Tag Archives: Preachers

A Challenge For The Pastors!

A Challenge For The Pastors!

Spurgeon, “Come from the four winds, O breath!”

If the Holy Spirit does not come, and give spiritual life, we may preach until we have not another breath left, but we shall not raise from the tomb of sin even the soul of a little child, or bring a single sinner to the feet of Christ.

Look sir, you may study your sermon; you may examine the original of your text; you may critically follow it out in all its bearings; you may go and preach it with great correctness of expression; but you cannot quicken a soul by that sermon.

You may go up into your pulpit; you may illustrate, explain, and enforce the truth; with mighty rhetoric you may charm your hearers; you may hold them spellbound; but no eloquence of yours can raise the dead.

Another voice than yours must be heard!

Other power than that of your thought or persuasion must be brought into the work, or it will not be done.

You may organize your societies, you may have excellent methods, you may diligently pursue this course and that; but when you have done all, nothing comes of it if the effort stands by itself.

Only as the Spirit of God shall bless men by you, shall they receive a blessing through you.

Whatever your ability or experience, it is the Spirit of God, who must bless your labour.

We are nothing; you are nothing.

“Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of hosts,” is a message that should make us lie in the dust, and utterly despair of doing anything in and of ourselves, seeing that all the power is of God alone.

It will do us good to be very empty, to be very weak, to be very distrustful of self, and so to go about out Master’s work. 

The Cross “✟” or the cross “❌”

I am saddened…..No grieved to see just how many “professing Christians” have filled Facebook, Twitter and the rest with endless ramblings on where we need to put the cross “❌” on our ballot papers, Without mention of THE CROSS “✟” on which our whole Salvation and Hope is vital!

Have we really elevated politics to a Saviour level?

We are living in a day when the message of the church is changing. Churches, and even whole denominations, are moving away from the old message of salvation through the blood of Jesus, and are moving toward a message of salvation through social activism and good works. The old bloody message of the cross is quickly being replaced by a bloodless message that lacks power and that lacks hope. Instead of hearing the devastating, but life changing news that men are sinners, people hear a message that tells them, “I’m OK and you’re OK!”

When the Apostle Paul went to the great and intellectual Grecian city of Corinth, he said, “I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified” (1 Corinthians 2:2). When Paul described what his message was, he said, “We preach Christ crucified” (1 Corinthians 1:23).

The Christian looks beyond this dying world to his eternal home in glory. The cross of Jesus enables him to soar on high, and leave the world behind him. He looks forward to the glory that is to be revealed in him. He sets his affections on things above. Oh, keep gazing on a crucified Savior, and the world will lose its charms. “Be of good cheer,” says Christ, “I have overcome the world.” We also shall overcome it, through his cross. It is a sight of the cross of Christ that weans the affections from sublunary objects, and centers them on heavenly and divine things. In this wicked world, the Christian thirsts for God, and pants to reach the mansions of glory.

O that every reader would imbibe the spirit of Paul, and boast only in the cross of Christ! The cross of Christ is the Christian’s boast. In every age this has been his song. Every true believer glories in Christ and him crucified. A ray of heavenly light from the cross beams on his soul, filling it with joy unspeakable and full of glory; enabling him to sing in the ways of the Lord and boast in the rock of his salvation. He sees the moral grandeur of the cross; its attractiveness; its dazzling glory. He is thus led to place all his hopes in the cross of the Man of Calvary, and to glory, before an ungodly world, in that atonement made by the blood of Jesus.

“Far be it from me to boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” Galatians 6:14

Are You Hungry?

Are you hungry?

from Spurgeon’s sermon, “BREAD FOR THE HUNGRY”

We should come to hear the Word, like baby birds in the nest— when the mother-bird comes with the worm, they are all stretching their necks to see which one shall get the food, for they are all hungry and want it.

And so should hearers be ready to get hold of the Word, not wanting that we should force it down their throats, but waiting there, opening their mouths wide that they may be filled, receiving the Word in the love of it, taking in the Word as the thirsty earth drinks in the rain of heaven.

Hungry souls love the Word.

Perhaps the ‘speaker’ may not always put it as they may like to hear it, but as long as it is God’s Word, it is enough for them.

They are like people who are sitting at the reading of a will— the lawyer may have a squeaking voice, perhaps, or he mispronounces the words, but what does that matter? They are listening to see what is left to them.

So is it with God’s people. It is not the preacher, but the ‘preacher’s God’ that these hungry ones look to.

Why, if you were very poor, and some benevolent neighbor should send you a loaf of bread by a man who had a club foot, you would not look at the foot, you would look at the bread.

And so is it with the hearers of the Word– they know if they wait until they get a perfect preacher, they will get no preacher at all, but they are willing to take the man, imperfections and all, provided he brings the Master’s bread.

And though he be but a lad, and can bring but a few barley loaves and fishes, yet since the Master multiplies the provision, there is enough for all, and they feed to the full. 

We’re A Million, Billion Miles Away From New Testament Christianity!

I went to a church not along ago — they got thirty acres. So what are their plans with it? They want their own football field and tennis courts. Dear God, do we go to church to learn to play tennis? God help the preachers!

We have such an accommodating Christianity today.

The best title of the professing church of God today, in my judgment, is “Unbelieving Believers.” There’s cancer in the church tonight!

At this grim hour, the world sleeps in the darkness — and the Church sleeps in the light.

You’ll never get me to believe that the church today believes in Hell.

We’re a million, billion miles away from New Testament Christianity!

I doubt if 5% of professing Christians in America are born again!

Entertainment is the devil’s substitute for joy. The more joy you have in the Lord, the less entertainment you need.

Is the world crucified to you — or does it fascinate you?

The apostles had no gold, but lots of glory. We have lots of gold, but no glory.
The book of Acts shows us the church before it became fat and short of breath by prosperity!

Who or what takes priority over God in our lives?

Where, oh, where are the eternity-conscious believers?

Where are the souls white-hot for God because they fear His holy name and presence and so live with eternity’s values in view?

There’s no cost of being a Christian!

I’d rather have ten people who want God — than 10,000 people who want to play church!

(Leonard Ravenhill)

The Unfaithful Preacher

The unfaithful preacher

(David Porter, “The Nature and Power of Truth“)

Ministers of the gospel hold a place of immense responsibility to God and the souls of men. If they suppress the truth as it is in Jesus, for fear of offending their hearers; if they substitute laxness of principle, for the doctrines of the cross; dry external morality for practical godliness–they do it at an awful peril. They are not placed on Jerusalem’s wall to amuse the multitude with a mock religion in human attire. They are not sent forth to fabricate new theories, or gloss the truth, to render it less offensive to the carnal heart. For no such end was the Christian ministry instituted. The gospel heralds are not at liberty thus to aspire. They are ambassadors from God to deliver His message in its true spirit and genuine simplicity. If they depart from this, through cowardice or thirst for popular applause, they are no longer ambassadors of Christ–but traitors to His cause. And can there be a higher crime committed against the Supreme Majesty, than coming out under a cloak of friendship for Christ–and then aiming destruction at His throne? Verily God will not hold them guiltless. Such treachery will not escape with impunity!

And with what face will the unfaithful preacher meet his hearers at the judgment bar? He had taught his hearers–but had taught them to disbelieve. He had confirmed them in their guilt–by refusing to expose it. He had blinded their eyes about God–by keeping His character out of sight. He had feasted their pride–when they needed humbling. He had pleased their fancies–at the expense of their souls. He had inflated them with expectations of heaven–when on the brink of destruction; and closed their eyes, giving them God-speed with a lie in their right hand! And how is he to settle this account on the day of final reckoning! How is he to clear himself from the blood of souls!

With what will he frame his plea in self-defense, against his flock thus accusing and upbraiding him? “We were your flock–and you were our shepherd. With you were the treasures of knowledge and truth. And why did you withhold from us the message you were sent to deliver? We are undone forever through your unfaithfulness. You never taught us the character of our Judge–nor the truth of his Word. The doctrines you taught us to despise–we find to be the truth of God. You allowed us to sport with His sovereignty and decrees, and in this, you did awfully deceive us. You reproved us politely for disgraceful crimes, but never described to us the sin of our nature. When we were sometimes alarmed at our state and prospects, you hushed our fears by crying, ‘peace, peace’, whereas God had said, there is no peace to the wicked!” How overwhelmed with guilt and horror, will such preachers be with their deceived hearers–on the great day of account!

Jelly-Fish Christianity

Jelly-Fish Christianity 

(J.C. Ryle)

The consequences of this widespread dislike to distinct biblical doctrine are very serious. Whether we like it or not, it is an epidemic which is doing great harm, and especially among young people. It creates, fosters, and keeps up an immense amount of instability in religion. It produces what I must venture to call, if I may coin the phrase, a ‘jelly-fish’ Christianity in the land — that is, a Christianity without bone, or muscle, or power.

A jelly-fish, as everyone who has been much by the seaside knows, is a pretty and graceful object when it floats in the sea, contracting and expanding like a little delicate transparent umbrella. Yet the same jelly-fish, when cast on the shore, is a mere helpless lump, without capacity for movement, self-defense, or self-preservation.

Alas! it is a vivid type of much of the religion of this day, of which the leading principle is, ‘No dogma, no distinct beliefs, no doctrine.’ We have hundreds of ministers who seem not to have a single bone in their body of divinity! They have no definite opinions; they are so afraid of ‘extreme views,’ that they have no views at all. We have thousands of sermons preached every year, which are without an edge or a point or a corner — they are as smooth as marble balls, awakening no sinner, and edifying no saint!

We have legions of young men annually turned out from our universities, armed with a few scraps of second-hand philosophy, who think it a mark of cleverness and intellect to have no decided opinions about anything in religion — and to be utterly unable to make up their minds as to what is Christian truth. Their only creed, is a kind of ‘nothingism.’ They are sure and positive about nothing!

And last, and worst of all, we have myriads of respectable church-going people, who have no distinct and definite views about any point in theology. They cannot discern things that differ, any more than color-blind people can distinguish colors. They think . . .

everybody is right — and nobody is wrong,
everything is true — and nothing is false,
all sermons are good — and none are bad,
every clergyman is sound — and no clergyman unsound.

They are ‘tossed to and fro, like children, by every wind of doctrine;’ often carried away by some new excitement and sensational movement; ever ready for new things, because they have no firm grasp on the old; and utterly unable to ‘render a reason of the hope that is in them.’

All this, and much more, is the result of that effeminate dread of distinct doctrine which has been so strongly developed, and has laid such hold on many pastors in these days.

I turn from the picture I have exhibited with a sorrowful heart. I grant it is a gloomy one; but I am afraid it is only too accurate and true. Let us not deceive ourselves. Distinct and definitive doctrine is at a premium just now. Instability and unsettled notions are the natural result, and meet us in every direction.

Cleverness and earnestness are the favorite idols of the age!

What a man says matters nothing — however strange and heterogeneous are the opinions he expresses! If he is only brilliant and ‘earnest’ — he cannot be wrong! Never was it so important for believers to hold sound systematic views of truth, and for ministers to ‘enunciate doctrine’ very clearly and distinctly in their teaching.

Live To Preach Christ

🤔My Thoughts… 

After just finishing my audiobook of “The Evangelistic Zeal of George Whitefield” by Steven .J. Lawson i stumbled on this quote. I had a little chuckle too as i’m currently in a “Methodist” church and it seems to be drifting far away from Biblical preaching like this.

“There are Lutherans and Wesleyans in the present day, but there are no Whitefieldites. No! The great evangelist of last century was a simple, guileless man, who lived for one thing only, and that was to preach Christ.”

J.C. Ryle, Christian Leaders Of The 18th Century

One of a preacher’s first duties!

One of a preacher’s first duties!

“A man cannot be a faithful minister, until he preaches Christ for Christ’s sake — until he gives up striving to attract people to himself, and seeks only to attract them to Christ!” ~ Robert Murray M’Cheyne

“To efface one’s self is one of a preacher’s first duties!

The Gimmick gospel

The nickels and noses racket!

(Milburn Cockrell, 1941-2002)

The average pastor is no longer a powerful, plain preacher–but a polite, polished politician!

We live in a time of big meetings, big churches, big church buildings, big preachers, and big church budgets. The failure or success of a church and its pastor–is judged by the number of nickels and noses that they have. In all too many cases, there is seen in this more Satanic pride, than spiritual piety.

In the craze for nickels and noses churches have replaced preachers and pastors, with puppeteers and pranksters. The gospel of Christ has been superseded by gimmicks, gadgets, and games. Psychology has taken the place of Holy Spirit conviction. The faith has been displaced for finance, fun, and foolishness. Church discipline has been relegated to the background, in order to swell the size of the church with religious hypocrites who might give a little money to the church now and then.

The nickels and noses racket has filled our churches with unconverted persons. We have far more churchianity than Christianity. Many church members are white-washed–but they are not blood-washed. Their names are upon the church roll–but they are not found in the Lamb’s book of life. Many have been reformed–but they have not been re-born. Many have been confirmed–but they have not been converted to Christ. There are so many lost people in our churches, that you cannot tell the difference between a church member and the unconverted. The reason is, because there is no difference. Both are headed to Hell as fast as time can carry them!

It has produced icy services–and cold, callous, complacent church members. Look at the average church! They have their robed choir, their cut and dried program, and their intellectual preaching. They have a beautiful edifice. They have all the organization and rituals one could ask for–but in most cases it is Spiritless! We have form without reality; we have organization without power; we have profession without possession. We have a form of godliness–without the power of it. We have religion without life.

It has caused pastors to spend more time worrying with goats, than feeding the sheep. The pastor nowadays must provide a spiritual diet for people who have no spiritual appetite. Like Ezekiel of old (Ezekiel 37:1-10), he must preach to dead, dry bones–but without the blessings which Ezekiel experienced. These dry, dead bones can’t hear–yet the pastor must keep preaching and pretend that someone is listening. These dry, dead bones do not grow in grace–for the dead do not grow. These baptized bones are in no way sensitive to the appeals made to them from the Scriptures by the pastor. They watch the clock on Sunday morning, hoping the pastor will preach a short sermon so they can soon go home and do what they really enjoy.

This idea has given us the gimmick gospel. Most church members want to be entertained–instead of instructed in the Word of God. They have far more delight in the gospel of amusement–than the gospel of the atonement. Gospel celebrities must be brought in to entertain these worldly church members. These members love to hear these clerical comedians who mix a few verses of Scripture with a large amount of humor. Special singing groups must be brought in too. These have the same dress, music, hair style, and manners of any rock and roll group. Our church services nowadays have become a carefully produced theatrical production for the delight of carnal Christians and religious rascals. The only difference between this entertainment and that in the local nightclub, is that it has a religious flavor! But they say it must be done to get nickels and noses!

While there are some exceptions, most big churches are worldly churches. They have high carnality–and low spirituality. Truth is very scarce in such fashionable churches, because the Word of God has been compromised to keep nickels and noses.

Such weather vane preachers are worthless!

Such weather vane preachers are worthless!

A weather vane preacher is any preacher who changes what he preaches or how he preaches when the wind changes direction. The preacher who alters his message or his method because of the ever-changing advice, counsel, and opinions of men is not a leader, but a follower. Such weather vane preachers are worthless! They only do harm to the souls of men, and they need not preach at all. True, gospel preachers are pillars in the church of God — not puppets in the hands of men.

“On the contrary, we speak as men approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel. We are not trying to please men but God, who tests our hearts.” 1 Thessalonians 2:4

“Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage — with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths!” 2 Timothy 4:2-4

(Frank Hall)

The “Hell Fire Club”

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The “Hell Fire Club”

“Means for Restoring the Banished” )

Mr. Thorpe was a member of an ‘infidel’ club. In those days infidelity was more blasphemous than now. This infidel society took the name of the “Hell Fire Club”. Among their amusements was that of holding imitations of religious services, and exhibiting mimicries of popular ministers.

Thorpe went to hear George Whitfield preach, that he might caricature him before his profane associates. He listened to Whitfield so carefully that he caught his tones and his manner, and somewhat of his doctrines.

When the “Hell Fire Club” met to see his caricature of Whitfield, Thorpe opened the Bible that he might take a text to preach from it after the manner of Whitfield. His eye fell on the passage, “Except you repent, you shall all likewise perish.” As he spoke upon that text he was carried beyond himself, lost all thought of mockery, spoke as one in earnest, and was the means of his own conversion!

He was carried by the force of truth beyond his own intention, like one who would play in a river, and is swept away by its current.

Even the scoffer may be reached by the arrows of truth! Scripture has often been the sole means in the hands of its divine Author of converting the soul.

“For the Word of God is full of living power. It is sharper than the sharpest knife, cutting deep into our innermost thoughts and desires. It exposes us for what we really are.” Hebrews 4:12

“After his amazing conversion, Thorpe became a noted preacher of the gospel.” 

(edited from Spurgeon’s sermon, #950 

The characteristics of the modern Christian pulpit!

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“John said to the crowds coming out to be baptised by him: You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath! Produce fruit in keeping with repentance!” Luke 3:7-8

Well would it be for the Church of Christ, if it possessed more plain-speaking ministers like John the Baptist.

A morbid dislike to strong language;
an excessive fear of giving offence;
a constant flinching from directness and plain speaking;

are, unhappily, too much the characteristics of the modern Christian pulpit!

Uncharitable language is no doubt always to be deprecated. But there is no ‘charity’ in flattering unconverted people — by abstaining from any mention of their vices, or in applying smooth names to their damnable sins!

There are two texts which are too much forgotten by Christian preachers. In one it is written, “Woe unto you — when all men shall speak well of you!” (Luke 6:26)

In the other it is written, “Obviously, I’m not trying to be a people pleaser! No, I am trying to please God. If I were still trying to please people — I would not be Christ’s servant.” (Galatians 1:10)

(J.C. Ryle)

Preach till our tongues rot

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“The gospel is preached in the ears of all men; it only comes with power to some. The power that is in the gospel does not lie in the eloquence of the preacher otherwise men would be converters of souls. Nor does it lie in the preacher’s learning; otherwise it could consists of the wisdom of men. We might preach till our tongues rotted, till we should exhaust our lungs and die, but never a soul would be converted unless there were mysterious power going with it – the Holy Ghost changing the will of man. O Sirs! We might as well preach to stone walls as preach to humanity unless the Holy Ghost be with the word, to give it power to convert the soul.”

Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Pride & Humility

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A vile, creeping, serpentine thing…

From Spurgeon’s sermon, “Pride and Humility”

There is no sin into which the heart of man so easily falls as
pride, and yet there is no vice which is more frequently, more
emphatically, and more eloquently condemned in Scripture!

There is no trap into which we poor silly birds so easily fly.

There is no pitfall into which, like foolish beasts of the earth,
we so continually run, as the sin of pride!

Pride is the worst monstrosity of all the monstrous things
in creation; it has nothing lovely in it.

Pride, the first-born son of hell, is indeed like its parent-
all unclean and vile, and in it there is no beauty.

Consider your origin; look back to the hole of the pit where
you were digged. Consider what you would have been, even
now, if it were not for Divine grace.

Consider that among the damned, there are none that would
have been more damned than yourself, if grace had not kept you
from destruction. Let this consideration humble you,
that you have nothing whereon to ground your pride.

Oh! man, hate pride, flee from it, abhor it,
do not let it dwell with you!

If you want to have a madman in your heart, embrace
pride, for you shall never find one more mad than he.

Pride has ten thousand shapes; it is not always that
stiff and starched gentleman that you picture it.

Pride is a vile, creeping, insinuating thing,
that will twist itself like a serpent into our hearts.

It will talk of humility, and prate about being dust and ashes.
I have known men talk about their corruption most marvelously,
pretending to be all humility, while at the same time they were the
proudest wretches that could be found this side the gulf of
separation.

Oh! my friends, you cannot tell how many shapes pride will
assume; look sharply at yourself, or you will be deceived by it,
and when you think you are entertaining angels, you will find you
have been receiving devils unawares.

 

Everyone Was Happy

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“It was strictly forbidden to preach to other prisoners. It was understood that whoever was caught doing this received a severe beating. A number of us decided to pay the price for the privilege of preaching, so we accepted their [the communists’ ] terms. It was a deal; we preached and they beat us. We were happy preaching. They were happy beating us, so everyone was happy.”

Richard Wurmbrand, Tortured for Christ

B.A! :)

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We put men into pulpits because they have degrees. But you can have 32 of them and still be frozen! “Oh,” you say, “we got a new pastor. He’s got a B. A.” I’ve got a B. A. too, I’m born-again! Today, there is such an emphasis (on education) isn’t there?

Leonard Ravenhill

Their Ability To Make False Doctrine Palatable

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“I have not much patience with a certain class of Christians nowadays who will hear anybody preach so long as they can say, ‘He is very clever, a fine preacher, a man of genius, a born orator.’ Is cleverness to make false doctrine palatable? Why, sirs, to me the ability of a man who preaches error is my sorrow rather than my admiration.” 

Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Mysterious Power

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“The gospel is preached in the ears of all men; it only comes with power to some. The power that is in the gospel does not lie in the eloquence of the preacher otherwise men would be converters of souls. Nor does it lie in the preacher’s learning; otherwise it could consists of the wisdom of men. We might preach till our tongues rotted, till we should exhaust our lungs and die, but never a soul would be converted unless there were mysterious power going with it – the Holy Ghost changing the will of man. O Sirs! We might as well preach to stone walls as preach to humanity unless the Holy Ghost be with the word, to give it power to convert the soul.”

Charles H. Spurgeon

Are These Doctrines True: Is Holiness There?

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“And above all, you must be asking which door is the true one; not which pleases you best by its paint and panelling…the question should never be: ‘Do I like that kind of service?’ but ‘Are these doctrines true: Is holiness there? Does my conscience move me towards this? Is my reluctance to move to this door due to my pride, ormy mere taste, or my personal dislike for this particular door-keeper?” 

C.S. LewisMere Christianity

Unity

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To me one of the major tragedies of the hour, and especially in the realm of the church, is that most of the time seems to be taken up by the leaders in preaching about unity instead of preaching the gospel that alone can produce unity.

D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones


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