6 Distinguishing Marks of a Call to Gospel Ministry | Steve Lawson

from Ligonier.org

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.

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Are You Seeing a Pattern? | John MacArthur

jmacarthur_caricaturefrom Ligonier.org

Preachers are men—that’s all. And men are not perfect, so there is no hope of perfection in the ministry.

If God could not use poor instruments and feeble voices, He couldn’t make music. Abraham was guilty of duplicity, yet he became the man of faith and the friend of God. Moses was a man of stuttering speech and a quick temper, yet he was the one chosen to lead a nation, to represent them before God, and to receive His law and deliver it to them. David was guilty of adultery, conspiracy, murder, and unfaithfulness as a husband and father, but he repented and was regarded as a man after God’s own heart. He was also the greatest songwriter of all history. We still sing the songs of this “sweet singer of Israel.” Elijah ran from Jezebel, pleading for euthanasia, but this same Elijah defied Ahab and all the prophets of Baal, and heard the still small voice of God at Horeb. In the midst of the heavenly vision, Isaiah said, “I am a man with a dirty mouth; I live among people with dirty mouths. I’m certainly useless to you, O God.” But when he had been cleansed, he said, “Here am I; send me,” and God said, “Go.” Peter was another clay pot, the leader and spokesman of the twelve apostles, but he denied his Lord with oaths and curses, and even had the audacity to correct the Lord. However, he was restored by the compassion of Jesus in the midst of his disobedience, and was enabled by the power of the Holy Spirit to speak with such force on the day of Pentecost as to be the agent by which God orchestrated the great introduction of the church. John the apostle expected to be praised by Jesus for refusing to allow a man not of their company to cast out demons in the name of the Lord. Likewise, he and his brother James wanted to call down fire from heaven and burn up a Samaritan village, and they sent their mother to ask that they might be given the chief places in the kingdom. Yet John became the beloved disciple, the apostle of love, the eagle who soared to great heights. He became, it seems, the apostle who pierced the deepest into the mystery of the incarnation.

Are you seeing a pattern?

This excerpt is taken from John MacArthur’s contribution in Feed My Sheep: A Passionate Plea for Preaching.

Is Preaching Really Foolishness? | James Boice

preaching-biblefrom Ligonier.org

I once asked a number of people which verses came to mind when they thought about preaching. I had already gone to one of the concordances and looked up verses where the English words preaching, preacher, or preach occur, and I found that, even in these cases, which do not reflect all occurrences of the Greek and Hebrew root words (these are also translated “proclaim,” “make known,” “speak,” and so on), there are 150 verses. But when I began to ask my question, people referred again and again to one verse, 1 Corinthians 1:21, which says, “God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe.

I think that says something about the way many people regard what they hear coming from the pulpit. They think of it as foolishness. In the minds of many, the content of preaching, and perhaps even the delivery of the sermon itself, is a very foolish thing.

Is preaching really foolishness? It obviously is in some sense because Paul uses that word. Indeed, preachers will often say that there are times when they feel foolish as they try to bring a word from God to those living in the midst of a secular culture. Yet when we look at the passage from which that word comes, it is perfectly evident, even on a very superficial reading, that the apostle is using this word foolishness in a specialized sense. He is talking about that which is foolish in the world’s eyes, but which in actuality is the wisdom of God unto salvation.

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Dear Pastor: Why Don’t You Preach the Gospel Every Week

Note: I would usually post a snippet of a particular article and include a “read the entire article” link at the end to drive traffic back to the original source. In this case however Im compelled to post the entire column By Greg Stier ,guest columnist for Christian Post.com.

Good day to you. I have a hard question to ask. But before I do I want to say thank you for your heartfelt and consistent spiritual investment in your flock. You rock. You rock the flock. My prayer is that you will be blessed as a result of all you do. On behalf of all your congregation thank you so much.

Okay, as for my tough question here it goes (gird yourself because this could hurt a bit), why don’t you give the gospel in every sermon every week?

I know. I know. You have a lot of stuff to get through in your Sunday morning service. But why couldn’t you cut a song, trim the announcements or skip that goofy illustration (you know which one I’m talking about)? It’s the gospel for crying out loud. How could you preach a sermon without sharing the message of the free grace offered to us through the costly death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ?

To preach a sermon without giving the gospel is like telling a joke without giving the punchline, baking a pizza without any cheeze or drinking decaffeinated coffee…pointless.

There is no theological truth you will ever preach that is deeper than the gospel.

There is no action point you can give that is more practical than the gospel.

There is no story you could tell that is more dramatic than the gospel.

I could guilt trip you out (it may be someone’s last chance to hear the gospel before they die, etc) but I’d rather grace-trip you out. So let me give that a try.

The gospel is the best news in the world. We have been saved from hell (later) and hopelessness (now) through the shed blood of Jesus Christ on our behalf. We should be so stinkin’ excited about that reality that we can’t help but shout it from the mountaintops every single day and tie it into our sermons every single Sunday.

If you won the lottery you’d tell somebody. If you found the cure to cancer you’d tell everybody. This is way better than both put together and multiplied by a zillion!

The disciples couldn’t stop giving it in every sermon. Check out these verses in Acts 4:18-20, “Then they called them in again and commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John replied, ‘Which is right in God’s eyes: to listen to you, or to him? You be the judges! As for us, we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.’”

The disciples couldn’t help bringing it up, not just in every sermon, but every conversation between every sermon. The Sanhedrin couldn’t threaten it out of them or beat it out of them…

“…when they had called for the apostles and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. So they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name. And daily in the temple, and in every house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ.” Acts 5:40-42

Let us be like the disciples. Let us preach the gospel so much and so often that even the most ardent and obstinate church council couldn’t threaten it out of us if they tried.

When asked what his style of preaching was Spurgeon responded, “I take my text and make a beeline for the cross.” May we do the same.

Thanks again for all you do. You are making a difference. And giving the gospel weekly will help you to make even more of one.

All for THE Cause,

Greg Stier is the President and Founder of Dare 2 Share Ministries in Arvada, Colo., where he works with youth leaders and students, equipping them to be effective in sharing the gospel. With experience as a senior teaching pastor and in youth ministry for almost 20 years, Greg has a reputation of knowing and relating to today’s teens. He is widely viewed as an authority and expert teen spirituality. He is known for motivating, mobilizing and equipping teens for positive change. For more information on Dare 2 Share Ministries, and the 2010-2011 Un conference tour, please visit www.dare2share.org.

Real Gospel Sermons….need to hear from y’all

 I just listened to a “sermon” by a Louisiana pastor in what he promoted would be 

“…as clear of a presentation of how to be born again as I have ever given.

It is my humble opinion that what I heard was at best “half-truths”, a light and fluffy presentation to appeal to peoples emotions and clearly left the message that it is man’s choice when, where and how to born again. I’m going back to listen to it again, but I’m almost certain that there is also no mention of the condition of man and the necessity for people to repent and nothing dealing the fact that we are not sinners deserving only of God’s judgment and can do nothing apart from the grace of God. Rather we are told we are “messed up” and need a friend.

Here is my appeal to all of you….I want to hear or read a true, accurate presentation of the Gospel message by a preacher of the Gospel. I can pull the ones I have in my library, but I would to hear from you guys as well. Send me transcripts, website addresses or links and I will review them and use them as part of a future radio program. Include your comments or suggestions too if you like.

SDG,

Mike

Why the “foolishness of preaching”?

The Centrality of Preaching!

Mike and Scott Reiber discuss the importance and centrality of preaching. Also they share thoughts on the recent religious prominence of Glenn Beck. This program also includes a podcast-only bonus segment!

Listen now Podcast Download MP3

Ordinary Means of Grace:Reformation and Renewal

Scott Reiber, pastor of Westminster Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Vicksburg,MS, my pastor and dear friend, is preaching a series of sermons on Sunday morning on the Ordinary Means of Grace. The past two Sundays his messages has dealt with the preaching of the Gospel. It is my prayer and desire to get these sermons to as many people as possible. Please listen to these messages and pass them on to others.

Ordinary Means of Grace III-The God Ordained Means of Preaching-1 Corinthians 1:17-2:16

Ordinary Means of Grace IV-Preaching with the Wind Blowing-Rev. 1:12-20