The Next Billy Graham Might Be Drunk Right Now

I know this is several weeks old, but it is definitely worth mentioning. I just stumbled across a great post by Russell Moore. He quotes Carl F. H. Henry and gives reasons for encouragement about the future of the kingdom of God on earth, despite the many discouragements in modern evangelicalism.

““Why, you speak as though Christianity were genetic,” he said. “Of course, there is hope for the next generation of evangelicals. But the leaders of the next generation might not be coming from the current evangelical establishment. They are probably still pagans.”

“Who knew that Saul of Tarsus was to be the great apostle to the Gentiles?” he asked us. “Who knew that God would raise up a C.S. Lewis, a Charles Colson? They were unbelievers who, once saved by the grace of God, were mighty warriors for the faith.”

Of course, the same principle applied to Henry himself. Who knew that God would raise up a newspaperman from a nominally Lutheran family to defend the Scriptures for generations of conservative evangelicals?

The next Jonathan Edwards might be the man driving in front of you with the Darwin Fish bumper decal. The next Charles Wesley might be a misogynist, profanity-spewing hip-hop artist right now. The next Billy Graham might be passed out drunk in a fraternity house right now. The next Charles Spurgeon might be making posters for a Gay Pride March right now. The next Mother Teresa might be managing an abortion clinic right now.

But the Spirit of God can turn all that around. And seems to delight to do so. The new birth doesn’t just transform lives, creating repentance and faith; it also provides new leadership to the church, and fulfills Jesus’ promise to gift his church with everything needed for her onward march through space and time (Eph. 4:8-16).

After all, while Phillip was leading the Ethiopian eunuch to Christ, Saul of Tarsus was still a murderer.”

-Dr. Russel D. Moore, 01-02-2012, full article here: http://www.russellmoore.com/2012/01/02/the-next-billy-graham-might-be-drunk-right-now/, italics added

Christ our Despot

“Every true Christian pronounces this phrase, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ with the emphasis of undeservedness. We desire that Christ Jesus should be our Lord in everything and the Lord over every part of our being….He who truly loves Jesus, and who knows that he is one of those who are redeemed by him, says with all his heart that Jesus is Lord, his absolute Sovereign, his Despot, if that word be used in the sense of Christ having unlimited monarchy an supreme sway over our soul. Yea, O ‘Jesus our Lord,’ thou shalt be the autocrat, imperial Master of our heart, and of the whole dominion of our manhood!”

-Charles Spurgeon, “Jesus our Lord,” Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit (Pasadena, TX: Pilgrim Publications, 1977), 48:558. Italics original.

Obedience Equals Piety

“Make no reserve, exercise no choice but obey his command. When you know what he commands, do not hesitate, question, or try to avoid it, but ‘do it’: do it at once, do it heartily, do it cheerfully, do it to the full. It is but a little thing that, as our Lord has bought us with the price of his own blood, we should be his servants. The apostles frequently call themselves the bond-slaves of Christ. Where our [King James] Version softly puts it ‘servant’ it really is ‘bond-slave.’ The early saints delighted to count themselves Christ’s absolute property, bought by him, owned by him, and wholly at his disposal. Paul even went as far as to rejoice that he had the marks of his Master’s brand on him, and he cries, ‘Let no man trouble me: for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.’ There was the end of all debate: he was the Lord’s, and the marks of the scourges, the rods, and the stones were the broad-arrow of the King which marked Paul’s body as property of Jesus the Lord. Now if the saints of old time gloried in obeying Christ, I pray that you and I, forgetting the sect to which we may belong, or even the nation of which we form a part, may feel that our first object in life is to obey our Lord and not to follow a human leader, or to promote a religious or political party. This one thing we mean to do, and so follow the advice of Solomon as he says, ‘Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee.’ Beloved, let us endeavor to be obedient in the minute as well as in the greater matters, for it is in details that true obedience is best seen.”

-Charles Spurgeon, Eyes Right, Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit (Pasadena, TX: Pilgrim Publications, 1981), 19:356-57.