Friday, October 8, 2010

The Gospel Never Changes

"Do not merely listen to the word and so deceive yourselves.  Do what it says."  (James 1:22)

As I have been reading some current books on total abandonment to God and the emphasis we must all have in our lives on sharing the gospel, I re-read a portion of a journal written by my husband back in 1991 on the Puritan pastor, Richard Baxter, and his views on evangelism.  "Baxter taught that each individual Christian had the responsibility to witness.  The profession of true religion is such a great duty that only foolish persons would try to conceal their faith or keep it to themselves.  Baxter stands amazed that anyone could be genuinely converted and not be telling others about salvation through Jesus Christ." (Beougher, "Richard Baxter and Puritan Evangelism")

Baxter himself said:  "Can a man have a taste of heaven upon his heart, and the kingdom of God begun within him, and yet not express his life or joy?....What!  have the love of God shed abroad in their hearts, and say nothing of it?  have the pardon of sin in the blood of Christ, and say nothing of it?  What!  see many hundred souls in danger of damnation, and say nothing, but let them perish?"

Wow!  If we have experienced the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ in our own lives, we MUST speak of what we have seen, heard, and know! 

Lord, help me be a doer of the word and not merely a hearer!

Beougher, Tim.  "Richard Baxter and Puritan Evangelism."  from the Journal of the Academy for Evangelism in Theological Education, Vol. VII, 1991-1992.