Now, don’t get me wrong. I don’t agree with everything he ever said or wrote. But, I do believe almost all of his outlined sermons should be required reading for any preacher who wants to save souls for the Lord and increase the strength of the church.
Nichols wrote in one of his outlines, “Are we doing a wheelbarrow’s business for the Lord when we could be doing a freight trains’?” That question is so, so right and relevant, isn’t it?
God placed us on this world with everything we’d ever need to do his will. He has given us the wonderful gospel to use to tell others of the life, death, burial and resurrection of our Lord, the beginnings of the church and practical assistance on how to live the Christian life. Someone once wrote, “Life doesn’t come with an owners’ manual.” I disagree. It comes with a very good one: God’s word in the New Testament is the best possible manual for how to live and please our maker.
He has also given us ability and ways to do this work. There are well-known methods of mass communication, which most churches either ignore or will not use, to preach the gospel. In this century, we’ve been given methods of communication people in the apostles’ day could not even dream of. We have television, radio, newspapers, and direct mail, just to name a few. But are we doing a wheelbarrow’s business for the Lord, or a freight trains’?
What’s keeping us from major growth in the church? In most instances, the only thing keeping us from doing a freight trains’ business for the Master is our own lack of faith and vision. The apostles took the gospel to entire known world in their day by word-of-mouth and on foot (Colossians 1:23). Have we done the same throughout the entire world? We certainly have the ability to complete the task.
Perhaps the words of the Apostle Paul, who wrote, “How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” (Romans 10:14-15 ESV). How are they to preach unless they are sent?
It is truly sad there are preachers willing to go preach in countries in which the name of Christ has never been heard, but they can’t go because of an “economic downturn.” How many congregations of the Lord’s church have disappointed missionaries because they believe they just don’t have the money to send them to preach? Do we not have faith enough to borrow the money if needed to finance the preaching of the word. Shall we go to the judgment seat of Christ and say, “Well, Lord, we would have obeyed you, but you never know when the roof might have to be fixed, so we kept that money in the bank instead of using it to preach your word.”
Do we really want to do that? Are we running a wheelbarrow’s business when we could be doing a freight trains’?