Spurgeon and Murray on Conversion

Consider these words from Charles Spurgeon, from his sermon entitled, “The Pentecostal Wind and Fire” (MTP, volume 27):

Furthermore, there was not merely this immediate confession, but as a result of the Spirit of God there was great steadfastness. “They continued steadfastly in the apostles doctrine.” We have had plenty of revivals of the human sort, and their results have been sadly disappointing. Under excitement nominal converts have been multiplied: but where are they after a little testing? I am sadly compelled to own that, so far as I can observe, there has been much sown, and very little reaped that was worth reaping, from much of that which has been called revival. Our hopes were flattering as a dream; but the apparent result has vanished like a vision of the night. But where the Spirit of God is really at work the converts stand: they are well rooted and grounded, and hence they are not carried about by every wind of doctrine, but they continue steadfast in the apostolic truth.

Consider also these words from Iain Murray:

“There is an urgent need today for the recovery of the truth about conversion. A widespread controversy on this subject would be a healthy wind to blow away a thousand lesser things [emphasis added]. A renewed fear of God would end much worldly thinking and silence a multitude of raucous services. There has been much talk of evangelism, and many hopes of revival, but Spurgeon would teach us that the need is to go back to first things” (The Old Evangelicalism: Old Truths for a New Awakening, p. 68).

Here is a question worth pondering: Why isn’t there a controversy raging over conversion? Is it because we are all agreed on what it is? Is it because we do not think that the encouragement of false conversions through unbiblical evangelism is not important? Is it because we love ease and quiet and care more about what others think of us than we do for the glory of God and the eternal welfare of souls?

Why is there no controversy over conversion?

Tom Ascol has served as a Pastor of Grace Baptist Church in Cape Coral, FL since 1986. Prior to moving to Florida he served as pastor and associate pastor of churches in Texas. He has a BS degree in sociology from Texas A&M University (1979) and has also earned the MDiv and PhD degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Ft. Worth, Texas. He has served as an adjunct professor of theology for various colleges and seminaries, including Reformed Theological Seminary, the Covenant Baptist Theological Seminary, African Christian University, Copperbelt Ministerial College, and Reformed Baptist Seminary. He has also served as Visiting Professor at the Nicole Institute for Baptist Studies at Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, Florida. Tom serves as the President of Founders Ministries and The Institute of Public Theology. He has edited the Founders Journal, a quarterly theological publication of Founders Ministries, and has written hundreds of articles for various journals and magazines. He has been a regular contributor to TableTalk, the monthly magazine of Ligonier Ministries. He has also edited and contributed to several books, including Dear Timothy: Letters on Pastoral Ministry, The Truth and Grace Memory Books for children and  Recovering the Gospel and Reformation of Churches. He is also the author of From the Protestant Reformation to the Southern Baptist ConventionTraditional Theology and the SBC and Strong and Courageous. Tom regularly preaches and lectures at various conferences throughout the United States and other countries. In addition he regularly contributes articles to the Founders website and hosts a weekly podcast called The Sword & The Trowel. He and his wife Donna have six children along with four sons-in-law and a daughter-in-law. They have sixteen grandchildren.
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