When we treat the unbeliever as our market, and the gospel as our product I’m afraid we remove the offense of the cross. For central to the meaning of the cross is this- You are not in charge; you are in trouble. God has no need to satisfy your demands, but you must satisfy His. – R.C. Sproul, Jr.
Not every preacher loses out because he went into false doctrine or had a moral breakdown. Some leave their first love in a round of church duties. Perhaps more leave it that way than in any other, for it is so deceptive: they are not aware of getting over it. They work at it harder than ever, but the harder they work, the farther they get from the thing they started out to do. The church at Ephesus was not having bingo instead of prayer-meetings. They were a fundamental, hard-working crowd, getting farther away all the time from the thing that mattered most, their love for Christ. We seem to think that the very momentum of Christian activity will keep us in spiritual trim, but it carries us away from what we started out to do and be. We Christian workers sometimes assume that just because we are in the midst of spiritual labours all the time, that will keep us warm for Christ. But nothing is more dangerous, for familiarity with the things of God, if it does not breed contempt, may breed complacency. We get over it.
Whether church or preacher or layman, we had better watch lest our hands outrun our hearts, lest we let the abounding iniquity of this age make our love wax cold. Some think it a mark of maturity to be unresponsive to revival: it is a mark of that Laodecean lukewarmness that nauseates the Lord. ~ Vance Havner
First of all, Christ needs no new inventions to glorify Him. “We have invented a new line of things,” says one. Have you? “We have discovered something very wonderful.” I daresay you have, but Christ, “the same yesterday, and today, and for ever” (Heb. 13:8 ) needs none of your inventions, discoveries, or additions to His truth. A plain Christ is forever the loveliest Christ. Dress Him up, and you have defamed Him. Bring Him out just as He is, the Christ of God, nothing else but Christ, unless you bring in His Cross, for “we preach Christ crucified” (1 Cor. 1:23); indeed, you cannot have Christ without the Cross; but preach Christ crucified, and you have given him all the glory that He desires. The Holy Spirit does not reveal in these last times any fresh laws or any novel doctrines or any new evolutions. He simply brings to mind the things that Christ Himself spoke. He brings Christ’s own things to us, and in that way glorifies Him.
– C. H. Spurgeon, Spurgeon on the Holy Spirit, p. 60-61