On Sunday September 1st, we will be welcoming to First Church one of the greatest living Apostolic leaders and writers of our time, Dr. R.T. Kendall. Born in 1935 and married to Louis in 1958, R.T. brings to us a vast wealth of experience and Godly wisdom. He is the author of more than 50 books and epitomizes what it means to be a man of Word and Spirit—to be a First Church Christian. His passion for full New Testament Christianity is ours, as well!
Below is a brief letter from R.T. sharing his heart about the condition of the modern church and is just a taste of what we will hear and see and experience a week from Sunday…
Our premise is this. It seems to us that there has been a ‘silent divorce’ in the church, speaking generally, between the Word and the Spirit. When there is a divorce, some children stay with the mother, some stay with the father.
In this divorce, there are those on the ‘word’ side and those on the ‘Spirit’ side. What is the difference?
Take those of us who represent the Word. Our message is this: we must earnestly contend for the faith ‘once delivered unto the saints’ (Jude 3), we need get back to expository preaching, sound doctrine such as justification by faith, the sovereignty of God and the internal testimony of the Spirit as taught by men like Martin Luther, John Calvin and Jonathan Edwards. What is wrong with this emphasis? Nothing. It is exactly right.
Take those whose emphasis has been on the Holy Spirit. What is the message? We need to rediscover the power that was manifested in the Book of Acts, there needs to be a demonstration of signs, wonders and miracles; we need to see the gifts of the Spirit operating in the church – that the world will once again take notice of the church so that people are left without excuse. What is wrong with this emphasis? Nothing. It is exactly right.
We believe that the need of the hour is not one or the other – but both! It is our view that this simultaneous combination will result in spontaneous combustion! And then, but almost certainly only then, will the world be shaken once again by the message of the church.
This was the message I have preached over the years at Westminster Chapel in London. This is what we are endeavoring to preach in America and around the world. This is not all we preach but it is certainly one of the main things we preach alongside the need for total forgiveness and learning to be sensitive to the voice of the Holy Spirit. We need your prayers. God bless you. Thank you for taking the time to read this special letter to you!
- Dr. R.T. Kendall