Thoughts on Preaching

Reading Ian Murray’s biography of D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, I was struck with Dr. Lloyd-Jones’ illustration of right preaching.  His firm belief was that “conviction of sin is the essential prelude to salvation”, and it is not enough to tell a man he is a sinner, we must prove it to him, point it out, make him look at it in himself.  He lamented the lack of that kind of preaching and the disastrous results in Wales in his day. Drawing from his experience as a medical doctor, he used this illustration.  I hope it helps you if you are a preacher, or if you listen to preaching:

“If a man goes to a doctor with a bad liver as the result of constant drinking of alcoholic beverages and the doctor says to him, ‘Well, of course, you are an ill man, that is to say, you are not well.  I will give you some medicine and then perhaps you will be as well as Mr. Davies round the corner’, is the man likely to get well?  Of course not, because he has not been told the cause of his trouble.   He thinks the alcohol is the one thing that keeps him going, especially when he feels faint.  The only thing to do with such a man is to tell him plainly that his troubles are all due to the drink and that if he persists in drinking there is no hope for him.  Keep on telling him until you make him think, then he will realize the truth and mend his ways.  Of course the patient will go home and say, ‘The doctor is not a sport.’ He may not be a sport but he is certainly a good doctor, an honest doctor, a doctor who does not merely wish to please his patient at the time, but to save him, whatever the patient may think of him.”

Oh that all of us preachers would stop worrying about what men think of us and start worrying about their eternal souls!