Christianity 201

May 16, 2012

Oswald J. Smith Quotations

I was blessed to spend some very spiritually formative years, from age eleven to age 21 in The Peoples Church, Toronto; the church founded by Rev. Dr. Oswald J. Smith, although when I attended the torch had already been passed to his son, Dr. Paul B. Smith.  Peoples was and still is a very missions-focused church, so it’s not surprising that many of the quotations here have to do with missions and evangelism.  Oswald Smith was turned down for missionary service because his health was considered too fragile, but in the end, he lived into his late ’90s and traveled the world as a missionary speaker.

One of the things that is most striking here is that although the quotations are short — some critics would say ‘pithy’ — they are totally focused; Oswald Smith was totally driven by his desire to see the gospel taken to the four corners of the earth. It would not be a stretch to say that Oswald’s regard for evangelization was as intentional as that of the Apostle Paul.  .

While the church you grew up in may have had its yearly highlights at Christmas or Easter, at Peoples Church, the World Missions Conference was the high point on the church calendar, and funds were raised not through cash offerings, but through a “Faith Promise Offering” system of giving whereby parishioners pledged to support missions sacrificially through regular giving over a twelve-month period.

Sadly, almost all of the dozens of books Oswald J. Smith wrote are out of print, but with today’s print-on-demand technology, it might be possible to make some of them available in the future.


God wills the evangelization of the world, and you refuse to support missions, then you are opposed to the will of God.   


Give according to your income lest God make your income according to your giving. 


So long as there is a human being who does not know Jesus Christ, I am his debtor to serve him until he does.


The church that does not evangelize will fossilize.


This last month I have felt the burden of a city. Its great sorrow has pressed in on my soul. Its vice and sin have bowed me upon my knees in tears. I cried and cried to God to have mercy on the poor fallen girls; and the burden is crushing.


We talk of the Second Coming; half the world has never heard of the first.


No one has the right to hear the gospel twice, while there remains someone who has not heard it once.


Oh, to realize that souls, precious, never dying souls, are perishing all around us, going out into the blackness of darkness and despair, eternally lost, and yet to feel no anguish, shed no tears, know no travail! How little we know of the compassion of Jesus!


Sources: Biserica, FrontierNet, SermonIndex.net, TentMaker.org, DailyChristianQuote

3 Comments »

  1. I met Dr Oswald Smith back in the early 1960s. He was guest speaker at a monthly youth rally I helped organise – the only place he spoke outside of the capitals. He made a huge impression, not only as a speaker, but as a highly intelligernt man. We drove him around the sights of the city and he didn’t stop asking questions, many of which we couldn’t answer. The temperature of the water at the beaches? I still don’t know that one.

    I bought and read many of his books and I still remember when he introduced us to the ‘watchman’ of Ezekiel 3. My favourite of his quotations, one I have used many times since is “The Church that does not evangelise will fossilise”

    Comment by meetingintheclouds — May 16, 2012 @ 11:05 pm | Reply

  2. I read Oswald J Smith book and it blessed my life

    Comment by Opeyemi Oyedokun — May 31, 2012 @ 8:14 am | Reply

  3. […] ‘gospel’ approach to it. I was fortunate enough to grow up in the church founded by Oswald J. Smith, the writer, so I got to hear this the way his own church first heard it.  My suggestion is that […]

    Pingback by Deeper and Deeper: Into the Heart of Jesus | Christianity 201 — April 9, 2014 @ 5:45 pm | Reply


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