Where have all the preachers gone - part 2.
America? Last night I went to hear Alistair Begg (you can too, but be quick - he's in Portsmouth this week). Alistair's a Scot; he's been in the US for going on thirty years now.
Colin Smith is another Scot - he's been in the US for probably a decade now, leaving these shores just when the quality of his ministry was beginning to be realised.
I'm not criticising either of these men - they responded to calls from God and from particular churches, and they've been much blessed. But if God had left them here, the UK would - surely - be stronger.
Not every potential leader has gone to the States, though. No - some of them have fallen morally and their ministry been destroyed in that way.
Some good men that I know have had their ministries limited to a degree either by their own health, or the health of their wives. In all the cases I'm thinking of, the men have continued to serve God and have achieved a great deal. But they may well have achieved more with the blessing of continued good health.
Some good men have died prematurely - as we say. I count Douglas MacMillan as the finest preacher I ever heard. I think it's true to say that if Lloyd-Jones had died as young, none of his greatest series would have been preached.
Who is sovereign over the move of ministers? And over health? And death? And even - in the end - over our sinful falls and failings? God is; God rules.
So - why has God decreed that it is mostly only the mediocre left untouched? (No, I don't mean you're mediocre - I said 'mostly'!) Why has he decreed a famine of the Word in this land?