Sunday, March 23, 2014

Through the Years: Faithful men and praise to Jesus for raising them up

What is it? Answer at bottom
The above is the sermon list by year of sermons available in Dr. John MacArthur's sermon archive.

On a recent blog essay, someone posted the following question to me:

"Why do you worship MacArthur so much? You quote him on your blogs more than you do the Bible.-Jeff"

I answered this way:
"Great question! However I don’t worship Dr John MacArthur. I worship Jesus. You know that. I quote MacArthur a lot for several reasons:

--He is doctrinally correct on every issue I’ve heard him speak to. This means his interpretations are aligned with the bible. This is a precious rarity in these days,
--His entire body of work is online, and easily obtainable. Therefore he is easy to quote,
--He has addressed all of the relevant cultural issues, and these also are online and available, and once again therefore easily quotable.

I also often quote GotQuestions, for the same reasons, and Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry. I’d quote Phil Johnson just as often as I do MacArthur but his sermons are not transcribed as MacArthur’s are. And as a side note, he said a couple of years ago that the same lady has been his transcriber for over 40 years. What a blessing to the faith these people are! We all benefit.

I have quoted in the past Jonathan Edwards, but his language is further away from ours, being almost 300 years old. Same with Charles Spurgeon and Matthew Henry. But I still quote them on occasion as well.

If you came across a doctrinally correct, easily obtainable body of work freely given to the body of Christ from a persevering man of faith, why would you NOT want to use it as much as possible? That is what it is there for."

My response got me thinking about how grateful I am for the good men and pastors God has raised up. I was thunderstruck by Jonathan Edwards' sermon "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God". I have an excerpt of it which I carry constantly in my bible. I occasionally re-read it in its entirety to myself aloud so I can remember and value the feeling of gratitude I have that Jesus saved me from His wrath. The sermon is almost 300 years old, but God carefully preserved it for us so that we can be edified these many generations later.

I was deeply moved by Charles' Spurgeon's sermon on God's Providence. His proposal that the cherubs of the wheels within wheels could be part of the machinery of God's providence as it works out in our lives was completely amazing to me. I often re-read that sermon to gain further insights that the Spirit will have me learn.

But it was with the advent of technology that we are blessed with being able to hear these preachers as they preach. Many of the later Martyn Lloyd-Jones's sermons were taped and put onto more current media. John MacArthur's first sermon at Grace Community Church in 1969 was cassette-taped and transcribed and so have all the rest ever since.

These men are good expositors. The Lord raised them up for the benefit of the church and the edification of souls. When Charles Spurgeon was actively preaching, his sermons were re-printed in the newspaper. He was endlessly quoted. His magazine Sword and Trowel enjoyed a high circulation. Thousands came to hear him in the Tabernacle and the tens of thousands read his sermons each week.

When Spurgeon died, in January 1892, London south of the Thames went into mourning. Sixty thousand people came to pay homage during the three days his body lay in state at the Metropolitan Tabernacle. A funeral parade two miles long followed his hearse from the Tabernacle to the cemetery at Upper Norwood. One hundred thousand people stood along the way, flags flew at half-mast, shops and pubs were closed. It was a remarkable demonstration of affection and respect, even in an era when people were scrupulous in observing the rituals that accompanied death." (source)

Yet would anyone in those more Godly times peevishly complain that a person was sourcing Spurgeon's material too much? Worshiping him? I doubt it. "Stop reading his sermon every Monday! You do that too much!" It's laughable.

I respect the men who came before us and the men whom God raises up today. Their commentaries, books, and sermons are for the benefit of the church members and ultimately are to glorify Him. It's been true ever since this verse was spoken,

"I will raise up for myself a faithful priest, who shall do according to what is in my heart and in my mind. And I will build him a sure house, and he shall go in and out before my anointed forever." (1 Samuel 2:35)

God did that and continues to do that until He raised up Jesus, the final High Priest and the Priest forever, bless His holy name. After the cross, back here on earth, God still raises up men to teach and preach to us, because God's word goes out forever and will never pass away (Matthew 24:25).
"Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching." (2 Timothy 4:2)

The apostasy is growing at an exponential rate. My job as an encourager and a discerner is to point people to credible men whose teaching is solid. We are long past the tipping point where most preaching is solid. Nowadays, most preaching is NOT solid. We have gone from being a 'God-fearing' nation, to a God-mocking nation.

Therefore when as Bereans you compare to the bible the links I offer you, I believe in every case you will find it matches. Therefore I am unashamed to continue to quote Dr MacArthur, and I refuse to be browbeaten into seeking other men for people to read who may not be as solid simply to cater to whims and wishes of those who are peeved for some reason.

Now, if someone wants a wider array of Godly preachers to select from, I can accommodate. I listed below my favorites, men to whom I give my respect as elders of the faith and to whom I daily and weekly listen or read. They are all expositors.

What is expositional preaching?
"Expositional preaching at its simplest is preaching that is focused on explaining the meaning of Scripture in its historical and grammatical context. Expositional preaching involves explaining what the Bible says to a contemporary audience that is likely unfamiliar with the cultural and historical settings that the passage was written in. The word exposition simply means to “a setting forth or explanation.” So expositional preaching is the explanation of Scripture that is based upon diligent study and careful exegesis of a passage. It is the primary call of the pastor or preacher as we see in 2 Timothy 4:2: “Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.”

These first three men have been or are in service to God in a mighty, MIGHTY way, and what a ministry! I praise and thank Jesus for raising them up!

John F. MacArthur, 3,000+ sermons. He has been preaching at Grace Community Church for 45 years. (b. 1939- ). Bio. Sermon archive. I especially enjoyed his preaching series from Genesis

Charles Haddon Spurgeon, (1834-1892). 3,561 sermons. AKA The Prince of Preachers, preached at New Park Street and then Metropolitan Tabernacle for 37 years. (Bio). Sermons. My current favorite is the sermon on God's Providence.

Lloyd-Jones
Martyn Lloyd-Jones, (1899 – 1 March 1981). 1591 sermons available. He preached for 41 years at Westminster Chapel in London. (Bio). Sermon archive here. My current favorite are the Great Biblical Doctrines, especially, The Fall.

Also:

I also enjoy Dr Steven Lawson. I just listened to a wonderful sermon of his from Philippians, about daily Christian living. Sermon archive here. (Bio).

Phil Johnson is a personal favorite of mine. I'd quote him as often as I do MacArthur but his sermons haven't been transcribed until lately. Pastor Johnson preaches at the GraceLife Pulpit of John MacArthur's church. I enjoy the sermons from Dr. MacArthur, but I personally identify with Johnson. My current favorite sermon of his recently has been What Creation Reveals. (Bio and other Bio)

Don Green
Finally, though certainly not least, is Pastor Don Green. He preaches at Truth Community Fellowship. (Bio). My current favorite sermon of his is called "What is Sin?"

I hope these links and the thousands upon thousands of wonderfully exposited sermons available to you will edify you in a great way. May the spotless name of Jesus be glorified through their ministry and by us as we receive His word into our hearts and minds from these men. 

9 comments:

  1. Elizabeth, excellent post as always!
    Happy Sunday, may God bless you :-)

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  2. Elizabeth I have leaned upon John MacArthur's teaching since 1978. I think he was born in 1949 not 1939 though. My son and daughter and their families are members of Colonial Baptist in Cary NC and Steven Davey (their pastor) is equally doctrinally solid. He is in Florida this week at a Wisdom For The Heart camp. http://www.wisdomonline.org/cgi-bin/broadcast_player.cgi?id=2644 My family has been equally blessed by your blog site. I pray for you

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    Replies
    1. thank you so much for reading and for commenting and especially for the prayers!!!

      Wikipedia has his birth date as June 19, 1939 (age 74) and that would make sense since I know he is in 70s...what do you think?

      So glad to hear that your family are members at a good church! That means everything when one can worship in truth :)

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  3. Excellent Post!! God sure has blessed you with the gift of articulation and for the obvious Word of God treasured in your heart Elizabeth. Thank you so much for this. The teachings of John MacAthur and those associated with him make it easy to continue to quote him and encourage many to visit the Grace To You website for a wealth of sermons to help rightly divide the Word. I'll use this link for others to read for themselves. Have a blessed evening.
    Colette

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  4. I only discovered your blog recently, quite by accident. I am 63 and became a Believer at age 5. I had godly parents who led me to the Lord from their knees. But my dad told me I came with a God Heart. I just know I have loved and thought about the Lord from the earliest time of my childhood.
    I have, over the years, listened to many pastors and preachers. From here in the United States to Europe where we were stationed, I love good expository preaching.
    One preacher, whose writings and preaching I find great depth in is Pastor Charles Swindoll. If you ever have the chance listen to him. In the early morning hours I listen to a Christian radio to good preachers. I like Dr. McArthur. As you say, he is grounded.
    I am also on my 27 year of reading the Bible through. I could not do it the traditional manner...in order of books from Front to Back, but I used a daily Bible that is divided by days...with some OT, some NT, and some Psalms and Proverbs each day. One repeats Psalms and Proverbs in the 365 period but I love it. I mark it when I read and someday when I leave earth, I have enough Bibles to give to each of my Children.
    May God bless you.....B. Gunn East Texas Rancher

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  5. Somebody called into Wretched Radio not long ago and asked Todd Friel the same question. I wonder if it was the same guy?

    PS: I love everybody on your list. It mirrors mine! :-) I would add Paul Washer, Art Azurdia and Voddie Baucham.

    I recently listened to Chris Rosebrough's show where he played a sermon by Phil Johnson on True Repentance based on Psalm 51 and the story of David and Bathsheba. One of the best sermons I've ever heard.

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    1. Hi Brad, Thanks for the comment. I would agree, agree and agree on Washer, Azurdia and Baucham! Thanks so much for the reminder of those excellent expositors. (The only thing I don't agree with on Baucham is that he's an amillennialist and preaches Revelation as symbol and allegory).

      I will look up the sermon you mentioned. I think Phil is the best man alive for preaching the Psalms.

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    2. I love the clarity in Phil's sermons. He preaches Truth with absolute clarity and breaks it down really well so anybody can understand it. Contrast that with someone like Andy Stanley. I always have more questions than answers after listening to an Andy Stanley sermon or reading one of his articles. How can anyone get saved from vagueness? That's not even mentioning his liberalism and seeker-driven theology.

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