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PROCLAIM! Podcast

PROCLAIM! — the podcast that teaches every Bible-believing Christian how to preach the Gospel by any means necessary in many different settings, including using the internet and the new “podcast pulpit”.

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The Road from Text to Sermon, Part 13 (Proclaim #80)

Welcome to episode #80 of PROCLAIM! — the podcast that teaches every Bible-believing Christian how to preach the Gospel by any means necessary in many different settings, including using the internet and the new “podcast pulpit”.

Our Scripture Verse on preaching is Mark 1:14-15 which reads: “Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.””

Our quote on preaching today is from Charles Spurgeon. He said, “I always say to young fellows who consult me about the ministry, “Don’t be a minister if you can help it,” because if the man can help it, God never called him. But if he cannot help it, and he must preach or die, then he is the man.”

In this podcast, we are using as our texts the following three books: “Lectures to My Students” by Charles H. Spurgeon; “The Preacher and his Preaching” by Alfred P. Gibbs; and “Biblical Preaching” by Haddon W. Robinson.

Today, our topic is titled “The Road from Text to Sermon, Part 13” from “Biblical Preaching” by Haddon W. Robinson.

3. We Apply It: “What Difference Does It Make?” (contd.)
When the correspondence between the twenty-first century and the biblical passage is less direct, however, accurate application becomes more difficult. An expositor must give special attention not only to what modern men and women have in common with those who received the original revelation but also to the differences between them. For instance, Paul’s many exhortations to slaves had direct application to Christian slaves in the first century and those throughout history. Many of the principles touched on in the master-slave relationship can also govern employer-employee relationships today, but to ignore the fact that modern employees are not slaves to their employers would lead to gross misapplication of these passages. For example, denouncing membership in a labor union because slaves are to “obey” their “masters” (Eph. 6:5) would be to ignore completely the distinction between employees and slaves.

The problems multiply when we apply texts from the Old Testament to contemporary audiences. Indeed, misapplication of the Old Testament has had an embarrassing history. One unsatisfying approach lies in using these passages like a sanctified Rorschach test. Interpreters allegorized Old Testament stories to find in them hidden meanings that were buried not in the text but in their own minds.

Origen, for example, allegorized the account of the battle for Jericho (Josh. 6). He maintained that Joshua stood for Jesus, and the city of Jericho represented the world. The seven priests who carried trumpets around the city represented Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, James, Jude, and Peter. Rahab, the harlot, stood for the church, which is made up of sinners; and the scarlet cord that she displayed to deliver herself and her household was the blood of Christ.8 Commentators who use allegory deserve high marks for creativity but low marks for approaching the biblical account as literature.

Another inadequate method of handling the Old Testament uses it only as an example or illustration of New Testament doctrine. Here the authority for what is preached comes neither from the theology of the Old Testament nor from the intent of the Old Testament writer, but entirely from the reader’s theology read back into the passage. Should those who do this be challenged about their interpretation or application, they appeal not to the passage before them but to some passage in the New Testament or to a theology that they assume they share with their audience.

How then can we proceed as we answer the third developmental question, “So what? What difference does it make?” Application must come from the theological purpose of the biblical writer. John Bright states the case for determining the author’s intent: “The preacher needs to understand not only what the text says, but also those concerns that caused it to be said, and said as it was. His exegetical labors are, therefore, not complete until he has grasped the text’s theological intention. Until he has done this he cannot interpret the text, and may egregiously misinterpret it by attributing to its words an intention quite other than that of their author.”

We cannot understand or apply an individual passage, whether in the Old Testament or in the New, until we have studied its context. For instance, plunging into an analysis of a paragraph or chapter of Ecclesiastes without first gaining an appreciation for the thrust of the entire book might lead to many heretical ideas and devastating applications for people today. Only after mastering the larger passage do we find the clues for understanding what the smaller texts mean and why they were written.

Let’s Pray —

Dear friend, if you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, may I encourage you to get to know Him today.

First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9-13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Until next time, may God bless you!

The Preacher’s Call, Part 4 (Proclaim #79)

Welcome to episode #79 of PROCLAIM! — the podcast that teaches every Bible-believing Christian how to preach the Gospel by any means necessary in many different settings, including using the internet and the new “podcast pulpit”.

Our Scripture Verse on preaching is Jonah 1:1-2 which reads: “Now the word of the Lord came unto Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me.:;”

Our quote on preaching today is from Charles Spurgeon. He said, “The sermon which does not lead to Christ, or of which Jesus Christ is not the top and the bottom, is a sort of sermon that will make the devils in hell laugh, but make the angels of God weep.”

In this podcast, we are using as our texts the following three books: “Lectures to My Students” by Charles H. Spurgeon; “The Preacher and his Preaching” by Alfred P. Gibbs; and “Biblical Preaching” by Haddon W. Robinson.

Today, our topic is titled “The Preacher’s Call, Part 4” from “The Preacher and his Preaching” by Alfred P. Gibbs.

IV. IT DOES NOT NECESSARILY INVOLVE FULL–TIME SERVICE
The great need today is for Christian preachers or teachers who can support themselves by secular employment, and devote their spare time to the preaching and teaching of the Word of God. Thank God for the noble army already thus engaged, but there is plenty of room for more, for the field is large, the need great and the laborers few. William Carey, “the father of modern missions,” was once asked what his business was. He replied: “My business is preaching the gospel, and I cobble shoes to pay expenses!”

1. There is no distinction made in the New Testament between so-called “clergy” and “laity”
Every Christian is viewed as “a minister,” which simply means “servant.” The terms “clergy” and “laity” are absolutely foreign to New Testament language, which knows nothing of either! The word “clergy” comes from the word “cleros,” translated “heritage” in 1 Peter 5:2-3. It thus refers to all the people of God and not to a small section of believers. The present distinction of clergy and laity, as now seen in Christendom, is purely the invention of man and doubtless at the devil’s instigation. It has wrought untold evil, blinding Christians to the presence of their own gift, and of the necessity to use it for the glory of God and the blessing of others. There are literally thousands of Christians who ought to be teachers and preachers of the Word, but because of this false theory they remain silent. It is to be feared that, in many cases, they are sitting under the ministry of unsaved “clergymen,” who are attempting the impossible task of expounding the Scriptures in an unregenerate state.

Let’s Pray —

Dear friend, if you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, may I encourage you to get to know Him today.

First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9-13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Until next time, may God bless you!

Our Public Prayer, Part 7 (Proclaim #78)

Welcome to episode #78 of PROCLAIM! — the podcast that teaches every Bible-believing Christian how to preach the Gospel by any means necessary in many different settings, including using the internet and the new “podcast pulpit”.

Our Scripture Verse on preaching is Ephesians 3:7-9 which reads: “Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power. Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:;”

Our quote on preaching today is from J. I. Packer. He said, “If one preaches the Bible biblically, one cannot help preaching the Gospel all the time.”

In this podcast, we are using as our texts the following three books: “Lectures to My Students” by Charles H. Spurgeon; “The Preacher and his Preaching” by Alfred P. Gibbs; and “Biblical Preaching” by Haddon W. Robinson.

Today, our topic is titled “Our Public Prayer, Part 7” from “Lectures to My Students” by Charles H. Spurgeon.

Next to this, our prayers must be appropriate. I do not say go into every minute detail of the circumstances of the congregation. As I have said before, there is no need to make the public prayer a gazette of the week’s events, or a register of the births, deaths, and marriages of your people, but the general movements that have taken place in the congregation should be noted by the minister’s careful heart. He should bring the joys and sorrows of his people alike before the throne of grace, and ask that the divine benediction may rest upon his flock in all their movements, their exercises, engagements, and holy enterprises, and that the forgiveness of God may be extended to their shortcomings and innumerable sins.

Then, by way of negative canon, I should say, do not let your prayer be long. I think it was John Macdonald who used to say, “If you are in the spirit of prayer, do not be long, because other people will not be able to keep pace with you in such unusual spirituality; and if you are not in the spirit of prayer, do not be long, because you will then be sure to weary the listeners.” Livingstone says of Robert Bruce, of Edinburgh, the famous contemporary of Andrew Melville, “No man in his time spoke with such evidence and power of the Spirit. No man had so many seals of conversion; yea, many of his hearers thought no man, since the apostles, spake with such power… He was very short in prayer when others were present, but every sentence was like a strong bolt shot up to heaven. I have heard him say that he wearied when others were long in prayer; but, being alone, he spent much time in wrestling and prayer.” A man may, on special occasions, if he be unusually moved and carried out of himself pray for twenty minutes in the long morning prayer, but this should not often happen. My friend, Dr. Charles Brown, of Edinburgh, lays it down, as a result of his deliberate judgment, that ten minutes is the limit to which public prayer ought to be prolonged. Our Puritanic forefathers used to pray for three-quarters of an hour, or more, but then you must recollect that they did not know that they would ever have the opportunity of praying again before an assembly, and therefore, took their fill of it; and besides, people were not inclined in those days to quarrel with the length of prayers or of sermons so much as they do nowadays. You cannot pray too long in private. We do not limit you to ten minutes there, or ten hours, or ten weeks if you like. The more you are on your knees alone the better. We are now speaking of those public prayers which come before or after the sermon, and for these ten minutes is a better limit than fifteen. Only one in a thousand would complain of you for being too short, while scores will murmur at your being wearisome in length. “He prayed me into a good frame of mind,” George Whitfield once said of a certain preacher, “and if he had stopped there, it would have been very well; but he prayed me out of it again by keeping on.” The abundant long-suffering of God has been exemplified in his sparing some preachers, who have been great sinners in this direction; they have done much injury to the piety of God’s people by their long-winded orations, and yet God, in his mercy, has permitted them still to officiate in the sanctuary. Alas! for those who have to listen to pastors who pray in public for five-and-twenty minutes, and then ask God to forgive their “shortcomings”! Do not be too long, for several reasons.

Let’s Pray —

Dear friend, if you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, may I encourage you to get to know Him today.

First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9-13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Until next time, may God bless you!

The Road from Text to Sermon, Part 11 (Proclaim #77)

Welcome to episode #77 of PROCLAIM! — the podcast that teaches every Bible-believing Christian how to preach the Gospel by any means necessary in many different settings, including using the internet and the new “podcast pulpit”.

Our Scripture Verse on preaching is 1 Corinthians 1:23 which reads: “But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;”

Our quote on preaching today is from Charles Grandison Finney. He said, “Ministers often preach about the Gospel instead of preaching the Gospel. They often preach about sinners instead of preaching to them.”

In this podcast, we are using as our texts the following three books: “Lectures to My Students” by Charles H. Spurgeon; “The Preacher and his Preaching” by Alfred P. Gibbs; and “Biblical Preaching” by Haddon W. Robinson.

Today, our topic is titled “The Road from Text to Sermon, Part 11” from “Biblical Preaching” by Haddon W. Robinson.

3. We Apply It: “What Difference Does It Make?”

The third developmental question relates to application. While it is essential that you explain the truth of a passage, your task is not finished until you relate that passage to the experience of your hearers. Ultimately the man or woman in the pew hopes that you will answer the questions, “So what? What difference does it make?” All Christians have a responsibility to ask these questions because they are called to live under God in the light of biblical revelation.

Mortimer J. Adler classifies books as either theoretical or practical. A theoretical book may be understood and then put away on the shelf. A practical book, however, must not only be read; it must also be used. Taken in this way, the Bible is an intensely practical book because it was written not only to be understood but to be obeyed.

Homileticians have not given accurate application the attention it deserves. To my knowledge no book has been published that is devoted exclusively, or even primarily, to the knotty problems raised by application. As a result many church members, having listened to orthodox sermons all their lives, may be practicing heretics. Our creeds affirm the central doctrines of the faith and remind us what Christians should believe, but they do not tell us how belief in these doctrines should make us behave. That is part of the expositor’s responsibility, and you must give it diligent attention.

Basic to perceptive application is accurate exegesis. We cannot decide what a passage means to us unless first we have determined what the passage meant when the Bible was written. To do this we must sit down before the biblical writer and try to understand what he wanted to convey to his original readers. Only after we comprehend what he meant in his own terms and to his own times can we clarify what difference that should make in life today.

In order to apply a passage accurately, we must define the situation into which the revelation was originally given and then decide what a modern man or woman shares, or does not share, with the original readers. The closer the relationship between people now and people then, the more direct the application. James wrote to Jewish Christians scattered across the ancient world and facing hard situations, “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires”. That counsel applies to believers in every age because all Christians stand in identical relationship to God and His Word when they face trials.

Let’s Pray —

Dear friend, if you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, may I encourage you to get to know Him today.

First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9-13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Until next time, may God bless you!

The Preacher’s Call, Part 3 (Proclaim #76)

Welcome to episode #76 of PROCLAIM! — the podcast that teaches every Bible-believing Christian how to preach the Gospel by any means necessary in many different settings, including using the internet and the new “podcast pulpit”.

Our Scripture Verse on preaching is Mark 16:15 which reads: “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”

Our quote on preaching today is from Lester Roloff. He said, “The world’s greatest need is preaching preachers. The Gospel is our emancipation proclamation: let’s take it to the slaves of sin.”

In this podcast, we are using as our texts the following three books: “Lectures to My Students” by Charles H. Spurgeon; “The Preacher and his Preaching” by Alfred P. Gibbs; and “Biblical Preaching” by Haddon W. Robinson.

Today, our topic is titled “The Preacher’s Call, Part 3” from “The Preacher and his Preaching” by Alfred P. Gibbs.

II. IT IS DEFINITE
Though the call may come in various ways and under different circumstances, it is nonetheless distinct. It leaves the believer with the assurance that God desires him for a certain specific work. This, in turn, gives a joyous confidence and a holy boldness to the preacher, as he realizes the authority that lies behind the message and the messenger. The promise, “My presence shall go with thee and I will give thee rest,” nerves the soul to courageously face the opposition that will inevitably show itself. The cheering assurance, “The Lord is with thee!” sustains the servant of the Lord, who now realizes that Omnipotence is on his side.

III. IT IS VARIED IN CIRCUMSTANCES
A study of the ways by which God called some of His servants for the work He had for them should be a profitable exercise of the soul. Let us look at just a few out of many.

1. Abraham
We are told, “the God of glory appeared unto him” and a definite call was given him, with the promise of his own blessing and, through him, to all the families of the earth.

2. Moses
This example is most instructive, for God had to overcome the reluctance of the one He called. Moses had many objections to offer, but every objection was met with a definite promise, until Moses was convinced that God knew what He was doing in calling him.

3. Joshua
To this man God first gave a commission with a promise and then granted him a vision of the One who commissioned him.

4. Gideon
He was a humble man, who was hailed by God as a “mighty man of valor,” and who was sent forth to deliver Israel with these words ringing in his ears, “Go, in this thy might…have not I sent thee?” Not until the Lord had wrought two miracles on his behalf was this man convinced of his call and commission.

5. Elisha Here was a prosperous and energetic young man. He was suddenly called by God, from the midst of a busy life, to leave all his rosy prospects of worldly success for the comparative obscurity of menial service for Elijah, the prophet of the Lord. For years he was unheard of, until the time that his master was to be translated. Then his years of faithful service, in secret, were “rewarded openly” and his name became a household word in Israel.

6. Isaiah The moving description of this great prophet’s vision, call, and commission has stirred the hearts of the people of God for two and a half millennia. It has led many, like Isaiah, to say in response to the call of God, “Here am I, send me”.

7. Peter
Andrew brought this man, naturally impulsive and energetic, to the Savior, thus evidencing the value of personal evangelism. The miracle of the overabundant haul of fish served to provide the circumstances under which his call and commission came.
While the circumstances of the call were different in each of these cases, for God is a God of infinite variety, the purpose and results were the same: the glory of God, the blessing of the one called, and the benefit of those to whom he was sent with the message. Each of these men had an experience that was distinctly his own, and from which he emerged with the conscious assurance of God’s call to him.

Let’s Pray —

Dear friend, if you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, may I encourage you to get to know Him today.

First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9-13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Until next time, may God bless you!

Our Public Prayer, Part 6 (Proclaim #75)

Welcome to episode #75 of PROCLAIM! — the podcast that teaches every Bible-believing Christian how to preach the Gospel by any means necessary in many different settings, including using the internet and the new “podcast pulpit”.

Our Scripture Verse on preaching is 2 Timothy 2:15-16 which reads: “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.”

Our quote on preaching today is from Lester Roloff. He said, “Nothing is more needed among preachers today than that we should have the courage to shake ourselves free from the thousand and one trivialities in which we are asked to waste our time and strength, and resolutely return to the apostolic ideal which made necessary the office of the diaconate. We must resolve that we will continue stedfastly in prayer, and in the ministry of the Word.”

In this podcast, we are using as our texts the following three books: “Lectures to My Students” by Charles H. Spurgeon; “The Preacher and his Preaching” by Alfred P. Gibbs; and “Biblical Preaching” by Haddon W. Robinson.

Today, our topic is titled “Our Public Prayer, Part 6” from “Lectures to My Students” by Charles H. Spurgeon.

Those who despise all extempore prayer will probably catch at these remarks and use them against it, but I can assure them that the faults adverted to are not common among us, and are indeed almost extinct; while the scandal caused by them never was, at the worst, so great as that caused by the way in which the liturgical service is often performed. Far too often is the church service hurried through in a manner as indevout as if it were a ballad-singer’s ditty. The words are parroted without the slightest appreciation of their meaning; not sometimes, but very frequently, in the places set apart for Episcopal worship, you may see the eyes of the people, and the eyes of the choristers, and the eyes of the parson himself, wandering about in all directions, while evidently from the very tone of the reading there is no feeling of sympathy with what is being read. I have been at funerals when the burial service of the church of England has been galloped through so indecorously that it has taken all the grace I had to prevent my throwing a hassock at the creature’s head. I have felt so indignant that I have not known what to do, to hear, in the presence of mourners whose hearts were bleeding, a man rattling through the service as if he were paid by the piece, and had more work to follow, and therefore desired to get it through as quickly as possible. What effect he could think he was producing, or what good result could come from words jerked forth and hurled out with vengeance and vehemence, I cannot imagine. It is really shocking to think of how that very wonderful burial service is murdered, and made into an abomination by the mode in which it is frequently read, I merely mention this because, if they criticize our prayers too severely, we can bring a formidable countercharge to silence them.

Better far, however, for us to amend our own blunders than find fault with others.

In order to make our public prayer what it should be, the first necessary is, that it must be a matter of the heart. A man must be really in earnest in supplication. It must be true prayer, and if it be such, it will, like love, cover a multitude of sins. You can pardon a man’s familiarities and his vulgarities too, when you clearly see that his inmost heart is speaking to his Maker, and that it is only the man’s defects of education which create his faults, and not any moral or spiritual vices of his heart. The pleader in public must be in earnest; for a sleepy prayer–what can be a worse preparation for a sermon? A sleepy prayer–what can make people more dislike going up to the house of God at all? Cast your whole soul into the exercise. If ever your whole manhood was engaged in anything., let it be in drawing near unto God in public. So pray, that by a divine attraction, you draw the whole congregation with you up to the throne of God. So pray, that by the power of the Holy Spirit resting on you, you express the desires and thoughts of every one present, and stand as the one voice for the hundreds of beating hearts which are glowing with fervor before the throne of God.

Let’s Pray —

Dear friend, if you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, may I encourage you to get to know Him today.

First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9-13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Until next time, may God bless you!

The Preacher’s Call, Part 2 (Proclaim #73)

Welcome to episode #73 of PROCLAIM! — the podcast that teaches every Bible-believing Christian how to preach the Gospel by any means necessary in many different settings, including using the internet and the new “podcast pulpit”.

Our Scripture Verse on preaching is Ezra 7:9-10 which reads: “For upon the first day of the first month began he to go up from Babylon, and on the first day of the fifth month came he to Jerusalem, according to the good hand of his God upon him. For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the Lord, and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments.”

Our quote on preaching today is from John Piper. He said, “All Christian preaching should be the exposition and application of biblical texts. Our authority as preachers sent by God rises and falls with our manifest allegiance to the text of Scripture.”

In this podcast, we are using as our texts, the following three books: “Lectures to My Students” by Charles H. Spurgeon; “The Preacher and his Preaching” by Alfred P. Gibbs; and “Biblical Preaching” by Haddon W. Robinson.

Today, our topic is titled “The Preacher’s Call, Part 2” from “The Preacher and his Preaching” by Alfred P. Gibbs.

2. It is born in the atmosphere of spirituality
It comes when the soul is enjoying fellowship with God through the reading of and meditation on His Word, and through prayer. The carnal believer, or the worldly Christian, will know nothing of “the still small voice” which falls upon the soul under such circumstances. Samuel’s word to Saul has a message for each believer, “Stand thou still a while, that I may show thee the word of God”. This atmosphere of spirituality is made possible as the believer deliberately presents his body as “a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service”. It comes through fervent supplication at the throne of grace to know the will of God for one’s life. It is maintained by prompt obedience to the known will of God, as found in the Holy Scriptures. This is the spiritual atmosphere of the call.

3. It comes usually in the midst of Christian activity, not in monastic isolation
It does not come to lazy Christians. It was while Barnabas and Saul “ministered to the Lord” that the divine call came, “Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereto I have called them”. It was while Moses tended his flock that he was commissioned to be a leader of Israel. It was while Gideon threshed the wheat that he was selected to deliver Israel from the oppressors. It was while Elisha was busy plowing that the mantle of Elijah was thrown on his shoulders and God claimed his life. It was while Peter was busy with his fishing, and Matthew with his business, that the Saviour came and called each to service for Himself. It is as the believer is doing what already lies to his hand that the call comes for further service. “If any man will do His will, he shall know,” said Christ. Prompt unquestioning obedience to what we know will lead to further revelations of His will. Hosea’s message should have a voice to each believer, “Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord”.

Let’s Pray —

Dear friend, if you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, may I encourage you to get to know Him today.

First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9-13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Until next time, may God bless you!

Our Public Prayer, Part 5 (Proclaim #75)

Welcome to episode #72 of PROCLAIM! — the podcast that teaches every Bible-believing Christian how to preach the Gospel by any means necessary in many different settings, including using the internet and the new “podcast pulpit”.

Our Scripture Verse on preaching is Matthew 18:19-20 which reads: “Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”

Our quote on preaching today is from Richard Baxter. He said, “Prayer must carry on our work as much as preaching; he preacheth not heartily to his people that will not pray for them.”

In this podcast, we are using as our texts, the following three books: “Lectures to My Students” by Charles H. Spurgeon; “The Preacher and his Preaching” by Alfred P. Gibbs; and “Biblical Preaching” by Haddon W. Robinson.

Today, our topic is titled “Our Public Prayer, Part 5” from “Lectures to My Students” by Charles H. Spurgeon.

Pray for your people as saints and sinners–not as if they were all saints.

Mention the young and the aged; the impressed and the careless; the devout and the backsliding. Never turn to the right hand or to the left, but plough on in the furrow of real prayer. Let your confessions of sin and your thanksgivings be truthful and to the point; and let your petitions be presented as if you believed in God and had no doubt as to the efficacy of prayer: I say this, because so many pray in such a formal manner as to lead observers to conclude that they thought it a very decent thing to pray, but, after all, a very poor and doubtful business as to any practical result. Pray as one who has tried and proved his God, and therefore comes with undoubting confidence to renew his pleadings: and do remember to pray to God right through the prayer, and never fall to talking or preaching–much less, as some do, to scolding and grumbling. As a rule, if called upon to preach, conduct the prayer yourself; and if you should be highly esteemed in the ministry, as I trust you may be, make a point, with great courtesy, but equal firmness, to resist the practice of choosing men to pray with the idea of honoring them by giving them something to do. Our public devotions ought never to be degraded into opportunities for compliment. I have heard prayer and singing now and then called “the preliminary services,” as if they were but a preface to the sermon; this is rare I hope among us–if it were common it would be to our deep disgrace. I endeavor invariably to take all the service myself for my own sake, and I think also for the people’s. I do not believe that “anybody will do for the praying.” No, sirs, it is my solemn conviction that the prayer is one of the most weighty, useful, and honorable parts of the service, and that it ought to be even more considered than the sermon.

There must be no putting up of anybodies and nobodies to pray, and then the selection of the abler man to preach. It may happen through weakness, or upon a specific occasion, that it may be a relief to the minister to have some one to offer prayer for him; but if the Lord has made you love your work you will not often or readily fulfill this part of it by proxy. If you delegate the service at all, let it be to one in whose spirituality and present preparedness you have the fullest confidence; but to pitch on a giftless brother unawares, and put him forward to get through the devotions is shameful. “Shall we serve heaven with less respect Than we do minister to our gross selves?” Appoint the ablest man to pray, and let the sermon be slurred sooner than the approach to heaven. Let the Infinite Jehovah be served with our best; let prayer addressed to the Divine Majesty be carefully weighed, and presented with all the powers of an awakened heart and a spiritual understanding. He who has been by communion with God prepared to minister to the people, is usually of all men present the most fit to engage in prayer; to lay out a program which puts up another brother in his place, is to mar the harmony of the service, to rob the preacher of an exercise which would brace him for his sermon, and in many instances to suggest comparisons between one part of the service and the other which ought never to be tolerated. If unprepared brethren are to be sent into the pulpit to do my praying for me when I am engaged to preach, I do not see why I might not be allowed to pray, and then retire to let these brethren do the sermonizing. I am not able to see any reason for depriving me of the holiest, sweetest, and most profitable exercise which my Lord has allotted me; if I may have my choice, I will sooner yield up the sermon than the prayer. Thus much I have said in order to impress upon you that you must highly esteem public prayer, and seek of the Lord for the gifts and graces necessary to its right discharge.

Let’s Pray —

Dear friend, if you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, may I encourage you to get to know Him today.

First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9-13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Until next time, may God bless you!

The Road from Text to Sermon, Part 9 (Proclaim #71)

Welcome to episode #71 of PROCLAIM! — the podcast that teaches every Bible-believing Christian how to preach the Gospel by any means necessary in many different settings, including using the internet and the new “podcast pulpit”.

Our Scripture Verse on preaching is Acts 20:27-28 which reads: “.For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God. Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.”

Our quote on preaching today is from Charles Spurgeon. He said, “Of all I wish to say this is the sum; my brethren, preach Christ, always and evermore.”

In this podcast, we are using as our texts, the following three books: “Lectures to My Students” by Charles H. Spurgeon; “The Preacher and his Preaching” by Alfred P. Gibbs; and “Biblical Preaching” by Haddon W. Robinson.

Today, our topic is titled “The Road from Text to Sermon, Part 9” from “Biblical Preaching” by Haddon W. Robinson.

We do well, therefore, to adopt the attitude that a statement is not true because it is in the Bible; it is in the Bible because it is true. The fact that an assertion is in the pages of a leather-covered book does not necessarily make it valid. Instead, the Bible states reality as it exists in the universe, as God has made it and as he governs it. We would expect, therefore, the affirmations of Scripture to be demonstrated in the world around us. That is not to say that we establish biblical truth by studying sociology, astronomy, or archaeology, but the valid data from these sciences second the truth taught in Scripture.

How does a preacher handle the developmental questions, “Is that true? Do I really believe it?” Imagine that you were to state to a modern congregation the mighty affirmation of Paul, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” (Rom. 8:28). Most people greet that statement with raised eyebrows: “Is that true? Can we believe that?” What about the mother who was killed by a hit-and-run driver and who left behind a husband and three children? What about those Christian parents whose four-year-old son has been diagnosed with leukemia? How is that good? What’s “good” about a young missionary drowned in the muddy waters of a jungle river before he has witnessed to even one national? To work with this passage and fail to address those perplexing questions is to miss the audience completely.

Donald Grey Barnhouse works with the question of validity while expounding John 14:12: “Greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.” (KJV). He uses an analogy to establish the truth of his explanation:

Aboard a United States submarine in enemy waters of the Pacific, a sailor was stricken with acute appendicitis. The nearest surgeon was thousands of miles away. Pharmacist Mate Wheller Lipes watched the seaman’s temperature rise to 106 degrees. His only hope was an operation. Said Lipes: “I have watched doctors do it. I think I could. What do you say?” The sailor consented. In the wardroom, about the size of a Pullman drawing room, the patient was stretched out on a table beneath a floodlight. The mate and assisting officers, dressed in reversed pajama tops, masked their faces with gauze. The crew stood by the diving planes to keep the ship steady: the cook boiled water for sterilizing. A tea strainer served as an antiseptic cone. A broken-handled scalpel was the operating instrument. Alcohol drained from the torpedoes was the antiseptic. Bent tablespoons served to keep the muscles open. After cutting through the layers of muscle, the mate took twenty minutes to find the appendix. Two hours and a half later, the last catgut stitch was sewed, just as the last drop of ether gave out. Thirteen days later the patient was back at work. Admittedly this was a much more magnificent feat than if it had been performed by trained surgeons in a fully equipped operating room of a modern hospital. Study this analogy and you will know the real meaning of Christ’s words. “Greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.” For Christ, perfect God, to work directly on a lost soul to quicken and bring out of death and into life is great, but for Him to do the same thing through us is a greater work.

Let’s Pray —

Dear friend, if you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, may I encourage you to get to know Him today.

First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9-13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Until next time, may God bless you!

The Preacher’s Call, Part 1 (Proclaim #70)

Welcome to episode #70 of PROCLAIM! — the podcast that teaches every Bible-believing Christian how to preach the Gospel by any means necessary in many different settings, including using the internet and the new “podcast pulpit”.

Our Scripture Verse on preaching is Luke 9:60 which reads: “Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God.”

Our quote on preaching today is from Charles Spurgeon. He said, “Whatever subject I preach, I do not stop until I reach the Savior, the Lord Jesus, for in Him are all things.”

In this podcast, we are using as our texts, the following three books: “Lectures to My Students” by Charles H. Spurgeon; “The Preacher and his Preaching” by Alfred P. Gibbs; and “Biblical Preaching” by Haddon W. Robinson.

Today, our topic is titled “The Preacher’s Call, Part 1” from “The Preacher and his Preaching” by Alfred P. Gibbs.

We have already mentioned that each preacher must be gifted, called, and equipped by the Lord for “the work of the ministry.” All Christians are “saints by calling,” but not all are “preachers by calling”. Let us therefore consider some things regarding this divine “call” to preach the Word.

I. IT IS INDIVIDUAL, OR PERSONAL
It is purely a matter between each Christian and his Lord and Master. The authority of the call is the prerogative of Christ alone, for He calls whomsoever He wills. He said to His disciples, “Ye have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain”. We read that Christ called “unto Him whom He would”. Of Paul, the Lord said, “He is a chosen vessel unto Me, to bear My name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel”. Both secular and theological education are utterly useless, apart from this call of the Lord.

The fact that a person possesses a natural fluency of speech and facility of expression does not, in itself, qualify that person to preach. It is good, but not sufficient, to have natural gifts and possess physical, mental and educational fitness. Alexander MacLaren spoke of a certain preacher who was “fatally fluent in speech.” Though these natural gifts are necessary, they are not enough. The fact of their possession does not constitute a call to preach.

1. It involves personal heart-dealing alone with God
God is the God of the individual. There is no such thing as “mass production” in this matter. Preachers are not turned out by the dozen. The Lord burdens the heart of an individual, impresses him personally with the necessity of preaching the Gospel, and gives him that holy urge to be a mouthpiece for deity. It is not without significance that Isaiah, called of God to preach His word, speaks repeatedly of his message as “a burden” which must be delivered. Paul spoke of it as a “necessity” laid upon him and exclaimed, “Yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!”. Joshua, as he fell upon his face before the Captain of the host of the Lord, asked, “What saith my Lord unto His servant?” There, all alone with his Lord, his shoes removed (for it was holy ground), Joshua bowed his head, received his call and commission and then went forth to do exploits for God.

Let’s Pray —

Dear friend, if you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, may I encourage you to get to know Him today.

First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9-13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Until next time, may God bless you!