Behold the Lamb of God!

A Methodist preacher in those days, when he felt that God had called him to preach, instead of hunting up a college or Biblical institute, hunted up a hardy pony of a horse, and some traveling apparatus, and with his library always at hand, namely, Bible, Hymn-Book, and Discipline, he started, and with a text that never wore out nor grew stale, he cried, “Behold the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sins of the world.” In this way he went through storms of wind, hail, snow, and rain; climbed hills and mountains, traversed valleys, plunged through swamps, swam swollen streams, lay out all night, wet weary, and hungry, held his horse by the bridle all night, or tied him to a limb, slept with his saddle blanket for a bed, his saddle or saddle bags for his pillow, and his old big coat or blanket, if he had any, for a covering. Often he slept in dirty cabins, on earthen floors, before the fire; ate roasting ears for bread, drank butter-milk for coffee, or sage tea for imperial; took, with a hearty zest, deer or bear meat, or wild turkey, for breakfast, dinner and supper, if he could get it. His text was always ready, “Behold the Lamb of God”, etc. This was old fashioned Methodist preacher fare and fortune. Under such circumstances, who among us would say,”Here am I, Lord, send me?”

The spring that sprung here the last couple of weeks is hanging on with very nice weather for this time of year in these parts. Got up into the fifties again today, mostly sunny with a nice breeze to aid drying of the mud. The writing above is from the book, “Autobiography of Peter Cartwright”, perhaps one of my favorite books of all time. Written over a hundred and fifty years ago it comes alive for me today. In the late evenings after Bible reading I like to page through and reread parts of it. If anything inspires me, this book does.

Now being like most folks, American folks anyhow, I always like the action packed parts, the huge camp meetings, the huge conversions, the fights with the drunken rowdies and all. But in reality as I read through the book I sense that the vast majority of the ministry was much less actioned packed than that. The paragraph above shows of sorts that life was not always comfortable, in fact rarely for those men that stormed hell’s gates in the great Mississippi Valley of this land. Sometimes hell’s gates are not in the place where the action is, but in the day to day mundane places of life. Meeting folks one on one as they traveled, stopping at homes and cabins every day when they could be found. One on one ministry with hurting folk. I do believe this was the reason for the huge success of the campmeetings in those days, the year’s worth of one on one ministry anywhere and everywhere.

What would it take nowadays for someone to spread the Gospel like these men did? I highly doubt that the conditions would be as bad as those preachers went through as far as the elements were concerned, but human nature hasn’t changed a lick from then until now. We have that sinful nature with us in humanity now the same as they did back then. About the only difference is the fact we have a lot more opportunity to sin easily with the abundance of wealth that we have in this country nowadays. We have a false sense of security in this society that “will” get us if we don’t hand our lives over to God. It is impossible to have one foot in the heavenly Kingdom and another in the world system. Want to dance with the world, well, that’s where a person will end up, and the world will perish!

One of the rarest things about the history of circuit riders is to read a sermon from them, at least a full sermon. Why? Because they never wrote sermons or read them! And its difficult to come across anything remotely close to one. But I do know that they took Bible verses, what I call power verses, and could preach the bark off an oak tree, for hours! The listeners would hit the ground, the power of God coming across so strong that folks would literally lose it. Many times it was recorded that there was a noise like a loud rushing wind when the Holy Ghost swept in. And this was very common. Why I wonder, why then and not now?

The answer is simple. They preached the Word. They preached it without fear of man. Nowadays they would be considered by the vast majority of the church as lunatics. They stepped on toes, allot of them. They’d point sinners out in the crowd, they’d tell it straight, never mushing it up. They didn’t worry about lawyers suing them, they had to watch out for bullets, a mob’s hanging rope, rowdies beating them to a pulp. But they had ministries that were John the Baptist ministries, fear no man, just belt out the truth.

Lord, how I want the anointing they had, I covet it! To fear no man, to spread the Word to any and all who will listen. To preach to one or to a thousand, makes no difference. To lay it on the line and never back up because someone was offended. Preaching against sin will make any preacher unpopular, let me tell you. Folks want a feel good about themselves religion where by they can feel good coming out of church and sin like hell the rest of the time, falsely believing that they have it made and can live like the world and do a one hour duty every week or so and they have the keys to heaven. But nowhere does it say that in the Bible, no where. It says, do not sin. Simple. And if you do, repent, bring it to God, get it covered by the Blood and move on.

There’s hurting people out there, hurting allot. Town or country, it makes no difference. Society is in a bankrupt tailspin. The false sense of security that decades of material prosperity instilled in most folks is crumbling. People want answers. The government wants to provide every answer but in reality just keeps digging a deeper hole that will be very difficult, if not impossible to get out of. There is only one answer and that is Jesus Christ. No matter who it offends, no matter what folks think, He is the answer, the only answer. He is the only way to eternal life. No roads lead to eternal life except His road. If it offends folks, good. They need offending! They need truth!

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Pastor Tom, I’ve said it before & I’ll say it again – when the world gets crazy & out of control … I come here. This is where I find sanity that can only come from God. Thank you Brother for staying faithful and spreading His Word.

    I just re-read a biography about B.R. Lakin … It got me all fired up again! According to the book, when Lakin got saved, he told the Lord “If you’ll save me, you’ll never hear the end of it”. He would preach Salvation everywhere he went. I want to be more like that.

    Have a great day & may the Lord bless you and enlarge your fields of harvest.

  2. Hi Lee Ann!

    Getting out of control? You bet it sure does look that way. I don’t think there’s ever been a time of more division in this country since the civil war. And there’s allot of similarities. There’s allot of similarities faith wise also with those times. Last evening at church it was taught how Universalism is on a rampage in this day and age. Interesting to note, it was back then too. It was taught that everything is OK, everyone will be going to heaven, don’t worry because anyone can live like hell and it’ll be all right, Its OK to do your thing!

    BUt of even more interest is how God raised up people to spread the Word in the midst of such nell bound untruth being promoted. Same today, I believe that God is raising up people everywhere that will not compromise, the same as those preachers back then that would power preach the Gospel and folks by the thousands would fall to the ground under the power of an Almighty God!

    Whew, I gotta get out and start working but this is interesting! This gives hope!

    God Bless!

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