Tuesday, September 20, 2016
How to Preach the Gospel
The Scripture lasts down quite plainly not only that we are to preach the gospel, the true message, but also how we are to do so. It tells us that we are to do so with “sobriety” and with “gravity,” in fear and trembling, in “demonstration of the Spirit and of power,” and not with “enticing words of man’s wisdom.” But today evangelistic methods which are a flagrant contradiction of these words are justified in terms of results. “Look at the results,” men say. “Such and such a man may not conform to the scriptural method, but look at the results!” And because of “the results” the plain dictates of Scripture are put on one side. Is that believing the Scriptures? Is that taking the Scriptures as our final authority? Is not that repeating the old error of Saul, who said, “Yes, I know, but I thought it would be good if I did so and so.” He tries to justify his disobedience by some result he is going to produce. We Protestants, of course, hold up our hands in horror at the Roman Catholics, especially the Jesuits, when they tell us that “the end justifies the means.” It is the great argument of the Church of Rome. We repudiate it in the Roman Catholic Church, but it is a common argument in evangelical circles. The “results” justify everything. If the results are good, the argument runs, the methods must be right—the end justifies the means. If you want to avoid terrible disillusionment at the day of judgment, face Scripture as it is. Do not argue with it, do not try to manipulate it, do not twist it; face it, receive it and submit to it whatever the cost.
D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, “Studies in the Sermon on the Mount,” volume 2, p.280