The Lord had called the prophet Amos to speak to the people so that they would come to their senses and repent, yet he seems not to have made very much of an impression on them, because most of them had failed to mend their ways. Israel was continuing to live under the delusion that because God had chosen and loved them, he would protect them to the end of their days—regardless of their behavior. God’s imminent judgment on Israel would not be a mere punitive blow to warn, but an almost total destruction. Following the conquest of the northern kingdom by the Assyrians in 721 BC the ten tribes were scattered throughout the Assyrians empire. Should America read Amos closely and turn from their national sin? ... See MoreSee Less
We are not only to merely talk about love we are to demonstrate that love though our actions. If we have the capability to meet a brother’s needs, and do nothing to meet that need, then how can we say that we love that brother? How does the love of God abide in us? Think about this – if we cannot divide our bread with a hungry brother or sister, we certainly would not lay down our life for them. ... See MoreSee Less
If you look at Jonathan Edwards from the wrong standpoint, everything is wrong. Some people look at him as a great eighteenth-century thinker, writer, and preacher, and that is as far as they go.
But Edwards’s thinking, writing, and preaching are what they are because of what he was. And we will be helped most if we see something of what John De Witt meant when he wrote, “[Edwards] was greatest in his attribute of regnant, permeating, irradiating spirituality” (quoted in Jonathan Edwards, xvii). Behind the greatness of his thought was the greatness of his soul. And his soul was great because it was filled with the fullness of God. In our day we need to see his God — and the soul that saw this God. ... See MoreSee Less
At the high point of Jesus’ popularity in His earthly ministry, He dealt with many people who believed they were part of the God’s kingdom. His work attracted followers who were awed by His miracles and wanted to share in the blessings of His work. Many of these followers also believed that because they were Jewish, or because they identified themselves with Jesus, they were part of His kingdom. In response to this, Jesus preached the Sermon on the Mount (Matt 5-7). In it, He defined what it really means to be part of God’s Kingdom. Those who are in the kingdom of heaven recognize their sin, see God’s perfection, have a pure heart, and conduct themselves with a proper fear of God. ... See MoreSee Less
During Jesus’ earthly ministry, He dealt with many people who believed they were part of the kingdom. In response, Jesus preached the Sermon on the Mount and showed those who are in the kingdom of heaven recognize their sin, see God’s perfection, have a pure heart, and conduct themselves with a ...
As a result of the immense impact of Brainerd’s devotion on his life, Jonathan Edwards wrote, in the next two years, The Life of David Brainerd, which has been reprinted more often than any of Edwards’s other books. And through this Life, the impact of Brainerd on the church has been incalculable. Beyond all the famous missionaries who tell us that they have been sustained and inspired by Brainerd’s Life, how many countless other unknown faithful servants must there be who have found from Brainerd’s testimony the encouragement and strength to press on! ... See MoreSee Less
History teaches us that proper thought does not necessarily lead to proper action — even when those thoughts align with God’s. In numerous glaring instances, humans have been subjugated to brutal oppression by those who, by their own teachings and sermons, should have known better. Orthodoxy alone is not enough to ensure that we will live as God requires. ... See MoreSee Less
The Westminster Confession of Faith is a Reformed confession produced in 1646 by the Westminster Assembly in London. Intended to set the doctrinal standards for the Church of England, it became a powerful force in the Church of Scotland and has influenced Presbyterian churches all over the world. Today, numerous churches and denominations worldwide look to the Westminster Confession as their standard of doctrine, subordinate, of course, to Scripture. ... See MoreSee Less
Today’s post is written by Justin Holcomb, a theology professor at Reformed Theological Seminary and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and is sponsored by Zondervan Academic Online Courses. The Westminster Confession of Faith is a Reformed confession produced in 1646 by the Westminster Assembly...
In antebellum and Civil War–era America, churches and denominations along the border between North and South voiced what would have been considered “moderate” opinions on slavery. But as April Holm shows in A Kingdom Divided, neutrality was attractive but never really neutral. It was a political choice like any other. Border-region evangelicals were not proslavery ideologues; neither were they abolitionists. Mostly, they believed churches should focus on “spiritual” matters and avoid weighing in on controversial political debates. ... See MoreSee Less
The parable of the Good Samaritan isn’t a story about benevolence or social justice. It was not delivered as a heartwarming tale of gracious self-sacrifice, but as a stinging rebuke to pharisaical self-righteousness.
In response to a hairsplitting question from an unctuous law scribe (Luke 10:29), the Lord told a story that highlighted the vain piety of the religious elite, and gets to the heart of how God wants us to love our neighbors. We already saw how other characters in the story—religious leaders without excuse—cruelly overlooked the man’s plight. Today, we will consider how help finally came from his unlikeliest ally. ... See MoreSee Less
The parable of the Good Samaritan isn’t a story about benevolence or social justice. It was not delivered as a heartwarming tale of gracious self-sacrifice, but as a stinging rebuke to pharisaical se...
When Jesus walked the earth about 2000 years ago, He was faced with a very similar question when the people who heard Him teach wondered if His teaching was truly from God. Jesus answered them by giving this simple, yet profound answer, “…My teaching is not Mine, but His who sent Me. If anyone is willing to do His will, he will know of the teaching, whether it is of God or whether I speak from Myself.” (John 7:16-17) We can apply this same principle to knowing that the Bible is truly from God. All those who desire to obey God will know by the very words of the Bible that it is indeed from God himself. ... See MoreSee Less
All those who desire to obey God will know by the very words of the Bible that it is indeed from God himself. There is no lack of proof for the truthfulness of the Bible, rather the problem lies in the sinful blindness of all those who willfully continue in their rebellion against God.
Biblical archaeology is a wide field offering modern readers fascinating insights into the everyday lives of people mentioned in the Bible. While archaeological findings don’t prove the truth of Scripture, they do have the potential to enrich our understanding and draw us into the world of the biblical writers—giving us a glimpse of the ancient world behind the living Word.
Here are the ten most significant discoveries in the field of biblical archaeology: ... See MoreSee Less
This sponsored post is adapted from the ESV Archaeology Study Bible—which was created by a team of field-trained archaeologists and features 2,000+ study notes, 400+ full-color photographs, 200+ maps and diagrams, 15 articles, 4 timelines, and more. Archaeology Gives Context Biblical archaeology i...
Athanasius stared down murderous intruders into his church. He stood before emperors who could have killed him as easily as exiling him. He risked the wrath of parents and other clergy by consciously training young people to give their all for Christ, including martyrdom. He celebrated the fruit of his ministry with these words: “in youth they are self-restrained, in temptations endure, in labors persevere, when insulted are patient, when robbed make light of it: and, wonderful as it is, they despise even death and become martyrs of Christ” — martyrs not who kill as they die, but who love as they die (Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Vol. 4, 65). ... See MoreSee Less
Following his death for sin, then, Jesus journeys to Hades, to the City of Death, and rips its gates off the hinges. He liberates Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David, John the Baptist, and the rest of the Old Testament faithful, ransoming them from the power of Sheol (Psalm 49:15; 86:13; 89:48). They had waited there for so long, not having received what was promised, so that their spirits would be made perfect along with the saints of the new covenant (Hebrews 11:39–40; 12:23). ... See MoreSee Less
"The Savior meant that the satisfaction which He rendered to the justice of God was finished. The debt was now, to the last farthing, all discharged. The atonement and propitiation were made once for all, and forever, by the one offering made in Jesus’ body on the tree. There was the cup; hell was in it; the Savior drank it—not a sip, and then a pause; not a draught, and then a ceasing; but He drained it till there is not a dreg left for any of His people!" ... See MoreSee Less
“The hour has come. The Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.” (Mark 14:41)
All Jesus’s human life had anticipated this hour. Every careful attempt at keeping the messianic secret. Every emotional investment poured gladly into his disciples. Every glimpse of the ocean of his kindness as he healed the blind, the mute, the lame, the demonized, and even raised the dead.
Now the hour has come. All history hinges on this hour. And it is utterly terrifying. Jesus must decide: Will he protect his own skin, and soul, or will he embrace his Father’s perfect and painful will? ... See MoreSee Less
The contrition and confession modeled by the thief is an extremely rare commodity in our therapeutic culture overflowing with victimhood. The whole world resonates with a false cry of innocence. As Solomon lamented, “All the ways of man are clean in his own sight” (Proverbs 16:2). “Most men will proclaim every one his own goodness” (Proverb 20:6 KJV). ... See MoreSee Less
So here’s what happened according to Mark. Yeshua had three times now explained to his disciples that he would suffer, die and rise again on the third day. The first time, Peter rebuked him, but Yeshua was having none of it. The second time, they just didn’t understand and were too afraid to say anything. The third time came as Jesus went ahead of them, leading the way to Jerusalem and certain death. They couldn’t believe it. ... See MoreSee Less
We have often loved what we’ve learned about God more than God himself.
The Bible warns us about the dangers that come with our knowledge of God, especially for the theologically refined and convinced. “You cannot serve both God and theology.” Good theology is a means to enjoying and worshiping God, or it is useless. ... See MoreSee Less
In Luke 23 we observe an encounter between Christ and a truly great theologian. His brief, four-verse cameo succinctly communicates a tremendous wealth of doctrinal truth. In fact, widely-celebrated scholars have spent thousands of pages muddling what this man clearly enunciated in three short sentences.
"One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him, saying, “Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!” But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” 43 And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.” ... See MoreSee Less
"Let it not make thee despair, neither yet discourage thee, O reader, that it is forbidden thee in pain of life and goods, or that it is made breaking of the king's peace, or treason unto his highness, to read the Word of thy soul's health—for if God be on our side, what matter maketh it who be against us, be they bishops, cardinals, popes." ... See MoreSee Less
William Tyndale (ca. 1494–1536) made an enormous contribution to the Reformation in England. Many would say that he made the contribution by translating the Bible into English and overseeing its publication.
More than three hundred years before Martin Luther was born, an unlikely reformer suddenly appeared in the city of Lyon in southeast France. His protests against doctrines and practices of the Roman Catholic Church were strong tremors foretelling the coming spiritual earthquake called the Reformation. And the movement he launched survived to join the great Reformation. He is known to history as Peter Waldo. ... See MoreSee Less
The 17th century Jewish historian, Raphael Levi, admitted that long ago the rabbis used to read Isaiah 53 in synagogues, but after the chapter caused “arguments and great confusion” the rabbis decided that the simplest thing would be to just take that prophecy out of the Haftarah readings in synagogues. That’s why today when they read Isaiah 52, they stop in the middle of the chapter and the week after they jump straight to Isaiah 54.
Now if you’ve been a Christian for any time at all, you’re very familiar with this section of Holy Scripture, and you should be. It has been called by some scholars in the past, “The Fifth Gospel.” The Fifth Gospel, to be added to Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. It was Augustine who said way back in the fifth century, “It is not a prophecy, it is a gospel.” It was Polycarp, the student and friend of the apostle John who called this section of Scripture “The Golden Passional of the Old Testament. ... See MoreSee Less
Now for this morning, I finally want you to open your Bible to the fifty-third chapter of Isaiah, Isaiah chapter 53. And we are about to embark on a study of this immensely important portion of the ...
When we respond to error by giving it the benefit of the doubt, we come close to committing the same error as false teachers: masking error as the truth. Like Jesus, we ought to love truth and love people enough to call out error for what it is. ... See MoreSee Less
We often escape the discipline we are due because of God’s kindness. Nevertheless, we walk on thin ice when we think we can presume upon His kindness and patience. After all, the Lord’s patience toward sinners will run out eventually (Rom. 2:4–5; 2 Peter 3:8–10). ... See MoreSee Less
“Exposure to Jonathan Edwards has mostly been limited to reading Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God, as an early selection in an American literature textbook, such that we might despise the Puritans all the more when we get to The Scarlet Letter and The Crucible.” ... See MoreSee Less
“Exposure to Jonathan Edwards has mostly been limited to reading Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God, as an early selection in an American literature textbook, such that we might despise the Puritans all the more when we…
Jesus shows us the proper response to His promise of peace, "Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful" (John 14:27). We ought to be able to lay hold of this peace. It is there, it is ours; but we must take hold of it. It is interesting that He says "I give you peace," then He says, "Do not let your heart be troubled." The peace He gives has to be received and applied in our lives. If we lay hold of the promise of the very peace of Christ, we will have calm, untroubled hearts, regardless of external circumstances. ... See MoreSee Less
In a day when the cause of world evangelism is so sadly languishing, it will be a humbling and inspiring experience for the Christians of America to turn aside and expose their souls afresh to the story of one who was magnificently captivated by the love of Christ. The love of Christ was his hope, his incentive, and his consolation. The love of Christ sang and sobbed and shouted its way through all the changing scenes, manifold trials and monumental accomplishments of the five great epochs of his life. ... See MoreSee Less
In 1528 the powerful Archbishop of St. Andrews summoned Hamilton, saying he wished to have a debate. However, it was a ruse, and before Hamilton’s influential friends could muster any support, a church court hurriedly found him guilty of heresy. (While heresy trials ordinarily took weeks, Hamilton’s was rushed through in a mere twelve hours.)
In contrast to the trial, the punishment was long. It took six hours for Hamilton to die by burning at the stake. A witness of the execution noted that the martyr “never gave one sign of impatience or anger, nor ever called to heaven for vengeance upon his persecutors.” ... See MoreSee Less
Christian History Institute (CHI) provides church history resources and self-study material and publishes the quarterly Christian History Magazine. Our aim is to make Christian history enjoyable and applicable to the widest possible audience.
The early church was hated by the society and government of the Roman Empire for various reasons, such as the refusal of Christians to sacrifice to the gods. The Empire went through many phases of demanding that the Christians sacrifice — which meant denying their faith — or be killed. The earliest attacks claimed the lives of many of the apostles.
This text is the story, from around 160 AD, of the martyrdom of Polycarp, the Bishop of the church in Smyrna, a city in Asia Minor (modern Izmir in Turkey) devoted to Roman worship. The account is in the form of a letter from eye-witnesses to other churches in the area. It is the earliest chronicle of a martyrdom outside the New Testament. ... See MoreSee Less
Christian History Institute (CHI) provides church history resources and self-study material and publishes the quarterly Christian History Magazine. Our aim is to make Christian history enjoyable and applicable to the widest possible audience.
How many recent sermons have you heard on pride or humility? Probably not many. One hears surprisingly little from church or parachurch leaders about either of these subjects. In fact, what throughout history has been recognized as the deadliest of vices is now almost celebrated as a virtue in our culture. Pride and arrogance are conspicuous among the rich, the powerful, the successful, the famous, and celebrities of all sorts, and even some religious leaders. And it is also alive and well in ordinary people, including each of us. ... See MoreSee Less
“Pride is your greatest enemy, humility is your greatest friend.” So said the late John R.W. Stott, a remarkably humble man of great abilities and accomplishments who is often said to have made the greatest impact for Christ of anyone in the twentieth century. His succinct statement about pride ...
Self-centered, self-aggrandizing, self-glorifying pride is the modus operandi of human existence. It is the fuel for division. It is the train operator that derails whole churches from their mission while leaving spiritual carnage scattered across a city. Every local church faces many threats. False teaching and persecution threaten from without. But the one that threatens from within is selfish pride. ... See MoreSee Less
The model and power of Christian unity is found in the person and work of Jesus Christ. The principal we must follow is to not consider our advantages, position, or gifts as something for our glory but as assets to serve others.
Sociologists warn that ours is one of the most self-centered generations in history. We flock to the latest technology that promises to deliver what we want faster than ever. “If your internet takes longer than two seconds to load your favorite Netflix show, then it is too slow,” advertisers tell us. We are bombarded with things guaranteed to enable us to live happy and productive lives. Yet, something is wrong. ... See MoreSee Less
Maybe its time for a little less “imagination” and a little more recognition that there is such a thing as Good and Evil, such a reality as Truth, and that living for ourselves means living in a world where mass violence is not an abnormality, but the norm.
Most unredeemed sinners have nagging concerns about the afterlife. You see the evidence clearly when you ask unbelievers directly what would happen to them if they died. The most common responses all point to a subjective notion of relative goodness. I’m basically good; I certainly try to do more good than bad.
While the unbelieving world might find fleeting comfort in an imagined sliding scale of cosmic justice, those hopes hinge on an obvious lie. It’s tragic that so many unregenerate sinners have convinced themselves that the good will outweigh the bad in God’s (or “the universe’s”) final verdict on their lives. ... See MoreSee Less
Most unredeemed sinners have nagging concerns about the afterlife. You see the evidence clearly when you ask unbelievers directly what would happen to them if they died. The most common responses all...
How did God forgive us? God forgave us by making the promise that our sins would never be remembered again, that they would be covered, that they would be buried in the depths of the sea, that they would be removed as far as the east is from the west, that they would be remembered no more, never to be brought up against us, never to be held against us, never to be used to condemn us. And that’s the way we are to forgive. ... See MoreSee Less
Let’s go back to the book of Philemon tonight. This is a final look at it; and really it’s, for tonight, just the closing portion of this book. Let me read the book to you again, because I want you to have it in mind.
The pinnacle of forgiveness is the example of forgiveness given by our Lord. The greatest act of treachery done against anyone was done by human beings against the Lord Jesus, and He said, “Father, forgive them. Father, forgive them.” Even though they were doing what God wanted done, it didn’t lessen their culpability. ... See MoreSee Less
Now I want you to open your Bible to the book of Philemon. And you can check the index if you’re not sure where it is; or you can find the book of Hebrews, which is larger, and back up one. The book of Philemon.
A very personal letter, and behind this letter is a story, a fascinating story, a compelling story along the lines of forgiveness. This is the shortest of Paul’s letters. And Philemon is a very privileged man. Paul wrote thirteen inspired letters in the New Testament, many others beyond that; but as far as the New Testament is concerned, he wrote thirteen letters. Only three of them were sent to individuals: letters to Timothy, a letter to Titus, and a letter to Philemon.
Now Paul has in mind that Philemon should forgive Onesimus; that’s really what’s behind this letter. So it is a short story on forgiveness, a heartfelt, beautifully expressed call for Philemon to forgive Onesimus his slave who has wronged him. ... See MoreSee Less
God is not mentioned in the book Esther. But as 18th century commentator Matthew Henry says, “Though the name of God be not in it, the finger of God is, directing many minute events for the bringing about of his people’s deliverance. The particulars are not only surprising and very entertaining, but edifying and very encouraging to the faith and hope of God’s people in the most difficult and dangerous times. ... See MoreSee Less
The Jewish holiday of Purim is from sunset Feb. 28 to sundown Mar. 1 this year. The commemoration is based on the biblical story that’s familiar to most churchgoers: the deliverance of the Jews from planned genocide at the hands of the Persian official Haman. The agent of that deliverance is Esthe...
William Carey was the man whom God used almost single-handedly to bring the Great Commission back to the forefront of the church’s thinking. Commonly recognized today as “the father of modern missions,” Carey came on the scene during a period of evangelical lethargy. Paralyzed by hyper-Calvinism and a general apathy towards the lost, most churches in England believed that if God wanted to save sinners, he did not need the participation of men. ... See MoreSee Less
Whether going, enabling, or praying, Christians must recognize Jesus’ Great Commission as prescriptive for them. Such an understanding, however, has not always been so widely held. William Carey was the man whom God used almost single-handedly to bring the Great Commission back to the forefront of...
To make evolution the answer is ridiculous. To make chance the energy is also ridiculous, so ridiculous as to qualify someone for a trip to the mental institution. Why then do scientists continue to advocate this ridiculous theory of evolution motivated by chance? Why do they do that? Well, the bottom line is they do it to avoid God. They do that to push God out of their lives, to avoid His law, to avoid His standards, to avoid His will, to avoid His Word and to avoid His judgment on their lives. Evolution is nothing more than what Henry Morris so aptly called it, "The long war against God." ... See MoreSee Less
We are continuing our series tonight on the subject of origins: creation or evolution. I know that there are some who are new with us tonight and some who have missed some of the prior messages. So let me just give a brief review, and I'll try to make it brief and concise, because I have so much.....
South Carolina’s bill affirms the logical and moral conclusion we can draw from the scientific evidence. That’s because all innocent human life requires protection under the law, and because human life begins in the womb, human embryos deserve legal protection just as born children do.
The alternative is nothing more than the rule that the strongest wins. ... See MoreSee Less
Billy Graham debuted on a national stage during his Los Angeles Crusade in fall 1949. Just 30 years old, Graham met his audience with a fiery call for repentance from sin, boldly announcing on the opening night that "this city of wickedness and sin" had a choice between revival and renewal—or judgment. ... See MoreSee Less
“And I also tell you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My community; and the gates of Sheol will not overpower it.” (Matthew 16:18)
This verse has caused much consternation and controversy about whether or not Yeshua was establishing a papacy here – clearly Peter was foundational in the early church, but what did Yeshua mean exactly? And there are also some other important peculiarities in this verse that get overlooked, but we’ll get into those later. ... See MoreSee Less
The God who loves what is good must not love what is evil. He must not even be ambivalent toward what is evil, what is harmful, what is destructive. He must hate it. The God of the Bible reveals himself as a God of love. But he also reveals himself as a God who hates. We have been looking at verses where the Bible employs words like “hate,” “abomination,” and “detestable,” and have seen that God hates idolatry and God hates sexual immorality. Today we turn our attention to this: God hates injustice. ... See MoreSee Less
The God who loves what is good must not love what is evil. He must not even be ambivalent toward what is evil, what is harmful, what is destructive. He must hate it. The God of the Bible reveals himself as a God of love. But he also reveals himself as a God who hates. We have been looking at verses....
I agree that gospel-grounded racial reconciliation produces multi-ethnic and diverse churches. But diversity is not the same as gospel-centered racial reconciliation and the goal of gospel-centered racial reconciliation is not simply diversity. An assembly of the United Nations is multi-ethnic and diverse, as is the army, or the local public high school, or so many other groups. Yet such settings hardly enjoy the racial reconciliation of the gospel. ... See MoreSee Less
I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. ... See MoreSee Less
Introduction 1 I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, entreat you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing forbearance to one another in love, 3 being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bon...
The Reformation doctrine of justification by faith is, and has always been, the number one target of the enemy's attack. It provides the foundation of the bridge that reconciles God and man—without that key doctrine, Christianity falls. But the doctrine that the Reformers so painstakingly clarified, even spilled blood over, has become so muddled today that many Protestants barely recognize it. Sadly, there are some who react against a clear presentation of justification, calling it nothing more than useless hair-splitting. ... See MoreSee Less
The Reformation doctrine of justification by faith is, and has always been, the number one target of the enemy's attack. It provides the foundation of the bridge that reconciles God and man—without that key doctrine, Christianity falls. But the doctrine that the Reformers so painstakingly clarifie...
The preacher is more than just an explainer; he is also a persuader. Having rightly interpreted the text, biblical exposition must also confront the will. The glories of exegeting the Scriptures can never be disconnected from the necessity of urging the church to believe them.
The presupposition of the pastor must always be that he has a people before him who are in dire need of being persuaded. No man of God should ever believe that his congregation has arrived or that they already are who they must become. Sin and temptation are alive and well in every congregation. ... See MoreSee Less
According to some recent surveys, the experience of sitting through the average expository sermon is tantamount to being invited to a yawning contest. Many church-goers view expository preachers as odd fellows who stand before a crowd of people and dryly recite abstract references from academic comm...
The first evangelistic sermon of the Church Age was preached by the Apostle Peter nearly 2,000 years ago on the Day of Pentecost. Luke records the essence of Peter’s message in Acts 2:14–40. Luke reports five more evangelistic messages in the book, two further by Peter (3:12–26; 10:34–43) and three by Paul (13:16–41; 14:15–17; 17:22–31). ... See MoreSee Less
(Today’s post is adapted from Keith’s article “Evangelistic Preaching in the Book of Acts,” originally published in Expositor Magazine.) Evangelistic preaching has a rich heritage. The first evangelistic sermon of the Church Age was preached by the Apostle Peter nearly 2,000 years ago on the...
On Sunday morning, August 5, 1855, 21-year-old Charles Haddon Spurgeon stepped behind the pulpit of New Park Street Chapel to challenge his congregation to follow the example of one of the saints who had inspired his ministry, the apostle Paul. “As a preacher of the word,” Spurgeon said of Paul, “he stands out pre-eminently as the prince of preachers and a preacher to kings.”
Young Spurgeon’s description of Paul was prophetic of his own future ministry. Within a few short years of that Sabbath morning, Spurgeon also earned the moniker “the prince of preachers” as he proclaimed God’s word to congregants from every stratum of society. The boy preacher from humble beginnings even became the “preacher to kings” as members of the British royal family filled his pews. ... See MoreSee Less
How often have you been asked, post-service, “Wasn’t that a great sermon?” But what makes a sermon great? Is it that the sermon was short? Is it that you learned something new? Is it that it made you laugh or cry? Is it that the preacher held your attention throughout? There’s nothing wrong with these things, but we must understand that the goal of listening to a sermon is not to be entertained, to learn Bible trivia, or to experience a range of emotions. The goal of listening to a sermon is that you would have your mind transformed by the Word such that your life would be changed more into the image of Christ by the power of the Word of God applied by the Spirit of God (James 1:22; Rom. 12:2). ... See MoreSee Less
The reason we are inattentive listeners is that while many preachers spend years honing the craft of sermon preparation, even attending years of post-graduate schooling, the average congregant has never been taught how to listen to an expository sermon.