“How much do you have to hate somebody to not proselytize? How much do you have to hate somebody to believe that everlasting life is possible and not tell them that? If I believed beyond a shadow of a doubt that a truck was coming at you and you didn’t believe it, and that truck was bearing down on you, there’s a certain point where I tackle you. And this is more important than that.”—Penn Jillette on Christian Evangelism
The great question is; is it accurate? Hearing The Message, a congregation, “Will hear something comprehensible, but unless they compare it with a translation which is closer to the original Greek or Hebrew, they can’t assess whether it is an accurate interpretation or not.”
Thou hast given me a fixed disposition to go forth and spend my life for thee; If it be thy will let me proceed in it; if not, then revoke my intentions. All I want in life is such circumstances as may best enable me to serve thee in the world; To this end I leave all my concerns in thy hand, but let me not be discouraged, for this hinders my spiritual fervency; Enable me to undertake some task for thee, for this refreshes and animates my soul, so that I could endure all hardships and labours, and willingly suffer for thy name. But, 0 what a death it is to strive and labour, to be always in a hurry and yet do nothing!
Alas, time flies and I am of little use. 0 that I could be a flame of fire in thy service, always burning out in one continual blaze. Fit me for singular usefulness in this world. Fit me to exult in distresses of every kind if they but promote the advancement of thy kingdom. Fit me to quit all hopes of the world’s friendship, and give me a deeper sense of my sinfulness. Fit me to accept as just desert from thee any trial that may befall me. Fit me to be totally resigned to the denial of pleasures I desire, and to be content to spend my time with thee. Fit me to pray with a sense of the joy of divine communion, to find all times happy seasons to my soul, to see my own nothingness, and wonder that I am allowed to serve thee. Fit me to enter the blessed world where no unclean thing is, and to know thee with me always.
It is patently absurd and totally false to say that what we don’t know can’t hurt us, especially when it comes to theology. There is no subject in existence that is more important. But what I think could be worse than not knowing is what we do know that is not actually true.
“Personally, I have to bless God for many good books…but my gratitude most of all is due to God, not for books, but for the preached Word—and that too addressed to me by a poor, uneducated man, a man who had never received any training for the ministry, and probably will never be heard of in this life, a man engaged in business, no doubt of a humble kind, during the week, but who had just enough of grace to say on the Sabbath, “Look unto Me, and be saved, all the ends of the earth.”
The books were good, but the man was better. The revealed Word awakened me, but it was the preached Word that saved me; and I must ever attach peculiar value to the hearing of the truth, for by it I received the joy and peace in which my soul delights.”—Charles H. Spurgeon
“If clear Biblical evidence was not on your side, would you change your theological position? Or are you lead by “emotional convictions?” Can you cope with the possibility that those you love and respect may not be totally correct in their theology? If you cannot change, what gives you the right to require change in others?”—
"God loves me enough to not give me more than my character will allow me to handle. If he were to give me more, it might harm me and my pride and envy might just drive me away from him."
"And so I ask the Lord not to give me success that exceeds my sanctification. And then I ask that he will make me increasingly holy, that he will grow my Christian character, sanctify me in greater measure, that I may have more success and steward it wisely and for his glory."
Those of you who know me know that i have a huge appreciation for the late Charles Spurgeon. Known as the Prince of Preachers, Mr. Spurgeon preached a message that the church of today should take note of…
An evil is in the professed camp of the Lord, so gross in its impudence, that the most short-sighted can hardly fail to notice it. During the past few years it has developed at an abnormal rate, even for evil. It has worked like leaven until the whole lump ferments. The devil has seldom done a cleverer thing than hinting to the Church that part of their mission is to provide entertainment for the people, with a view to winning them. From speaking out as the Puritans did, the Church has gradually toned down her testimony, then winked at and excused the frivolities of the day. Then she tolerated them in her borders. Now she has adopted them under the plea of reaching the masses.
My first contention is that providing amusement for the people is nowhere spoken of in the Scriptures as a function of the Church. If it is a Christian work why did not Christ speak of it? “Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.’ That is clear enough. So it would have been if he had added, ‘and provide amusement for those who do not relish the gospel.’ No such words, however, are to be found. It did not seem to occur to him. Then again, ‘He gave some apostles, some prophets, some pastors and teachers, for the work of the ministry.’ Where do entertainers come in? The Holy Spirit is silent concerning them. Were the prophets persecuted because they amused the people or because they refused? The concert has no martyr roll.
Again, providing amusement is in direct antagonism to the teaching and life of Christ and all his apostles. What was the attitude of the Church to the world? ‘Ye are the salt,’ not the sugar candy—something the world will spit out, not swallow. Short and sharp was the utterance, ‘Let the dead bury their dead.’ He was in awful earnestness! Had Christ introduced more of the bright and pleasant elements into his mission, he would have been more popular when they went back, because of the searching nature of his teaching. I do not hear him say, “Run after these people, Peter, and tell them we will have a different style of service tomorrow, something short and attractive with little preaching. We will have a pleasant evening for the people. Tell them they will be sure to enjoy it. Be quick, Peter, we must get the people somehow!” Jesus pitied sinners, sighed and wept over them, but never sought to amuse them. In vain will the Epistles be searched to find any trace of the gospel of amusement. Their message is, ‘Come out, keep out, keep clean out!’ Anything approaching fooling is conspicuous by its absence.
They had boundless confidence in the gospel and employed no other weapon. After Peter and John were locked up for preaching, the Church had a prayer meeting, but they did not pray, “Lord, grant unto thy servants that by a wise and discriminating use of innocent recreation we may show these people how happy we are.” If they ceased not for preaching Christ, they had not time for arranging entertainments. Scattered by persecution, they went everywhere preaching the gospel. ‘They turned the world upside down’. That is the only difference!
Lord, clear the Church of all the rot and rubbish the devil has imposed on her and bring us back to apostolic methods.
Lastly, the mission of amusement fails to effect the end desired. It works havoc among young converts. Let the careless and scoffers, who thank God because the Church met them half-way, speak and testify. Let the heavy laden who found peace through the concert not keep silent! Let the drunkard to whom the dramatic entertainment had been God’s link in the chain of their conversion, stand up! There are none to answer. The mission of amusement produces no converts. The need of the hour for today’s ministry is believing scholarship joined with earnest spirituality, the one springing from the other as fruit from the root. The need is biblical doctrine, so understood and felt, that it sets men on fire.