the superficial work of many evangelists
I've been reading A.W. Pink's book, The Sovereignty of God during my bus trips to work and back home. I Read this bit on the bus this morning:
The superficial work of many of the professional evangelists of the last fifty years is largely responsible for the erroneous view now current upon the bondage of the natural man, encouraged by the laziness of those in the pew in their failure to "prove all things" (I Thess. 5:21). The average evangelical pulpit conveys the impression that it lies wholly in the power of the sinner whether or not he shall be saved. It is said that "God has done His part, now man must do his." Alas, what can a lifeless man do, and man by nature is "dead in trespasses and sins" (Eph. 2:1)! If the truth were really believed, there would be more dependence upon the Holy Spirit to come in with His miracle-working power, and less confidence in our attempts to "win men for Christ."As much as I agree with every word that Pink is saying, I still find myself relying on my preaching and my persuasive abilities for people to repent. I need to repent. It isn't that I shouldn't seek to be persuasive, it is that I shouldn't rely on that. Listen to the rest that Pink has to say:
When addressing the unsaved, preachers often draw an analogy between God's sending of the Gospel to the sinner, and a sick man in bed, with healing medicine on a table by his side: all he needs to do is to reach forth his hand and take it. But in order for this illustration to be in any wise true to the picture which Scripture gives us of the fallen and depraved sinner, the sick man in bed must be described as one who is blind (Eph. 4:18) so that he cannot see the medicine, his hand paralyzed (Rom. 5:6) so that he is unable to reach forth for it, and his heart not only devoid of all confidence in the medicine but filled with hatred against the physician himself (John 15:18).
O what superficial views of man's desperate plight are now entertained! Christ came here not to help those who are willing to help themselves, but to do for His people what they were incapable of doing for themselves: "To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house" (Isa. 42:7).