Saturday, July 23, 2011

After preaching two 50-minute sermons last night at the Santa Monica 3rd St. promenade — Luke 19 on Zaccheus and Titus 3 on the gospel — I have (re)learned some valuable lessons:

1. We must not look for physical results to gauge our effectiveness.

If so, I would have quit long ago. But I go with the promises of Scripture that God goes with the faithful proclamation of His word to accomplish His sovereign purposes. God promises to use it, so I must be faithful to herald the Word.

2. We must proclaim the full gospel fearlessly.

It is easy to shrink back when floods of people (strangers!) are walking at you. It's easy to omit the sin part, the hell part, the judgment part, the holiness of God part, the repentance part, the discipleship and obedience to Christ part, etc. But this would be unfaithful to the Word of God and this would not be the biblical gospel of Christ if I eliminated these elements from my preaching to make it more palatable.

3. We must let the scoffers scoff knowing they're blinded by sin and doing what sinners (can only) do without the sovereign enabling of the Holy Spirit.

Many walked by and mocked. Many reviled the Word. Many loudly proclaimed they are going to hell in order to party with friends. Some walked right up in front of me and the pulpit and gave me this bewildered and scoffing look while I proclaimed God's Word. But this is what sinners do. The natural man cannot receive the Word of God—how can I expect anything different until God the Spirit sovereignly draws His people to repentance and saving faith.

4. We must preach knowing that God is glorified in the saving of sinners and in the hardening of rebels; and each proclamation of the Gospel is never in vain.

I don't know how God is going to use what we preached last night. I may never know till I get to heaven. But praise God I preach for His glory and not for my glory (or else, again, I would have quit long ago!).

Please Pray For:
1. Issam - a Muslim man that I shared the gospel with last night who stood and listened to my entire sermon from Titus 3. I gave him the entire gospel and urged him to leave Islam and embrace Jesus as the only Savior and LORD.

2. A father and his family from Saudi Arabia - the father was mocking to his sons as they walked by and I was able to approach them and share the gospel with them and confront them on their self-idolatry and false-worship. Pray that God uses His Word to convict their hearts.

3. Pray for a few Roman Catholic men (Charlie and John) - they clearly were working their way to heaven by their good deeds outweighing the bad. And I told them "that's a a bad bet". I gave them the entire gospel, gave them Scriptures and even read the Word so they could see the verses from the text. Pray that God opens their heart to repent and believe.

4. Pray for the many who walked by and mocked. Pray that God would glorify Himself by bringing conviction to their hearts and that they would embrace Jesus as Savior and Lord and repent of sin.

2 comments:

G Marie said...

Don't lose heart, Geoff!

It's because of you and Lizzy that many of us at the Youth Group have shed our timid shells and can face adversity for Christ and I include myself in that group :)

Hope all is well with you!

Anonymous said...

Honey,

I love you and and am so proud of your faithfulness to our Lord and His glorious gospel. You are an example to me and your son as well.

-Your wifey

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