from Grace to You
…(Charles) Finney’s fingerprints are all over modern seeker-sensitive strategies. Consider these words from Rick Warren, perhaps the world’s foremost purveyor of seeker-sensitive strategies: “It is my deep conviction that anybody can be won to Christ if you discover the key to his or her heart. . . . The most likely place to start is with the person’s felt needs.” 
Just like Finney, seeker-sensitive gurus are devoted to developing the latest and greatest formula for selling the gospel. Every aspect of the church experience, from the style of music and teaching to design aesthetics—even the kind of clothes the pastor wears—are carefully chosen to make the message as user-friendly and enticing as possible.
But marketing and manipulation don’t make the gospel any more plausible or potent. No scare tactics or sideshow techniques can secure salvation or transform the sinner’s heart. Even Finney acknowledged that the vast majority of his converts “would of course soon relapse into their former state.” 
The truth is that the gospel doesn’t need to be cleverly packaged—it simply needs to be preached.
We will be hosting a home bible study on the topic, “What is Reformed Theology?” based on and featuring the video teaching series of Dr. R.C. Sproul. Join us on Facebook or subscribe to our Email Updates to receive more details on the date and time.
You’ve heard of Reformed theology, but you’re not certain what it is. Some references to it have been positive, some negative. It appears to be important, and you’d like to know more about it. And you want a full explanation, not a simplistic one.
Few evangelical Christians today understand Reformed theology. They know it has something to do with predestination, and they may have heard of “the five points.” But they can’t name these points, and they think no one believes most of them anymore. Dr. R.C.Sproul says there’s more to Reformed theology than these five points. Reformed theology reveals just how awesome the grace of God is.
The roots of evangelical Christianity are found in the soil of the sixteenth century Protestant Reformation, which brought a return of true biblical theology to the world. In this series, Dr. Sproul offers an introduction to Reformed theology, the heart of historical evangelicalism. C.H. Spurgeon once said that Reformed theology is nothing other than biblical Christianity.
If there is anything else a man can do other than preach, Martyn Lloyd-Jones maintained, he ought to do it. The pulpit is no place for him. The ministry is not merely something an individual can do, but what he must do. To enter the pulpit, that necessity must be laid upon him. A God-called man, he believed, would rather die than live without preaching. Lloyd-Jones often quoted the famed British pastor Charles H. Spurgeon: “If you can do anything else do it. If you can stay out of the ministry, stay out of the ministry.” In other words, only those who believe they are chosen by God for the pulpit should proceed in undertaking this sacred task.
“Preachers are born, not made,” Lloyd-Jones asserted. “This is an absolute. You will never teach a man to be a preacher if he is not already one.” It was clearly the case in the life of Lloyd-Jones. He realized he was not joining a volunteer army.
What constitutes this call to preach? Lloyd-Jones identified six distinguishing marks of this divine summons to the pulpit. He himself had felt the gravity of each of these realities weighing heavily upon his own soul. He believed the same spiritual forces should come to bear on all preachers.
An old preacher (with a beautiful sense of humor) was guest speaker to a group of young ministers. He said, “When I was a young preacher I saw a lot of old preachers who were negative, bitter, and sour. I prayed that God would not let me be like them! I asked God to make me sweet. Fellows, God has answered my prayer— now I have sugar diabetes!”
Be careful when you pray for patience! God might send you trials, troubles, and tribulations! As the aged Christian woman said to her old friend, “If the Good Lord wants me to tribulate, I will tribulate!” The Bible states in Romans 5:3 that “troubles can develop patience in us” (The Message). So, we conclude that sensible, sound, and safe praying would be to pray daily that clause in the Lord’s Prayer: “Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.” We’ll never go wrong when we pray and live the will of God!
Pat Loftin has served as a Baptist minister for some 62 years and resides in Epps, LA where he has been the husband of Kathy for 59 years, the father of 3, grandfather of 6 and great-grandfather of 3 more. His hobbies include fishing but his passion is for preaching, teaching and writing. To contact Bro. Pat Loftin, you may email him through our contact page here
Scripture speaks with absolute, unmistakable clarity on these vital issues:
(1) Sinners are utterly helpless to redeem themselves or to contribute anything meritorious toward their own salvation (Rom 8:7-8).
(2) God is sovereign in the exercise of His saving Will (Eph 1:4-5).
(3) Christ died as a substitute who bore the full weight of God’s wrath on behalf of His people, and his atoning work is efficacious for their salvation (Isa. 53:5).
(4) God’s saving purpose cannot be thwarted (John 6:37), meaning none of Christ’s true sheep will ever be lost (John 10:27-29). That is because
(5) God assures the perseverance of His elect (Jude 24; Phil 1:6; 1 Peter 1:5).
Those are the five points of Calvinism. I believe them not because of their historical pedigree, but because that is what Scripture teaches.
John F. MacArthur Jr.