I enjoy reading David Cloud’s materials. I find him to be very passionate about his love for Jesus and the Scriptures, and I like that he doesn’t mind stepping on some toes here and there. As I test what he says against the Scriptures, I really believe he exegetes the Bible very well.
Recently, in an article he wrote, he addressed some of the characteristics of what he calls “Quick Prayerism.” He said the following in an excerpt from that article:
Plowing the soil was traded for a quick salesmanship program.
Another thing that happened in the 1970s to corrupt the practice of evangelism was that the biblical concept of plowing the soil of the sinner’s heart with the Law to prepare it for salvation [was traded] for a quick salesmanship program.
When we refer to plowing the soil, we refer to sowing the seed of the gospel, carefully explaining it, using the Law to show the sinner his plight, praying over it, and patiently waiting for the fruit that comes only by God’s Spirit.
The Law of Moses was given to show man his fallen condition and to lead him to the Saviour (Ga. 3:24-25).
In Romans 1-3, we see Paul’s use of the Law in this manner. He spends nearly two full chapters exposing man’s fallen condition and God’s righteous judgment upon all men before he mentions anything about the grace of God in Christ’s atonement.
This is the true “Romans Road”! It is careful to get the sinner totally and thoroughly lost before it tries to get him saved.
We think of those who were saved on the day of Pentecost. Three thousand were saved that day, but they were Jews who were steeped in the Law of God! They knew about the one holy Creator God; they knew about the fall, about sin and righteousness; they knew about the necessity of an atonement; they knew the prophecies. The Law had prepared them to understand the gospel.
The “old” Baptists believed in plowing the soil with the Law to cause the sinner to see himself as exceedingly sinful and undone. We have seen how that J. Frank Norris preached a full week on hell before giving a salvation invitation, and Harold Sighter preached 25 messages in a row on the wrath of God.
But this careful, patient preparation is done away with in the “Quick Prayerism” program.
David Cloud’s article critiques the mindset of “quick prayerism” and how it has seeped into Independent Baptist Churches. And, of course, this unbiblical approach to conversion is in almost every church now.
Remember to take your time with lost people. Plow the soil. Show them they are sinners who have broken God’s laws. Help them with biblical answers to their unique questions. And, when they are ready, they will prayerfully be prepared to repent and believe.
The sower soweth the word.
1 Corinthians 3:7-9
So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.
Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour.
For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.
As we say here at the ministry, “Get them lost before you get them saved.” Always remember that we are looking for a biblical salvation and not a “quick salvation.” Sometimes they are the same, but many times they are not.
Until the Nets are Full,
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