The Lord God gives His Church pastors according to His own heart, who faithfully feed His people with knowledge and understanding, thereby sustaining the light of the Gospel in purity and passing it on unchanged, from generation to generation. Those pastors faithfully preach the Word, without alteration, without addition, without subtraction, and without adornment, in simplicity and truth, with clarity and boldness, — “That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive.” (Ephesians 4:14)
Those men, being taught of God and sent of God, can say, with our Master, “My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me” (John 7:16). Their doctrine does not change from year to year, but remains the same. Someone once asked my friend, Bro. David Pledger, “How can you be so dogmatic? What if your doctrine changes?” Bro. Pledger replied, “It’s not going to change.” Surprised by that, the man asked, “How can you be sure?” To that Bro. Pledger said, “I’m not looking for anything.”
Faithful men are not looking for anything. Since they are not looking for anything to gain from any man or group of men, they are not looking for any new doctrine or any excuse to modify their doctrine. What they preached last year, you will find them preaching next year. Their message may be clearer and their assertions may be more dogmatic; but their doctrine will be unchanged.
False prophets, hireling preachers are always looking for something, looking for something to gain, looking for some advantage, and, therefore, are ready to change their doctrine to suit their pursuit. I was reminded of this sad fact last week, when I received a letter from Piedmont Baptist College in Winston-Salem, North Carolina (my alma mater). Trying to excuse a shift in doctrine, the letter asserted, “Cultural shifts and generational transitions have created a need for a re-examination of our current beliefs and practices.”
Cultural shifts and generational transitions do not have anything to do with Divine truth. The Word of God does not bend with the wind. Yet, there are many who determine their doctrine like politicians determine their positions, by holding their fingers in the air to see which way the wind is blowing.
How many preachers I have seen alter their doctrine for advantage! As often as they change their company (the preachers and religious organizations with which they associate themselves), they alter their doctrine accordingly. Sometimes the alterations are modest. Sometimes they are radical. But the motive is always evil. They are looking for some advantage, looking for something to gain. — “These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men’s persons in admiration because of advantage…who should walk after their own ungodly lusts. These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit” (Jude 16-19).
No Change Coming
We believe and preach the Gospel of God’s free and sovereign grace in Christ. Every missionary we support and every ministry we promote preaches the same message: T.U.L.I.P. — Total Depravity, Unconditional Election, Limited Atonement, Irresistible Grace, Perseverance of the Saints. I have preached these grand, old Gospel truths for forty-four years. I have preached these things in every place I have preached throughout those years. And God helping me, there will be no change tomorrow.
Divine sovereignty is the staple diet of this household. You who regularly worship here expect to hear about the absolute sovereignty of the Triune Jehovah in creation, providence and grace, in election, redemption and effectual calling every time you come into the house of God. It has been that way for thirty-two years. Nothing is going to change tomorrow.
Substitutionary satisfaction by the blood of Christ is the relentless theme of preaching in this place. We believe and delight to proclaim effectual redemption for chosen sinners by the sacrifice of God’s darling Son upon the cursed tree. That Christ who knew no sin and did no sin was made sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him is the most amazing wonder of heaven and earth! There is never a service when this wonder of grace is not preached in this house of worship. It has been that way for thirty-two years. Nothing is going to change tomorrow.
God’s omnipotent mercy in saving chosen, redeemed sinners, we relentlessly proclaim to sinners who can do nothing to save themselves. We delight to tell others and to remind one another that salvation comes to sinners by the irresistible grace and omnipotent power of God the Holy Spirit, giving life to whom He will, causing fallen sons and daughters of Adam to be made “partakers of the Divine nature” and made new creatures in Christ “created in righteousness and true holiness” by the mighty operations of His grace. In every worship service, in every Bible class, from the youngest to the oldest, our incessant theme is God’s free, sovereign, amazing grace to sinners in Christ Jesus. It has been that way for thirty-two years. Nothing is going to change tomorrow.
Don Fortner, Pastor Grace Baptist Church Danville, Kentucky from the church bulletin dated November 6, 2011