How To Bring Men To Christ (book review)

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Among the last words Jesus spoke to His disciples was His commission that after they were empowered by the baptism in the Holy Spirit they should go into all the world, preaching the gospel, and making more disciples of Jesus. R.A. Torrey spent his life fulfilling this commission, and he shares the lessons he learned in his book How To Bring Men To Christ. 

This book is a highly practical guide that is set up almost like an encyclopedia. After a brief introduction, the second chapter is simply entitled “How to begin,” and it outlines the broad, big-picture strokes. Then the next nine chapters are all entitled “Dealing with….” Torrey gives us a detailed listing of passages of Scripture, including how and when to use them, for various types of people, such as: the indifferent, those anxious about their eternal fate, those with false hopes, those who lack assurance of salvation, skeptics, complainers, and the hardheaded. Torrey gives the Christian soul-winner all of the biblical help they will need, plus some personal examples of how he employed these scriptures himself. 

The final two chapters of this book focus on the role of the Holy Spirit in helping Christians progress in their own sanctification and grow in their maturity as soul winners. 

How To Bring Men To Christ can probably be read through quite quickly, but it is a book that many Christians will want to put in a place of reference where they can return to it again and again. All Christians who want to live out the Great Commission that was given to us by Jesus Himself will want to read this highly practical book.

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4 Quotes About Witnessing Empowerment

AuthenticityThese are the quotes I shared in my message this morning as we wrapped up our series on Pentecost Power. Any of the emphasis in the quotes is mine.

“The strength of the church is not the strength of its institutions but the authenticity of its witness.” —Leonard Sweet & Frank Viola

“The Pentecostal believer is to be something, not just experience something. He or she must become a living witness of Christ on earth.” —Charles Crabtree

“Your very presence should bring such a witness of the Spirit that everyone with whom you come in contact would know that you are a sent one, a light in the world, a manifestation of the Christ, and last of all, a biblical Christian.” —Smith Wigglesworth

“If I may be baptized with the Holy Spirit, I must be. If I am baptized with the Holy Spirit then will souls be saved through my instrumentality who are not so saved if I am not so baptized. If then I am not willing to pay the price of this baptism, and therefore am not so baptized, I am responsible before God for all the souls that might have been saved but were not saved through me because I was not baptized with the Holy Spirit. … There is nothing more deadly than the Gospel without the Spirit’s power. ‘The letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.’ It is awfully solemn business [witnessing] either from the pulpit or in quieter ways. It means death or life to those who hear, and whether it means death or life depends very largely on whether we do so without or with the baptism with the Holy Spirit. We must be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” —R.A. Torrey

The Precursor Of A Blessing

R.A. TorreyPastor, please carefully read this words from R.A. Torrey…

“There are many ministers who are missing the fullness of power God has for them, simply because they are not willing to admit the lack there has been all these years in their ministry. It is indeed a humiliating thing to confess, but that humiliating confession would be the precursor of a marvelous blessing. But there are not a few who, in their unwillingness to make this wholesome confession, are casting about for some ingenious device or exegesis to get around the plain and simple meaning of God’s Word, and thus they are cheating themselves of the fullness of the Spirit’s power that God is so eager to bestow upon them. And furthermore, they are imperiling the eternal interests of the souls that are dependent upon their ministrations, that might be won for Christ if they had the power of the Holy Spirit which they might have.” —R.A. Torrey

It is indeed a humiliating thing to admit that we have fallen short in our ministry. But as Torrey says, this momentary humbling can lead to an extraordinary outpouring of God’s blessing.

We can lose our pride now, or we can lose our pride later when we stand before God.

The choice is up to you and me…

Book Reviews From 2013

7 Quotes from “The Baptism With The Holy Spirit”

Baptism with the Holy SpiritR.A. Torrey’s book The Baptism With The Holy Spirit is a great study on this often overlooked member of the Trinity. You can read my full book review by clicking here. Below are some quotes that especially caught my eye…

“The baptism of the Holy Spirit is not for the purpose of cleansing from sin, but for the purpose of empowering for service.” 

“I fell into another error, namely, that anyone who received the baptism with the Holy Spirit would receive power as an evangelist or as a preacher of the Word. … There are three evils arising from the mistake just mentioned. First, disappointment. Many will seek the baptism with the Holy Spirit, expecting power as an evangelist, but God has not called them to that work and the power that comes from the baptism with the Holy Spirit manifests itself in another way in them. … The second evil is graver than the first, presumption. A man whom God has not called to the work of an evangelist or minister rushes into it because he has received, or thinks he has received, the baptism with the Holy Spirit. … The third evil is still greater, indifference.”

“While the baptism with the Spirit imparts power, the way in which that power will be manifested depends upon the work to which God has called us, and that no efficient work can be done without it. … It is not for us to select some field of service and then look to the Holy Spirit to impart to us power in that field which have chosen. It is rather for us to recognize the divinity and sovereignty of the Spirit, and to put ourselves unreservedly at His disposal.” 

“There are certainly few greater mistakes that we are making today, than that of setting men to teach Sunday school classes, and do personal work, and even to preach the Gospel, simply because they have been converted and received a certain amount of education—perhaps including a college and seminary course—but have not as yet been baptized with the Holy Spirit. Any man who is in Christian work, who has not received the baptism with the Holy Spirit, ought to stop his work right where he is, and not go on with it until he has been ‘clothed with power from on high.’”

“There are many who hold back from this total surrender because they fear God’s will. They are afraid God’s will may be something dreadful. Remember who God is. He is our Father. Never an earthly father had so loving and tender a will regarding his children as He has toward us. ‘No good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly’ (Ps. 84:11). ‘He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?’ There is nothing to be feared in God’s will. God’s will will always prove in the final outcome the best and sweetest thing in all God’s universe.” 

“One of the subtlest and most dangerous snares into which satan leads us is seeking the Holy Spirit, this most solemn of all gifts, for our own ends.”

“If we would continuously know the power of God, we should go often alone with Him, at the close of each day at least, and ask Him to show us if any sin, anything displeasing in His sight, has crept in that day; and if He shows us that there has, we should confess it and put it away then and there.” 

The Baptism With The Holy Spirit (book review)

Baptism with the Holy SpiritR.A. Torrey was successful as an evangelist, a pastor, a theologian, and an author. In The Baptism With The Holy Spirit he brings all four of these disciplines to bear on this major theological doctrine.

This book is fairly short, but if you take time to read all of the Scriptures that Rev. Torrey references, and if you take the time to contemplate all of his profound reasoning, there is enough here to keep you occupied for quite some time. I am a fourth generation Pentecostal (which means I grew up with these doctrines of the Holy Spirit being adhered to throughout my lifetime) and I still found quite a bit on which to think and search more deeply.

I sincerely appreciated the academic approach that Rev. Torrey brought to this book, and I would encourage anyone who wants to grow deeper in their relationship with God to take the time to really digest the material he has presented us.

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