A bit of History
Though George Whitefield has been praised as “the greatest preacher that England has ever produced,” he spent little time formally preparing sermons. In his lifetime, George Whitefield preached at least 18,000 times. He addressed perhaps 10,000,000 hearers. Whitefield was made the butt of several off-color songs and a satirical play. Yet he was honored by famous poets Charles Wesley, William Cowper, and later, John Greenleaf Whittier, who described Whitefield as “That life of pure intent / That voice of warning yet eloquent, / Of one on the errands of angels sent.” What a privilege to follow in the footsteps of a faith heroes in a Methodist church yesterday!
Let’s consider the patterns of salvation of another faith hero in apostle Paul. Scripture Reading: 1 Timothy 1:12-17 – “And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry, although I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man; but I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. And the grace of our Lord was exceedingly abundant, with faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief. However, for this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all longsuffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life. Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.”
Here are some patterns in Paul’s life that led to his salvation – use it to reap the great harvest of souls in these last days:
1 Timothy 1:13 – Paul said that he was ignorant and lacked faith – unbelief. We need to preach so that people can receive faith, to call on the name of the Lord and be saved.
People speak evil of what they don’t know, our culture is full of blasphemy. Walk in the fear of the Lord and that reverence will be evident in your life and help you reap your harvest. Matthew 12:31 – “Therefore I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men. Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come.
Most people mock other Christians before they get saved themselves. If they mocked Jesus and His disciples, the early church, remember: “Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also.”