Four Things The Old Time Preachers Believed
J. Gerald Harris
I have been reading Billy Graham's autobiography, ''Just As I Am.'' In the book he tells about his conversion experience. He said in 1934, Mordecai Ham, an old-fashioned evangelist, came to Charlotte, North Carolina, to conduct a meeting - a meeting that actually lasted for 11 weeks, with preaching every morning and every night except Mondays. A 5000-seat tabernacle had been constructed for this occasion.
At first Billy Graham said that he did not want to go to these meetings because Dr. Ham was a rather controversial figure. And when at last he started going to the meetings, he signed up for the choir which sat on the platform behind the preacher. He concluded that if he was in the choir, he would be safe from Dr. Ham's accusatory stare. He was extremely uncomfortable in the services, but he simply could not stay away.
And then it happened sometime around his 16th birthday. Mordecai Ham was preaching with conviction and power. And when he gave the invitation, Billy Graham responded by giving his heart and life to Jesus Christ.
But it was the message of this old fashioned preacher that God used to touch the heart of Billy Graham and transform his life.
A newspaper reporter approached Dr. Ham on one occasion and said, ''Dr. Ham, do all your converts hold out?''
The evangelist replied, ''No.''
''Have you ever given any thought as to how you might keep them from backsliding?'' ''Yes,'' Dr. Ham answered, ''I have a sure cure.''
This excited the reporter and he hastened to get his pencil and pad to write down the cure. ''Dr. Ham, what is your cure?''
The preacher said, ''After every great revival meeting they ought to have a shooting and kill all the converts while they have their hearts right!''
Well, we know the old time preachers had some deep and some abiding convictions. And we want to consider four of these convictions tonight. I'm going to give you four simple ...
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