Non-evangelistic Sermons But ...

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Rippon, May 12, 2006.

  1. Rippon

    Rippon
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    ... leading to conversions . Do any of you preachers or non-preachers ( that would include everyone ) know of sermons that were not geared toward an evangelistic thrust -- yet the Lord used the message to turn one to Himself ?

    I know many here think that all sermons must be overtly evangelistic , however a number of messages should be delivered with the intent of nurturing believers primarily . Yet even in those sermons the Lord can use it for His saving purpose .

    In Iain Murray's Life of Arthur W. Pink , he quotes AW recounting such an experience back in 1925 during a tent meeting . A man asked Pink if he could give a testimony and Pink said he didn't believe in testimonies . But the man persisted by saying that he was saved by God . AW said that was different -- go ahead . The man went through a story I will not tell here , but Pink asked him what night he was saved .

    " Will you just mention again , brother , the night ?' He said, ' It was two weeks ago last Thursday .' And I thought to myself , well , the man has got that wrong . I said , ' Are you sure ? ' He said, ' Yes , of course I am !' And after the meeting was over ( it only showed my scepticism and how man wants to limit God ) I said to him, ' Why , that particular night was a thanksgiving service and I preached for a whole hour on praising God and there wasn't a word about hell in it , there wasn't anything about sin in it , there wasn't anything about the cross in it . What was there in that sermon to save you ? ' You see I was silly enough to think that God could not save a man who had never heard the gospel , except by a gospel sermon , and I was preaching from Hebrews 13:15 , ' By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually , that is ,the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name', and all through I was exhorting Christians to be praising God . ' Why,' he said , ' Dr.Pink, I will tell you . As I listened to that sermon , the Spirit of God just struck conviction into my heart by reminding me that I had never praised God and what a terrible sinner I must be ! ' Ah , there is the sovereignty of God ! God is sovereign in the very texts that he uses .
     
  2. J.D.

    J.D.
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    The only thing I remember about the sermon that was preached the night that I was converted are the words "thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God". With that one phrase I was converted to Christ completely.
     
  3. doulous

    doulous
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    I suppose you could peruse the Spurgeon archieves (http://www.spurgeon.org) and find dozens of sermons that were not salvific in nature but were used by God to call sinners to repentance. Far be it from our petty minds then to limit the efficacy of the gospel towards the elect of God.

    "He will call whom He wills by the method He desires."
     
  4. Calvibaptist

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    I would argue that every sermon should center on the cross of Christ. Even sermons on the doctrinal or practical sections of the epistles, which would be geared primarily to the sanctification of the believer, will have, at it's very core, the cross of Christ. These sermons will show how the cross still affects the life of the believer, but will also have the result of being evangelistic to the non-believer.

    It does not need to be forced, but is part of the fabric of both the Old and New Testaments. This was the practice of Edwards, Spurgeon and the Puritans, which is why you see many conversions from their preaching.
     
  5. Rippon

    Rippon
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    From Spurgeon's Autobio The Full Harvest : Volume 2 , chapter 14 .

    My experience goes to show that there have been persons converted to God by doctrines that some might have thought altogether unlikely to produce that result . I have known the doctrine of the resurrection to bring sinners to Christ ; I have heard of scores brought to the Saviour by a discourse upon election -- the very sort of people who , as far as I can see , would never have been reached if that truth had not happened to be an angular doctrine that just struck their heart in the right place , and fitted into the crevices of their nature . I have often preached a terrible sermon upon the law , and afterwards found that sinners had been comforted by it . God frequently blesses the Word in the very opposite manner to that in which I thought it would be blessed , and He brings very , very many , to know their state by nature by doctrines which I should have thought would have comforted believers than awakened the unconverted . I am constantly driven back to the great foundation truth of Divine Sovereignty , and am made to realize that , in grace as well as in providence ,

    God moves in a mysterious way ,
    His wonders to perform (Cowper)
     

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