Archive for the ‘Missiology and evangelism’ Category
David Murray has been looking at the issue of evangelistic preaching, in the following sequence:
- What is evangelistic preaching?
- Four kinds of evangelistic sermon.
- Why is evangelistic preaching so rare?
- Four characteristics of evangelistic preaching.
- Four (more) characteristics of evangelistic preaching.
It is a discussion both helpful and necessary. Head over and join in.
Stirring sanity from Spurgeon:
It is thought nowadays that a man must not try to proclaim the gospel, unless he has had a good education. To try and preach Christ, and yet to commit grammatical blunders, is looked upon as a grave offence. People are mightly offended at the idea of the gospel being properly preached by an uneducated man. This I believe to be a very injurious mistake.
There is nothing whatsoever in the whole compass of Scripture to excuse any mouth from speaking for Jesus when the heart is really acquainted with His salvation. We are not all called to “preach,” in the new sense of the term, but we are all called to make Jesus known if we know Him.
Has the gospel ever been spread to any extent by men of high literary power? Look through the whole line of history, and see if it is so. Have the men of splendid eloquence been remarkable for winning souls? I could quote names that stand first in the roll of oratory, which are low down in the roll of soul-winners. Those whom God has most honoured have been men who, whatever their gifts, have consecrated them to God, and have earnestly declared the great truths of God’s Word. Men who have been terribly in earnest, and have faithfully described man’s ruin by sin, and God’s remedy of grace—men who have warned sinners to escape from the wrath to come by believing in the Lord Jesus—these have been useful. If they had great gifts, they were no detriment to them; if they had few talents, this did not disqualify them.
It has pleased God to use the base things of this world, and things that are despised, for the accomplishment of His great purposes of love. Paul declared that he proclaimed the gospel, “not with wisdom of words.” He feared what might happen if he used wordly rhetoric, and therefore he refused the wisdom of words. We have need to do so now with emphasis. Let us trust in the divine energy of the Holy Ghost, and speak the truth in reliance upon His might, whether we can speak fluently with Apollos, or are slow of speech, like Moses.
I went out yesterday again to speak to the people in the village where we have been having evangelistic Bible studies. The first man I spoke to gave me an answer to which I am becoming sadly accustomed: “No . . . no . . . that’s not for me.”
I hear this so often, usually the moment someone knows that I am speaking to them about Jesus Christ. It becomes increasingly distressing the more often I hear it, and calls for prayers like this from Thomas Watson:
Oh, that the eyes of sinners may be speedily opened—that they may see the difference of things, the beauty which is in holiness, and the astonishing madness that is in sin!
HT The Old Guys.
An early incarnation of Erroll Hulse urges us to be true evangelists, embedded in local churches:
There is surely no higher motive than that of the great commission. Our Lord commanded us to teach all nations and assured us that he was with us even to the end of time. If he has commanded evangelism and promised to be with us, then that ought to be enough to spur us on. However, there are many other motives to encourage us, including the promise that the Holy Spirit will convince the world of sin, of righteousness and of judgment. The doctrine of Election is also very heartening as we know that the Father has a people which he will give to his Son and that success must crown the right use of means. Compassion is a powerful motive for evangelism. The more we are conformed to Christ the more we will be like him in goodness, compassion and concern toward his enemies (Luke 23:24).
Thanks to all who prayed for the work in the village of Charlwood last Saturday.
One brother travelled down from London with the booklets and invitations, one family travelled up from Brighton, and about a dozen gathered from Maidenbower Baptist Church to distribute the material through Charlwood, directly inviting as many as we could. We divided up the village into eight zones and worked through them, making good time and finishing by about 1.30pm.
I think the consensus was that it was a good and positive day. Certainly a good number of the members here were very encouraged when I spoke with them yesterday. We probably had as many ‘very positives’ as we had ‘aggressively negatives’, with a good number of ‘polite interests’ and a fair few ‘not bothereds’. I imagine that there might be a drop-off in interest when the time comes, but if only two or three people came from each of the areas we worked through, we would still have a congregation well into double figures for the first meeting next Sunday night.
Again, thank you for your prayers. I think that they were answered even in the window of better weather than we enjoyed for the duration of the distribution: the worst of the rain eased almost as we began, and it did not really rain again until we stopped to pray at the end of the time. We now ask that having kept the earthly showers off, the Lord would send heavenly showers down! Please do continue to seek God’s blessing on the work in the coming weeks, for the salvation of souls and the establishing of a church: we are excited and perhaps a little fearful, seeking to be faithful and seeking greater faith. We value your continued intercession.
An interesting interview with Kenneth Stewart on the relationship (and alleged lack of one) between Calvinism and missions here.
Jim Savastio passes on a story recommended by Bill Hughes, recorded in a book called All The Blessings Of Life by F. W. Boreham. This true story is a reminder that we never know how God has blessed the seeds which we have sown through life, and ought to be an encouragement both to those more public and more private labourers whose efforts seem to involve much rocky soil:
Dr. Alexander Whyte loved to tell of a commercial traveller named Rigby who, when in Edinburgh, used to stay at the Waverley Hotel, and, on Sunday, always made his way to St. George’s. He could not preach and always found it difficult even to discuss spiritual themes with others. But before leaving the hotel for the church he always looked around for somebody whom he could invite to accompany him. One morning, on approaching a man with this invitation, he received something like a rebuff. The stranger at first refused, but finally consented, and was so moved by the service that he asked Mr. Rigby to go with him again in the evening. That night, at St. George’s, he found Christ. Next morning, in the course of his business, Mr Rigby chanced to pass the home of Dr. Alexander Whyte. Acting on a sudden impulse, he made up his mind to call and tell Dr. Whyte of his experience on Sunday. Dr. Whyte was deeply moved. “I thought,” he said, “that last night’s sermon fell very flat, and I have been feeling very depressed about it. But what did you say your name was?” Mr Rigby repeated it. “Why,” exclaimed Dr. Whyte in delight, “you are the man I’ve been looking for for years!” He then went to his study, and returned carrying a bundle of letters, from which he read such extracts as these: “I was spending a week-end in Edinburgh some weeks ago, and a fellow commercial called Rigby invited me to accompany him to St. George’s. The message of that service changed my life.” “I am a young man, and the other day I came to hear you preach, at the invitation of a man called Rigby, and in that service I decided to dedicate my life to Christ.” Dr Whyte went on to say that twelve of the letters were from young men. of whom four had already entered the ministry.
So, do what you can, where you can, however unfit you feel, and who knows what the Lord might do with your feeble words?