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Mar 11, 2018
Preacher: William Gadsby
Passage: 1 Thessalonians 1:5

Pretend Preaching

For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake


About 16 years ago I heard a young man from Hoxton Baptist Academy pretend to preach, and he made the following remarks: ‘I now offer you Christ, and Christ stands with open arms ready to receive you; yes, he begs, he prays, and beseeches you to come to him, and have life; and yet some of you will not come; nay, it is as if God the Father came and fell upon his knees before you, begging and beseeching you to receive Christ and come and be reconciled to him, and yet you will not come.’ In this way he continued for a considerable length of time, and this he called preaching the gospel to every creature. And indeed I heard a pretended Calvinistic minister in this town use pretty near the same expressions.

From a professed Arminian [free-willer] such remarks might be expected; but for one who professes to believe in eternal and absolute election to use such awful expressions is one of the highest insults that can be offered, in a religious shape, either to God or man. It represents both Christ and God the Father as poor disappointed beings, quite unable to subdue the heart of a poor dying worm. And what encouragement can there be in such a gospel as this for any poor, broken-hearted, self-despairing sinner in the world to trust in the Lord for salvation? Who dare trust the concerns of eternity in the hands of a being who cannot obtain a favour which he desires and seeks with earnest supplication on his knees? But, thanks be to God, we have not so learned Christ. We know that “what his soul desireth, even that he doeth” (JOB 23:13). Hence, says Christ, “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out” (JOHN 6:37). “Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power” (PSALM 110:3). “All thy children shall be taught of the LORD; and great shall be the peace of thy children” (ISAIAH 54:13). “Other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice” (JOHN 10:16).

What has an offered gospel to do with such eternal bulwarks as these? When all free-will offers are sunk in oblivion, GOD'S immutable SHALLS and WILLS shall stand. Bless His precious Name, there is nothing precarious in the salvation of His people. He does not leave it to them whether they will accept offered mercy or not. No; they shall hear His voice, and they shall live. They shall be willing in the day of His power, and they shall know the Lord, and they shall be God’s people, and He will be their God. He has sent His ministers to preach the gospel, not to offer it, and He Himself has engaged to make it manifest in the hearts of His people. To them the gospel comes not in word only, but in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance.

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