By Elizabeth Prata
There’s a meme going around where people post photos of the men who have been part of your spiritual journey. It’s interesting. Of course the moment I posted mine, a person came on and commented “How about following Christ, not men?” Sigh. There’s always one.
Anyway, mine went like this:
Joel Osteen, Adrian Rogers, John MacArthur. Some didn’t know who Adrian was, I posted part of his bio that he was three time President of the Southern Baptist Convention, was conservative and stood for those theological principles, his ministry was Love Worth Finding and you can still tune in and hear his sermons today, and was a four point Calvinist or sometimes confused Arminian. He had his own theological journey, lol.
Of course someone immediately came on and started crabbing about Calvinism. I replied a few times then just deleted her comments. There’s always one. Sigh.
But they represent a journey that’s apt for me. I was new to the faith. Osteen was at the height of popularity. I listened to Osteen because I loved the arc of his rhetoric, because I thought with such a large church he must be THE guy, and because his man-pleasing speeches touched me. But as I grew and opened my Bible more and more along with what he was saying I saw pretty quickly thanks to the Holy Spirit that he was far from it. I ditched Osteen.
I loved Rogers’ clear delivery and deeper theological concepts. His focus on the sovereignty of God was a balm to my increasingly sanctified soul.
Yet as I studied it became clear that God was sovereign also in salvation, that He pre-ordained whom He would choose for salvation, and once I heard MacArthur confirm what I’d been learning from my study of the Word, that was it for me. I’d found my guy.
Not to say that I wasn’t also influenced by my own pastor, or by other men. There’s Sproul and the men at Ligonier. There’s The Master’s Seminary and the men under JMac. In the discussion on my Facebook page of who we enjoy listening to, someone mentioned Martyn Lloyd-Jones. The Doctor, the man of Logic on Fire. I agreed he was a good one also. Aren’t we blessed in this day and age to have such opportunities to hear such men of God expound the word?!
When the commenter mentioned Lloyd-Jones, it reminded me of a blog post I’d published a few years ago on MLJ’s sermon series on the Eternal Decrees of God. It’s the best sermon I’ve ever heard on the “Eternal Decrees of God”, and one of the best sermons I’ve heard on any topic, ever. It is by UK preacher from the last century, Martyn Lloyd-Jones, and it’s 50 minutes long. This is the first sermon in his wonderful series, Great Biblical Doctrines. Please take a listen, I know you will be edified.
Blurb: “Scripture: The character of God’s activities; antinomy explained; the importance of understanding the harmony of the Biblical doctrines; God’s unchanging plan; the decrees of God are unconditional and sovereign; problems in understanding this doctrine; God is not unjust.“
MLJ’s other sermons are at the Martyn Lloyd-Jones Trust, here. I recommend him. Who do you enjoy listening to?