Update to include one more preacher I'd forgotten to mention.
Regular readers of this blog know that I quote and refer to pastor-teacher Dr. John MacArthur quite a bit. That is for several reasons. First, he preaches the Word and the word alone, in true expository style. That means he goes verse by verse, explaining the verse in historical and cultural context all the while keeping Jesus as the central focus. He has never succumbed to fads or gimmicks or promoting anything else from his pulpit besides Christ and Him crucified. Secondly, he has been doing this steadily from the same church for 42 years. Third, his website has a wealth of material on it, including sermons listed by topic or verse, and its transcriptions so you can read them as well as listen to them. There are devotionals, a blog, and books and resources. It is all doctrinally solid. And in this apostate age, that is quite a testament!
Each generation has its standout preachers. I believe that this century's standout is John MacArthur. Preaching and teaching at Grace Community Church through the New Testament verse by verse for over four decades is an accomplishment of submission to the Spirit. But what other good preachers are there? Even if their archives are not as full or available, their sermons can be watched or listened to, and their books can be bought. I also enjoy:
Dr. Steve Lawson of Christ Fellowship Baptist Church in Mobile Alabama. Dr Lawson preaches meat in a wonderful and clear way. He preaches God-exalting truth in a humble but truthful way. In a recent interview, Dr Lawson answered the question as to what he believes is the most foundational doctrine of the church, "I believe that the most foundational truth for the church today, as well as in any generation, is the sovereignty and holiness of God. As one’s view of God goes, so goes the entire church. A high view of God inevitably leads to high and holy living. But a low view of God leads unmistakably to low living. A towering view of God in which He is seen in His unrivaled sovereignty and absolute holiness has the most dramatic and profound effect upon the church. Such a vision of God inspires transcendent worship, induces godly living, empowers tireless service, deepens spiritual fellowship, imparts supernatural joy, breathes abundant life, and motivates global outreach. The church will never rise any higher than her lofty view of God."
As a matter of fact, all the men (and one woman) I mention here have the highest view of God as holy and sovereign. It seems that it would be a given that good preachers and teachers would have this view, but in today's world it is not so.
Don Green is part of the MacArthur church, leading a small group (of 600, lol!). Mr Green "was a litigation attorney in Chicago for several years before leaving his law practice to attend The Master's Seminary, where he completed his M.Div. and Th.M. degrees with highest honors. He is an ordained elder at Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California, Don pastors GraceLife, a group of more than 600 adults. He has published several articles on biblical themes. He is also the Managing Director of Grace to You, where he oversees the daily operations of John MacArthur’s international media and radio ministry. Don and his wife, Nancy, have six children."
Justin Peters is known for his discernment ministries, an important calling in this day and age. As with all good pastors, he is humble, clear, and Jesus-centered. The link on his name brings you to his website so you can read about him and his positionsbut you can also watch him on Youtube. This link brings you to part one of his seminar titled "A Call to Discernment".
Phil Johnson is another Grace Community church pastor I listen to. Phil is the Executive Director of Grace to You. "He has been closely associated with John MacArthur since 1981 and edits most of John's major books. But he may be best known for several popular Web sites he maintains, including The Spurgeon Archive and The Hall of Church History. Phil has a bachelor's degree in theology from Moody Bible Institute (class of 1975) and was an editor at Moody Press before coming to Grace Community Church. He is an elder at Grace Community Church and pastors the GraceLife fellowship group. Phil and his wife, Darlene, have three adult sons, Jeremiah, Jedidiah, and Jonathan." Where MacArthur is scholarly and Green is fatherly, Johnson is fiery.
If you really want some fire, listen to Paul Washer. Washer does not thunder, rather, he has a soft demeanor and a gentle voice, but his words are devastating. His website is called HeartCry Missionary Society and that is Washer's primary focus: bringing the Gospel to the lost all around the world. He is also a Southern Baptist itinerant preacher. His sermons often focus on the character of Christ and how a person is saved from hell. He also preaches against decisional regeneration and corporate approaches to church growth.
Steve Hadley is younger (lol, 40ish) and a bit more casual than the others I'd mentioned. In other words, he sits down to preach and he doesn't wear a suit. He also laughs and jokes a bit while he preaches and is really funny. But his sermons are not a comedy routine and the value he places on God's sovereignty is HIGH. He preaches verse by verse with occasional meanderings into a topical sermon such as at Christmas time or when prophecy seems to warrant. He is solid on doctrine. I recommend him highly for those who want a slightly hipster approach (and I mean slightly) but is not oft-putting as some of the elder preachers are to the younger.
So I recommend the above four pastor/teachers, a missionary preacher and a discernment preacher, a nice variety. In addition, the following below can be relied upon for good handling of the Word:
I like Kay Arthur's biblical-educational tv program "Precepts for Life" and I watch it when I am home at that time. I enjoy her books too. David Wilkerson, Dr David Jeremiah and Adrian Rogers are all good as well. (Yes I know that Wilkerson and Rogers have passed on but their archives are still alive). They tend to preach topically, which is OK. Charles Spurgeon of course, has a wealth of materials still archived online to read and enjoy.
It is up to every believer to seek truth that is unadulterated. We are all responsible for the decisions we make and the actions we take in His name, as well as what we allow in His name. It behooves us to know, then, what He has said and what He expects. Read the Word yourself, and the more you read it yourself the more you will find that when a good bible preaching sermon comes along the Spirit will have prepared your heart for deeper understandings. And vice versa- when you listen to a sermon and then go to read the Word there will be connections made in your heart. That is because the Holy Spirit is the common thread. The Spirit reveals all things Jesus came to preach and all things the Creator has made.
"But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God." (1 Corinthians 2:9-10)
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