Round 2 Part 1 is complete! Here are the winners of Match Ups #9 & #10…
With 78% of the votes, Spurgeon wins versus Judson.
With 67% of the votes, Bunyan wins versus Leland.
Up next are the remaining two match ups for the quarter final round: W. A. Criswell v. Lottie Moon and Adrian Rogers v. William Carey. [SPECIAL NOTE: Voting for these match ups is on a shorter schedule and will end this THURSDAY, 17 MARCH. Be sure to get your votes in now!!]
MATCH UP #11
W. A. CRISWELL
From his sermon, “Things That I Surely Know,” 5 January 1975:
For I know—I know—that my Redeemer liveth, and that He shall stand in the latter day upon the earth: And though through my skin worms destroy this body; yet in my flesh shall I see God: Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold . . .[Job 19:25-27]
That sounds like great conviction, doesn’t it? “For I know that my Redeemer liveth”; Things That I Surely Know.
There are many things that we cannot know. As our Lord was to ascend back into heaven, the apostles asked Him: “Lord, will Thou at this time restore the kingdom of Israel?” And the Lord replied: “It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath kept in His own hand” [Acts 1:6, 7].
There are things that we cannot know. When the Lord was asked the time of His return to the earth, He replied: “The Son of Man does not know. The angels in heaven do not know. Only the Father knows” [Matthew 24:36].
There are things we cannot know. The apostle Paul in the thirteenth chapter of 1 Corinthians said: “Now we see through a glass, darkly” [1 Corinthians 13:12]. Many of the great outlines are but dimly shadowed before our eyes. Some things we cannot know. God has kept them to Himself [Revelation 10:4]. But there are some things that we can know.
In the Book of Deuteronomy Moses wrote, “The secret things belong to God in heaven: but the things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children forever” [Deuteronomy 29:29]. There are some things that God has revealed to us—things that we can surely know. The whole spirit and tenor of the Bible is like that, one of great certainty and assurance.
For example, in the ninth chapter of the Gospel of John, those critics who were demeaning and belittling the blind man for his faith in Christ—[he] replied, “Whether He be a sinner or not, I do not know: but one thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see” [John 9:25].
There are many of our people whose favorite verse is Romans 8:28: “For we know that all things work together for good to them who love God.” The greatest chapter possibly in revelation is the resurrection chapter, the fifteenth of 1 Corinthians. It closes like this: “Therefore, my brethren beloved, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord; forasmuch as ye know, ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord” [1 Corinthians 15:58]. And all of us are moved by the conviction of the apostle, when in 2 Timothy 1:12 he writes: “For I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day.”
Things that I surely know. Number one: I know that the Bible, the Holy Scriptures, are the Word and the revelation of God. As the apostle wrote to his son in the ministry Timothy, in 2 Timothy 3:16: “All Scripture—every Scripture—is theopneustos, God breathed”—inspired of the Lord. “I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom; Preach the word” [2 Timothy 4:1-2]. This I know, that the Bible, the Holy Scriptures, are the Word and the revelation of God. It is through these Holy Scriptures that I come to know God.
Outside of a self-revelation of Himself, I could never know Him. I can look at the firmament forever and see in the sidereal spheres and the Milky Way that whoever made it was all-powerful, omnipotent, but what is His name? Who is He and what is He like? I could never know. I can look at a beautiful sunset or a glorious rainbow and surmise that whoever created them loved things beautiful, but what is His name, and what is He like? I could never know. I can look on the inside of my heart and find a moral sensitivity within me. And I could surmise that whoever made me is sensitive to right and wrong, but who did it? What was He like? What is His name? I could never know. It is only through a self-disclosure of the Almighty God that I could ever know Him.
It is likewise in the revelation of Jesus Christ in these holy pages that I could ever come to know Jesus, our Lord and our Savior. In secular history, there is one sentence in Suetonius, there is one sentence in Tacitus, early Roman historians, concerning Christ. The sentence is incidentally said describing the burning of Rome by Nero. The historians had to describe the Christians on whom Nero blamed the burning of the city, and that meant a sentence describing Christ. Outside of a possible interpolation, in Josephus, the Jewish historian, there is no reference to Christ in human history. I know of our Lord only through the pages of this holy Book. But here I see Him in all His glory and wonder and beauty.
[From the Criswell Sermon Library website, http://www.wacriswell.org/Search/VideoTrans.cfm/sermon/5.cfm%5D
From her letter regarding foreign missions, 15 September 1887:
In a former letter I called attention to the work of Southern Methodists women, endeavoring to use it as an incentive to stir up the women of our Southern Baptist churches to a greater zeal in the cause of missions. I have lately been reading the minutes of the ninth annual meeting of the Woman’s Board of Missions, M. E. South, and find that in the year ending in June, they raised over sixty-six thousand dollars. Their work in China alone involved the expenditure of more than thirty-four thousand dollars, besides which they have missions in Mexico, Brazil, and the Indian Territory. They have nine workers in China, with four more under appointment and two others recommended by the committee for appointment. I notice that when a candidate is appointed, straightway some conference society pledges her support in whole or in part. One lady is to be sent out by means of the liberal offer of a Nashville gentleman, to contribute six hundred dollars for traveling expenses. A gentleman in Kansas gave five thousand dollars to build a church in Shanghai in connection with woman’s work there.
The efficient officers of this Methodist Woman’s organization do their work without pay. Traveling and office expenses are allowed the President of the Board of Missions. This money is to be used at her discretion in visiting conference societies that are not able to pay her expenses. Office expenses alone are allowed the Corresponding Secretary and her assistant, and also to the Treasurer. A sum is appropriated for publications, postage, and mite boxes. The expenses for all purposes are less than seventeen hundred dollars. In a word, Southern Methodist women, in one year, have contributed to missions, clear of all expenses, nearly sixty-five thousand dollars! Doesn’t this put us Baptist women to shame? For one, I confess I am heartily ashamed.
I am convinced that one of the chief reasons our Southern Baptist women do so little is the lack of organization. Why should we not learn from these noble Methodist women, and instead of the paltry offerings we make, do something that will prove that we are really in earnest in claiming to be followers of him who, though he was rich, for our sake became poor? How do these Methodist women raise so much money? By prayer and self-denial. Note the resolution unanimously approved by the meeting above:
Resolved, That this Board recommend to the Woman’s Missionary Society to observe the week preceding Christmas as a week of prayer and self-denial. In preparation for this,
Resolved, That we agree to pray every evening for six months, dating from June 25, 1887, for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Woman’s Missionary Society and its work at home and in the foreign fields.
Need it be said, why the week before Christmas is chosen? Is not the festive season when families and friends exchange gifts in memory of The Gift laid on the altar of the world for the redemption of the human race, the most appropriate time to consecrate a portion from abounding riches and scant poverty to send forth the good tidings of great joy into all the earth?
In seeking organization we do not need to adopt plans or methods unsuitable to the views, or repugnant to the tastes of our brethren. What we want is not power, but simply combination in order to elicit the largest possible giving. Power of appointment and of disbursing funds should be left, as heretofore, in the hands of the Foreign Mission Board. Separate organization is undesirable, and would do harm; but organization in subordination to the Board is the imperative need of the hour.
Some years ago the Southern Methodist Mission in China had run down to the lowest water-mark; the rising of the tide seems to have begun with the enlisting of the women of the church in the cause of missions. The previously unexampled increase in missionary zeal and activity in the Northern Presbyterian church is attributed to the same reason the thorough awakening of the women of the church upon the subject of missions. In like manner, until the women of the Southern Baptist churches are thoroughly aroused, we shall continue to go on in our present “hand to mouth” system. We shall continue to see mission stations so poorly manned that missionaries break down from overwork, loneliness, and isolation; we shall continue to see promising mission fields unentered and old stations languishing; and we shall continue to see other denominations no richer and no better educated than ours, outstripping us in the race. I wonder how many of us really believe that ‘it is more blessed to give than to receive’? A woman who accepts that statement of our Lord Jesus Christ as a fact, and not as impractical idealism, will make giving a principle of her life. She will lay aside sacredly not less than one-tenth of her income or her earnings as the Lord’s money, which she would no more dare to touch for personal use than she would steal. How many there are among our women, alas! alas! who imagine that because Jesus paid it all, they need pay nothing, forgetting that the prime object of their salvation was that they should follow in the footsteps of Jesus Christ in bringing back a lost world to God, and so aid in bringing the answer to the petition our Lord taught his disciples: Thy kingdom come.
[From the IMB website article, “The Letter that Started It All,” http://www.imb.org/main/lottie-moon/details.asp?StoryID=11849&LanguageID=1709#.VubefNDkpM4%5D
MATCH UP #12
From his sermon, “Conquering through the Cross”:
Now, would you open the word of God to First Corinthians chapter one and we will begin our reading in verse eighteen. I don’t know of a book that’s more applicable to our lives and to modern day Christians than the book of First Corinthians and so that’s what we’re going to be studying. Today our topic is and the title of our message is Conquering through the Cross.
Now, First Corinthians chapter one, verse eighteen, “for the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness, but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. For it is written I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this world? Hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For after that in wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. For the Jew require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling block and unto the Greeks foolishness, but unto them which are called both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men and the weakness of God is stronger than men.”
Off the south coast of China some pilgrims and some harbor settlers once built a massive cathedral and this cathedral was a place where they worshiped and enjoyed worshiping until a typhoon came through and destroyed that cathedral and proved that it was stronger than the work of men’s hands. Only the front wall of that great cathedral was left standing and on that front wall was a huge bronze cross. Sir John Bowring was shipwrecked off the coast of China and despaired for his life and as he was clinging to a piece of the ship he floated closer and closer to the shore until finally he saw that cross there, that standing on the ruins of that old building. Silhouetted against the sky he saw the cross and that cross spoke to him of safety and spoke to him of security because he knew that he was nearing the shore.
Later that same man wrote:
In the cross of Christ I glory, towering o’er the wrecks of time
All the light of sacred story, gathered round its head sublime.
And I want us today just to glory in the cross a little bit.
Three things I want you to learn about the cross of Jesus Christ. First of all, the work of the cross, secondly, the word of the cross, thirdly, the way of the cross. What is the work of the cross? Look in verse eighteen again, will you please. “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness, but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.”
Now, look at that phrase “unto us which are saved.” Look at it very carefully, because, may I tell you friend, that it could be and should be translated: unto us who are being saved, unto us who are being saved. Now, that’s very important that you understand that because if you don’t understand that I don’t think you’ll really understand what Paul is saying. So, the work of the cross is this, that through the cross we are being saved.
[From a .pdf file downloaded from the LifeWay website, http://www.lifeway.com/n/Merchandised-Landing-Page/Adrian-Rogers-Legacy-Collection%5D
From his work, An Enquiry into the Obligations of Christians to Use Means for the Conversion of the Heathens:
Our Lord Jesus Christ, a little before his departure, commissioned his apostles to Go, and teach all nations; or, as another evangelist expresses it, Go into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. This commission was as extensive as possible, and laid them under obligation to disperse themselves into every country of the habitable globe, and preach to all the inhabitants, without exception, or limitation. They accordingly went forth in obedience to the command, and the power of God evidently wrought with them. Many attempts of the same kind have been made since their day, and which have been attended with various success; but the work has not been taken up, or prosecuted of late years (except by a few individuals) with that zeal and perseverance with which the primitive Christians went about it. It seems as if many thought the commission was sufficiently put in execution by what the apostles and others have done; that we have enough to do to attend to the salvation of our own countrymen; and that, if God intends the salvation of the heathen, he will some way or other bring them to the gospel, or the gospel to them. It is thus that multitudes sit at ease, and give themselves no concern about the far greater part of their fellow-sinners, who to this day, are lost in ignorance and idolatry. There seems also to be an opinion existing in the minds of some, that because the apostles were extraordinary officers and have no proper successors, and because many things which were right for them to do would be utterly unwarrantable for us, therefore it may not be immediately binding on us to execute the commission, though it was so upon them. To the consideration of such persons I would offer the following observations.
FIRST, If the command of Christ to teach all nations be restricted to the apostles, or those under the immediate inspiration of the Holy Ghost, then that of baptizing should be so too; and every denomination of Christians, except the Quakers, do wrong in baptizing with water at all.
SECONDLY, If the command of Christ to teach all nations be confined to the apostles, then all such ordinary ministers who have endeavoured to carry the gospel to the heathens, have acted without a warrant, and run before they were sent. Yea, and though God has promised the most glorious things to the heathen world by sending his gospel to them, yet whoever goes first, or indeed at all, with that message, unless he have a new and special commission from heaven, must go without any authority for so doing.
THIRDLY, If the command of Christ to teach all nations extend only to the apostles, then, doubtless, the promise of the divine presence in this work must be so limited; but this is worded in such a manner as expressly precludes such an idea. Lo, I am with you always, to the end of the world.
[From the wmcarey.edu website, http://www.wmcarey.edu/carey/enquiry/anenquiry.pdf%5D
REMEMBER: Voting for these two match ups will remain open until Mar. 17. (That’s this Thursday!!)