Preachers and Preaching

  1. It is wrong to put direct pressure on the will. The will should always be approached primarily through the mind, the intellect, and then through the affections. The action of the will should be determined by those influences.
  2. In the end it may produce a condition in which what has determined the response of the man who ‘comes forward’ is not so much the Truth itself as, perhaps, the personality of the evangelist, or some vague general fear, or some other kind of influence.
  3. The preaching of the Word and the call for decision should not be separated in our thinking
  4. This method surely carries in it the implication that sinners have an inherent power of decision and of self-conversion.
  5. There is an implication here that the evangelist somehow is in a position to manipulate the Holy Spirit and His work. Some organizers today even predict the results.
  6. This method tends to produce a superficial conviction of sin, if any at all. People often respond because they have the impression that by doing so they will receive certain benefits.
  7. You are encouraging people to think that their act of going forward somehow saves them.
  8. It raises the whole question of the doctrine of regeneration. This is the most serious thing of all. This work is the work of the Holy Spirit, and His work alone, no one else can do it. And as it is His work it is always a thorough work; and it is always a work that will show itself.
  9. No sinner ever really decides for Christ.

 D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones  – Preachers and Preaching, Zondervan, 1971, p. 269-279 (summary of his main points).


About John
A follower of Christ and sinner who needs his grace everyday.

One Response to Preachers and Preaching

  1. Brian Wyatt says:

    So well put! We also have this promise that the work He begins he will complete. With so many manipulative tactics today, we see a large amount of people are not settled in their salvation and have a grueling struggle at understanding why nothing changed in their life after that ‘prayer’.
    If a person does not experience a spirit wrought salvation, they will have a weak sense of a salvation and that indeed it is, a false salvation, so we also see that the work that is approved and stamped by man but has in many cases never experienced the new birth to begin with,( that is unless the person has already recognized his sin), and thus is an incomplete salvation, until they meet someone to bring to them the truth, the truth that they are dead in their sin. The truth that God snatches people out of the pit out of His electing love that he established before the foundation of the world, the truth that repentance is a lifetime event not a one time occurance. Thank God someone like that came into my life to tell me that God saves sinners not decent people.

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