‘Compelling, convicting, persuasive preaching, revealing God’s mercy and redemption to dying souls, is seldom heard today. The noblest art ever granted to our fallen human race has almost disappeared.’
Even where the free offer of the Gospel is treasured in principle, regular evangelistic preaching has become a rarity, contends the author. These pages tackle the inhibitions, theological and practical, and provide powerful encouragement for physicians of souls to preach the Gospel.
1. ‘Necessity is Laid Upon Me!’
2. Defining a Pivotal Word in Ministry
3. How Did the Apostles Preach?
4. What Mental Model Should We Have for Conversion?
5. Hindrances to Repentance and Faith
6. Seven Certain Signs of True Conversion
7. Is Regeneration Elongated or All-at-Once?
8. Defending Proclamational Methods
9. The Church Growth Phenomenon
10. Applying Proclamational Methods
11. A Preacher’s Self-Check
12. Types and Styles in Preaching and Teaching
13. Evangelistic Sermon Preparation
14. Personal Application of Parables
15. The Search for Texts
16. A Word About Apologetics
17. The Dangers of Public Invitations
18. Evangelistic Preaching and Revival
Appendix 1: An Old Testament Evangelistic Preaching Syllabus
Appendix 2: Williams Perkins on Regeneration
Appendix 3: Stunted Gospel Exhortations
Evangelicals of the past never lost sight of the true meaning of the word [gospel], insisting that ‘gospel’ (or ‘good news’) indicated nothing other than the soul-saving elements of the faith. Now, however, the unthinkable has happened as evangelicals have abandoned their inheritance and opted for the broader sense, making ‘gospel’ a mere synonym for ‘Bible’ so that it covers any and all aspects of biblical truth. By this new definition, whenever a preacher feeds the saints, he believes that he is preaching the gospel. If he gives a theological paper to fellow-pastors in a fraternal, he thinks he is ministering the gospel. Whenever he teaches any aspect of Christian doctrine, he feels that he is dispensing an aspect of the gospel. He may never devote a sermon to unconverted people, explaining their need, showing them Christ, stirring their consciences, warning them of the consequences of rejecting Him, and remonstrating with them to seek Him. So what? His conscience will not trouble him, because he believes that whenever he preaches, and whatever he preaches, he is preaching the gospel.
This book will help preachers with all their weaknesses and strengths to get the best out of evangelism, not only by being Biblical and faithful to the message itself but at the same time being true to themselves in terms of character and ability. This is not a rule book but a guide to self understanding and true Gospel presentation, understanding what happens when the Gospel is preached and how to assess what is going on in the hearts of those who hear. It is wide ranging, perceptive, persuasive, shrewd and always intensely practical. It would be the poor preacher indeed who did not derive much benefit from this volume.
– English Churchman
> See also our Gospel Persuasion page