The Maxims of Leonard Ravenhill

http://www.scrollpublishing.com/store/Ravenhill.html

The link above is to David Bercot’s short Bio of the Evangelist Leonard Ravenhill.  We have been reading his book Why Revival Tarries at our midweek study.  Though somewhat dated and not always in line with my own theology, this work always stirs up my spiritual torpor and makes me feel uncomfortable.  I need that!

Ravenhill lived in Lindale, TX in the last years of his life.  Once a month I take a Bible Study in nearby Mineola, and have to pass through Lindale on the way.    I often think about him when I drive through that little town, as I did this past Tuesday.  Anyway, I thought I would reproduce Bercot’s list of memorable sayings of this man of God.  They are as direct as they are edifying.

He writes,

One of Leonard’s gifts was his ability to spontaneously create insightful spiritual maxims as he spoke. These were short, memorable observations about God, the church, and the world. I always took a notebook with me to these meetings to write down some of his observations and maxims. Here are some of Leonard’s spiritual insights from those meetings:

“A popular evangelist reaches your emotions. A true prophet reaches your conscience.”

“The last words of Jesus to the church (in Revelation) were ‘Repent!’”

“A true shepherd leads the way. He does not merely point the way.”

“You never have to advertise a fire. Everyone comes running when there’s a fire. Likewise, if your church is on fire, you will not have to advertise it. The community will already know it.”

“Your doctrine can be as straight as a gun barrel—and just as empty!”

“John the Baptist never performed any miracles. Yet, he was greater than any of the Old Testament prophets.”

“I doubt that more than two percent of professing Christians in the United States are truly born again.”

“Our God is a consuming fire. He consumes pride, lust, materialism, and other sin.”

“There are only two kinds of persons: those dead in sin and those dead to sin.”

[Concerning the darkness that has enveloped most of Christendom:] “When you’re sitting in a dark room, you can either sit and curse the darkness—or you can light a candle.”

“Children can tell you what Channel 7 says, but not what Matthew 7 says.”

“Some women will spend thirty minutes to an hour preparing for church externally (putting on special clothes and makeup, etc.). What would happen if we all spent the same amount of time preparing internally for church—with prayer and meditation?”

“Maturity comes from obedience, not necessarily from age.”

“What good does it do to speak in tongues on Sunday if you have been using your tongue during the week to curse and gossip?”

“Would we send our daughters off to have sex if it would benefit our country? Yet, we send our sons off to kill when we think it would benefit our country!”

“The only time you can really say that ‘Christ is all I need,’ is when Christ is all you have.”

“The Bible is either absolute, or it’s obsolete.”

“Why do we expect to be better treated in this world than Jesus was?”

“Today’s church wants to be raptured from responsibility.”

“Testimonies are wonderful. But, so often our lives don’t fit our testimonies.”

[Concerning one of the new “movements” in the church that was causing a stir among Christians:] “There’s also a stir when the circus comes to town.”

“My main ambition in life is to be on the Devil’s most wanted list.”

“You can’t develop character by reading books. You develop it from conflict.”

“When there’s something in the Bible that churches don’t like, they call it ‘legalism.’”

“We can’t serve God by proxy.”

“We must do what we can do for God, before He will give us the power to do what we can’t do.”

“There’s a difference between changing your opinion, and changing your lifestyle.”

“Our seminaries today are turning out dead men.”

“How can you pull down strongholds of Satan if you don’t even have the strength to turn off your TV?”

“Everyone recognizes that Stephen was Spirit-filled when he was performing wonders. Yet, he was just as Spirit-filled when he was being stoned to death.”

“If a Christian is not having tribulation in the world, there’s something wrong!”

[Concerning the fixation that today’s church has with numbers, with growth at any price:] “The church has paid a terrible price for statistics!”

“Any method of evangelism will work—if God is in it.”

“Church unity comes from corporate humility.”

“You can have all of your doctrines right—yet still not have the presence of God.”

“Many pastors criticize me for taking the Gospel so seriously. But do they really think that on Judgment Day, Christ will chastise me, saying, ‘Leonard, you took Me too seriously’?”

“If Jesus had preached the same message that ministers preach today, He would never have been crucified.”

“You can know a lot about the atonement, and yet receive no benefit from it.”

“If the whole church goes off into deception, that will in no way excuse us for not following Christ.”

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