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JoeBenson
Member



Joined: 2008/3/29
Posts: 38
Greenville, South Carolina

 Feedback on my article please

Hello, I am new to SI and I have been blessed tremendously by the caliber of information on the site!
I have been writing article's for my website for about six months. I believe that I am encompassing sound doctrine, however, it is hard to find many devoted speakers of the TRUTH to give me feedback.
I have posted below an article that I finished this week. It is addressing the contemporary church and several pastors that I know who have fallen into the watering down of the gospel.
Would any of you please give me feedback of the writing. I greatly appreciate your time and blessing.
Joe Benson

Find the Goats by Preaching the Gospel
By Joe Benson


This week has been a battle! It has been very difficult for me spiritually as well as physically. I was bed ridden for three days due to an illness. However, God bestowed me with His mercy and grace and I am now out of bed and feeling no pain. Praise the Lord!

Several of my friends have brought to my attention that there have been spiritual battles amongst their brethren this week. It is no shock that battles are taking place. We read in Ephesians 6:12 that there will be battles against spiritual forces.

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Eph 6:12 (ESV)

Satan has no mercy when it comes to his fighting. He will hit you when you are up, down, sideways and even in the church. Satan loves to attack you even when you are on your knees in the pew aisle. So, don’t act like it is a surprise that you are being attacked on all ends. It is inevitable. You will be hit, bruised and sometimes knocked down, but you will not be defeated if you are saved by the blood of Jesus Christ!

Satan will also use people within the church to cause confusion and disruption. Many of the people being used by Satan are lost and have not been saved by the blood of Christ. I like to refer to those people as the “mixed multitude” or “goats.”

You can read Numbers 11 and see that it was the mixed multitude that caused so much trouble to come to the Jewish people. They complained a lot and they acted as if they had no faith. Likewise, goats tend to cause a lot of trouble within the church as well. Goats are goats. They get into any and everything. They do not hear the voice of the Shepherd like the sheep.

When a person becomes a Christian by repenting of their sins and placing their faith and trust in Jesus Christ as their Savior, they become part of the flock. Jesus is the Shepherd and we are His sheep. Goats on the other hand do not know what it is to be a Christian and wander aimlessly doing as they please. Jesus talks about the “goats and the sheep” in Matthew 25:31-46. Jesus is giving a description of the final judgment. Please read the following scripture:

31 "When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. 32 All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. 33 And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on His right hand, 'Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; 36 I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.' 37 Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? 38 When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? 39 Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?' 40 And the King will answer and say to them, 'Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.' 41 Then He will also say to those on the left hand, 'Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: 42 for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; 43 I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.' 44 Then they also will answer Him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?' 45 Then He will answer them, saying, 'Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.' 46 And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life." Matt 25:31-46 (NKJV)

Jesus is very specific about what will happen to the “goats.” Goats are those not saved. Why do we have so many goats in the church? Is it their fault or partially ours as Christian’s?

Let me elaborate on my viewpoint about the goats in the church.

The Goats are Among Us

Any which way you look in the church, you will find goats. It is not uncommon for people to come to church and never be saved. Let me say that again, it is not unusual for people to come to church and not be saved. Why?

I believe that the reason is spiritual complacency. Preachers and teachers in the majority of churches today have gotten the fever of spiritual carelessness. We have defined contemporary Christianity as if it were based on plush pews, large crowds and a rock band. Jesus today is treated secondary to the attitudes and feelings of the congregation. Pastors have totally left out Jesus from the equation. Woe to all the pastors that have forgotten the pain and the reason that Jesus was nailed to a cross!

We have people in church treating others and the house of God as if it were Six Flags or the club on the corner. Why? It is because they do not know any better. They can not see the truth and power and reverence of the Savior. Read what Paul states in 1 Corinthians 1:18:

18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 1 Corinthians 1:18 (NKJV)

You see my friends; the message of the cross doesn’t matter to the goats in the flock. Do not be blind! There are goats among us and they are destroying the church with YOUR help!

Listen to me. If the message of the cross is not preached to every person in your congregation, then you are contributing to their lossless ness. Please understand me, it takes a person to hear the gospel and then understand it to be saved. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.

17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Romans 10:17 (KJV)

The message of the gospel must be spoken to the people of the congregation and world in order to recognize the goats. The message of God will reveal the lost.

The message in the contemporary church has got to go back to the old rugged cross. Without the cross, there is no salvation. Without the death of Jesus Christ on the cross, there is not eternal life in heaven. Without the cross, there is only hell and eternal punishment!

The old hymn writer George Bennard wrote it perfectly in the Old Rugged Cross. Please read the lyrics and see what joy the contemporary church has left lying in a pit.

The Old Rugged Cross

On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross,
The emblem of suffering and shame;
And I love that old cross where the dearest and best
For a world of lost sinners was slain.

So I’ll cherish the old rugged cross,
Till my trophies at last I lay down;
I will cling to the old rugged cross,
And exchange it some day for a crown.

O that old rugged cross, so despised by the world,
Has a wondrous attraction for me;
For the dear Lamb of God left His glory above
To bear it to dark Calvary.

In that old rugged cross, stained with blood so divine,
A wondrous beauty I see,
For ’twas on that old cross Jesus suffered and died,
To pardon and sanctify me.

To the old rugged cross I will ever be true;
Its shame and reproach gladly bear;
Then He’ll call me some day to my home far away,
Where His glory forever I’ll share.

We need to get back to that cross! The cross of Christ has lost its wondrous attraction to the average professing Christian in the church. It is looked upon with contempt and many are ashamed of it. It is rarely mentioned today. How sad we must be to want to “fit in” rather than wanting to glorify God above all!

The church today has removed coming judgment by God so that the lost (goats) are made to feel comfortable. We must speak to them in gentleness without losing the message of the cross and the judgment to come if they do not confess Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. They must repent and place their faith and trust in Jesus Christ.

24 And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, 25 in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, 26 and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will. 2 Tim 2:24-26 (NKJV)

Many pastors are watering down the influence of the Word of God. Watering down the influence of the Word and apologizing for the affect that the conviction of the Word has on the “goats”, only keeps them in their sinful behavior and dampens the power of the truth. We have made the lost comfortable in the pews by watering down the gospel.

When is the last time that you heard a sermon or taught a sermon about hell and the consequences of living the life as a “goat?” When is the last time that you preached a message that the congregation felt the pain of the nails in Jesus and the crown of thorns on His head? It’s time to bring the goats to repentance by preaching the truth of God and the gospel! We have to do our part for the Holy Spirit to do His!

The church has become obsessed with pleasure for themselves that they have forgotten about giving pleasure to God. Many pastors today have lost the truth in a cesspool of entertainment, plush pews and fancy talk that tickles the ears of the audience! In the meantime the goats are doing as they please and are still lost straying further and further away from the flock. Woe to the one that knows to share the truth but doesn’t! Lord have mercy on their souls!

The goats desire a Savior that delivers them from hell but doesn’t deliver them from their sin. They love their sin more than they love God. I am not saying that you have to be perfect; none of us are. However, the difference in a sheep and a goat is that when the sheep sins, they feel conviction and confess their sins unto God and get up and become restored. Goats just sit there in their sin and wallow in it. They are like dogs that continue to go back to their vomit! We must teach, preach and proclaim the gospel and its meaning!
We have goats in the church that continue to destroy the flock. I have a question; why do many pastors and Christians try to please the lost (goats) and comfort them with their sin? Why do many pastors water down the gospel? The ultimate gift that anyone could ever receive is the gift of salvation. So why is the gospel not preached or watered down? We as Christians should be jumping out of our seats to share the good news of the gospel. However, we just sit here and treat the goats as if they are sheep. We go out to eat and to the movies with them but never share the gospel. It is time to do our duty as Christians and boldly proclaim the truth of the Word of God, not some psychological feel good talk!

J. C Ryle once said, “Where there is no holy living, there is no holy ghost.”

He does not mean that Christians will not sin. He means that if a person is living like a goat and there is no conviction of sin, then they cannot possibly be saved. It should break a person’s heart to sin before God. He gave His only begotten Son to be murdered on a cross for our sins; past present and future.

I remember days in my past that I could sin and it not even affect me. But as soon as I was saved from my sins, things radically changed! I did not want to do the things that I used to do. I ran from those things! I was a changed person.

When I sin I picture Jesus looking at me on the cross while He is getting nails hammered through His veins and at the same time saying,; Joe, this is for you. It breaks my heart to sin. Yes I will mess up, but I confess and ask for God’s forgiveness. It literally brings me to tears to know how I once was and what God did for me.

Coral the Goats and Pray

Lastly, I want to give a wake up call to everyone reading this article. There is no excuse for everyone in your church to not know the Gospel! I understand that many people are already upset with me in writing this article. However, I did not come to this keyboard to be a psychiatrist and make you feel good about yourselves. I came to proclaim the truth of the Living God!

I also understand that many pastors may be overwhelmed with the weight on their backs about ensuring that everyone knows and understands the gospel. Here is a suggestion, have two or three ministry teams, depending on the size of your church, to learn the gospel and then proclaim it to every person in your “flock.”

It should be part of every church to have a ministry designated to teach and proclaim the gospel to every new member or anyone that has never heard or understand the gospel. That should be a first priority in the church. That should come before music, youth, or whatever you have to offer. Pastor, if you don’t want to offend people in your church by preaching the truth of the gospel, at least have someone assigned into the ministry that ensures that people are fed the gospel and then pastor reconsider your calling!

Goats are amongst the sheep. It is our duty as Christians to sift them out by proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ. They will repent and feel convicted or they will remain as goats. Preach the gospel, practice church discipline and the goats will become fewer and fewer in your congregation. We have to plant the seed and then let the Holy Spirit do the job of cleansing and converting.

10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.
Ephesians 6:10 (NKJV)

In Christ,
Joe Benson


_________________
Joe

 2008/4/9 13:20Profile









 Re: Feedback on my article please

Quote:
You see my friends; the message of the cross doesn’t matter to the goats in the flock. Do not be blind! There are goats among us and they are destroying the church with YOUR help!



Matthew 25: 31When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:

32And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:

33And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.

34Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

35For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:

36Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.

37Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?

38When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?

39Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?

40And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

41Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:

42For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:

43I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.

44Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?

45Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.

46And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

 2008/4/9 14:03









 Re: Feedback on my article please

Amen
Not a popular stance but right on. As you said the Pastors are not called to be popular and to only bless the food at the potluck but to preach the gospel.
Watch out though, some of those goats have got horns and blat very loudly. Some of them will tell you that they wouldn't have you as their Pastor if you were the St. Peter. If they tell you that, just tell them if you were the St. Peter, they wouldn't be in your congregation.

 2008/4/9 16:45
ginnyrose
Member



Joined: 2004/7/7
Posts: 7446
Mississippi

 Re: Feedback on my article please

Joe,

I came here to look for a short piece to put in our church bulletin and then found this article but alas! it is too long for me to use. Nevertheless, you made a lot of excellent points.

I love your analogy of goats = unbelievers in the church. Too bad you did not have room to describe how "cute" goats and their kids are! Kids are so much fun to watch and play with! Really! One time we had a goat, got him when he was a kid and our children had so much fun with him. My DH tired of him and his antics and unknown to the children, got rid of him. And I am not sure if they still have forgiven him for doing this! He was a pet... Now maybe there is a a lesson in this...

Blessings,
ginnyrose


_________________
Sandra Miller

 2008/4/11 9:07Profile
Nellie
Member



Joined: 2004/4/5
Posts: 952


 Re: Feedback on my article please

I agree with your Post, and also agree with Brother Clendenen, who has some Sermons on SI.
He said any Church that does not have the Cross as it's number one priority preaching Jesus Christ and Him crucified. Salvation, only by the Blood of Jesus, is a Cult.
We have gotten away from the simplicity of the Gospel, and added our own agenda.
If you don't agree with their agenda, then they want you out.
May God help us to all turn back to our first Love, JESUS CHRIST.
The Church, I'm talking about, and we are the Church of the Living God.
God Bless all.
Nellie

 2008/4/11 9:41Profile









 Re:

http://www.gracethrufaith.com/ikvot/the-sheep-and-goat-judgment-matt-25-31-46

Some may want to read this concerning the sheep and goats.

This is not the Great White Throne Judgement as the Book of Life...or those written in the Book of Life..the Lambs book of Life is not even mentioned.

This is also not the Judgement seat of Christ where the Believers works will be judged , ...yet even of those who's works will be judged and burned having no rewards, they will still be saved.

So, what is [u]this[/u] judgement? And [u]when[/u] is this judgement?

Katy

 2008/4/11 10:13
JoeBenson
Member



Joined: 2008/3/29
Posts: 38
Greenville, South Carolina

 Re:

Dear Katy-did,

The purpose of the article that I wrote was concerning the lost in the church today and the symbolism between them (goats) and the saved and redeemed (sheep).

The article was directed towards the pastors and Christians today that do not preach the gospel due to it being offensive (i.e - sin, hell, judgment). Regardless of what judgement we talk about, if the goats (unsaved) do not become sheep (saved by the blood of Christ) than they will perish.

The main point is that the church needs to "step-up" and start preaching the truth of God, the gospel. The contemporary church has become a haven of tolerance and "seeker friendly" wishwash! The Word of God needs to be delivered boldly with a message that is uncompromising. Maybe then will God pour out His spirit and bring conviction and repentance among allof the land; USA, Canada, Europe, Asia, Africa and every other continent in the world. It is time for revival!

May we all fall on our face and cry to the Lord for a might y flood of outpouring of His Holy Spirit.

May the goats turn from their flock and join the flock of sheep; especially within the church. The pastor's and preachers in the contemporary church have no unction about them. It used to be where pastors who were filled with a mighty fire of God set the tone for the church. Now the cold congregation is telling the pastor's, preachers and evangelists what they want!

Where has all of the zeal and passion gone? Where has the prayer rooms gone? No wonder goats are consuming the church.

In Christ,

Joe Benson


_________________
Joe

 2008/4/11 13:12Profile









 Re:

Quote:
if the goats (unsaved) do not become sheep (saved by the blood of Christ) than they will perish.



Hi Joe,

Joe, I've never heard any of the Apostles refer to the unsaved as goats. As Matthew 25 is our only reference point concerning the teaching of sheep and goats in scripture, I believe we must keep it in the context of which Jesus spoke these scriptures.

More often then not.....the real meaning and context of passages are swept under the carpet or explained away, by making the text mean something other then what it was meant for......judgement of those who come throught the Great Tribulation and their treatment of Israel during that time.

I never think of the unsaved in terms of being goats. I think in terms of regenerate and unregenerate.

Jesus calls these the lost....

If those who are not saved are referred to as the ***goats****....there would be more scriptures using this as a reference point of identification.

What I mean here is ..... we have the LOST SHEEP of Israel:

Psalm 119:176
I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek thy servant; for I do not forget thy commandments.

Jeremiah 50:6
My people hath been lost sheep: their shepherds have caused them to go astray, they have turned them away on the mountains: they have gone from mountain to hill, they have forgotten their restingplace.

Matthew 10:6
But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

Matthew 15:24
But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

Luke 15:4
What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?

And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost.


But there is no where in scripture referring to anyone as LOST GOATS?


Quote:
May the goats turn from their flock and join the flock of sheep;



Again, can you find any scripture to back up the fellowship of Goats coming over and grazing in
the pastures of the Sheep? or would a goat have to become a sheep?

Goats are a name Jesus calls those who have NOT repented.....and announces their final judgement.

And no one should believe in Matthew 25 that Good Works alone can save you as some also take this scripture to mean.

You are in these passages either:

sheep or goats......just another way of saying...saved or lost.

Love in Christ

Katy

 2008/4/11 13:58
JoeBenson
Member



Joined: 2008/3/29
Posts: 38
Greenville, South Carolina

 Re:

Katy-did,

Thank you for the reply. It raises a couple of comments to share.

I was speaking in my article of congregation that is unrepentant and walking by the flesh. The verse in Matthew 25 was pertaining to the final judgement. The symbolism that I was using between goats and sheep was that of lost and not lost or those that came to repentance (saved sheep) and theose that did not (goats - unsaved).

I am clear of the meaning of the scripture. However, you do make a valid point. Goats are not mentioned as lost sheep. That point is clear. Goats are lost people who have not repented at the final judgment. The point in the article was to show that we have goats in our church today. Please re-read the article for clarification of the context I used. I believe that the article's context is clear. Do you agree that there are people in the church that are like goats who have never repented?

The article was to stress a point of preaching the gospel clearly and to not speak anumcompromising message from the pulpit or pews. There is no heresy being spoken here. The context that Jesus spoke was for the ones that have repented and those that haben't. The ones that haven't will be punished into damnation everlasting.

I would not say that goats and lost sheep are the same. Lost sheep can come back to the flock. For instance, ones who have backslid or fallen into sin. They meay have repented and be saved. However, they fell away from the faith. They still know God's voice when called.
On the other hand, Goats never knew God's voice because they have not repented and put their trust in the Savior Jesus Christ.
Again, I stress that the context of the article is a call of repentance by preaching clearly the gospel of Jesus Christ and not an uncompromising message. I would hope that we do not get caught up on the word goat and sheep. It is clear that goats have not repented and sheep have (whether lost or not).

I hope that I cleared that up. I do understand what your thinking was on this. It was not and is not my intention to be a "scripture-twister". I am not known to do that.

Thanks for the stimulating converstaion.

In Christ,

Joe


_________________
Joe

 2008/4/11 14:37Profile
JoeBenson
Member



Joined: 2008/3/29
Posts: 38
Greenville, South Carolina

 Re:

Katie-did,

I left one important thing out.
Your quote
"And no one should believe in Matthew 25 that Good Works alone can save you as some also take this scripture to mean."

I am in total agreement with you. Let's always remember Epesians 2:8-9

8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
Eph 2:8-9 (KJV)

I do not believe that I implied anywhere in my article that a person is saved by works. It is only by the grace of God and by faith that we can be saved through the Savior Jesus Christ.

Praise the Lord for the blood of Christ that saves!

In Christ,

Joe



_________________
Joe

 2008/4/11 14:42Profile





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