To be honest, the majority of my heroes are dead men! The Puritans were truly the most profound preachers and revivalists of the last 500 years. But thankfully, God gifts the Church with prophetic preachers of the Word and of revival in the hearts of men that have powerfully shaped my own life and countless others.
Here are a handful of faithful men who have (and still do) preach with zeal and conviction:
An English Christian evangelist and author who focused on the subjects of prayer and revival, Ravenhill is best known for challenging western evangelicalism through his books and sermons to compare itself to the early Christian Church as chronicled in the Book of Acts. His uncompromising zeal for conviction of obedience and ability to make his listeners uncomfortable in their complacence is unmatched. Tozer said of Ravenhill, “To such men as this, the church owes a debt too heavy to pay.”
Brother Paul is the founder, director and missions coordinator of HeartCry Missionary Society. His sermons tend to have an evangelistic focus on the gospel and the doctrine of the assurance of salvation and predestination, and he frequently speaks against modern church practices such as the sinner’s prayer, and a focus on numerical church growth. He served as a missionary in Peru for over 10 years, and currently is an itinerant preacher around world at pastor’s conferences, churches and evangelistic meetings. In the midst of the modern fear of offending the hearer, I believe God has cleansed Washer’s lips with a burning coal so that he may speak in prophetic fashion with “great plainness of speech” (2 Cor. 3:12, KJV). And yet, even in his incredible giftedness, the air of humility is unmistakable.
A.W. Tozer was a renowned pastor from the Christian Missionary Alliance denomination, and author of well known books such as The Pursuit of God, The Knowledge of the Holy, and others. His life and ministry have impacted millions of leaders. He converted as a teenager while on his way home from work, he overheard a street preacher say, “If you don’t know how to be saved … just call on God, saying, ‘Lord, be merciful to me a sinner.” Even after becoming a well-known Christian author, Tozer signed away much of his royalties to those who were in need. “He had the ability to make his listeners face themselves in the light of what God was saying to them,” writes his biographer, James Snyder. He had little formal education, yet had the ability to hold the most educated of men and women at rapt attention. He had a single-minded devotion to Christ and the highest respect for the Scriptures
Duncan Campbell was a Scottish preacher, who is best known for being a leader in the Lewis Awakening or Hebrides Revival, a mid-20th century religious revival in the Scottish Hebrides. He preached with such boldness and won many individuals to Christ, many whom were considered challenging to reach. many revivals would take place on the Scottish Islands in large part to his fervent preaching of repentance and surrender to Christ.
David Platt came to the forefront of missional preaching as the pastor of The Church at Brook Hills in Birmingham, AL. He currently serves the president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s International Mission Board, and took the evangelical world by storm in 2010 with his New York Times bestselling book Radical. His resource ministry, Radical.net, is devoted to disseminating disciple-making resources so the Gospel can be made known to the ends of the earth. In one sermon, I remember being struck with how his voice shuddered as he stated, “My biggest fear, even now, is that I will hear Jesus’ words and walk away, content to settle for less than radical obedience to Him.” He has been instrumental in his challenge for the Western Church to break away from the perverted Americanized version of their faith.