You talk about something that hits hard–nothing hits harder than a well-placed sermon application. Consider Stephen’s sermon in Acts 7. The body of the sermon runs from v. 2 through v. 50. It is an excellent recounting of Israel’s history. Stephens also weaves in Scripture throughout his discourse. It is a homiletic masterpiece. Moreover, as Stephen waxes eloquent there isn’t much with which his audience disagreed. Until v. 51. This is when Stephen begins to “meddle.” He says,
You stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears, you always resist the Holy Spirit. As your fathers did, so do you.  Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? And they killed those who announced beforehand the coming of the Righteous One, whom you have now betrayed and murdered,  you who received the law as delivered by angels and did not keep it (Acts 7:51-53).
The hammer came down. The sermon hit people between the eyes. Stephen didn’t even need a single stanza from “Just as I Am.” The people responded. Oh boy, did they ever respond.
Now when they heard these things they were enraged, and they ground their teeth at him . . . then they cast him out of the city and stoned him (Acts 7:54, 58a).
When I read this text it provided a powerful reminder of the importance of application in my sermons. As a preacher, I have a responsibility to speak plainly and pertinently to my audience. This is precisely what Stephen did. His application hit his hearers like a hammer and evoked a response. A pointed sermon application led to the first Christian martyr. Let’s be faithful in proclaiming and applying the text to the lives of our hearers.