Thursday, April 17, 2008

...John MacArthur at T4G

Dr. MacArthur gives a concise clarion call to recover biblical ministry and gospel-centered evangelism to the pragmatic, invitational, Finneyesque, seeker-friendly, seeker-sensible, cool/hip, emerging/emergent, contextualized, gimmick-driven, culturally-relevant-wannabe church leaders of today
in these simple, yet profound words:

"Soft preaching makes hard people;
hard truth produces soft people." 
-John MacArthur-

Jeremiah 23:28-32
28 Let the prophet who has a dream tell the dream, but let him who has my word speak my word faithfully. What has straw in common with wheat? declares the Lord. 29 Is not my word like fire, declares the Lord, and like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces? 30 Therefore, behold, I am against the prophets, declares the Lord, who steal my words from one another. 31 Behold, I am against the prophets, declares the Lord, who use their tongues and declare, ‘declares the Lord.’ 32 Behold, I am against those who prophesy lying dreams, declares the Lord, and who tell them and lead my people astray by their lies and their recklessness, when I did not send them or charge them. So they do not profit this people at all, declares the Lord. (emphasis mine)

Luke 24:30-32
30 When he was at table with them, he took the bread and blessed and broke it and gave it to them. 31 And their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And he vanished from their sight. 32 They said to each other, “Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?” (emphasis mine)

Acts 2:36-38
36 Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.” 37 Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” 38 And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. (emphasis mine)

2 Timothy 4:1-5
4:1 I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: 2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. 3 For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, 4 and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. 5 As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. (emphasis mine)


donsands said...

Nice post. I heard Pastor MacArthur preach that today. He's the kind of preacher I love. And what an example to the flock of Christ.

This verse came to mind when i read through your teaching: "When they heard these things they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed at him with teeth. But he [Stephen], being full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God." Acts 7:54-55

You're a lot like Stephen, Steve. Same name too.
Keep on.

SJ Camp said...

Those verses in Acts are very timely--and thank you for your encouraging words.

May the Lord continue to use us all by His grace and for His glory.
2 Tim. 2:3-6

Kurt said...


I once shared with a pastor that I would rather that he preach in a manner that would convict and challenge my walk with Christ, than to be gentle with me so as not to offend citing Proverbs 27:5, "Open rebuke is better than love carefully concealed."

Unfortunately, he headed toward becoming a seeker-friendly church and I left with biblical justification why. He declined to read my letter of reason too.

Praise God though that there is no soft preaching from the pulpit of Times Square Church where I now attend.

SJ Camp said...

I once shared with a pastor that I would rather that he preach in a manner that would convict and challenge my walk with Christ, than to be gentle with me so as not to offend..."

Bingo. And the thing is, the pastor doesn't need to be offensive himself to make the message convicting; he just needs to be faithful to the text of Scripture and preach it plainly and without compromise. And the Spirit of God will use it - it is His Sword - to either comfort or convict.

Thank you for your comment.
1 Cor. 9:16

emmaus said...

Thanks Steve for A1M. It is amazing how one quote can set the mind to compose. I wrote an article on my blog because of this quote from MacArthur on A1M. Then I am sitting here listening to a sermon by him from Together for the gospel while reading Ray Comfort's blog and I hear that quote again. Well I found your blog from Ray's.

Thank you for your ministry. When I was first a Christian I bought my first Christian tape: Consider the Cost. That tape provided foundational teaching in my walk.