpful because it allows you to see by example the kinds of things preachers in these circumstances need to be sensitive to. The wisdom and carefulness of though in this section of each chapter is outstanding. In light of the concerns for each situation, the following approach each pastor takes in delivering the message is explained. This is equally full of wisdom as the aim of each sermon is discussed and the pastor looks at the situation of the death and those to whom he will be speaking.

Sermon after sermon, The Hardest Sermons You'll Ever Have to Preach is a goldmine of pastoral wisdom and gospel truth applied to preaching the hardest sermons a pastor will ever have to preach. This is the kind of book that should have been written years ago and I hope it is one of the top books on preaching for generations of preachers to come. Every man preparing for the ministry and every pastor in the ministry needs to have this book on their shelf!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Hardest Sermons You'll Ever Have To Preach 22 July 2012
By Bird - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I had this book in my "to read" list. After friends experienced a tragic event in their lives I picked it up and found it very helpful. Since then I've read the rest. The preaching is very solid.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My View 2 Jan 2012
By D. Heard - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Good helps book for preparing sermons. There are many examples and suggestions to guide you. I suggest this book if you want useful wise advice.
Were these reviews helpful?   Let us know
Search Customer Reviews
Only search this product's reviews

Customer Discussions

This product's forum
Discussion Replies Latest Post
No discussions yet

Ask questions, Share opinions, Gain insight
Start a new discussion
First post:
Prompts for sign-in

Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions

Look for similar items by category