The Gospel is Sufficient
- Date: July 26, 2017
- Teacher: Pastor Star R. Scott
- Scripture: “Is any thing too hard for the LORD?” (Genesis 18:14)
- From Faith That Prevails
I was just reading the story on Moody again. He'd just come back from his London crusade. Some of the greatest revivals that Europe had known and he comes back into Chicago. He had a heart for Chicago, and you remember that's where all the kids were that he first reached. He was battling a dilemma and just before Europe he had to finally come to the conclusion that his method of evangelism wasn't biblical. He was one of those that started what he called the evangelism of bribery. All of these poor kids and he would go out and offer them things to come. Churches did that-it was very popular back in the sixties and seventies. I liked what I saw that one of the churches was doing one time to get the kids to come out. They would go door to door and said, "If you come to church this Sunday, we'll give you a kite." And so a lot of kids came out; they were excited and they were given the kite. But if they would come back the next week, they would get string.
Moody was, at times, even more extreme than that and God convicted his heart. He realized that the Gospel was sufficient. We're not ashamed of the Gospel. It is the power of God to salvation. But it takes a walk of faith to believe that the Word is sufficient. We want to manipulate things. There were many other areas of his life that he had to grow. These weren't things that the biographer was pointing out. As I was looking at some of the different things, there were things that concerned me. At one point in his life, as he was building the ministry there in Chicago, they pointed out the fact that people were really impressed and liked to come because there were no offerings taken. That's not Biblical, is it? And what concerned me was he wouldn't operate in the Biblical way of receiving offerings but he would go out and solicit rich people to pay for the church. In fact, he had a few bucks backing him when he did his first big New York crusade. J.P. Morgan and Vanderbilt. It was done through a lot of solicitation. The heart was right, and he began to come to some of these conclusions as he grew in an understanding of the Word of God. In his testimony, he talks about two of the men who influenced his life the most. They were men that sat with him and rebuked him and told him the necessity to get into the Word of God and become a better expositor of the Word. A love for the Word of God grew in his heart. He had a burning heart for souls, but he didn't have a great knowledge of the Word when his ministry began.
Living by faith, not by J.P. Morgan and Vanderbilt. And don't think by any means that I'm putting down anything D.L. Moody did, he was a phenomenal man of God. He had a childlike faith, which is what we are talking about. Some of the areas of the solicitations and these things that were not God's purest methods, but his heart was pure and he won a lot of souls. But I think we need to examine our own hearts. How many of us would be more comfortable with the J.P. Morgan backing than going like Abraham and not having any idea where we're going or what tomorrow will bring? I think Jesus said it clearly, "The Son of man has no place to lay his head." Are we going to follow Him like Matthew did? Are you willing to be able to, just in a moment, obey? Now we happen to be talking about material things and that's just one aspect of our lives. It's one that we can look at pretty easily. And here's the tragic thing: how many of you when, you first got saved, would have done it? And now that we're more spiritually mature, now that we have more knowledge of the Word of God, now that we're fuller of the Holy Ghost, we're more afraid to step out of the boat. I don't believe that's God's course for our lives. I don't believe that's Biblical sanctification, and I don't believe that's Biblical maturity.
How many of us, after all our learning, can even try to go to the Word to justify our unbelief. That's what I want to warn us about; that's a dangerous place. When you go to the Word of God to justify your unbelief, when you go to the Word of God to oppose the faith that you had as a little child, it's a dangerous thing. We're to have faith as a little child. We're to believe that our Father is the Father of lights, the giver of every good and perfect gift. We need to get away from the self-reliance, from all that we have laid up, and be able to trust in Him. Abraham went out not knowing where he was going! Verse 10 says, "For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God."