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Encouragement for “Faithful Nobodies”

It would be easy to be a little disheartened as we marvel at what God did in and through this great man, in view of our own seeming insignificance and the difficulties of our own day. Most of us will never be great ourselves and the next generation will not reprint our sermons or pore over our journals (or blogs!) with keen interest. We may never see the reformation and revival of our churches for which we all long. With his characteristic overstatement, Dr. Lloyd-Jones outlines the things people did for the gospel and wrote to defend it prior to the Great Awakening and then concludes rather dismissively, ‘but they were of no avail whatsoever,’ until the Revival came. I may be pedantic, but this cannot quite be true, can it? Whitefield himself urges us (Sermon 57) not to despise the day of small things. There are several clergymen in Whitefield’s paternal pedigree chart going back four generations, with combined ministries in the Church of England amounting to around three hundred years. Perhaps we, like these several generations of unsung, un-noticed Revds. Whitefield, are part of God’s plan to nurture godly families, sustain gospel ministry in obscure places, and prepare the ground for greater things to come. But if not, the faithful nobodies who seem to make little impact may indeed still be just as pleasing to God as the barnstormers who capture the headlines and make the most waves. As long as the gospel remains the power of God for salvation, such people are not wasting their time in the harvest field and may avail much for God and his kingdom. May we never forget this, even as we praise God for what he accomplished in the days of George Whitefield (1714–1770).

—Lee Gatiss, The Sermons of George Whitefield (Crossway, 2012), 42–43.

Posted 2018·10·26 by David Kjos
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Posted in: George Whitefield · Martyn Lloyd-Jones · The Sermons of George Whitefield

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