Henry Mahan

The most humbling and challenging thing we face in this day, the great concern of our hearts, ought to be a recovery of the gospel of God's glory! I am convinced that what men today call the gospel is not the gospel at all but is the preaching of another gospel, another Jesus, and another spirit.

Men today plead with sinners to accept Jesus; men of old pleaded with God to show mercy. "Lord, be merciful to me, a sinner." Men today boast that they have accepted Jesus. Paul said, "I obtained mercy." "Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord." Men today sing "I Choose Jesus." The Apostle wrote "Whom He foreknew, He predestinated, He called, He justified, He glorified." "I thank God," Paul said, "that from the beginning He chose you to salvation."

Congregations today are drenched with the terrors of judgment and hellfire. Men are made to fear hell and to devise ways to escape the terrors of the damned. Men of old were concerned about forgiveness of sin and being justified in the sight of God. Job 25:4 "How then can man be justified with God? Or how can he be clean that is born of a woman?" Psalm 51:10 "Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me."

There can be no true repentance before God without a knowledge of my sin and a desire to be done with it and there can be no saving faith in Christ where there is no genuine repentance. We cannot give any man a title deed to heaven to whom the Holy Spirit has not given an interest in Christ. I John 5:12 "He that hath the son hath life; he that hath not the son hath not life."

Preachers today are licensed and ordained by the church; men of old were ordained and sent by God. Preachers today go forth armed with degrees and credentials; men of old went forth anointed by the Holy Spirit. Preachers are questioned by committees and hired to preach what the church believes; men of old came preaching, "Thus saith the Lord." Preachers today give themselves to programs, visitation, church business; men of old "gave themselves to prayer and the ministry of the Word." Preachers today preach and men are persuaded to move their membership; men of old preached and "they were pricked in their hearts and cried, 'Men and brethren, what shall we do?" Preachers today pray and the organ plays softly; Elijah prayed and the fire of God fell. Preachers today are afraid that they will offend someone; Paul was afraid that he would not. If there is no offense, the cross has not been preached.

"Depths of mercy can there be
Mercy still reserved for me?
Can my God His wrath forbear
Me, the Chief of sinners, spare?"

Preachers today have made a beggar of the Lord of Lords! No, my proud religionist – you are the beggar! God is not obligated to do anything but damn you, to the eternal praise of His justice. If you keep listening to the wrong voices, your lot shall be with those before you, of whom Christ said, "I am come in my Fathers name and ye receive me not, let another come in his own name and him ye will receive."

Henry Mahan, Pastor
Thirteenth Street Baptist Church
Ashland, Ky.

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