Spurgeon has a chapter in his book An All-Round Ministry called “The Evils of the Present Age.” I find it refreshing to read, because I realize that many of the challenges we face today are really not new.
Here’s a sample. Spurgeon recognizes that people aren’t flocking to hear the preaching of the Word, and would much rather be entertained. Yet he encourages the preacher to continue to preach faithfully despite the apparent lack of results. If you know Spurgeon, you know he’s concerned that people hear and respond. But here he reminds us that the response isn’t ultimately what makes preaching faithful.
Compared with what it used to be, it is hard to win attention to the Word of God. I used to think that we had only to preach the gospel, and the people would throng to hear it. I fear I must correct my belief under this head. If the gospel does not attract men, nothing will; I mean, nothing which can do them good. Personally, I have no reason to doubt the attractiveness of the old, old gospel; but I am assured that some of my brethren, who faithfully preach the gospel of Christ, do not find the people flocking about them…
Whatever the season may be, the farmer has still his land to till. In summer and in winter his work may vary, but his object is the same. It is the same with the servants of our Lord Jesus. Whatever others may do, we have lifted our hand unto the Lord, and we cannot go back. We are still guided by that one purpose which brought us first into the sacred ministry: we dare not look back from the plough, nor turn aside from the furrow.
How do you, at this time, look at your life’s mission? What is that mission? What are you at? I think I hear you answer, “Our chief end is to glorify God.” We do not regard it as our first business to convert sinners, nor to edify saints; but to glorify God. If we have preached God’s truth, and on any one occasion no souls have been saved thereby, we are still “unto God a sweet savour of Christ,” as well in those that perish as in those that are saved. The preaching of Jesus Christ is the burning of sweet odours before the throne of God, and to the Lord it is evermore an acceptable oblation. The sacrifice of Jesus is that which makes the world bearable to a holy God, and the preaching of that sacrifice is a savour of rest unto Him. (An All-Round Ministry)