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Reformed. Christianity. Evangelism. Modern Culture.
“The preacher must be a serious man; he must never give the impression that preaching is something light or superficial or trivial….What is happening [in the act of preaching] is that he is speaking to them from God, he is speaking to them about God, he is speaking about their condition, the state of their souls. He is telling them that they are, by nature, under the wrath of God…that the character of the life they’re living is offensive to God and under the judgment of God, and warning them of the dreaded eternal possibility that lies ahead of them. …Read More!
This will be of interest to those who love expository sermons. Here is a treasure trove of sermons by Dr. Martyn Lloyd Jones. Enjoy!!
A hundred to two hundred years ago (just like two thousand years ago) there were bold preachers who preached with Bibles laid wide open and read aloud the text for the people to hear the word of God. Most of these stood on street corners and market places and they reasoned and persuaded men to consider their ways in light of the holiness of God. In more recent times most ‘men of God’ prefer to be popular and few now preach on sin or even call people to repentance. It’s actually more lucrative to hold motivational lectures on personal self esteem and significance. These are topics that have fifty one shades of grey and are liked by the main stream audience.
Recently one popular conference speaker and pastor, Louie Giglio, was hand picked to offer his pastoral blessings and benediction at the soon coming presidential inauguration. An apparent invitation too big to turn down for the popular man of God. However what happened next can only be described as a comedy of errors. Sexual liberation groups picked on an old sermon preached over fifteen years ago on “repentance and sin” leading to Louie being dis invited (or did he dis invite himself?). Some pastors like John Piper were quick to tweet and call him “a hero” but was he really?
Pastor Louie later [as noted by Ken Silva Apprising Ministries and Chris Rosebrough of Fighting for the Faith radio in link and audio below] seemed to reluctantly admit that he no longer is keen on stressing some of the things he was passionate about: …Read More!
You can imagine the uproar that could occur if the above notice met congregants to most mega churches. Well not only mega churches do ‘Altar Calls’ but most churches I know do. We all know when that moment is a bout to be breached….when the pastor gives a nod and the pianist and worship leader begin to take their places.
But what’s wrong with the ‘Altar Call’ you ask? Well here are ten reasons but first Thabiti Anyabwile humbly explains:
I’m sometimes asked by people why we don’t do “altar calls” at our services. Like the people who ask the question, the churches in my personal background pretty much all practiced “altar calls” at the conclusion of a sermon or service. I’ve seen them done in very poor fashion, and I’ve seen some pastors be really clear about the gospel, repentance, faith, and the fact that “coming forward” does not save. I date my own conversion to the preaching of Exodus 32, which concluded with an altar call.
So, why don’t we practice “altar calls”? I don’t think the pastor who practices an “invitation” at the end of a sermon is in sin, but he may not be acting wisely either. This list of reasons, compiled by Pastor Ryan Kelly of Desert Springs Church, is a pretty good summation of some of my thinking (HT: Z).
1. The altar call is simply and completely absent from the pages of the N.T.
2. The altar call is historically absent until the 19th century, and its use at that time (via Charles Finney) was directly based upon bad theology and a man-centered, manipulative methodology. …Read More!
Well you probably think I am kidding. Where in scripture and church history do we find stripper poles being erected in the sanctuary in church during worship and preaching of the word? Well…
A local pastor said he put a stripper pole on his pulpit to help preach his message.It may raise some eyebrows, but Pastor Mike Scruggs said he’s hoping it will save some marriages.Scruggs admits he’s anything but a traditional pulpit preacher.”We try to make it relevant, straightforward.
We don’t sugarcoat anything,” he said.On Friday, Scruggs’ sermon series drew a packed house at the Light of Word Ministries on Colerain Avenue.”We talk about sex. We talk about drugs. We talk about faith. We talk about relationships…, things that people are dealing with on a day-to-day basis,” Scruggs said.The series of sermons is called the “Battle of the Sexes,” with some rather interesting visual props.”On one side, (we’ll have) what men want or desire: your stripper pole, your video games, your sports,” Scruggs said. “The woman’s side (is) orderly, neat. It’s all about love, candy, teddy bears, roses and being wined and dined and cherished.”Scruggs said his church focuses on real situations and brings godly solutions.”We push the envelope, that’s true,” he said. …Read More!
Brad Abley has an interesting article on how to get the most out of the preaching of God’s word seeing that these days the most sought after preachers are those with more riddles and stand up knock-knock jokes. There are few preachers who for love of God’s word and love to feed the sheep remain faithful to their calling and expound and preach faithfully the full counsel of God. So then…
Pray for the preacher – before, during and after the message. [He] needs the prayers of all of God’s people and when he gets those prayers, the preaching becomes a true, corporate effort– not a “one-man show.”
The more God’s people pray for the preacher and the message, the greater the anointing will be upon all. By asking God … he may be spared the oppression that inevitably comes to preachers soon after the message.
Moreover, when we pray for those who preach, we are far less prone to “rate” or criticize the preacher.
If you know that the person whose pulpit ministry you sit under works hard at preaching and teaching (that involves much prayer, study, preparation and the spiritual warfare that comes along with this high responsibility) and genuinely cares for those he has responsibility for, appreciate and honor him or her (1 Tim. 5:17).
Pray too that the preacher will remain faithful to the text in his exposition, that Christ may be glorified and the gospel will come forth with clarity to encourage the believers and draw the sinners by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Seeking to train and encourage men to preach, Dr. Somerville wrote “Rules for Sermon Writing” below (left column). Nollie Malabuyo ‘s article draws that comparison between Somervilles’s guidelines with the prosperity and megachurch preaching we see and hear today (right column). But who was Somerville? In Glimpses of Old Glasgow (1894), Andrew Aird described Rev. Somerville as…
As a preacher Dr. Somerville was fervent; his style of address was that of a scholar; and his prayers were the outpourings of his heart. As a pastor he was held in high estimation by his people; and he frequently occupied Glasgow and country pulpits, where his discourses, full of the knowledge which maketh rich, were ever listened to by large audiences. There was something in the tone of his voice, and in the light of his eyes and the glow of his countenance which made one involuntarily say, “This man has been with Jesus.”
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Have you ever wondered what to pray for when it comes to praying for your elder or pastor? I hope this article makes it easier to understand what he needs most. To begin with Stephen Altrogge asks if have you heard of the word “unction”?
It’s a term that sounds vaguely medical, as in, “I went to the doctor today and he told me that I have a bad case of unction in my lower GI tract.” Or it sounds like a term my mechanic would throw at me: “Yeah man, your unction piston is cracked right down the middle and we’re going to need to replace the entire engine block.”
But the word “unction” actually has a rich history behind it, even if we don’t use it too much any more. And let me tell you, I desperately need unction.
Unction is what separates a mighty sermon from a boring lecture. Unction is what causes a sermon to pierce the heart of a listener. Unction is what transforms a sermon from a boring load of facts to a mighty, God-filled, life-changing sermon. …Read More!