It is the year 2008. The gospel has been spreading and the Kingdom of Christ has been growing for nearly two thousand years. But not without setbacks. For almost a thousand years, in the middle ages, the gospel was slowly obscured by the corruptions of a satanically-influenced medieval church. The light was almost entirely extinguished. But then God raised up a man, shaken to the core by a sudden insight into the inexpressably glorious truth proclaimed in Romans 1:17, “The just shall live by faith,” and the whole world was again turned upside down with the divine power of the gospel. Two hundred years later, when hypocrisy and self-motivated will-religion had nearly swallowed up the good effects of the Reformation, a diverse and unlikely group of men, including John Bunyan, John Owen, Jonathan Edwards, George Whitefield, and even John and Charles Wesley trumpeted the joyful news that once again shook up the sleeping world, and fueled a missions movement that has reached across the globe for the sake of the Name. And now, more than two hundred years later, the gospel that has once more been attacked and suppressed, and has given way on many fronts to the false gospels of prosperity, self-esteem, inclusivism, and tolerance, is on the rise again. The heavenly insights of Edwards, Owen, and others on the sovereignty of God, his unconquerable grace, and the joy which his glory produces in those who are his has fueled another generation of outnumbered but unfailingly victorious men and women ready to give up their lives for the King. A last, great missions-minded movement is preparing for a final thrust into the heart of unconquered territories, and the trumpet sound which announces that the kingdoms of this world are the kingdoms of our Savior can almost be heard.
I have been doing a great deal of research lately along with some of my friends at CRN and Old Truth into post-evangelism and the church growth/planting movement. Today I listened to two motivational “talks” by Stephen Furtick and one by Bil Cornelius of this movement. These “talks” were from The Evolve Conference.
There is more research to go. It was as I listened to these men that I realized how important it is to be very careful to whom we listen and whom we read. It was very disturbing. This evening as I prepared to “write” I felt an overwhelming desire for some solid Biblical teaching instead of what I have been hearing all day. Therefore, in this post we will look at a chapter from All of Grace by Charles Spurgeon. The chapter’s title is “Regeneration and the Holy Spirit.” Enjoy and be blessed – Mike Ratliff Continue reading