Precious Jesus

"Afresh, precious, precious Jesus, I resign this body to You, for doing or suffering, for living or dying. Will You accept it? Will You use me for Your glory more than heretofore, that You may have some little return for all the benefits You have done to me? Oh, do grant this request; my heart longs for it, my spirit pleads for it; and "if You will, You can." You know the hot temptation of which I am the subject. Bring Your glory out of it, and keep me from the evil, and it shall be well." - Ruth Bryan

Friday, June 24, 2016

Hyper Evangelism

By John Kennedy of Dingwall

Rev. John Kennedy, D.D., of Dingwall  
My objection to the teaching to which I refer is, that it ignores the supreme end of the gospel which is the manifestation of the Divine glory; and misrepresents it as merely unfolding a scheme of salvation adapted to man’s convenience. This objection has grown and has been confirmed in my mind, by considering: - 
[1] That no pains are taken to present the character and claims of God as Lawgiver and Judge, and no indication given of a desire to bring souls in self-condemnation, to accept the punishment of their iniquity. The law of God has its place in the book, and its use in the work of God. “By the law is the knowledge of sin;” and the Spirit, who convinces of sin, uses it in that department of His work. A due regard to the glory of God demands that it be so used. Sinners are not saved on a misunderstanding as to what they are and what they merit. The must know Him against whom they have sinned. They must know what is justly due to Him from them as His creatures. They must be made acquainted with their iniquity as well as guilt, as sinners. And through the coming of the commandment sin must “revive” in their consciousness, so that they know that they are desperately wicked, as surely as that their persons are condemned to die. Without this they can have no conception of Gospel Grace. Any hope attained to without this, can only be based on a misunderstanding, and must involve dishonour to God. God is not to be conceived of as One who has to study man’s convenience only, instead of supremely consulting His own glory. It should be an aim of preaching, therefore, to bring sinners to plead guilty before God; to feel themselves in excuseless guilt, shut up to the Sovereign mercy of Him against whom they have sinned. The attainment of this may be the result of a moment’s working of the power of God, or it may be reached only after a protracted process; but to this all must come who are reconciled to God. 
[II] It ignores the sovereignty and power of God in the dispensation of His grace. This omission is usually justified on the ground that reference to these (doctrines) are apt to be abused or to give needless offence. If men are to be told that salvation is entirely at the disposal of God’s sovereign will, and that sinners are so utterly lost that only the working of God’s power can move them, either to will or to do, what is required by the claims of the law and the call of the gospel, then the result will be that some will be offended and go away, others fold their hands and sleep, and others sink down into despair. Am I to be silenced by fear of the result of telling that it is His right to regulate, by His own sovereign will, His own work of grace? There is of course frequent reference to the Spirit, and an acknowledgement of the necessity of His work, but there is, after all, very little allowed to Him to do; and bustling men feel and act as if somehow His power was under their control. In the prominent teaching there is no exposure of the total depravity and the utter spiritual impotence of souls “dead in trespasses and sins.” To face this reality in the light of God’s word, would be to discover the necessity of the Almighty agency of the Holy Ghost. This cannot be endured. This must not be preached to sinners, it is said, lest they fold their hands and sleep. They are intelligent and responsible beings, and must be differently dealt with. And how do you propose to treat them? Are you to hide from them what they must know, ere they can ever act as intelligent beings in dealing with their souls’ condition? Yes, you are men of faith, but yours is faith in men. The man who can cry in faith for life with a valley of dry bones before him, is the man who has faith in God. 
[111] No care is taken to show, in the light of the doctrine of the cross, how God is glorified in the salvation of a sinner. The gospel seems convenient for man, and that suffices. How salvation is to the praise of God’s glory the preacher is not careful to show, and the hearer is not anxious to know. To any unprejudiced observer, this must have appeared a marked feature of revival teaching. Souls who have a vague sense of danger, excited by the sensational, instead of an intelligent conviction of sin produced by the light and power of applied truth, are quite ready to be satisfied with such teaching as this. It is no more than the quiet of a dead soul from whom has been removed an unintelligent sense of danger. A true sense of peace with God there cannot be unless a sinner, assured that God was glorified by Him who died on the cross, can, … approach Him in the right of the crucified and exalted Jesus, having hope of acceptance in His sight. Where there is no wounding there can be no healing of conscience.
 [IV] No precaution is offered against a tendency to antinomianism (i.e. that the moral law is not binding) in those who profess to have believed) He (the new convert) is taught that now he has nothing to do with confession of sin, because his sins were long ago disposed of, and that he should not now remember them. In his leader’s prayers he never hears any confession of sin, and he is apt to think that if he follows him he must be right. True, he is urged to work; and there is no service, however high, which during his noviciate, he is not directed to attempt. The work which he is disposed to choose, and the work which he is instructed to engage in, is to preach to others what he himself has found. Meetings are multiplied that he may attend them, and crowds are gathered that he may address them. The excitement of his first impressions is thus to be kept up by the bustle of evangelistic service … breathing freely only in the heated air of meetings, craving to be pampered with vapid sentiment … requiring relief in frequent bursts of hymn-singing, in spouting addresses as void of scripture truth as of common sense, and in belching flippant questions in the face of all he meets. A religion without reverence and without contrition, can alone be fostered under such teaching as this. But now as surely as of old, “Thus saith the Lord,” “To this man will I look, even to him that is poor, and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.” No as of old, the heirs of the kingdom which cannot be moved, serve God acceptably with reverence and Godly fear. And only in that measure can they taste “the peace of God,” and “rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory.” 

1 comment:

Darrel said...

What an indictment against the church of today and all it's hireling preachers. Their first words to the new convert tell them to give their testimony, but it's not an effort to glorify the Savior, rather to perpetuate the emotions that lead to his 'decision for Christ' in order to spread those same emotions to others who have yet to come under the spell. Instead of placing the Word of God before him and making a disciple of him by teaching him who God is and what He requires of this new born son, he is thrust before people to speak as some sort of trophy to the prowess of the hireling preacher and thus begins his narcissistic journey through a man made religion that is totally void of the God they claim to love and serve. Thinking themselves to be wise, they have become fools and tools in the hands of God's enemy.