Evangelists preaching from the Word

[ Billy Graham Preaching—Used by permission of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association]

The Gospel is not only proper to work Faith, but also to work every other Grace. The Gospel doth not only work the heart to believe, but it draws the heart to other gracious Exercises; when Men see the love of God in the Gospel, that draws forth love. 1 Joh. 4.19. We love him, because he loved us first. The knowledge of the Gospel makes Men fear God.—Solomon Stoddard, “That the Gospel Is the Means of Conversion,” 1717

Believers keep up and maintain their walk with God by reading of his holy word. “Search the scriptures,” says our blessed Lord, “for these are they that testify of me.” And the royal Psalmist tells us “that God’s word was a light unto his feet, and a lantern unto his paths;” and he makes it one property of a good man, “that his delight is in the law of the Lord, and that he exercises himself therein day and night.” “Give thyself to reading,” (says Paul to Timothy); “And this book of the law, (says God to Joshua) shall not go out of thy mouth.”—George Whitefield, “Walking with God,” 1751

To keep yourself away from under the motives of the gospel, by neglecting church, and neglecting your Bible, will prove fatal to your soul. . . . And now, “I beseech you, by the mercies of God, that you at this time render your body and soul, a living sacrifice to God, which is your reasonable service.” Let the truth take hold upon your conscience—throw down your rebellious weapons—give up your refuges of lies—fix your mind steadfastly upon the world of considerations that should instantly decide you to close in with the offer of reconciliation while it now lies before you. Another moment’s delay, and it may be too late forever. The Spirit of God may depart from you—the offer of life may be made no more, and this one more slighted offer of mercy may close up your account, and seal you over to all the horrors of eternal death. Hear, then, O sinner, I beseech you, and obey the word of the Lord—“Make you a new heart and a new spirit, for why will ye die?”—Charles Finney, “Sinners Bound to Change Their Own Hearts,” 1836

If it weren’t for the atoning blood you might as well rip the roofs off the churches and burn them down. They aren’t worth anything. But as long as the blood is on the mercy seat (Lev. 16:14), the sinner can return, and by no other way. There is nothing else. It stands for the redemption. You are not redeemed by silver or gold, but by the blood of Jesus Christ. Though a man says to read good books, do good deeds, live a good life and you’ll be saved, you’ll be damned. That’s what you will. All the books in the world won’t keep you out of hell without the atoning blood of Jesus Christ. It’s Jesus Christ or nothing for every sinner on God’s earth.—Billy Sunday, “Atonement,” c. 1914 

Behind all these beautiful clothes, behind these good times, in the midst of your lovely buildings and shops and pleasures, there is another life. There is something on the other side. “What shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” With all your getting and playing and good times, do not forget you have a Lord. Take Him into your hearts.—Aimee Semple MacPherson, im­­­promptu “speech in a speakeasy,” 1927

If you should ask a man the direction to New York City and he said, “Oh, just take any road you wish, they all lead there,” you would question either his sanity or his truthfulness. Somehow, we have gotten it into our minds that “all roads lead to heaven.”. . . But Jesus Christ, who journeyed from heaven to earth and back to heaven again—who knew the way better than any man who ever lived—said, “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it” (Matt. 7:13,14).—Billy Graham, “The Sin of Tolerance,” 1959

By selections

[Christian History originally published this article in Christian History Issue #143 in 2022]

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