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Discussion Forum : Scriptures and Doctrine : Why don't sinners like us ?

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 Why don't sinners like us ?

[b]Why Aren't More People Getting Saved?
by Melody Green[/b]

Something has really been bothering me. How come so many sinners liked Jesus—but they don't like us very much. They liked to hang out with Him. Jesus got invited to their homes for dinner, to their parties... people even hung in trees just to get a glimpse of Him—and Jesus wasn't even good looking!

Well, you might say, "But Jesus was God and we're not! He was full of charisma and anointing." True. But I think it's more than that.

Nobody preached a harder message than Jesus. Remember His eat my flesh drink my blood comments? And yet, Jesus had something we are lacking. Something we could have if we wanted—but many of us don't. Not really. I think it's called something like a compelling, compassionate love for people..

We might say we love people, but do we really? Do we really have compassion for the lost like Jesus did?

After 17 years of living in the "Bible Belt" of Texas, I moved back to California. I had been asking God for more of His heart for the lost, and California was the perfect place to go. Not that there aren't at lot of believers in California, but it's also full of people who seem proud to distance themselves from the church and from Christians. Some wear it like a badge of honor.

After being in California for awhile, and striking up conversations with lots of random people, I began to remember how I felt before I met Jesus. I didn't like Christians either. They appeared to be narrow minded, judgmental, and worst of all, lacking in true compassion. Their answers to life seemed trite and unrealistic. Their theology, prehistoric. Their pie in the sky philosophy quite frankly turned me off. In the days when I was looking for "the truth" I was positive Christians didn't have it.

Things haven't changed much since then in the minds of unbelievers. The world still thinks we're out of step with the times. Obviously, we do march to a different drum—which is for the most part, a very good thing. But some of our ideas and attitudes actually push people away from the Lord—instead of drawing them in.

I want to share one area I feel we can improve in when it comes to reaching the people around us. Jesus called us to be fishers of men; but it seems we often forget how fishing works, so I'm going to lay out a quick refresher course.

First you study the kind of fish you want to catch, figure out it's favorite thing to eat, and get bait that's hard to resist. Then you put floaters or sinkers on your line depending on what level it feeds at. Then you cast in your line and wait patiently to feel a nibble—and when you do, at the right moment you "set the hook." Then you have to reel your fish in very carefully. Often there's a big tug of war—two feet forward one foot back, two feet forward, one foot back. Big fish can take hours to reel in. Then when you're within reach of your fish, you might scoop him into a net to be sure he doesn't wiggle off the line. Even a caught fish can flop its way back into the water if you're not careful. Then you put your fish into a bucket of water to keep him fresh... and after all that effort, through each stage, you finally get to clean your fish.

But what do we do with people? We forget the process. We're usually worrying about how to clean them up before they're even caught! We want people to stop smoking, stop doing drugs, stop wearing clothes we don't like, dye their hair back from purple to brown, take the metal out of their faces, and generally clean up their act before—or shortly after—they've had an encounter with Jesus. We want a clean tidy church, clean tidy disciples, and clean tidy friends.

If Christians would have treated me this way, I don't know if I ever would have gotten saved. But I met people who put up with my ignorance, my immodesty, my bad language, and my spiritual hodge-podge theology—and reached out to me in genuine love. They saw beyond my messy exterior and looked into my heart. A heart that was hungry for God. I got loved into the kingdom, by real flesh and blood people who showed me, in practical ways, how much they cared about me. I gave my heart to Jesus because I could see Him in people who said they loved Him. I wanted to be like those people. I wanted to know the God they knew.

After Jesus really got a hold of my heart, sure I changed some things... but it took awhile. Jesus had to fully win my heart before I was willing to make big changes for Him. But sometimes we expect people to make those changes before they are fully won. We want them to "prove" they love Jesus before they're fully convinced. It's putting the cart before the horse.

One of our problems is, we want to clean our fish before we get them into the bucket. And then we wonder why they wiggle off the hook! Why they leave angry. Why they don't like us anymore. Maybe it's because they've grasped a basic principle we've forgotten. Perhaps they instinctively know that if there really is a God somewhere, He is going to care about their heart, not their hair color. This God will see their true value even when they're a mess on the outside. That's the kind of God this generation is looking for. But what kind of God are we giving them?

We need to remember that Jesus put up with all kinds of stuff—even from His own disciples. Mistakes. Arguments. Unbelief. Jealousy. I bet those guys didn't smell very good either. But Jesus loved them—and they knew it. And they followed Him at the cost of their own lives.

We forget how spiritually hungry the lost really are. We forget that they pray and cry out for help to a God they don't know. We forget how seekers think and feel. We tend to look at the outside of the cup while Jesus looks deep into the heart. We get annoyed and judgmental when people show up to church looking like they're going to a party—instead of rejoicing that they came to hear about God at all.

Why aren't more people getting saved?

Maybe the walls around the churches are as high as the walls around our hearts. Perhaps the walls are so high we can't see beyond our own little world, into the hearts and hurts of people in our communities, our schools, our work places—and yes, literally—our streets. God hears their cries. Do you?

Maybe it's easier to ignore them because if we don't it will cost us something. Maybe that's why we often choose judgment over compassion. It's safer.

Judgment distances us from people—which means we don't have to give them any part of ourselves. Compassion draws them to us—which means we need to give them some of our time and our energy and our love.

So why aren't more people getting saved?

http://www.lastdaysministries.org/streets/peoplegettingsaved.html

 2006/3/23 23:42
Greenquality
Member



Joined: 2006/1/26
Posts: 189
mountains of Pa.

 Re: Why don't sinners like us ?

Well I would say Jesus did not come to judge the sinner's,and they seen that.he came to save the sinner! like the woman at the water well,he told her how many husbands she had including the man she is living with at the time. he did not condone her for that, but told her to bring all the people from the town, so he could talk with them.[color=0000FF]I became Christian when i was working and living at a night club,I was a cook and bartender, I had a lot of friends there i did not look at them as sinners,or judge them. those where some of the best times.now Christian pastors had problems with me because I worked in such a place,but I had to do to make ends meet.I got a long with every body there.! [/color]

 2006/3/24 0:19Profile
murdog
Member



Joined: 2006/2/4
Posts: 352
Fort Frances, Ontario

 Re: Why don't sinners like us ?

Annie,

That is a good article isn't it. I read it on Keith and Melody's website about six months ago and I hadn't forgotten it. I know it is alot easier to judge and want people to be cleaned up five minutes after conversion. When I think back to my own salvation which is being worked out daily with fear and trembling, I didn't just immediately drop all my bad habits and then have a full crop of fruit of the spirit.

It takes alot more to be compassionate and love people into the kingdom than it does to reason or argue them into the kingdom. (Which doesn't seem to work by the way, LOL.)

Thanks for sharing the article.

Murray


_________________
Murray Beninger

 2006/3/24 0:22Profile
roadsign
Member



Joined: 2005/5/2
Posts: 3776


 Re: where is our compassion?

Annie, this is a very good article - kind of hits home.

Greenquality said,

Quote:
now Christian pastors had problems with me because I worked in such a place,



I suspect that if Jesus were on earth today he would go there. He went where the sinners were - the lost sheep.
Think of the women who searched for her lost coin. She searched in every crack.

Some of our most destitute people hang around in pubs. Their hearts cry for some kind of connection. Maybe that's why they are there - not just to drink.

We avoid so many "cracks" because we want to maintain a good reputation with the "Pharisees", and treasure with our sense of righteousness.

It was the Pharisees who couldn't handle being in places of ill repute because they were obsessed with 'defilement' - symbolized in the lepers.

Jesus taught us to be in the world, not of it. We need to learn the difference. As we grow in Christ, we will be less inclined to embrace the ways o the world. Instead we will go into all the world and live the gospel. (ie preach it)

Murray said:
Quote:
It takes alot more to be compassionate and love people into the kingdom than it does to reason or argue them into the kingdom. (Which doesn't seem to work by the way, LOL.)


For years I thought I was "witnessing" when really I was trying to reason with them.
Diane


_________________
Diane

 2006/3/24 5:12Profile
Greenquality
Member



Joined: 2006/1/26
Posts: 189
mountains of Pa.

 Re:

[color=0000FF][font=Arial]funny thing is, that God sent,a mother and son,...... who moved in to that place,the son was the same age as I, we had alot in common ,steve and his mother where christain,the mother was a traving pastor from Ca. I will never forget them,.......what joy and life they brought with them to that Bar,latter the son married his girl friend in one of the banquet rooms. which I Had to cook that day,but i poped in a few times. to wish my best, that Bar never new what hit them.more and more christain where moving in that place. they even had church worship in their apartment which was above the Bar, ....wow those where some great times.[/font][/color]

 2006/3/24 6:06Profile
roadsign
Member



Joined: 2005/5/2
Posts: 3776


 Re:

Greenquality said,

Quote:
funny thing is, that God sent,a mother and son,...... who moved in to that place,the son was the same age as I, we had alot in common ,steve and his mother where christain,the mother was a traving pastor from Ca. I will never forget them,.......what joy and life they brought with them to that Bar,latter the son married his girl friend in one of the banquet rooms. which I Had to cook that day,but i poped in a few times. to wish my best, that Bar never new what hit them.more and more christain where moving in that place. they even had church worship in their apartment which was above the Bar...



What an awesome story!!!!
Diane


_________________
Diane

 2006/3/24 9:49Profile
MrBillPro
Member



Joined: 2005/2/24
Posts: 3224
Texas

 Re:

I am a sinner and I like you. :-?


_________________
Mr. Bill

 2006/3/24 9:52Profile
PreachParsly
Member



Joined: 2005/1/14
Posts: 2164
Arkansas

 Re:

Quote:
i did not look at them as sinners



If you didn't look at them as sinners needing saved, then what was your view of them?


_________________
Josh Parsley

 2006/3/24 11:21Profile
myfirstLove
Member



Joined: 2005/11/26
Posts: 496


 Re: Why don't sinners like us ?

1 John 3:13

13 Do not marvel, my brethren, if the world hates you.

John 7:7

7The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil.

John 15:19
If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.

yes, i agree that many christians lack compassion, but i aslo see that many christians confuse Christ's compassion with worldy compassion. todays churches try to be too much like the world to win the world, they are more sensitive about being careful not to hurt the world's feelings that they compromise the WORD.

remember that many came surrounding Jesus because of miracles. He even rebuked the crowed because He knew they came only to be fed physically and not spiritually. He had many who hated Him. yes, Jesus hung out with sinners, but remember, He did not hang out to fellowship with sinners, He hung out with them to speak the truth, not to just eat and dine with them.

remember when He saved the aldultress from being stoned? remember what He told her after her accusers left? SIN NO MORE. how many churches tell their people that after they come to Christ? many leaders are so afraid of loosing numbers that they allow them to stay in their sins, by focusing on good works never dealing with the heart of the person where the evil motives lie. making the believers believe that good works will out weigh your wicked aldutress heart. we have so many people coming professing to believe in Christ cleaning only their outward appearance, but never cleaning inside the cup. leaders have adopted compassion like the world. many christians do not understand true compassion in Christ. true compassion will not leave someone wallowing in their sins, but will help them see their evil heart by shining the light (God's word) into their life, exposing their sin that they may see their need of a SAVIOR.

we got a problem if sinners like us. that means we are being too much like the world.

the reason why many people aren't being saved is because christians are too much like the world. look at todays churches. melanie green says churches have problem accepting the lost outward appearance. i disagree. todays churches have no problem in accepting purple hair spike face people. they have no problem in allowing them to stay with their old self for quite a long while. their not trying to clean them up first and then bring them to Christ. they will allow even their women to dress like prostitutes until she is ready to be clothed, not caring that other men will stumble. todays churches are showing a lot of compassion, alot of worldly compassion that is. using much flattery and worldly goods to try to talk them into joining their church. the reason why many hate christians is because their hypocrites. thats what i hear a lot of what the lost say. we are not winning many is because we are not walking in the power of Jesus. and the only way to walk in His power is to die to flesh. we are not crucified to the flesh, we have idols, we are a bunch of talkers and not walkers of the word. we MUST DIE in order to bring life to others! if we want to walk in true love of Jesus, NOT the world, with true compassion and brokeness then we must die in order that Christ will truly live in us. it is Christ that draws not us. so are you willing to die that others may live? are you desperate for souls? then die. theres no formulas on how to catch fish. you just gotta die .

i really like a lot of what keith green says. he teaches a lot on finneys stuff. finney was use to bring revival. he won many not because he was compassionate, but because he was willing to count the cost and die. finney won many who thought they were christians by exposing their evil motives/ heart, that they may not be deceived by their good works. thats compassion. helping others to see their need to be saved that they may cry out to the One who can save them.


_________________
Lisa

 2006/3/24 11:59Profile









 Re:

Quote:
I am a sinner and I like you.



If you claim to have been born of His Spirit, than you cannot be a sinner. I ask you, who are you?

 2006/3/24 12:27





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