Category Archives: Hypocritical pastor

How much faith do we have in God?

Thank you Mark Alderton (Sovereign Grace Fellowship, Minneapolis) for the following quote!

Pseudo faith always arranges a way out to serve in case God fails. Real faith knows only one way and gladly allows itself to be stripped of any second way or makeshift substitutes. For true faith, it is either God or total collapse. And not since Adam first stood up on earth has God failed a single man or woman who trusted Him.

The man of pseudo faith will fight for his verbal creed but refuse flatly to allow himself to get into a predicament where his future must depend upon that creed being true. He always provides himself with secondary ways of escape so he will have a way out if the roof caves in.

The faith of Paul or Luther was a revolutionizing thing. It upset the whole life of the individual and made him into another person altogether. It laid hold on the life and brought it under obedience to Christ. It took up its cross and followed along after Jesus with no intention of going back. It said goodbye to its old friends as certainly as Elijah when he stepped into the fiery chariot and went away in the whirlwind. It had a finality about it … It realigned all life’s actions and brought them into accord with the will of God.

What we need very badly these days is a company of Christians who are prepared to trust God as completely now, as they must do at the last day. For each of us the time is surely coming when we shall have nothing but God! Health and wealth and friends and hiding places will all be swept away and we shall have only God. To the man of pseudo faith that is a terrifying thought, but to real faith it is one of the most comforting thoughts the heart can entertain.

It would be a tragedy indeed to come to the place where we have no other but God and find that we had not really been trusting God during the days or our earthly sojourn. It would be better to invite God now to remove every false trust, to disengage our hearts from all secret hiding places and to bring us out into the open where we can discover for ourselves whether we actually trust Him. This is a harsh cure for our troubles, it is a sure one! Gentler cures may be too weak to do the work. And time is running out on us.

- A.W. Tozer (source unknown)

Earnest preaching and earnest conversation

When I think of being earnest in the pulpit many quotes from preachers come to mind (see the quotes here by John Angell James). But what about earnestness during a one-on-one lunch or breakfast meeting? This is where I must learn more about earnestness and feel the same weight as when I climb behind the pulpit. If what people see inside and outside the pulpit are inconsistent, our preaching loses authority. If we are to be earnest in the pulpit we must be earnest outside the pulpit as well. This is the great warning from the life of M’Cheyne:

“Whatever be said in the pulpit men will not much regard, though they may feel it at the time, if the minister does not say the same in private, with equal earnestness, in speaking with his people face to face; and it must be in our moments of most familiar intercourse with them, that we are thus to put the seal to all we say in public. Familiar moments are the times when the things that are most closely twined round the heart are brought out to view; and shall we forbear … We must not only speak faithfully to our people in our sermons, but live faithfully for them too. Perhaps it may be found that the reason why many who preach the gospel fully and in all earnestness are not owned of God in the conversion of souls, is to be found in their defective exhibition of grace in these easy moments of life … It was noticed long ago that men will give you leave [permission] to preach against their sins as much as you will, if you will but be easy with them when you have done, and talk as they do, and live as they live. How much otherwise was it with Mr. M’Cheyne, all who knew him are witnesses.”

Andrew Bonar, Memoir & Remains of Robert Murray M’Cheyne (Banner of Truth: 1844/2004), p. 74

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