“I don’t need a successor, only willing hands to accept the torch for a new generation. I am just one of many thousands called to be an evangelist.” —Billy Graham
Man of God, man of integrity, counselor to presidents, preacher to peasants, evangelist, prophet, servant of Jesus. He will be missed.
Now it’s your turn.
A.W. Tozer’s opening line caught me off guard. When the shock wore off, it began to make sense…
“Make sure that you don’t substitute prayer for obedience. Prayer is the oxygen of Christianity, but if we pray without preaching the gospel as we have been commanded to, we are drawing near to God with our lips, but our hearts are far from Him. Make sure you put legs to your prayers and reach out to those who are going to Hell.”
It seems that Bono of U2 agreed…
“Christians who prize “politeness” over candor may end up living a trivialized life. You’ve gotta be very careful that grace and politeness do not merge into a banality of behavior where we’re just nice—sort of ‘death by cupcake.’”
Pray to proclaim.
Victorian preacher C.H. Spurgeon had a way of cutting through Christian excuses…
“If sinners be damned, at least let them leap to hell over our dead bodies. And if they perish, let them perish with our arms wrapped about their knees, imploring them to stay. If hell must be filled, let it be filled in the teeth of our exertions, and let not one go unwarned and un-prayed for.”
Some things are worth everything and every effort.
(Painting, “Don’t Let Go” by Daniel Cordova)
Jesus is coming back—His followers know it and most are thrilled at the immanent possibility. My friend Don Stewart, however, reminds us to be careful about one important detail…
“Do not make the mistake of replacing the Gospel with talk of the end times events—our main message isn’t the second coming of Christ, but the first.”
Where did everything come from? Such a big question requires a bigger answer (though not always a popular one). Of course I’m speaking of God.
Why are we here? There are many ways people might answer this question, but the bottom line is perhaps the biggest one of all—and it even reveals why we have a universe…
“He works on us in all sorts of ways. But above all, He works on us through each other. Men are mirrors, or “carriers” of Christ to other men. Usually it is those who know Him that bring Him to others. That is why the church, the whole body of Christians showing Him to one another, is so important. It is so easy to think that the church has a lot of different objects—education, building, missions, holding services…the church exists for no other purpose but to draw men into Christ, to make them little Christs. If they are not doing that, all the cathedrals, clergy, missions, sermons, even the Bible itself, are simply a waste of time. God became man for no other purpose. It is even doubtful, you know, whether the whole universe was created for any other reason.” —C.S. Lewis
Thanks, Jack, and Happy Sunday, church.