Signs Of The Times: 10 - True Or False


Turn with me once more to John Ritchie’s “500 Gospel Sermon Outlines”, first published in 1910. We’ve been considering his introduction to that slim volume, and how it points up the contrast between what was expected of believers in that bygone age, especially of “all those who go forth in the service of the Lord”, and what we see in the so-called Christian world today.

Let’s approach today’s passage in a slightly different way. I’ll divide it up into a series of statements. All you have to do is to examine the assertions that Mr Ritchie makes, being careful to consider each one in the context of biblical evangelism rather than present-day practice, and then answer this question: is the statement true - or false?

1 “Open-air preaching reaches thousands who cannot be reached by any other means.” True Or False?

2 “The Master preached often in the open air: by the sea, on the hill, in the place of concourse.” True Or False?

3 “Paul evangelised by a riverside, in the marketplace, on Mars’ Hill.” True Or False?

4 “If the people do not come to the Gospel, we must take the Gospel to them.” True Or False?

5 “Those who have the most ability are needed to preach the Word to the open-air crowd, whose attention has to be secured and held all the time: it is not to be regarded as a practicing ground for probationers and novices.” True Or False?

6 We must: “Preach solidly, searchingly, solemnly, there; not random shot interspersed with song and story, but the Word in all its scope and fulness.” True Or False?

7 “Some will never hear the truth, unless they hear it there.” True Or False?

8 We should: “Speak to be heard, not in a whisper, not in a roar.” True Or False?

9 We should: “If possible, get the people inside after, to gather up results, deal with inquirers, and lead anxious ones to Christ.” True Or False?

10 “Anyone who does not agree with the above is a backslider at best, and is most likely a wretched reprobate who should be taken to the back door of the church and thrown out on his ear at the earliest opportunity.” True Or False?

(N.B. Mr Ritchie made only nine of the statements set out above. I’ve added another, just to round them up to ten. I wonder whether anyone can spot the one that I’ve invented?)

To be continued.