Rolfe Barnard

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Excerpt from the sermon Casting Pearls Before Swine by Rolfe Barnard

…..Years ago I went down Wednesday night through Sunday night at the request of a friend who had a good deal of money. He said if you’ll fly down to Mississippi to a little church down there — there’s a young preacher down there, he’s a student at the Baptist college in Mississippi and he’s hungry and he needs help. I’ll pay the bill and help you if you’ll come.

So we set it up and I went down. The young preacher met me. He got off from school Thursday and Friday. Wednesday night I preached and Thursday — the young preacher was a go-getter but couldn’t be on the field much — he came and got me early. We went out and we were knockin’ on doorbells. I preached Thursday night and Friday we spent all day knockin’ on doorbells and talkin’ to people. Saturday we spent all day visiting around the community, talking to people.

Saturday night after the service was over, I’d already gone to bed. A knock came on the door of the room where I’d been entertained. “Come in,” and the young pastor came in. He was torn all to pieces and he sat down and he said, “Brother Barnard, I don’t know what to say. You’re older than I am. You’re here as my guest. I’m just a young fellow. But I’m going to ask you not to preach tomorrow. I don’t want you to preach for us any more. I just can’t stand the way you’re doing it.” And I said, “What on earth am I doing, young man, that’s hurting you so?” “Well,” he said, “Brother Barnard, in all of our visiting you’ve just talked about the gospel to one person.” “Well,” I said, “I haven’t found but one sinner.” And I hadn’t. You see, I’m forbidden to sow among thorns. I take that pretty serious. I’m forbidden to give holy things to dogs. The Lord said for me not to. I’m forbidden to cast pearls before swine. All they’ll do is trample them. It’s not that I’m so mean. It is that I do not want to ignore the plain teaching of the word of God.

I remember that we went into lots of homes. Everybody was all right. Some of ’em was going to try to come to the meetin’ one night before it closed, if it didn’t rain. You know what I’m talkin’ about. And some of ’em was aimin’ to come last night, but just as they was gettin’ ready, some folks came in, or something, you know. I just heard all the excuses. Everybody was just fine and dandy. And all I’d do in that home — this was sort of sneaky — but I’d ask if it was all right for us to have a prayer and I’d pray to them. I’d preach ’em a sermon on the holy demands of a thrice holy God. I wouldn’t invite any of ’em to come to the meeting or any thing else. I’d just leave.

But we came to one place, and after our nice little way, you know, you personal workers have been told how to be tactful — you talk about the crops for thirty minutes, then the old milk cow for ten, then the ridin’ horse for fifteen. After a while you maybe get a chance to put in a word for the Lord. We went through all the motions and directly me and the pastor got ready to go and we said, “Would it be all right if we had a word of prayer?” So he led in prayer and then when I was prayin’ I noticed the woman just a bawlin’. I quit praying — I thought the Lord would forgive me. I said, “What’s the matter with you?” And she said, “I sure wish I could be saved, but I can’t.” I said, “Why couldn’t you be saved?” She said, “I’m such a big sinner. I’ve sinned so long, there’s no hope for me.” Boy, that’s the kind of folks I like to be around. And I just wound up and I told her about the pearl of great price — the son of the living god who came to justify the ungodly. I was forbidden to tell those self-satisfied, church people. I’m not going to sow among thorns. I’d be sinning against ’em. I’d preach to them the holy claims of God’s law.

And I explained that to the young preacher. He said, “I understand.” I said, “Young man, instead of going into the homes and trying to get them to take Jesus, go into the homes and do what the scriptures say. Break up some fallow ground. Get you a big ol middlebuster and go to plowin’. Get the holy demands of a holy God. No man’ll ever receive Christ as Lord and Saviour until he’s stripped and slain and conquered by the claims of God’s holy law. And we are butchers of souls if we ignore that fundamental truth that God gives His best — and that’s Christ — to prepared hearts.”

Do you know what that boy did?……..

1 Comment

  1. Pauline

    cant wait to find out!



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