146+ Best Vance Havner Quotes: Exclusive Selection

Vance Havner was widely recognized as one of America’s most traveled evangelists and popular Bible conference speakers. Billy Graham called Havner, “The most quoted preacher of the twentieth century.” Through reading his books, thousands were led to experience God in a new and exciting way. Inspirational Vance Havner quotes will brighten up your day and make you feel ready to take on anything.

If you’re searching for powerful quotes by influential Christians that perfectly capture what you’d like to say or just want to feel inspired yourself, browse through an amazing collection of profound Francis of Assisi quotes, amazing Francis Chan quotes and top John Calvin quotes.

Most Famous Vance Havner Quotes

The vision must be followed by the venture. It is not enough to stare up the steps – we must step up the stairs. – Vance Havner

Many people are in a rut and a rut is nothing but a grave – with both ends kicked out. – Vance Havner

Satan is not fighting churches; he is joining them. He does more harm by sowing tares than by pulling up wheat. He accomplishes more by imitation than by outright opposition. – Vance Havner

Paul was not ignorant of Satan’s devices, but we are not so wise. Among his most successful devices today are these: exalting tolerance above truth; emphasizing the head more than the heart; making size more important than sort; stressing the positive to the neglect of the negative; putting happiness above holiness; majoring on this world instead of the next. – Vance Havner

The Word of God is either absolute or obsolete. – Vance Havner

More Bibles are bought, and fewer read than any other book. – Vance Havner

Some missionaries bound for Africa were laughed at by the boat captain. ‘You’ll only die over there,’ he said. But a missionary replied, ‘Captain, we died before we started.’ – Vance Havner

Jesus Christ demands more complete allegiance than any dictator who ever lived. The difference is, He has a right to it. – Vance Havner

The thermometer of a church is its prayer meeting. – Vance Havner

A wife who is 85 percent faithful to her husband is not faithful at all. There is no such thing as part-time loyalty to Jesus Christ. – Vance Havner

When the Lord’s white sheep become dirty gray, all black sheep feel more comfortable. – Vance Havner

There are many who say they want to be victorious Christians, but few are willing to endure the discipline necessary to make one a good solider of Jesus Christ. There is a prize to possess, but before we possess it there is a price to be paid, and few will pay it. – Vance Havner

The same church members who yell like Comanche Indians at a ball game on Saturday sit like wooden Indians in church on Sunday. – Vance Havner

Too much preaching nowadays pats the back and tickles the ear but does not get under the skin. There is no conviction and therefore no conversion. I am thinking not only of the ministry of reproof and rebuke but also of the message of inspiration, of encouragement, of comfort. People go out of church at noon with the depths unstirred, the heart untouched, the conscience unpricked. – Vance Havner

Nothing is needed so much as a holy indignation against sin. It is true that there is not enough love for God, and one sign of it is that there is not enough hatred for sin. – Vance Havner

There is no devil in the first two chapters of the Bible and no devil in the last two chapters. Thank God for a book that disposes of the devil! – Vance Havner

There was a time when ministers spoke forthrightly and named things. We don’t name anything anymore. Finney had a sermon on How to Preach so as to Convert Nobody. He said ‘Preach on sin but never mention any of the sins of your congregation – that will do it.’ – Vance Havner

We need men of the cross, with the message of the cross, bearing the marks of the cross. – Vance Havner

Where are the marks of the cross in your life? Are there any points of identification with your Lord? Alas, too many Christians wear medals but carry no scars. – Vance Havner

A picture of Christ was hung in the back of a pulpit. When the minister rose to speak one Sunday morning, a little boy asked his mother, ‘Mother, who is that man who stands so we can’t see Jesus?’ – Vance Havner

If you stand on the Word, you do not stand with the world. – Vance Havner

Men love everything but righteousness and fear everything but God. – Vance Havner

Satan does some of his worst work on exhausted Christians when nerves are frayed and the mind is faint. – Vance Havner

Somehow the idea has gotten around that it is unchristian to take a stand against heresy. Some of us need to read the New Testament again. – Vance Havner

The real test of your Christianity is not how pious you look at the Lord’s table on Sunday, but how you act at the breakfast table at home. If it takes two cups of coffee to make you fit to live with, you had better go to the mourner’s bench. – Vance Havner

What our Lord said about cross-bearing and obedience is not in fine type. It is in bold print on the face of the contract. – Vance Havner

Nobody in pulpit or pew needs a revival more than a bitter-spirited fundamentalist with his dispensations right and his disposition wrong. – Vance Havner

Where God guides He provides. He is not responsible for expenses not on His schedule. He does not foot the bill when we leave His itinerary. – Vance Havner

I’m tired of hearing sin called sickness and alcoholism a disease. It is the only disease I know of that we’re spending hundreds of millions of dollars a year to spread. – Vance Havner

If I had only one sermon to preach it would be on the Lordship of Christ. When we get right on that point, we are right all down the line. God honors the exaltation of His Son. – Vance Havner

When I pastored a country church, a farmer didn’t like the sermons I preached on hell. He said, Preach about the meek and lowly Jesus. I said, that’s where I got my information about hell. – Vance Havner

Our Lord sent His disciples out as sheep among wolves; now the wolves are being invited into the sheepfold. – Vance Havner

Some ministers preach from notes and some don’t. They have argued about it for centuries. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. Two Welsh preachers were on their way to a meeting. One noticed that the other carried written outlines. ‘Ah,’ he remonstrated, ‘you cannot carry fire on paper.’ ‘True,’ replied his companion, ‘but you can use paper to start a fire!’ – Vance Havner

No man can be a Christian by knowingly and willfully taking Christ on the installment plan, as Savior now, and Lord later. – Vance Havner

Our efficiency without God’s sufficiency is only a deficiency. – Vance Havner

Let it never be forgotten that, although we may do nothing about the Word we hear, the Word will do something to us. The same sun melts ice and hardens clay, and the Word of God humbles or hardens the human heart. – Vance Havner

If you are what you’ve always been, you are not a Christian. A Christian is a new creation. – Vance Havner

I have often been reminded of the wild duck that came down on migration into a barnyard and liked it so well that he stayed there. In the fall his erstwhile companions passed overhead, and his first impulse was to rise and join them, but he had fed too well and could rise no higher than the eaves of the barn. The day came when his old fellow travelers could pass overhead without his even hearing their call. I have seen men and women who once mounted up with wings like eagles but are now content to live in the barnyard of this world. – Vance Havner

What we live is what we believe. Everything else is just so much religious talk. – Vance Havner

The preacher who is concerned with gaining a reputation, rising in his profession, is always in bondage. The itch for bigness is a dangerous thing. It has made a castaway of many a man whom God once richly blessed. A man should desire to be neither larger nor smaller than pleases God. Better than that, he should not bother at all about how large or how small but rather how faithful he shall be. – Vance Havner

God judges what we tolerate as well as what we practice. Too often we put up with things we ought to put out. – Vance Havner

The primary qualification for a missionary is not love for souls, as we so often hear, but love for Christ. – Vance Havner

We have always needed old people to keep things from going too fast and young people to keep them from going too slow. Youth has fire and age has light and we need both. – Vance Havner

Salvation is a helmet, not a nightcap. – Vance Havner

We need a dedicated minority who, like the apostles of old, are willing to be called the scum of the earth and a spectacle to the world for the scandal of the cross. – Vance Havner

There is a trend today that would put a new robe on the prodigal son while he is still feeding hogs. Some would put the ring on his finger while he still in the pigsty. Others would paint the pigsty and advocate bigger and better hog pens. – Vance Havner

Abraham did not know where he was going immediately, but he knew where he was going ultimately. He did not know the Whither but he knew the Whom. He believed God, and, being sure of his destiny, he did not worry about his destination. – Vance Havner

The temple of truth has never suffered so much from woodpeckers on the outside as from termites within. – Vance Havner

Civilization today reminds me of an ape with a blowtorch playing in a room full of dynamite. It looks like the monkeys are about to operate the zoo, and the inmates are taking over the asylum. – Vance Havner

Worse than blind leaders of the blind are bland leaders of the bland. – Vance Havner

If you can’t pray as you want to, pray as you can. God knows what you mean. – Vance Havner

Too many Christians live their Christian lives inside their heads; it never gets out through hands and feet and lips. – Vance Havner

One man with a genuine experience with God is worth more than a library full of arguments. – Vance Havner

It is not our business to make the message acceptable, but to make it available. We are not to see that they like it, but that they get it. – Vance Havner

People used to blush when they were ashamed. Now they are ashamed if they blush. Modesty has disappeared and a brazen generation with no fear of God before its eyes mocks at sin. We are so fond of being called tolerant and broadminded that we wink at sin when we ought to weep. – Vance Havner

The devil is not fighting religion. He’s too smart for that. He is producing a counterfeit Christianity, so much like the real one that good Christians are afraid to speak out against it. We are plainly told in the Scriptures that in the last days men will not endure sound doctrine and will depart from the faith and heap to themselves teachers to tickle their ears. We live in an epidemic of this itch, and popular preachers have developedear-ticklinginto a fine art. – Vance Havner

I remember when the Titanic sank in 1912, it was the ship that was supposed to be unsinkable. The only thing it ever did was sink. When it took off from England, all kinds of passengers were aboard – millionaires, celebrities, people of moderate means, and poor folks down in the steerage. But a few hours later when they put the list in the Cunard office in New York, it carried only two categories – lost and saved. Grim tragedy had leveled all distinctions. – Vance Havner

Christians, like snowflakes, are frail, but when they stick together, they can stop traffic. – Vance Havner

If you are a Christian, you are not a citizen of this world trying to get to heaven; you are a citizen of heaven making your way through this world. – Vance Havner

At the rate America is decaying morally, we shall have to change our national symbol from an eagle to a vulture. – Vance Havner

God isn’t a talent scout looking for someone who isgood enoughorstrong enough.He is looking for someone with a heart set on Him, and He will do the rest. – Vance Havner

If you see a Bible that is falling apart, it probably belongs to someone who isn’t! – Vance Havner

God is on the lookout today for a man who will be quiet enough to get a message from Him, brave enough to preach it, and honest enough to live it. – Vance Havner

If they had a social gospel in the days of the prodigal son, somebody would have given him a bed and a sandwich and he never would have gone home. – Vance Havner

Too many are willing to sit at God’s table, but not work in his field. – Vance Havner

Don’t ever come to church without coming as though it were the first time, as though it could be the best time, and as though it could be the last time. – Vance Havner

The middle of the road is a poor place to walk. It is a poor place to drive. It is a poor place to live. – Vance Havner

A preacher should have the mind of a scholar, the heart of a child, and the hide of a rhinoceros. His problem is how to toughen his hide without hardening his heart. – Vance Havner

Salt seasons, purifies, preserves. But somebody ought to remind us that salt also irritates. Real living Christianity rubs this world the wrong way. – Vance Havner

We are not going to move this world by criticism of it nor conformity to it, but by the combustion within it of lives ignited by the Spirit of God. – Vance Havner

We are fighting the greatest battle of all time with the most untrained army on earth. If strict discipline is necessary in art and athletics, how can we expect to be advanced Christians and stay in kindergarten? – Vance Havner

The tragedy of today is that the situation is desperate but the saints are not. – Vance Havner

Many people have the right aim in life, they just never get around to pulling the trigger. The vision must be followed by the venture. It is not enough to stare up the steps — we must step up the stairs. – Vance Havner

The gospel is for lifeboats, not showboats, and a man must make up his mind which boat he is going to operate. – Vance Havner

He who waits on God loses no time. – Vance Havner

The devil will let a preacher prepare a sermon if it will keep him from preparing himself. – Vance Havner

Too many church services start at eleven sharp and end at twelve dull. – Vance Havner

It is one of the ironies of the ministry that the very man who works in God’s name is often hardest put to find time for God. The parents of Jesus lost Him at church, and they were not the last ones to lose Him there. – Vance Havner

You haven’t lost anything when you know were it is. Death can hide but not divide. – Vance Havner

Sometimes your medicine bottle has on it, ”Shake well before using.” That is what God has to do with some of His people. He has to shake them well before they are ever usable. – Vance Havner

People Some people are like wheelbarrows; useful only when pushed, and very easily upset. The time to stop talking is when the other person nods his head affirmatively but says nothing. – Vance Havner

Progress is a farce because man’s head and hand have created wonders that stun the imagination, but his heart does not keep step and his morals undo all that his mind has wrought. – Vance Havner

The church is so subnormal that if it ever got back to the New Testament normal it would seem to people to be abnormal. – Vance Havner

It is only the life that is lost for Him that is found in Him. – Vance Havner

Humility is not thinking meanly of oneself, but rather it means not thinking of oneself at all. – Vance Havner

Beware of being a religious poseur, trying to live up to a dramatized version of yourself. – Vance Havner

Popularity has killed more prophets than persecution. – Vance Havner

A deep and sober concern to please God is the rarest of rarities. – Vance Havner

When a man makes alliance with the Almighty, giants look like grasshoppers. – Vance Havner

What gives the Word of God authority is simply the fact that it is the word of God! – Vance Havner

No life is great that does not point to Christ. – Vance Havner

God has a place and purpose for you, somewhere for you to be and something for you to do. You never will be happy elsewhere, nor can you please God anywhere but there. – Vance Havner

Before we can strengthen believers or win the lost, we must be converted from the self-life to the Christ-life. . .Not I, but Christ. – Vance Havner

Blessed is that Christian who can accept at the start by simple faith that which others reach only through years of questioning and reach it only then because they give up trying to analyze it and decide to accept it. – Vance Havner

Another thing I liked about my Dad at church: he did his sleeping at home. He never used the church as an adult nursery. – Vance Havner

You have not really learned a commandment until you have obeyed it. The Church suffers today from Christians who know volumes more than they practice. – Vance Havner

Every Christian is a priest, not offering a sacrifice for sins – since that has been done once and for all – but offering his person, praise, and possessions. – Vance Havner

We are the salt of the earth, mind you, not the sugar. Our ministry is to truly cleanse and not just to change the taste. – Vance Havner

Any man who takes Jesus Christ seriously becomes the target of the devil. Most church members do not give Satan enough trouble to arouse his opposition – Vance Havner

The devil’s not fighting churches today, he’s joining churches. – Vance Havner

Plenty of church members are shaky about what they believe, while not many are shaken by what they believe. – Vance Havner

There are no trivial assignments in the work of the Lord. – Vance Havner

Too many Christians are stuffing themselves with gospel blessings while millions have never had a taste. – Vance Havner

Simply wait upon Him. So, doing, we shall be directed, supplied, protected, corrected, and rewarded. – Vance Havner

There never has been a culture since this world began in which a New Testament Christian could feel at home. – Vance Havner

A revival is the church falling in love with Jesus Christ all over again. – Vance Havner

I’m tied of hearing about temperance instead of abstinence, in order to please the cocktail crowd in church congregations. – Vance Havner

We are suffering today from a species of Christianity as dry as dust, as cold as ice, as pale as a corpse, and as dead as King Tut. We are suffering not from a lack of correct heads but of consumed hearts. – Vance Havner

You always enter God’s hospital as a charity patient. You can’t pay your way. – Vance Havner

We can often do more by doing less. God is not particularly interested in quantity production. That is an American standard, not a Bible standard. – Vance Havner

One cannot help the evil thoughts that come, but it is the thoughts we cultivate that make the difference between good or evil. We don’t have to open the door to the devil and say,Make yourself at home. – Vance Havner

The devil is in constant conspiracy against a preacher who really prays, for it has been said that what a minister is in his prayer closet is what he is, no more, no less. – Vance Havner

In other days people chose a church on the basis of their doctrinal convictions. Now, lacking doctrinal convictions, they choose for social reasons. – Vance Havner

The alternative to discipline is disaster – Vance Havner

Jesus is all we have; he is all we need and all we want. We are shipwrecked on God and stranded on omnipotence! – Vance Havner

If you lack knowledge, go to school. If you lack wisdom, get on your knees. – Vance Havner

When we are weakest and most despondent, Jesus is most considerate. When there is a break in our progress or we have a spell of depression, he sees the whole of our lives and in the light of that He is longsuffering with discordant details. – Vance Havner

No nation can last long when it stops praying and takes up playing. – Vance Havner

When Christ possesses the will He keeps it fixed. The trouble comes when we take matters out of His hand and try to handle them ourselves. – Vance Havner

Christ is most concerned with the direction in which you habitually are going and not with a spasmodic eruption either good or bad. – Vance Havner

The man who sets out to live the life worthwhile-to follow his vision and speak his heart-need not look for position, honors, prosperity. – Vance Havner

Men seek fame and high places only to learn that they were happier in obscurity – Vance Havner

I can conceive of no greater, more romantic and interesting adventure than to undertake to live like Jesus in this complicated day. – Vance Havner

Most of the notable turn out to be the not-able. God’s greatest truths still belong to babes. – Vance Havner

Not everyone who has made peace with God has realized the peace of God. – Vance Havner

God’s deepest secrets often miss the wise and prudent and are revealed unto babes. We say,Children, be like your parents.Jesus said,Parents, be like your children. – Vance Havner

We justify ourselves when we should judge ourselves. If we learned humility, it might spare us the humiliation. – Vance Havner

Self, service, substance is the Divine order, and nothing counts until we give ourselves. – Vance Havner

Our Lord holds the keys to the doors of Christian service. You don’t have to chase ‘key men’ around if you know the Keeper of the keys! – Vance Havner

A soft and sheltered Christianity, afraid to be lean and lone, unwilling to face the storms and brave the heights, will end up fat and foul in the cages of conformity. – Vance Havner

I would say to today’s young minister, ‘Be not afraid to give much time to solitary walks and meditation’. – Vance Havner

It is a matter of whether one wants to get rich or be rich. We can be rich in Christ Jesus or perhaps get rich in Egypt, but we cannot do both. – Vance Havner

There is great need today for the New Testament prophet who speaks to edification, exhortation, and comfort, a strengthening, stirring and soothing ministry. – Vance Havner

We are not bearing our crosses every time we have a headache; an aspirin tablet will take care of that. What is meant is the trouble we would not have if we were not Christians. – Vance Havner

Today I am one day nearer Home than ever before. – Vance Havner

If the fire of hell is not literal, it is worse than actual fire, and if the gates of the Celestial City are not actual gold, they are far finer. – Vance Havner

Do not so contemplate eternity that you waste today. – Vance Havner

Faith has no value of its own, it has value only as it connects us with Him. It is a trick of Satan to get us occupied with examining our faith instead of resting in the Faithful One. – Vance Havner

God’s Word is its own best argument. – Vance Havner

Taking it easy is often the prelude to backsliding. Comfort precedes collapse. – Vance Havner

The early Christians condemned false doctrine in a way that sounds almost unchristian today. – Vance Havner

Too many are not willing to give the Gospel a fair trial. They are too ignorant to speak wisely but not wise enough to speak ignorantly. A man is not a sinner because he is a skeptic; he is a skeptic because he is a sinner. – Vance Havner

We need to be preaching a dynamic Gospel and living firecracker lives. – Vance Havner

Make Jesus Christ your theme! I have seen preachers espouse causes and champion movements, and when the cause died and the movement collapsed, the preacher vanished too. But the man who glories in Christ never grows stale. – Vance Havner

Revival is simply New Testament Christianity, the saints going back to normal. – Vance Havner

What we love usually manages to get into our conversation. What is down in the well of the heart will come up in the bucket of the speech. – Vance Havner

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