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November 23, 2011

Profiles In The Faith: Lehman Strauss

The son of a Jewish German immigrant and a high school dropout, Lehman Strauss developed a callous heart towards religious rhetoric.  His days were filled with finding satisfaction by every standard set forth by the world, until Christmas Day of 1927, when a young lady who had faithfully invited Strauss to church purchased him a Bible and shared the gospel with him.  Strauss’ life would be changed forever.  After two years passed, he married that young girl and began a sixty-year journey of ministry with her.

When they had their first child, Strauss studied to obtain his GED and complete a college degree.  Soon, he would gain a reputation as a New Testament Scholar and teach at the Philadelphia Bible Institute.  As a resident professor, he also pastored two churches in the Philadelphia area until leaving his post at the college to become an itinerant preacher. God would open doors for Strauss to preach all over the world and broadcast a weekly radio show as well.

The longer Strauss traveled preaching the gospel, the more precise his messages became.  His heart was burdened for the unsaved, especially those that sit in church every Sunday.  To Strauss, the church was in need of a movement of God that drove people to the altar and into the Word of God.

Strauss worked diligently to help believers ‘work out their own salvation’. Through preaching or writing one of his 18 books, Strauss wanted to equip believers to do the work of evangelists while living holy lives before God.  I was able to hear him preach a sermon series at Sherwood Baptist Church that was the basis for one of his last books The Awesome Alls. His most popular works were In God’s Waiting Room: learning through Suffering, The Book of Revelation, Sense and Nonsense About Prayer, and The Prophecies of Daniel, which I think is the best commentary on the book of Daniel that I have ever read.

For Strauss, preaching and teaching the Word of God was the calling that shaped his life. There was nothing else Strauss wanted or needed but God and His Word.  The work of God in Strauss’ life, starting out as a worldly, high school dropout and being transformed into a respected Bible scholar and teacher is evidence of the power of God. Lehman Strauss desired all men to experience that power, and he was willing to surrender all of his life in order to receive that power.

 

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