• OVER 5,000 ARTICLES AND QUOTES PUBLISHED!
  • Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

  • Blog Stats

    • 1,386,331 Visits
  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 1,277 other followers

  • July 2019
    M T W T F S S
    « Aug    
    1234567
    891011121314
    15161718192021
    22232425262728
    293031  
  • Recommended Reading

  • Advertisements

THE GREAT CAMPAIGN

Martyn Lloyd-JonesMartyn Lloyd-Jones:

The main trouble with the Christian Church today is that she is too much like a clinic, too much like a hospital; that is why the great world is going to hell outside! Look at the great campaign, look at it objectively, look at it from God’s standpoint. Forget yourself and your temporary troubles and ills for the moment; fight in the army. It is not a clinic you need; you must realize that we are in a barracks, and that we are involved in a mighty campaign.

Advertisements

Sin is a Requirement

 

R.C. Sproul writes:

“For a Christian to be a Christian, he must first be a sinner. Being a sinner is a prerequisite for being a church member. The Christian church is one of the few organizations in the world that requires a public acknowledgement of sin as a condition for membership.” (Reason to Believe: A Response to Common Objections to Christianity)

 

Let There Be Holy Churches

Quoting Charles H. Spurgeon:

My longing is that the churches may be more holy. I grieve to see so much of worldly conformity in believers. How often wealth leads men astray. How many Christians follow the fashion of this wicked world? We have among us avowed lovers of Christ, who act too much like “lovers of pleasure.” I charge you by the living God, do not profess to be followers of Christ, for He bids you come out from among them and be separate.

An unholy Church! It is useless to the world, and of no esteem among men. It is an abomination, hell’s laughter, and heaven’s abhorrence. The worst evils which have ever come upon the world have been brought upon her by an unholy Church. There cannot be faith in the heart unless there is holiness in the life!

The Church and the Hypocrite

We must be careful when looking for evidence that someone else is a Christian. We make the mistake of thinking that every Christian should look exactly like us. There is a much higher standard! Are you consistently trying to walk in holiness? Does even a “little sin” in your life bring you to your knees to ask forgiveness? Charles Spurgeon, in the following article, takes an uncompromising stand on the great gap between holiness and hypocrisy:

Oh! The great thing the Church needs is more holiness. The worst enemies of the Church are the hypocrites, the formalists, the mere professors, the inconsistent walkers.

It is shocking to think how persons dare to remain members of Christian churches, and even to enter the pulpit, when they are conscious that their private life is foul. Oh, how can they do it? How is it that their hearts have grown so hard? What! Has the devil bewitched them? Has he turned them away from being men, and made them as devilish as himself, that they should dare to pray in public, and to sit at the sacramental table, and to administer ordinances, while their hands are foul, and their hearts unclean and their lives are full of sin?

I charge you, if there are any of you whose lives are not consistent, give up your profession, or else make your lives what they should be. May the eternal Spirit, who still winnows his Church, blow away the chaff, and leave only the good golden wheat upon the floor!

And if you know yourselves to be living in any sin, may God help you to mourn over it, to loathe it, to go to Christ about it tonight; to take hold of him, to wash his feet with your tears, to repent unfeignedly, and then to begin anew in his strength, a life which shall be such as becomes the gospel. (“The Gospel’s Power in a Christian’s Life” No. 640)

Useful Servants In The House Of God

From Charles H. Spurgeon’s Morning & Evening:

He did it with all his heart and prospered. (2 Chronicles 31:21)

This is no unusual occurrence; it is the general rule of the moral universe that those men prosper who do their work with all their hearts, while those are almost certain to fail who go to their labor leaving half their hearts behind them. God does not give harvests to idle men except harvests of thistles, nor is He pleased to send wealth to those who will not dig in the field to find its hid treasure. It is universally confessed that if a man would prosper, he must be diligent in business. It is the same in religion as it is in other things. If you would prosper in your work for Jesus, let it be heart work, and let it be done with all your heart. Put as much force, energy, heartiness, and earnestness into religion as ever you do into business, for it deserves far more. The Holy Spirit helps our infirmities, but He does not encourage our idleness; He loves active believers. Who are the most useful men in the Christian church? The men who do what they undertake for God with all their hearts. Who are the most successful Sabbath-school teachers? The most talented? No; the most zealous; the men whose hearts are on fire, those are the men who see their Lord riding forth prosperously in the majesty of His salvation. Whole-heartedness shows itself in perseverance; there may be failure at first, but the earnest worker will say, “It is the Lord’s work, and it must be done; my Lord has bidden me do it, and in His strength I will accomplish it.” Christian, art thou thus “with all thine heart” serving thy Master? Remember the earnestness of Jesus! Think what heart-work was His! He could say, “The zeal of Thine house hath eaten Me up.” When He sweat great drops of blood, it was no light burden He had to carry upon those blessed shoulders; and when He poured out His heart, it was no weak effort He was making for the salvation of His people. Was Jesus in earnest, and are we lukewarm?

The Good Pastor

I have no doubt that it is much easier to write about what a good pastor should be than it is to live up to the expectations. I almost attended seminary once about 25 years ago. I believed that God was creating the providential circumstances to encourage me to become a preacher/pastor. People told me that they believed they were really learning the Bible when I filled the pulpit for an absent pastor or taught an adult Sunday School class. The seminary even offered me a 75% scholarship and a part-time job working in the education department if I would attend their school. As all this was coming together, the Lord made it clear to me one day that I was not pastor material. You see, I could teach a lesson or preach a sermon, but I did not have in my nature the social skills that a pastor must possess to demonstrate how much he personally cares for and loves the members of his congregation. My ability, by God’s grace, to teach or preach and my good listening and counseling skills were simply not enough to serve God in the capacity of a pastor over a church. I began to understand that my “calling” was to be a Bible teacher working with adult classes or small groups. This was the way for me to develop personal relationships in which I could also grow in Christ.

So, when I look for a good pastor – just what am I expecting to see? You cannot give a good pastor too much credit. A pastor is a man with many tasks set before him; however, his primary task is the preaching of the Gospel. God uses him to build the church and to assist in converting sinners. The pastor is to expound and explain the truths found in the Scriptures (including doctrines) and to guide men to faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. A true pastor is a man of mercy from a God Who loves us.

The Bible must be preached to the mind and heart. It must be understood as well as felt. A pastor must understand his congregation’s intellectual ability. He should know that many of his flock are weighed down with the troubles of life. All must be considered if his preaching is to be successful. All men and women want to hear preaching that will warm their hearts with the love of Christ; to be encouraged as they face their troubles; and to be armored against temptations. It is a grand mistake to preach exclusively for intellectuals or the illiterate. The object of preaching is to focus attention on the subject of the preaching; not the pastor, but Jesus Christ our Savior.

The pastor in the pulpit should not come across as a cold fish. His preaching should make the congregation feel the power of God’s Truth. The preacher must devote time to discovering the true meaning of his selected text. He must be zealous to show forth the burning truths that he has learned in his studies. The pastor must cultivate his thought and speech to the utmost, but it must all be for the glory of God.

A good pastor will read much, meditate on God’s Word and pray much for God to bless his preaching and his congregation. He will do his best every time he preaches to exalt Christ and save men’s souls. After all, he is preaching to dying men. Who knows if someone is listening to the last sermon he will ever hear! The pastor must take into account all the sudden sicknesses and accidents that may occur to prevent members from attending church again. With that in mind, his congregation must witness the love of Christ in their pastor’s conduct.

The great value of a man’s immortal soul should motivate all Christians to passion and faithfulness; especially the pastor. The salvation of one soul merits the focused attention of your life, strength, and your most faithful labors. The pastor will one day have to give an account for the souls that have been under his ministry. The author of Hebrews reminds us: “Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account.” (Hebrews 13:17 ESV)

In conclusion, I recognize that there are many more duties a Pastor performs than what has been mentioned here; but pastors I admonish you before Jesus Christ to remember that you are called to preach the truth of God. You are to preach the whole truth even if it is unpopular in your age. Your message must be absolute Bible truth. Don’t wander into the assertions of popular magazines, the trends that are in, or copying other churches because they are popular and have big crowds. If you are faithful in preaching God’s Word and ministering to your congregation, the Holy Spirit will build a Christian Church.

Spurgeon’s Advice To Preachers And Teachers Of The Word

Charles H. Spurgeon

Preachers and teachers may have imperfect and feeble ministries. However, Charles H. Spurgeon, speaking to a conference of pastors, reminds them that; by the influence of the Holy Spirit, their words have been used to bring many to life. Spurgeon goes on to say:

Brethren, I long that we may all be “apt to teach.” The Church is never overdone with those who’s “lips feed many.” It should be our ambition to be “good stewards of the manifold grace of God.” We all know certain able ministers who are expositors of the Word, and instructors of believers. You always bring something away when you hear them. They trade in precious things; their merchandise is of the gold of Ophir. Certain passages of Scripture are quoted and set in a new light; and certain specialties of Christian experience are described and explained. We come away from such preaching feeling that we have been to a good school. Brethren, I desire that we may each one exercise such an edifying ministry! Oh, that: we may have the experience, the illumination, the industry needful for so high a calling! Oh, for more richly-instructive sermons!

Brethren, look at many modern sermons! What fire and fury! What flash and dash! What is it all about? To what purpose is this display? We often meet with sermons which are like kaleidoscopes, marvelously pretty, but what is there in them? See, there are several bits of colored glass, and one or two slips of mirror, and other trifles, and these are put into a tube! How they sparkle! What marvelous combinations! What fascinating transformations! But what are you looking at? You have not seen any more after twenty displays than you saw at first; for indeed there is no more. Some preachers excel in quotations of poetry; and others excel in apposition and alliteration, or in the quaintness of the division of their texts. Many are great in domestic sorrows, and death-bed spectacles, and semi-dramatic picturings. Very telling, very sensational; and, under gracious direction, useful in its own measure; but when souls are to be saved, and saved souls are to be fed, more solid matters must take a prominent place. We must feed the flock of God. We must deal with eternal verities, and grapple with heart and conscience. We must, in fact, live to educate a race of saints, in whom the Lord Jesus shall be reflected as in a thousand mirrors.

The apostle Paul truly says, “Though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers.” He calls the general run of teachers pedagogues, and says that we have myriads of such; but we have not many “fathers.” No man has more than one natural father, and in the strictest sense we have each one spiritual father, and no more. How singularly true are the apostle’s words at this present hour! Still have we a lack of spiritual fathers. I would suggest to this Conference of brethren who have been for years in the ministry, that we have come to that point of age and experience in which each of us should set before him the image of a father as that to which he should approach more and more. (“What We Would Be”)

%d bloggers like this: