The Best Way to Preach Sinners to Christ

I read the following this morning from Spurgeon’s Lectures to My Students, book 2, chapter 10, “On Conversion as Our Aim” —

If we are intensely anxious to have souls saved we must not only preach the truths which are likely to lead up to this end, but we must use modes of handling those truths which are likely to conduce thereto. Do you enquire, what are they? First, you must do a great deal by way of instruction. Sinners are not saved in darkness but from it; “that the soul be without knowledge, it is not good.” Men must be taught concerning themselves, their sin, and their fall; their Saviour, redemption, regeneration, and so on. Many awakened souls would gladly accept God’s way of salvation if they did but know it; they are akin to those of whom the apostle said, ‘And now, brethren, I wot that through ignorance ye did it.” If you will instruct them God will save them: is it not written, “the entrance of thy word giveth light”? If the Holy Spirit blesses your teaching, they will see how wrong they have been, and they will be led to repentance and faith. I do not believe in that preaching which lies mainly in shouting, “Believe! believe! believe!” In common justice you are bound to tell the poor people what they are to believe. There must be instruction, otherwise the exhortation to believe is manifestly ridiculous, and must in practice be abortive. I fear that some of our orthodox brethren have been prejudiced against the free invitations of the gospel by hearing the raw, undigested harangues of revivalist speakers whose heads are loosely put together. The best way to preach sinners to Christ is to preach Christ to sinners. Exhortations, entreaties, and beseechings, if not accompanied with sound instruction, are like firing off powder without shot. You may shout, and weep, and plead, but you cannot lead men to believe what they have not heard, nor to receive a truth which has never been set before them. “Because the preacher was wise, he still taught the people knowledge.”

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