In the days of church growth and inclusivity, it can be difficult to find a church that simply preaches the Word of God faithfully, since in order to be inclusive and inviting to all, it is necessary for core convictions to take a back seat, or be thrown out of the vehicle altogether. Truth is, and always will be exclusive. So, when I discovered these pastors who didn’t water down the truth, but preached with power and conviction, it was like finding a collection of pearls amongst so many baron and unyielding oysters. So without further interruption, here’s a short list of my favorite pastors and some commentary on why I believe they’re definitely worth listening to.
Pastor of Grace Community Church, John MacArthur has been pastor of this church since he was in his early 30’s. In his time as a pastor he has preached through the entire New Testament verse by verse, a task which took several decades. These days, John takes the time to revisit key themes and passages in scripture highlighting various aspects and making them applicable to where we are today. One of the things I love about John MacArthur, is that he is not only faithful to the scriptures, and in the communicating of the gospel truth, he also talks a lot about everything else that’s not true, exposing falsehood, and demonstrating why and how these ideas are like broken cisterns that cannot hold water. It is not uncommon to hear John talk on the evils of the social justice movement, of evolution, the occult, and of false religion. And so it’s for these reasons I strongly recommend John MacArthur.
Way back in around 2015 a dear brother of mine introduced me to Paul Washer. The suggestion came about given that we were talking about the gap between the saints of old like John Bunyan, and so many pushover saints today. Then… I listened to Paul Washer. All I can say is “Wow”. A former missionary to Peru, Paul knows what it’s like to live through hard times. He certainly isn’t the kind of preacher you could easily beat in a fight, even at his current age. What I love about Paul is how he makes the simple beauty of the cross shine out. How does he do this? He speaks on two fundamental truths that have been pushed to the margins by the American church; the holiness of God, and the evilness of sin. And these two points alone make Paul Washer one of the most powerful preachers in contemporary America.
Today there’s a lot of false teaching that takes on the guise of Christianity, particularly in the Pentecostal sphere. Justin Peters occupies a unique place in the modern church in that he makes it his mission to dive deeply into these heretical ideas and show Bible believing Christians just how dangerous and deadly these false teachings, and false teachers really are. Despite not having the full use of his legs and spending life in a wheelchair, Justin is an encouraging example of what it means to have real faith in God, even when the healing doesn’t come. His teaching, and his personal struggle have been a great encouragement to me.
Joni Eareckson Tada
Although she doesn’t exactly fit the category of preacher, Joni definitely deserves to be on this list. Having broken her neck in a diving accident at seventeen, she has spent her whole life as a quadriplegic. In addition to quadriplegia, she has battled chronic pain, stage three leukemia, and in recent months, COVID. Her life has been marked with suffering, and yet it remains difficult to find anyone with such sweetness of heart than this dear lady. Her messages are brimming with heartwarming encouragement and comfort for the tormented and weary soul (and who doesn’t feel this way when battling pedophilia). Whenever I listen to her speak, I find my perspective is always set right, with my eyes fixed on Jesus. And my momentary affliction, takes on a new shade, and becomes a lot more bearable. I’m very much looking forward to meeting Joni someday, whether it be in this life or the next.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon
If you don’t know already, Charles Haddon Spurgeon is arguably one of the greatest preachers the English speaking world has ever seen (along with perhaps Johnathan Edwards). Despite being long deceased, you’ll still find dozens of his best sermons read out aloud and put up on YouTube. And, if you don’t mind language that is a little archaic, you’ll find his sermons packed full of poetic truth to inspire the soul and lift the spirit. Throughout his lifetime, Spurgeon battled with depression. Sometimes he was so depressed his friends needed to help him up into the pulpit because he didn’t have the energy to climb the stairs. And so, being a man familiar with sorrow, he is able to bring out of his storehouse the sparkling words of hope and truth and fan the smouldering heart into flame with the love of God.