Thursday, August 19, 2010

Called to Preach by Jesus

I never had a "dramatic" call to the ministry. I just felt compelled from within and surrendered to the call. I guess most people are this way. However, some Wesleyans have had dramatic experiences. Take Uncle Bud Robinson. In his book, My Life's Story, he recounts his vivid call to preach the night he was saved. It happened, of all places, under an ox wagon at a campmeeting:
During the night Jesus came under the wagon and called me to preach. I could see His beautiful face with a crown of thorns on His brow. I could see the sweat and blood mingled on His face, and the old purple robe over His shoulders. He was so real to me. I can never forget my first meeting with Jesus. He told me that He wanted me to preach His gospel while I told Him that I would go. I had no idea, that night, what it meant to be a God-called preacher of the gospel, but after forty-seven years of preaching almost day and night, living a lonely life, sometimes spending only one week at home during a whole year, I have learned that when God calls a man to preach, God really has something for him to do.
Methodist Evangelist Albert Jacobs was entirely sanctified but didn't know God's will for his life. In God's Guiding Hand he shares:
It was Thanksgiving night, the church was full. Among the number were several preachers. The one that preached was a Free Methodist. After I got through seating the people, I took a chair in front of the altar. The meeting was opened to testimony and the people were enjoying themselves, telling what the Lord had done for them. After listening a while, I joined in and began to tell them how the Lord had sanctified my soul I was pointing to the very spot at the altar when a great joy came into my soul causing me to shout and jump. I then sat down on the chair where I had been sitting previously. A deep sleep came over me so that I did not hear the sermon.

Sister C____ was sitting in front near me and they tell me she touched me on the knee saying, "Mr. Jacobs, are you sick." I made no answer. Another lady spoke to me but no answer came. Wife came to me after the sermon was over saying, "Albert, what is the matter!" I began immediately to clap my knee shouting "Glory! Glory! Glory!" While shouting I stretched out, my chair went from under me and I lay on the floor for a few minutes like a dead man. It caused a commotion. The preachers all but the Free Methodist left the church with most of the people. The lawyer with whom I was studying law said, "O, he is excited." Some of the church members asked wife if I had fainted and needed a doctor; while another was wanting to throw cold water on me and rub my hands and arms. A young man came rushing up from the back of the church saying, "Is he drunk." "Yes," said the Free Methodist preacher, "he is drunk with the new wine that came upon the disciples at the day of Pentecost."

In spite of all, they began to rub my hands. Wife told them to stand back. This was in answer to prayer and that I was in God's hands. They all went to prayer for me. I got a view of Heaven and saw Jesus standing. I was so carried away with the brightness of his face that I watched Him with amazement. The human tongue cannot express the beauties of that scene. How sweet and sympathetic Christ looked with his arm outstretched and his finger pointing in the direction of a mass of humanity struggling to get one above the other. The agonizing cries were touching to hear. It seemed they all wanted to be on top and as fast as one would get up, the others would pull him down and so on it continued. I could not understand until I heard them singing "I'll go where you want me to go dear Lord." I said "Yes Lord I will go." Then the Holy Spirit made it plain that my Heavenly Father wanted me to preach the gospel or preach Christ to the people.
Yes, Jesus is alive and still calling people to preach his gospel.