Saturday, February 2, 2008

What kind of creature are you?

I am posting a portion of a comment that was sent to me by Jessie. You can read the complete comment on the post of January 28.
Jessie had sent me a copy of a message she sent to Ray Comfort, so she is talking to Ray here...

"We were listening to a speech of yours when you were talking about someone trying to sell their house and just weren't sure why it wasn't selling. You noticed an idol disguised as a lamp and you went back and told them about it. Once they got rid of the idol, their house sold instantly. (This job is very important as we've been married for 8 months and have no insurance whatsoever (thank the Lord nothing serious has happened)).

Well, I paused this point (we were listening to it together) and asked my husband to think about whether or not we had idols (or something else bad) in our home. Then we looked at the walls. Our room used to be our gaming room, and my boss would give me posters from work (I work at a video game store), and I would put them up on the wall to show that it was a game room. I was a horrible person for not even thinking about the content of the stuff I was putting on the wall (it was violent, demonic, and anything else horrible you could think of). Well, we took them all down, and threw them away. We're getting rid of anything we can think of that has any kind of ungodly message in it.

This was two days ago that we took it down.

I just got a call from my husband saying that he spent the morning in prayer about the job and then decided to check his voice mail. There was a call from the company (it's a huge corporation in Michigan called Dow) setting him up for his second interview on Tuesday! All he has to do is pass the interview and he will be into the company! Insurance (just $50 a month) for us will be instant, he'll get a big raise, and he'll have a 401k plan. :) The call was dated the morning after I took everything down."

I think Jessie raises a very good point that is often overlooked by many Christians today (and many who "claim" to be Christian). It has gotten me to start thinking at a deeper level about "what do I have that needs to leave?" At first glance, I see nothing that I would consider to be bad (in and of itself), but what does God see? That is the question that the Truth will expose (I think of the scene with Jack Nicholson where he says, "You can't handle the truth!") Can you or I, handle the truth that we may have something in our house, in our wallets (or purses if you are a girl) that is not honoring God? No, at first glance, I see nothing. But then God laid in on my heart that I was forgetting something. I have several huge plastic containers in my son's basement. Inside one of those containers is two framed pictures. I have had these for a very long time (does the 70's ring a bell with anyone?). I have the famous picture of Farrah Fawcett in her red swim suit. It was on posters everywhere when I was a teenager and I have that picture framed. Another picture is a famous picture that originally came out in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition back in the late 70's of Cheryl Tiegs in her white fishnet swimsuit. Of course that picture was framed too. I have not seen those pictures in a long time, but at the same time, they are not good pictures to keep. When I go over to my son's house to babysit today, those pictures are going to be thrown away! (thanks Jessie for your comments!)

Maybe you think there is nothing wrong with having those kinds of pictures in your house (I can think of at least two past commenter's on here who would probably argue that it is okay. One of them is a pastor who likes to create satanic filled comments on blogs, and the other one is a single man who also has a dark side to him), but anything that keeps us from being truly devoted followers of God can be considered an idol. Pictures like those, can and will create lust in the heart and mind of the viewer.
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Phil 4:8
Pictures like these have no virtue in them, they are not pure, so if you have pictures on your walls or hidden away in a closet somewhere, you need to cast them aside and put them out with the trash.
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 2 Cor 5:17
Now we don't want to just think that all we have to do is throw away those "things" laying around the house that are idols. That is what we should do, I just want to take it one step further...
Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. James 4:8
Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near [me] with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men: Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvellous work among this people, [even] a marvellous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise [men] shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent [men] shall be hid. Woe unto them that seek deep to hide their counsel from the LORD, and their works are in the dark, and they say, Who seeth us? and who knoweth us? Isaiah 29:13-15
And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood. Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil; Isaiah 1:15-16
Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Psalm 51:10
Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by [his] fruit. Matthew 12:33
Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. 2 Corinthians 7:1
A double minded man [is] unstable in all his ways. James 1:8
So while we have "things" that are bad for us, there might be a need to do a deeper search.
Within our minds and within our hearts.
Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates? 2 Corinthians 13:5
I have seen people who love to argue just for the sake of argument. They come on here or other sites and just try to pick fights (all in the name of love??)
Doing the right thing will usually cause problems with people who are of the world. The world wants you to look the other way at injustice and they want you to tolerate all people and causes. I refuse to do that. Jesus is love, most definitely! But he also overthrew the money changers in the temple, he also rebuked the pharisee's. I can just see what it would have been like had certain commenter's lived during the days Jesus walked on earth. They would probably tell Him, that He is not being loving enough to the sinners. That it is wrong for Him to tell them they need to change their ways.

If we are truly a new creature in Christ Jesus, then our hearts will do the right thing every time! We will not shirk our responsibilities to report that which is wrong. Some people think it is "shady" to do the right thing. And they call themself a Christian? I see warning signs in their comments that suggest they are not truly saved. I see other pastor's who are quick to be sarcastic (which is humor, usually filled with anger). I used to be like that too, back when I was a pastor and was not saved! We are to examine ourself to see that we are indeed in the faith. We need to clean out the junk in our minds, the lustful thoughts, the anger, the hatred, the covetousness. All of it needs to go. We are to strive for righteousness. To be right with God. To do the right thing! We are to clean out our hearts. Those things that we hold so dear and are not willing to let go of. We love our job, we love our car, we love our money. I was listening to Rick Warren last night on several videos. In each one he spent 95 percent of his time talking about himself. He says that God loves you for being you. He said it is in the Bible that God smiles when you are you. Really? It is in the Bible. He obviously has a Bible not written by God. We are wretched sinners and when we are being who we are, we are sinning. God does not smile at that! Warren goes on to say that the reason we are here is to make the world a better place. Really? What does God's Word really say?
Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters. Rev 14:7
for it is God which worketh in you both to will and to work, for his good pleasure. Philippians 2:13
We are here to give God glory and for His good pleasure. It is not by us just being us that He smiles. If you do not repent of your sins, you are still going to hell. Angels don't smile when you make a decision to come to Christ. No, Angels rejoice over a sinner who repents! That is when God gets the glory, not when you do good things for people. The glory goes to God when you become a new creature and have put off your old self. Just saying a sinner's prayer (show me where it says in the Bible that if you say the sinner's prayer, that you are saved! It's not there!)

Judge me, O LORD; for I have walked in mine integrity: I have trusted also in the LORD; [therefore] I shall not slide.
Examine me, O LORD, and prove me; try my reins and my heart.
For thy lovingkindness [is] before mine eyes: and I have walked in thy truth.
I have not sat with vain persons, neither will I go in with dissemblers.
I have hated the congregation of evil doers; and will not sit with the wicked.
I will wash mine hands in innocency: so will I compass thine altar, O LORD:
That I may publish with the voice of thanksgiving, and tell of all thy wondrous works.
LORD, I have loved the habitation of thy house, and the place where thine honour dwelleth.
Gather not my soul with sinners, nor my life with bloody men:
In whose hands [is] mischief, and their right hand is full of bribes.
But as for me, I will walk in mine integrity: redeem me, and be merciful unto me.
My foot standeth in an even place: in the congregations will I bless the LORD. Psalm 26:1-12




What do you need to do today to change?
You must repent of your sins and put your faith and trust in Jesus alone to save you.
see what Jesus says about it here

Don't forget to submit your thoughts on the Synagogue of Satan in my previous post.



62 comments:

pastorbrianculver said...

hey Jeff G, if you come on here, would you do me a favor and send me an email. There is something I would like to ask you. Thanks!

Coram Deo said...

pastorbrianculver said: I was listening to Rick Warren last night on several videos. In each one he spent 95 percent of his time talking about himself. He says that God loves you for being you. He said it is in the Bible that God smiles when you are you. Really? It is in the Bible. He obviously has a Bible not written by God.

I blogged on this very subject yesterday.

Rick Warren: False Prophet

LIAR!

APOSTATE!!

DECEIVER!!!

ANTI-CHRIST!!!!

ANATHEMA!!!!!

The dark depths in which "Pastor" Rick is willing to plumb in his unbiblical, demonically inspired, UNITY AT ALL COSTS madness is simply breathtaking.

From a biblical perspective Warren's little talk in the clip below constitutes true "hate speech"!

Friends, it's not kindness or love to tell someone who is deathly ill and in desperate need of strong medicine and immediate surgery that they're doing just fine! On the contrary, it's the worst kind of HATE!

It's not God honoring to tell an audience of unbelievers that God is cheering them on in their carnal, fleshly pursuits - whatever those may be!

The shameless charlatan Rick Warren is completely shot through with a man-centered non-gospel that utterly fails to even confront unrepentant men with their sin and trespass! This is an affront and an offense to the Infinite Creator and Judge of the universe and constitutes a complete rejection of the Great Commission!

Why would Rick Warren - who professes to be an EVANGELICAL CHRISTIAN - have spoon fed those poor people with lies from the pit of hell? Why would he have FAILED TO TELL THE TRUTH and choose instead to send them away feeling good about themselves and essentially telling them that "God loves you just the way you are!" Sadly the heinous arch-fiend Rick Warren withholds the offensive truth of the gospel and hides the foolishness of the preaching of the cross out of a FEAR OF MAN. By his words and actions Rick Warren makes it abundantly clear that he cherishes his reputation, his job, his adoring media coverage, his fawning hangers-on, sycophants, yes-men, hirelings and the chiefest seats at sumptuous banquets MORE THAN he cherishes the Lord Jesus Christ and His singular truth as contained uniquely in the Holy Bible. This is no light matter!

Rick Warren has counted the cost and has sided with the world, the lust of the flesh, and the praise of men.

Oh that someone might tell Rick Warren and the followers of Warrenism that friendship with the world is enmity with God!

Oh that someone might pull Rick Warren and the followers of Warrenism back from the precipice upon which they dance, teetering on the brink of eternal damnation and hell fire!

Oh that someone might snatch Rick Warren and the followers of Warrenism from the flames of hell that are even now licking at their soiled and filthy feet!

Watch the clip and hear the hiss for yourself: "Yea, hath God said?"

speaking_as said...

It has gotten me to start thinking at a deeper level about "what do I have that needs to leave?" At first glance, I see nothing that I would consider to be bad (in and of itself), but what does God see?

Excellent point, Brian. I think this is why it is so easy to leave ourselves open for invitation to sin! You can have things like that you haven't even thought about for years sometimes that will haunt you.
Now I'm not a 70's guy, old timer (HA HA, just joking sir!) however, I came of age in the early 1980's, and am now incredibly ashamed to admit that I had a large black and white poster of the pop singer Madonna that travelled with me from dormitory room to apartment to my first house. I threw it (and all of her (and all my other)) albums away years ago, but I am ashamed to admit that I was once living in such debauchery.

Nator said...

I wonder if you would say that God is blessing this couple because they are getting rid of their pictures? If so, what about all the other christians who don't have those things in their houses and don't get raises or new job offers? Just wondering.

Doorman-Priest said...

Nator, I tend to think that this might have been specific to that couple. What was it about the rich young ruler that was specific to him as the cost of discipleship?

Nevertheless an occasional audit of what truly gets in the way of my discipleship can't be a bad thing.

I shan't be getting rid of my Buddah for instance. I don't idolise it and while I am deeply respectful of the wisdom of other faiths and will apply them where they support the teaching of Jesus, that's all it is.

Is that the sound of Pastor Brian taking a sharp intake of breath?

Jessie said...

Nator,

Hi, I'm half of the "couple" you were talking about. I just wanted to clarify since I wrote the comment that I didn't mean that at all (the fact that God blessed us JUST because we took our idols down). No one deserves God's blessings and grace, but He gives willfully. Let me go listen to Ray Comfort's speech where he quotes the verse because I cannot find it right now. I will recomment back tonight. It makes more sense when the verse is in there. In the example Ray Comfort was giving, this couple had been trying to sell their house for a while, and they were beginning to think that God did not want them to sell it. Then Ray saw an idol (maybe Buddha or something) disguised as a lamp. He read this particular verse to the person, then left. The wife got up the next morning and threw it away. The house sold that night. It just encouraged me to look around to see if there were things in our lives that were idols. Video games were huge because I work at a store that promotes them (I'm finding a new job) and I played them so I could sell more product for the store if I knew more about them. Then I hung the content on the walls of our bedroom. The comment was trying to encourage Ray that he is doing a great thing for the Lord in his ministry. I posted it among a ton of negative atheistic/evolutionist comments trying to encourage him and maybe others, too. I also posted it on this blog to show how God answered a huge prayer of ours, and how it wasn't coincidental that it was the day after I took down the posters that he got the call.

Brian,

Thanks for using my comment!!! I didn't even notice this post before the Bible Study one or I would've commented earlier! Perhaps you can add the verse mentioned above??

I didn't get a chance to check your posts yesterday as we went to my parent's house to watch the Super Bowl. But thanks again! I feel special. I hope it is encouraging to some people.

Nator said...

I am glad that the house sold and that the job offer came through, but I worry about people saying that God is blessing them because they did something. I know a very conservative Christian couple who have been trying to sell their house for 9 months. People tried to get them to put a statue of a saint in their yard so the house would sell, but they wouldn't do it. Their house is still for sale even though he is working in a different state and they have been seperated. I don't think that God wants that.

I just don't want people to think that God gives us stuff or blesses us because we do something. If that were the case then the houses down the street of the non-Christian wouldn't have sold at a higer price. And for that matter, the non-believers running multi-million dollar companies making millions of dollars wouldn't be. It would be the Christians in those positions instead.

Just something to think about.

Tim Brown said...

*I am deeply respectful of the wisdom of other faiths and will apply them where they support the teaching of Jesus*

So, when did Jesus ever need the support of other faiths?

Doorman-Priest said...

Tim, nobody likes a smart arse.

Other faiths still have things to teach us even if they are imperfect. Of course Jesus doesn't "need" their support, and thats neither what I said nor intended to imply, but if we don't know what other faiths say then our witness to them is limited - and that includes being able to acknowledge the common ground as well as the key differences.

I tend to find that starting out in interfaith discussions with something positive wins me more time through the grace of the Holy Spirit than if I start out slagging them off.

Tim Brown said...

*Of course Jesus doesn't "need" their support, and thats neither what I said nor intended to imply,*

Good, I was hoping I misunderstood you.

As far as "Other faiths having something to teach us", I would be curious to know what you think, if anything, the Bible left out? Again, in the sphere of western Christianity, that statement sounds rather Emergent.

We present the Gospel to the lost, it matters not what they already believe. We present the law which convicts of sin, righteousness and judgment. And we preach repentance from sin and preach trust in Christ alone by faith alone.

I don't need to know what every one else believes in order to do that, it has no effect on the message. But you know that.

"Interfaith Dialogs" may be interesting. I'm not totally ignorant of what other faiths teach, I've studied many of them. But I have found that God's Word isn't limited by my knowledge of other faiths no matter how much or little I know.

I ask these questions not to be, in your words, a "smart arse", but because certain signals go off, legitimately or not.

I'm sure you appreciate that.

Jeff Greathouse said...

Tim, you wrote:

I don't need to know what every one else believes in order to do that, it has no effect on the message. But you know that.

I think that Paul and you would not get along too well. It seems to me that when he was on his missionary journey's, that he engaged them at their culture and their view points and then brought them to the one True God and the message of Jesus which was radically different than their "gods"

Jessie said...

Hey,

About that little girl on MySpace, did you ask the parents to go to the national sex offender registry? Because they might be surprised to see how many "registered" sex offenders there are in their area. I just looked (Ray posted a blog about adultery and how sex offenses start with thoughts first) and decided to look around. Within 1 mile of my house and work (it covers about a 2 mile radius) there are 71 REGISTERED sex offenders. That's just registered... scary thought....

Doorman-Priest said...

Tim, not at all emergent but probably post modern. Certainly beyond liberal and into radical, but still Christian by any definition you would probably use.

By interfaith dialogue I mean sharing my faith, not a cosy little chat, but it has to involve listening too or it becomes a dialogue of the deaf.

In terms of listening to other faiths it isn't what the Bible "left out", it is the areas of common belief and understanding which are the keys to the start of respectful and hopefully effective dialogue. The Holy Spirit leads from then on. This is missio Dei - seeing where god is at work and following HIM: not initiating on my own behalf but following HIS lead and joining in. I don't stand on street corners waving my Bible - I put on my dog-collar and do late night street chaplaincy in my high visability vest.

In terms of my own context, this Post Modern application of missio dei has been something of an encouragement to me as one who for many years struggled with the concept of mission as principally evangelism and who, consequently, as someone who was uncomfortable with evangelism, felt inadequate and guilty. I wonder now whether I ever truly believed in "evangelism" in the way it was presented to me as a teenager - proselytising. Against the prevailing attitudes of other Christians I began to dare to develop a sense of my own mission as simply being who I am, where I happen to be and with whom I happen to be, although others laid on the guilt by telling me I was avoiding a Christian obligation. I tend to think of it mow as witness. "Evangelism" has too much negative baggage for me.

As the San Antonio meeting of the WCC put it: "We affirm that witness does not preclude dialogue but invites it, and that dialogue does not preclude witness but expands and deepens it." This sounds very much to me as missio dei in its post modern sense.

Of course I sense that my one to one conversations about Jesus are important, but to my mind I have increasingly to earn the right to speak and I can only do that when relationships have been developed. When relationships have been developed those I talk to can judge what I say by the life I lead and the life I lead is increasingly simply being with people where they are and does not involve me promoting my ideas of faith, religion or church. It also involves my own recognition and acknowledgement of the fact that I am by no means the best example of Christianity in action.

Even if Luther argues that, because of the self-giving of God we will have a spontaneous impulse to gladly do God’s will, Christians still do not find it an easy task to love neighbours purely and unselfishly. God’s love mediated through us is always imperfect.

I work in a secular environment where I am in regular contact with a number of the unchurched, Agnostics, Atheists, Sikhs and Muslims. There I have been described as being the sort of person who oils the wheels of social interaction, which is very affirming. Pretty well everyone knows that I am a Christian and also that I am in training for ministry. I do not initiate conversations about personal faith, but I am involved in many such conversations initiated by others partly, I guess, because I do not do glib answers and partly, I am now realising, because this is where God is at work and I am joining in with as much integrity and congruence as I can muster.

It is about inviting someone to walk with you relationally and it takes a while to demonstrate this Gospel.

To conclude: my favourite, but often irritating, character from The Simpsons, Ned Flanders, has got this right. He is: a good neighbour, his basic role in the series. Marge admonishes Homer. “You shouldn’t be so hard on Ned. He’s been a good neighbour ever since we moved here.” Homer is unmoved and asks, “What has he ever done for us besides lend us things, do us favours and save our children from the occasional house fire?” It is only by repeatedly returning to Matthew 19.19, Jesus’ injunction to love your neighbour as yourself, that Ned is able to survive this largely one sided relationship.

Witness takes longer than evangelism but I think it may be the more effective.

Tim Brown said...

Doorman:

*Of course I sense that my one to one conversations about Jesus are important, but to my mind I have increasingly to earn the right to speak and I can only do that when relationships have been developed.*

While I too help others in need, let me get to the point...

You are driving down the street. You see a two storey house on fire. You hear a woman screaming because the house is filling with fire and smoke.

You have no idea how long the floor she is standing on will bear her weight.

What do you do? Run in and rescue her, or build a relationship first?

pastorbrianculver said...

"Witness takes longer than evangelism but I think it may be the more effective."

I agree that witness takes longer, but I disagree as to the effectiveness of evangelism.

Evangelism (when done correctly) is extremely effective. I am sorry you had a bad experience as a teenager, but please do not let that taint your judgment of it. If the issue is one of relationship, then there is not a problem here. We use tracts. I use, in particular, the Intelligence Test. Within 5 minutes, the people are laughing and having a great time. You mention you want the people to "see" your faith (my own words). By the time we get done evangelizing, the people have "seen" our faith. They genuinely thank us for talking to them. They can see how important Jesus is to us and they understand the need for a Savior. We have, in a very short time, developed a real relationship based on trust. They trust us because they know we truly care about their eternal destiny. Once they have been given the Word of God, they can then, over the course of time, see if it has really impacted your life or not. But in the mean time, if they should die, prior to seeing it in you, then they have at least been given the necessary information they need to go to heaven.

Nator said...

Sorry Brian, but you haven't developed a friendship with someone after five minutes even if you make them laugh with some cute comments and questions. Friendship takes longer or else I could be friends with the people in the checkout line today. I had them laughing, but since I won't see them again (probably), there is no way I could consider them friends.

pastorbrianculver said...

I never said I developed a friendship in the first place. That was not my goal. My goal is to tell them what they need to hear. If you only witness to people who are your friends, you will sure leave a lot of people out of the equation.

Tim Brown said...

Nator:

Here's your assignment:

Open your Bible to John 4.

Read the interaction between Jesus and the woman at the well. Time it.

How long did it take for Jesus to "develop a relationship" with her that enabled him to reveal her sinful state and share what she needed with her?

You can do that with other encounters Jesus had as well, but let's just stick with John 4 to keep it to the point.

Doorman-Priest said...

Bad analogy Tim. Bad analogy. Far too simplistic.

I take your point Pastor, absolutely. You must be a better evangelist than I ever was. I tended to find that the people I spoke to listened but didn't hear. I would be mortified to think that God would say to them "But you heard my Gospel through my servant on such and such occasion, and you did not heed it. You are damned."

I have been very interested to look at the difference between listening and engaging. You can hear the Gospel and not engage. Does that mean you are damned? I don't think so - well not on the basis of that inadequate encounter anyway. Have you listened, heard, discussed and engaged and then actively rejected? Now that's a different matter entirely.

When I walk through Leeds City centre I hear the street evangelists and I watch the passers by: no engagement. The evangelist presumably thinks he has done his job. I don't think he has. Presenting Jesus as Lord and Saviour means more than just shouting at them from a street corner or offering them a tract. That is no expression of God's love.

Now I'm sure you are more sophisticated than that but you see my dilemma I hope.

Winning souls for Christ needs a longer strategy.

In the end it is still the Holy Spirit who saves and not you and I. We have different gifts which he gave us and we must play to those strengths. Prhaps between us we get it right.

Tim: the lady in the house fire won't die. In fact her house won't catch fire. In my relationship building I noticed the deficiency in her electric cabling and her lack of an alarm. I was able to do that because I was concerned about to know her for herself and not just as a potential soul.

I am not the fire brigade, Tim. I am the insurance man.

Doorman-Priest said...

Tim, here's your homework. Ponder on the parable of the Lost Son. The father waits patiently. He's in for the long haul and will wait as long as it takes. The son comes back eventually in his own time and there is reconciliation.

The Father is God and the son is the lost soul we are all trying to win, as you know.

I think God values relationships.

We can all throw Bible verses at it other. What does it prove other than that we are stubborn guys who know our Bibles and can make them say what we want? That's not a relationship and until we come to know and respect each other neither of us will listen to the other.

That's my fear about "evangelism."

Tim Brown said...

Doorman:

Let's try this again.

You are driving by the house of someone you have never met. Houses DO catch on fire. People DO die every day.

You have the rest. What would you do?

Nator said...

Sorry, I used the wrong word. I said friendship instead of relationship. You said you had a real relationship based on trust after a few minutes. Again it doesn't work that way. Real relationships based on trust take time to form because trust, real trust, isn't given over a five minute conversation.

Nator said...

This is hilarious! I am driving by a field and the cow in the field is giving birth. What do I do. I could stand and watch and be amazed at God's creation and the miracle of birth. I could go and find the farmer to get help for the cow, or I could just keep driving. What does this have to do with anything, especially John 4? Not real sure, but it was fun to type it al in. Once again, Jesus was omniniscient (sp?) and knew what the woman needed. I don't believe that any of us have that ability. So... the analogy doesn't really work, unless you know something I don't. What am I thinking now?

pastorbrianculver said...

My biggest fear about evangelism is that if we don't do it, who will? I have a friend who knew a 24 year old young man. He lived in her neighborhood and they were friends. This girl is in her mid 30's. She was trying to build a relationship with this boy so she could talk to him about God. He was not saved. This lady came to church crying one day. The boy had died in a motorcycle accident. She never got around to talking to him about Jesus. She was too busy being his friend. This happened almost a year ago and several months later, she was still devastated by it. What happened to the boy? He was an unbeliever who had a foul mouth, drinking, drugs, etc. You do the math. How long do you feel you need to talk to someone to be their friend? What happens when that person dies before you speak to them about God? I would be more worried about being faithful to the Word of God, than I would be on whether the person is offended because of God's Word. God's Word will not return void. The power of God's Word is greater than anything I or you can do. But we must be faithful to share His Word to the lost souls who are headed for hell. Hell is real, right? If we truly love our neighbor, we will tell them the Truth of God's Word and we won't wait another second to do it. Why? Because we know that hell is real. It is the lost souls out there that do not know that. They think it is a card-playing, funhouse. My first calling by God is to proclaim the gospel, and that should be your first calling too. Go into all the world preaching the gospel to every creature. It doesn't say, go into all the world and be friends with everyone. The world will hate you because of Jesus. Right? Love them anyway! Give them what they need to hear so they won't go to hell.

Tim Brown said...

Nator:

Do you consider yourself to be a good person?

pastorbrianculver said...

Nator,
The analogy is that we will all die. No one knows when. Not you, not I. If we did, we could live our life the way we wanted and at just the right moment, we could turn our life over to God and go to heaven. It doesn't work that way. Children get hit by cars out in the street. People die of drug overdoses, murder happens every day all throughout the world. Cancer and other diseases cuts life short. Do you know how you will die? Most likely, if you are honest, the answer is no. The boy that died in the motorcycle accident thought he was going to live till his was in his 70's most likely. 24 years old and he is buried. He was someone's neighbor. No one took the time to talk to him about God. They tried to build a relationship with him first. Had they talked to him about God first, then built the relationship, would he have still died? most likely, but at least then he would have heard the Truth of God's Word and could have had time to repent of his sins and put his faith and trust in Jesus to save him.

pastorbrianculver said...

here is a sample of trust...

you are being swept down a raging river, you have your baby in your arms and you know the two of you are going to die. Someone yells out to you to toss your baby over to them so they can save him. Would you do it?

Tim Brown said...

Brian:

I think Nator saw my statement for Doorman (about the house on fire) and thought it was for him and somehow related to my statement about John 4.

Nator:

We don't need to be omniscient like Jesus to do what He did the way He did it. We use the ten commandments.

Again, do you consider yourself to be a good person?

Nator said...

So it is good when the world hates you and people are turned off to the gospel because they weren't ready to hear? I can't go with that because our culture is becoming more and more secular, because they see Christians as irrelevent. Sorry, but that is the truth. Evangelistic tricks and methods are really just that. If you do it "right" they will see their sins and repent. God doesn't work that way. Our culture should show you that. More and more Conservative and Evangelical churches getting bigger and bigger and more people ignoring God. And you can't tell me it is because pastor's aren't doing their job. It is because Christians have made themselves irrelevent to the world around them.

Nator said...

No that isn't the analogy. Jesus knew what she had done. So the analogy doesn't work.

Nator said...

I am so tired of the good person question. Are you a good person. Of course not, so I am not either. Being a good person doesn't mean anything except being a tecnique of evangelism. Again just use the "right" method and you can win people.

By the way, I was refering to the burning building analogy. I just love analogies. They prove so much.

pastorbrianculver said...

it's not about what Jesus knew, it was about getting her to acknowledge and know what she had done!

Tim Brown said...

Sounds like you have hardened yourself to the Gospel. I hope not.

Have you ever told a lie?

pastorbrianculver said...

the thing is Nator, it is all biblical. Why does using the Bible scare you? When you take away "feelings" what you have left is the Truth. The Devil can create feelings so we know that can't be the deciding factor. You mock the "technique" but you don't give any reasons for it not being biblical. Why? Because you can't. How many people do you witness to? Do you try to reach the lost? You have much anger towards evangelism and it must be dealt with. Being angry at someone for reaching the lost does not show Christ-like love, now does it? Seriously, if reaching lost people to keep them from going to hell is something that causes you to get angry to the point of laughing at analogy of someone dying, being bad because of the technique used, then it has to make one wonder, if you are truly saved. You cannot serve two masters. The fact you don't like this shows in your tone. Do you really think the followers of Christ, need to hear people mocking them (people who profess to believe in Jesus)? All I can say to you is Repent, and put your faith and trust in Jesus alone to save you. I am praying for you.

Tim Brown said...

Nator:

You have admitted you aren't a good person.

What are you going to do about it? One day you will stand before a Holy Judge. He *will* find you guilty.

What will you do?

pastorbrianculver said...

Hi Jessie,
I just realized I didn't answer your question. I had not told them about the sex offender registry. That is a good point to make. I did check in my town and it is scary to see how many there are and how close they live by here. Thanks for adding that comment. That is very helpful!

God bless
Brian

Nator said...

The way I read it is the only thing she admitted to was that she wasn't married. Don't know if that is acknowledging what she had done.

Nator said...

Once saved always saved, right? Thought so. I am covered by the blood even if I am like you, not a good person. I really don't like formulas and that will be the last time I engage in questions that question my salvation. Just because I don't agree with you doesn't mean I am not saved, even if you don't believe it. Ultimate truth.

Nator said...

Brian, thank you for posting these comments instead of blocking them.

pastorbrianculver said...

the problem with the once saved, always saved is this...

there are many people who think they are saved and they are not. They are still living in their sins. Sure the person who has repented of their sins and put their faith and trust in Jesus, He will not lost them. But for those people who think that just because they say they believe in Jesus, they think they are saved. Without the fruits of repentance and thanksgiving being evident, then they are not saved. The anger you show towards the gospel being presented to people in evangelism does not jive with what a saved person would think or say. The world will hate you, not because I say it, but because Jesus said they would hate you for following Him. Just because the world is secular is not a reason to stop evangelizing. We must be faithful and obedient to His Word. Do you recall the story of the rich man. He tried to justify himself before Jesus. What did Jesus do, he went to the heart of the matter. This man loved his money more than he loved God. At that, the man went away sad. Jesus didn't go running after him, did he? We don't see that, in fact, he at that point said how hard it was for a rich man to enter heaven. I understand your resentment towards certain types of Christians. I feel the same way towards some of them. It makes me sick to see how churches no longer preach the whole Word of God and only give the love message. It is like hell no longer exists. But we know that through Scripture and from God's own Words, that hell is very real and it is awaiting all who do not repent of their sins and put their faith and trust in Jesus. Please don't mock us for trying to get the Word out to the lost. Someone has to do it and if it is only done through "friendship" evangelism, then there will be people who will never hear God's Word because they might die early.

Tim Brown said...

Brian:

While we wait for Nator's reply...

Seems I never get over this "either / or" mentality. Seems that so many don't *get it*. Sure you help people. But you also share the truth with them.

Just like the woman in the burning building, we don't know how long anyone has to live. Being young is *no* guarantee that we will see another day. One day the "floor" of God's mercy will recede and those we know who are lost will fall down into the flames.

Relevance? RELEVANCE? What is more relevant than saying what they need to hear?

Contemporary Christianity is concerned with removing the splinter of "felt needs" while ignoring the gush of blood from the severed jugular.

If someone is hungry, feed them! But give them the Gospel too. And where there is no apparent need, you don't have to "perform tricks" to impress them first. They are dying. They need the truth.

No, I don't like it that the world rejects me. But then Jesus said in John 15:18 and following that this would happen.

Paul suffered beatings, whippings and imprisonment. I don't think "the world" liked him either. This notion that these people sat around in an Emergent smog of "conversation" and "dialog" is so out in left field.

Brian, ever noticed that the real opposition we get isn't from those we share the gospel with? It's always from PDL / Seeker / Emergent types who say everyone hates it. I've only had one person walk away, but then I remember one walked away from Jesus too, after He asked him to sell all he had, give the money to the poor and "follow me". I mean, the guy even said "What must I do to have eternal life"! That should have been an easy one! But Jesus didn't do the "Sensitive" thing, He put His finger on the fact that this guy was guilty of idolatry. He worshiped his "stuff" and not God. And the guy walked.

Oh well.

Nator said...

Again you use an example of a time that Jesus knew exactly what to say to the man who was asking the question. Jesus could have said repent from your sins, but he didn't. If he had the rich young ruler would have said sign me up.

Jeff Greathouse said...

Imagine that, Tim places his favorite scripture (John 15:18) in the post.

He then also does:

- burning building
- are you a good person q
- emergent "rant"

Jessie said...

Just a few questions to those who want to make a "relationship" before telling them about Jesus Christ.

Read the Bible. How many relationships did Jesus build before using the law? Um... let me count. None.

The Rich Young Ruler: (Mark 18:18-23)

"Now a certain young ruler asked Him, saying, 'Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?' So Jesus said to him, 'Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is God. You know the commandments: 'Do not commit adultery,' 'Do not murder,' 'Do not bear false witness,' 'Honor your father and your mother.' And he said, 'All these things I have kept from my youth.' So when JEsus heard these things, He said to him, 'You still lack one thing. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor. But when he heard this, he became very sorrowful, for he was very rich."

Jesus did not build a relationship with him, and he used the law. When the young ruler said he kept them, Jesus pointed out the first commandment... because man cannot serve God and Money.

Lady at the Well:

"The woman said to Him, 'Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come here to draw.' Jesus said to her, 'Go, call your husband, and come here.' The woman answered and said, 'I have no husband.' Jesus said to her, 'You have well said, "I have no husband,"for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; in that you spoke truly.'"

Jesus did not build a relationship with her either. AND HE USED THE LAW. He pointed out the seventh commandment: you shall not commit adultery.

Building relationships is NOT biblical. Jesus didn't. Neither did Paul or the other apostles. We must follow that example, not any other example. I mean, if we're going to learn how to witness to people, WHAT BETTER PERSON TO LEARN FROM THAN CHRIST HIMSELF who did not build relationships first? Building relationships before witnessing was put in by man, not God.

There are some people who God prepared to accept the Word, and some who He has not. But it is the job of the Christian to plant the seed. That is it.

Please don't think I'm trying to be rude. But here is the problem with modern day churches: they have so much stuff that is NOT BIBLICAL that they present or teach. The Bible was to be the foundation of truth, and the church is to uphold that truth, not make their own truth.

Doorman-Priest said...

Isn't this time lapse thing amazing? Here I am back after a good night's sleep and posting while you lot are still asleep.

Just a couple of observations on what has passed in the meantime:

I may have been the one to confuse the matter by talking about relationship building. By that I do not necessarily mean making a friendship, or even "helping" someone. What I am trying to express is my sense that to be congruent as a Christian, to be - however inadequate - a role model which shows the risen Christ in my life and invites participation in the risen Christ, I have to be prepared to go the extra mile.

When I talk about earning the right to speak, I am not so much talking about making new friends for Jesus - or for myself, for that matter, but about engaging the person I am talking to. I may be wrong, Pastor, but talking about Jesus with no context, with no understanding of each other has been counterproductive in my experience. It has put people off and alienated them from Christ and that worries me deeply. It certainly IS NOT about fear of causing offence with the Gospel. It is about maximising opportunities to share Christ.

We are back to the gifts of the Spirit here. We all have a responsibility to share Jesus - no question or argument at all on that. Not all are called to be evangelists, though. I don't want to be pedantic here, but the two are not the same: Evangelism/Evangelist. You are an Evangelist (and I pray God blesses your ministry). I am not. My calling is to be a Pastor, but I am involved in evangelism. I am sure the Spirit needs and uses us both. Maybe people like you plant a seed that I later harvest, maybe I prepare the way for your word to take root. It's not either/or.

Tim. However good a person in the judgement of others I may be, in God's eyes I have fallen, and continue to fall, short of his glory. I have made a committment to follow Christ and that is a once and for all thing as was his death and atonement. It is a covenant engaged in by both sides.

I acknowledge that covenant daily through prayer and penitence. I am in that covenant through my conversion, my baptism and my attempts at obedient discipleship. I am washed, and continue to be washed, in the blood of Christ. There is nothing else.

I am not emergent: not even sure I understand that or whether we have it here.

I am intrigued that Tim says he only had one person walk away from him. Tim, you must be an awsome evangelist. What are your follow-up strategies? How many of those are you sure made a real committment and are still disciples? Were they passed on to someone who did the follow up or was your speaking to them it: job done?

I would walk away from some street evangelists and I am already in the Kingdom.

I can't ever know who I have truly moved closer to the Kingdom - that is for the Holy Spirit, but I tend to work on "By their fruits you shall know them" as my touchstone. I need to see them in the church and living lives of discipleship.

And actually, Jesus DID do the sensitive thing and I am shocked, Tim, that someone who claims to be Bible-based should say otherwise. This is the danger of proof-texting. I will not give you a text in return- just read Jesus' dealings with the marginalised and outcast. Yes he could be confrontational; yes he said it as it was and as it needed saying, but that is only part of the story. Again I say, it is not either/or.

Again I think you misrepresent me, Tim. I am not advocating touchy-feely and sensitive as an alternative to sharing Christ, but I have to say that I sense your approach would not have won me for Christ. I became a Christian as a result of the long term care and personal work of a group of my peers who prayed for me and talked to me over a period of time without being pushy or in my face. They were sensitive enough not to overload me but took me on incrementally and by stages as I was ready.

About the boy who died in a motorcycle accident: he appears not to have made a committment to Christ...except, of course, that we can never know that: as we can never know whether hearing the word preached or reading a text would have moved him in to grace. If all the lady did was be a nice friend, she got it wrong, although he surely needed that too.

All we can know for sure is that we all need to work together as the body of Christ using our various gifts to bring others to faith and to build up the church.

What has really characterised this debate for me has been polarisation: a polarisation of style is fine. A polarisation of my way right/your way wrong is not fine.

Life is full of shades of grey: it is not all black and white.

Time for me to move on from this post.

Jessie said...

Nator,

No, while repentance means to turn away from your sin, he did not at all tell the young ruler to "sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor..." Upon hearing this, he did not say "sign me up", he walked way sad because he knew he HAD TO GIVE UP WHAT HE LOVED.

Just because modern day churches teach people to do evangelism using friendship techniques, take out offensive words like hell and sin and repentance, and preach love and joy and lasting fulfillment does not mean it is biblical.

It's just like quotes that say, "God hates the sin, not the sinner" or "Ask Jesus into your heart." That is modern day evangelism. And they are NOT in the Bible. But that is what is taught.

And if it is not in the Bible, it is not Truth.

And using the "good person" test IS a technique, yes. HOWEVER, the Bible says that people "establish their own righteousness... not submitt[ing] to the righteousness of God" (Romans 10:3). People think worldly standards. They think they are good people according to the world, but they do not realize the standard on which they are judged. That is why we must use the law. It is "perfect, converting the soul" (Psalm 19:7). It gives people "the knowledge of sin" (Romans 3:20). It tells us what sin is: I John 3:4 says "sin is transgression of the law." It acts as "a schoolmaster to bring us to Christ" (Galatians 3:24). In fact, Paul said he "would not have known sin BUT by the law" Romans 7:7).

If they do not know what sin is, how do they know what to repent from? The Bible says that God "commandeth all men every where to repent" (Acts 17:30) and that "all should come to repentance" (2 Peter 3:9). Jesus said he has not called "the righteous, but sinners to repentance" (Matthew 9:13). The Bible says that "repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations."

Please understand that I am not trying to debate this, but just encouraging you to get your beliefs from Scripture and not "tradition" or "modern dayness" because much of the Modern Day Church is not biblical.

I sincerely apologize if I have offended you.

In Christ, Jessie

pastorbrianculver said...

"Again you use an example of a time that Jesus knew exactly what to say to the man who was asking the question. Jesus could have said repent from your sins, but he didn't. If he had the rich young ruler would have said sign me up."

Nator, had Jesus just said repent. Sure, no doubt the man would have said sign me up. But he didn't. He exposed what was in the man's heart and that is what we need to do. If all people do is say they are going to "make a decision" for Christ because he loves them, that is basically the same thing. They want to take the easy road to salvation. They need to be convicted of their sins in order for them to see the need for a Savior. Plus the man was obviously a liar (or he is calling God a liar) because he said he had kept ALL of the commandments since his youth. We come across people every day who will try to justify themselves before man and before God. They need to see that they are wretched. No, I don't point a finger at them and call them names. It is in our dialog with each other that they come to admit that they are like that. Once they admit it themselves, then they can call out to a God to save them.

Doorman,
I agree with so much of what you say. I see churches here which are neglecting the gifts of the spirit. There is a difference between evangelist and evangelizing. As one who has the gifting of an evangelist, it is my job to equip the saints. Just as it is the preachers job to equip the saints by giving them the Word of God so they can take that Word out into the streets with confidence, lacking nothing! But what happens? Too many times a pastor will say, "I don't have the gift of evangelism, so I don't have to do it." (I have basically heard these very words in an actual church service!) We are all called to evangelize. But we need to utilize the people who are gifted by the spirit of God in order that we might grow. It is hard over the Internet for you to see how I talk to someone. I am confident that if you could watch a video of me talking to someone you would agree, that my way is not offensive, it is not lacking compassion, it is not without Christ-like love. You will see that the person and I both have a dialog going on. We are interacting with each other. You can just see it in their eyes, that they have never heard this before. Why? Because the churches are not preaching it. God's Law to the proud and arrogant person and His grace to the humble person. The Bible tells us that the Law acts as a schoolmaster to bring us to Christ. Psalms tells us the Law of the Lord is perfect converting the soul. What is perfect converting the soul? The Law of the Lord is perfect converting the soul. In Romans we read that the Law will shut the mouth of the self righteous person. When a person sees that he has broken God's Law he then realizes that he is going to be judged and the punishment is hell. You mention follow up and I worry when I see church boards say they want the pastor to spend all his time doing follow-up. That is not biblical. Remember what happened with the eunich. When he believed and was baptized he went off. Peter did not need to go chasing after him and say to him, "wait, I need to make sure you are getting into God's Word, you need to come to our potluck after church so you can meet everyone." If a person has truly been saved, they will desire God's Word. They will want to be obedient to His Word. Sure, we can help them understand Scripture better and give them some help, but it is not our job to follow-up. We know that the Holy Spirit is more than capable of bringing that person to church somewhere. Right? I agree when you say that one plants and another person waters and that God is the one who saves. Amen to that. If it were up to us, no one would get saved. But too many churches and too many individuals think that they have to do all of this work in order to ensure that someone is saved. We just need to give them the Word of God. His Word will not return void. Maybe they won't make a decision today. Maybe not tomorrow. but at just the right time, God is able to use the Word to enlighten this person when they need it. At that point it comes to fruition. Speaking of fruits, I agree on that too. I see so many people sitting in church who think they are saved and yet they bear no fruit. They do not have the fruit of repentance or thanksgiving. They cry out love, love, but they do not love. They have anger in their voice, they are judgmental and hypocritical. They hinder the work of the Lord by denouncing it and making a mockery of it. It is evident everywhere you look. I am sure you have seen it in some comments here. They are exposed for who they truly are. Satan uses marginal christians to bring down the churches. They are the people who profess Jesus but do not live their life according to His Word. I can see you struggle with some aspects of evangelism. I would love to come there and show you how easy it really is. You would not only have fun but you would want to get out every day. When you witness to someone and you see that they finally "get it", it is such a wonderful God-filled feeling! It is hard to describe.

Jeff,
never mind!

Jessie, thank you for your comments. You are right on with them. Great examples and an awesome job of using Scirpture to back it up! thank you

tim,
thank you for your comments. You use Scripture as well to back up your claims and I appreciate that too. You are right, there is nothing more relevant than sharing God's Word with people. Even with people we do not know. You might be on an airplane and will only see that person for a short 45 minute flight. Talk to them and share God's Word with them!

To everyone -- remain faithful to God and His Word. Don't make it a book of "I think" or "I feel this is what it says..." We don't need to do that. If we exposit God's Word we can know for sure what it means. The Word of God does not contradict itself (although there are those who claim it does). Be obedient to His Word, learn His Word and follow Jesus in all you do. Reach the lost while there is still time!

Jeff Greathouse said...

Jesse:

Look in the new restament and see how many times Jesus said, "you are forgiven" before they even acknowledge they were "wrong".

He forgave numerous people without them even uttering the word repentance.

Nator said...

Jessie, you didn't offend me. I don't believe that I offend that easily. If I did I wouldn't be posting here. My beliefs do come from the Bible, even if you don't want to believe that. I say this, even though I can already hear the negative responses, that I do have a graduate degree in religion. (insert seminary jokes and snickers here) I prefer to take the entirety of the book and not pick and choose specific verses that others have published to back up a point. Jesus does forgive people on multiple occasions (actually it is the way he does it) without them ever admitting guilt.

The woman at the well is a great example, since it has been brought up and is a favorite passage of this blog. While we are on this tangent, if you read the story of the Samaritan woman at the well, she never “repents” and she goes to tell the people of the city that he “knew” what I had done. There isn’t a confession and there is no confession from any of the people in the village, but many “believed.” Now I believe the Bible is the inspired word of God, but it isn’t inerrant. But if it was inerrant, then there should be two places in this passage where the woman repents of her sins, and where the villagers fall down and repent. I believe we are so caught up with this repent notion that we are limiting the Grace of God to those who believe.

…the sound of guns being loaded.

pastorbrianculver said...

that's right Nator, the Devil believes and I would say his comment would not be far off from yours.

"I believe we are so caught up with this repent notion that we are limiting the Grace of God to those who believe."

What does the Bible say?

Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

unless ye repent, ye shall likewise perish!

nuff said
repent notion?? come on now! I will not let Satan throw his comments into this blog. That sir, was your last comment allowed on here!

Tim Brown said...

Jeff:

Again, salvation isn't by "Saying Words". It is a change of heart, which shows a change of life.

You don't "hear it", although the words may come out. It is a change of HEART. And if repentance is real, you will eventually see it in the life.

The first words out of Jesus' mouth at the beginning of His public ministry were "REPENT..."

Tim Brown said...

Jeff:

Again, salvation isn't by "Saying Words". It is a change of heart, which shows a change of life.

You don't "hear it", although the words may come out. It is a change of HEART. And if repentance is real, you will eventually see it in the life.

The first words out of Jesus' mouth at the beginning of His public ministry were "REPENT..."

Tim Brown said...

Having just seen Nator's statement regarding inerrancy, I would suggest he simplify his life and throw out his Bibie. After all, if he doesn't think it is trustworthy, why bother?

Tim Brown said...

*
I acknowledge that covenant daily through prayer and penitence. I am in that covenant through my conversion, my baptism and my attempts at obedient discipleship. I am washed, and continue to be washed, in the blood of Christ. There is nothing else.*

Salvation is by Grace alone, by Faith alone, through Christ alone. If you are trusting in Christ plus anything, you cannot be saved.

pastorbrianculver said...

Nator, your comment was blocked because of ridiculing repentance the way you did. When that is such a key difference between being a true and false convert, I will not have someone come on here to derail any other Christians.

Jeff, you were blocked because you said you were going to look at Scripture and all you did was make a mockery of it. Provide PROOF of what you say, stop the silly remarks. You do not know your Bible and it is shameful to think that you teach others.

Tim Brown said...

Brian:

What is incredible to me is how seemingly impossible it is for some to understand why Jesus said what He did.

Maybe one of us should do an article or two about some of thee things Jesus DID.

The conversations with the rich man? I find it very hard to understand what is obscure about what happened. I'm sure Jesus, and most others, could see he was rich. Jesus brought into question the man's concept of what "good" is. He used the commandments, which the man *claimed* to have obeyed. Then the Lord asked him to do something that would force him to deny himself and put God first -- Sell all he had, give the money to the poor and follow Him.

Now, thankfully, the Lord doesn't demand we all sell everything we own. But He does demand we die to self..."If any man would follow me, let deny himself, pick up his cross and follow Me."

Any of us can do that. The problem is that it isn't popular because it won't draw crowds!

Jesus didn't call us to draw crowds.

I'm remembering our main task is like that of the sower in the parable that Jesus told. We sow seeds. We broadcast the gospel. Sometimes we can tarry a bit with someone and do more, but more often than not, we cannot do that. So we sow seeds. We don't put down a seed, water it, watch and wait. No, we move on. Like Paul said, "Paul planted, Apollos watered but God gave the increase".

We plant the seeds of the Gospel. If something comes up, wonderful! But Jesus said the gate and the way are both narrow and few will find it.

Jeff sarcastically said that John 15:18 was my favorite verse. He may be shocked I have a lot of them.

You know, I've never had anyone in the contemporary church movement who is willing to take me up on my challenge...The incident of the woman at the well...does it really take all that long to develop a relationship that can bear sharing the Gospel...? No, it doesn't. Time and again, I've seen it born out in experience.

Do we know the secret sins of people, as Jesus did? No. Of course not. but the general principle applies and is perfectly obvious for the willing to see it. But they scoff at it. "Oh yeah, the 'good person' question."

They do it to their loss because they are rejecting the use of the law as a mirror (James) which is to be used correctly (1 Timothy 1) and is intended for those who are lost (1 timothy 1).

The use of the law unlocks the work of the law which is written in the human heart (the conscience).

If you don't use the law to help them become convicted of heart that they have sinned against God, you are shooting a gun full of blanks and nothing will come of it.

No, I don't know if "Joseph" down the street has committed adultery, but I CAN take him through the Ten Commandments and ask him if he has lied, stolen, or coveted. If so, I can then ask him what that makes him. His conscience points the finger, I don't have to.

It's only THEN that he can see what he really needs; forgiveness of sins.

I USED to do it differently, claiming that Jesus will give them peace, joy, and all that. But that amounts to having to "outmarket" the world. Besides, their greatest need is forgiveness of sin, not peace, joy and everything else.

Nator said something about not questioning his faith. The problem is that Paul, in 2 Corinthians, commands us to "examine ourselves".

No, we don't believe in "one saved always saved". We DO believe in "the perseverance of the saints" and that is a vast difference.

Once saved always saved? Ok, but you had BETTER MAKE SURE you are saved for many will say "Lord Lord..." (Matthew 7:21ff)

See Jeff? I have many favorite verses!

pastorbrianculver said...

I will say it again, Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

who said that?

JESUS!

unless ye repent, ye shall likewise perish.

who said that?

JESUS!

Jessie said...

Nator,

My point with the second post was this: one cannot understand GRACE without understanding SIN.

Romans 5:20 "Moreover, the law entered, that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound."

Without knowledge of the Law, sin cannot abound. Therefore grace cannot abound because there's no knowledge of sin. Romans 7:8 says "...without the law sin is dead."

I didn't understand grace until I looked at myself compared to God's Law. I realized my colorful stories were lies (Revelation 21:8), my lustful thoughts were adultery of the heart (Matthew 5:27,28), my hatred was murder (1 John 3:15), etc. Without knowing sin (which is "transgression of the law" I John 3:4), I would never have known what I was doing wrong or what to repent from. But seeing myself in the light of God's holy law, grace became amazing to me. Before then, I said the sinner's prayer 6 times.

Jesus said He came to call all "sinners to repent" (Matthew 4;17). The first preaching word that came from His mouth was "repent" (Matthew 4:17). So did John the Baptist (Matthew 3:2). Jesus made it very clear in Luke 13:3,5 that "except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish."

Yes, the Bible has numerous verses talk about salvation without repentance. It says we must simply "believe" and we will be saved (Romans 10:9; Acts 16:31). However, the Bible also makes it clear that we are sinners and God is holy and just, and that we are separated from God from our sin (Isaiah 59:1,2). We are dead in our sins (Ephesians 2:1), but until we repent, we cannot be made alive to Christ. The Bible says repentance unto life (Acts 11:18). Paul preached about having "repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ" (Acts 20:21).

If one is to simply "believe" then Jesus must have been lying when he said repent or you will perish (again, Luke 13:3,5). Jesus does not lie, obviously. The Bible also says that many people will receive the word with joy, and they will believe for a while then fall away (Luke 8:13). It also says that many will say "Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in they name have cast out devils? and in they name have done many works?" And Jesus will say to them, next verse, "And then I will profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity"(Matthew 7:22,23). They "believe" Jesus is Lord, yet they "work iniquity." (Iniquity: gross injustice or wickedness; wicked act; sin.)

Furthermore, 1 John 1:6 says, "If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth." Jesus told us there is joy in heaven over one sinner who "repents" (Luke 15:10). Proverbs says that "he who covers his sin shall not prosper, but whoso confesses AND FORSAKES them shall have mercy" (Proverbs 28:13).

When Peter preached, he commanded his hearers to repent for the "remission of sins" (Acts 2:28). He further said, "Repent...and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out" (Acts 3:19). I stated this before, but God "commands that all men everywhere [obviously, all men, not some men in a few places] to repent" (Acts 17:30) and that he "is not willing that any should perish, BUT that all should come to repentance" (2 Peter 3:9).

If it wasn't true that one needed to repent, why did Jesus speak that it should be preached to all nations (24:47)? And when he sent out his disciples, they preached that men should repent (Mark 6:12)? And why did he say that "without repentance, ye shall ALL likewise perish" (Luke 13:3,5).

Without the knowledge of the Law, man thinks he has sinned against man. (I've stolen from man, lied to man, hated (murdered) man, etc.) The Law helps the sinner realize he has sinned against GOD. When David sinned, he said, "Against you (God), and you only, have I sinned, and done this evil in your sight" (Psalm 51:4). Same thing with Joseph (Genesis 39:9), the Prodigal Son (Acts 15:21). That is why it was preached to have "repentance toward God "Acts 20:21". Furthermore, "godly sorrow worketh repentance TO salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death" (2 Corinthians 7:10).

If one does not see themselves according to God's holy Law, one things his/her sin is against man instead of against God.

There is reason to look at the Bible as a whole. People take many things from one verse and go crazy with it. I'm looking at the Bible as a whole, too. And saying that there needs to be no repentance, is saying that our Lord is a liar. Without repentance, they will perish. I take those last words right from the Lord's mouth. And if anyone knows about Scripture and salvation, it's Him. One does not need to be a religious scholar to realize that (please note that I am not making fun of anyone who is a religious scholar here).

Seeing ourselves in the light of God's holy Law is what makes the grace that God showed to us through the sacrifice of our Lord, Jesus Christ simply amazing.

Tim Brown said...

You know, since we're taking about the law and evangelism, I was reminded just a while about about my own conversion. What Happened???

Well, did someone need to come up to me and perform tricks? No. Did someone have to give me something to show me they loved me? No! Did someone have to build a relationship with me over a long period of time? No!

What happened?

Well, no one was there when I was converted! Yes. No One!

I was alone. I was on the internet. All the sudden, I became very aware that I was a sinner before a Holy God. Did I hear the word "Repent"? No. BUT that is what I "Knew" I had to do.

I hear so much about "getting a decision for Christ". No, that's not what it is. It is being exposed to the reality of your own sin and realizing you are hell bound and that Jesus Christ is the ONLY solution.

Sounds like Saul on the Road to Damascus. Not exactly the same but it follows the pattern: conviction of sin, repentance an faith. We see all those in Paul.

Does this mean we MUST always DO it the same precise way? No. Is it a formula that guarantees results? No. But it is a pattern and we follow it.

Dig up soil,
Plant the seed,
wait for results.

The Gospel is the same way:

Use the law to plow the heart,
Plant the seed of the Gospel,
Wait for results.

It's not that difficult! And in my case, no one needed to be present...

Jessie said...

By the way, Brian, AMEN!

Tim Brown said...

Brian,

Nator and company may want to know Jesus DID say that and it's documented for them in Matthew 4:17.

pastorbrianculver said...

Comments on What kind of creature are you? are now closed.

Satan is starting to work overtime on some of the comments coming on here. I will not have people posting bogus profiles for the sake of their own agenda (B.E.). That, for someone who is in the ministry, is unethical and that person should be ashamed of themselves for doing it. If someone is going to post something that is a difference of going to heaven or hell, I will post what it takes to avoid hell and to enter heaven. I will not promote any ideas that promote Satans plan of no repentance necessary (N). For the 3 or 4 people who have decided that sarcasm and downright meanness is the way to post comments (JG)(DP), you will be permanently banned unless you offer an apology to the readers.

It is something...
the title of this post was...
What kind of creature are you?

"Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made..."