By A.W. Pink
The question which is before us for consideration and (attempted) elucidation really concerns the preacher's efforts to "win souls" (Prov. 11:30), and as to how far the Word warrants him going towards the realization of his longings to see sinners converted under his ministry. And here, it seems to the writer, there are two extremes to be guarded against. On the one hand, we believe those preachers come short of discharging their duties who rest content with simply setting forth in an abstract and impersonal way what are termed "the Doctrines of Grace'.
To say, "I have faithfully declared all the counsel of God and now I must leave results with him", sounds very pious, but it leaves the way open for several serious questions. It is perfectly true that "results" rest entirely with God, for he alone "giveth the increase' (1 Cor. 3:7). But, have we declared all the counsel of God when we have fully expounded the "five points" of Calvinism? We think not. The preacher is something more than a human gramophone, mechanically repeating a scriptural formula.
Of the forerunner of Christ it is said that he was "A burning and a shining light" (John 5:3). He was "the voice of one crying in the wilderness". No correct but cold formalist was he. Of our Saviour it is recorded that he wept over Jerusalem because her children would not come to him.
No heartless fatalist was he. The great apostle to the Gentiles wrote, "Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men" (2 Cor. 5:11). Do you do this, brother preacher? Query: Were Paul on earth today saying, "We persuade men" would his orthodoxy be suspected? Again; he announced, "Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us; we pray (plead) you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God" (2 Cor. 5:20).
Do these methods characterize our evangelical ministrations? Surely we all have need to pray earnestly for more devotion to Christ, more love for souls, more fervour and power in preaching the gospel.