The English Puritan Richard Baxter once wrote,
A life still near to death, did me possess
With a deep sense of time’s great preciousness.[i]
Plagued by poor health and “the frequent sight of Death’s most awful face,” Baxter was gripped by the urgency of the gospel message—and the fleeting opportunity he had to proclaim it to the lost.
Still thinking I had little time to live,
My fervent heart to win men’s souls did strive.
I preach’d, as never sure to preach again,
And as a dying man to dying men![ii]
Baxter wasn’t the only preacher who has been compelled by this keen sense of the brevity of life and the urgency of the gospel message. In South Africa, Pastor Raj also knew what it meant to preach “as a dying man to dying men.” As Raj learned how to interpret the Bible and how to teach the Scriptures expositionally, it became clear that he was a gifted preacher.
Raj came to Christ Seminary from a prosperity-gospel background, but his theology—and his preaching—began to change dramatically as he was attending the TMAI training center. As Raj learned how to interpret the Bible and how to teach the Scriptures expositionally, it became clear that he was a gifted preacher. It seemed he would have a lifetime of faithful, fruitful ministry ahead of him.
He was in his 3rd year at Christ Seminary when he found out that he had AIDS.
Even as a dying man, Raj continued to preach the life, death, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. A few years later, Christ Seminary interviewed a prospective student: Why do you want to come to Christ Seminary? “My pastor was just an amazing preacher,” the prospective student responded. “I just want to preach like Raj.”
Today, Raj has gone to be with his Lord. And that prospective student is now a graduate of Christ Seminary, preaching the same gospel faithfully and fruitfully in South Africa.
To quote Baxter again,
O my dear God! How precious is Thy love!
These are the seeds; what are the fruits above?[iii]
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If you want to help godly men make the most of the opportunity that they have to proclaim the Word of God—accurately, faithfully, and passionately—supporting The Master’s Academy International is a great way to do that. Click here for more information about our training centers around the world.
[i] Richard Baxter, The Poetical Fragments of Richard Baxter, 4th edition (London: Pickering, 1821), 34.
[ii] Ibid., 35.
[iii] Ibid., 21.