Street Preaching

Photo by Aaron Burden

The following is an excerpt from the memoirs of 19th century preacher, D. S. Warner. Quote:

“As we passed through the village of Odon (Indiana), we notified the people that we would preach the gospel on their streets the next afternoon. Not being accustomed to such services, there was quite an interest. The people began to collect some time before the hour arrived. Store-boxes, sidewalks, etc., were converted into pews, and we had one of the best hearings we ever had on the streets. God mightily help us by his Spirit to testify the gospel of his perfect salvation for an hour and thirty-eight minutes. Bless God, the truth swept all the sinnership religion into the pit, from whence it came. Though real Bible holiness had scarcely ever been preached in that place, and no holiness meetings ever held there, so far as we learned, yet every hearer, even lawyers, doctors and preachers, acknowledged the practicability of perfect salvation and preservation from all sin through Christ Jesus.

A Baptist preacher by the name of W_, who had been preaching to the people that no one can or does live without sinning in this world, and that all men sin day and night, sat convicted of his sins. He sanctioned the word and acknowledged to others that it was all truth. We saw the tears in his eyes, and hoped he would become saved and qualified to preach for Jesus, instead of for sin and the sect.

Sunday, the seventh, we held services in a grove near Shiloh Bethel, south of Odon. As the appointment was circulated only after our arrival, there was not a large turnout. The Baptist preacher sat near us, while preaching in the forenoon, and looking into his face during the discourse, our soul was pained to see that he had shut his heart against the truth and salvation of God. Instead of coming down to an equality with Christ, he chose to have a reputation among men, to indulge the lusts of the flesh and enjoy the friendship of the world. From that moment his “face gathered blackness.” During the afternoon preaching he showed every disposition to avoid listening to the gospel of God. He came to some of the meetings afterward, just as the ungodly Pharisees followed Christ, to “catch something out of his mouth.” On Wednesday evening Bro. O. Allen met and spoke to this priest of Baal, standing in a public place of the village, burning incense to the devil in gratification of the filthy lust for tobacco.” (Unquote)

There are men who stand behind a pulpit, lead a church, preach from the Bible, give the sacraments, etc., who are not spiritually born again. They do not know God and are none of His. Unless they come to faith alone in Christ alone for salvation, they are not qualified to preach for Jesus. They are unregenerate and still in their sins. These are the self proclaimed preachers who were never called by God.

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