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Abe_Juliot
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Joined: 2008/5/11
Posts: 129
Southern California

 My Last Post - My Testimony of the Goodness of God on my Journey to Heaven

This is my last post here dear brothers and sisters. It was a blessing spending edifying discourse with such a diversity of God's beloved brethren. It is time for me to say goodbye to the forums here at Sermonindex. I left my email if anyone wants to keep in contact.

This is just a brief version of my testimony of how God corrected me from a man-centered theology. I encourage others to share their testimonies also about how God brought them to hope more and more in His Sovereign Grace upon them.


A. Concerning Evangelism and Prayer

I've shared with some in the past, that as a result of understanding Sovereign Grace I have ceased to evangelize as if People went to hell primarily because I didn't witness to them. I was first taught this by one of my favorite preachers Keith Daniel. I grabbed hold of that and burned my self out for almost 2 years in extreme hyper evangelism. You can listen Keith Daniel's sermon
[url=http://media.sermonindex.net/4/SID4430.mp3]The Possibility of Death[/url] on Sermonindex. Keith Daniel is a blessing and I believe there are many gems of grace in his sermons. Let us continue to pray for his ministry of the Word. Everyone who believes in Election by the will of your evangelistic endeavors should find this sermon to be a blessing. keep in mind that according to this view, there are people who will die this week and every week... and if you don't witness to as many as you can, God knows HOW MANY will go to hell (as Keith Daniel says) "Not because they are sinners... but, because you didn't witness to them." Now can you see how this would affect a young preacher like me full of zeal and lacking foundation in the Word. Upon hearing this, I became overwhelmingly burdened with a huge sense of responsibility mingled with a constant sadness that it was my fault that perhaps thousands of precious souls were in hell because I didn't witness to them in time. If you don't believe me, I wrote a song about it at the time. I think you will get the picture. [url=http://www.theopenlife.com/music/abrahamjuliot/iwatchedthemburyyou.mp3]I Watched Them Bury You[/url]

A few months after writing the song, A close unsaved friend of mine died in a car accident. She was an old family friend from childhood and I remember going to her funeral at the Catholic Church. As the congregation wept over her death, I was in the back staring into her eyes in a large portrait of her. I was shacking and trembling as I thought, "Those eyes are on fire right now!... This precious soul is forever in hell right now!..." I ran out and wept as I cried tears that spoke quietly, "Father, there are so many souls going to hell. How can I save them before they go to hell." I definately was guilty of not preaching to her. I never lived around her after I got saved. But, I could have called her on the phone and preached to her. And if what Keith Daniel says is true, WHO KNOWS? maybe she would have repented and I could have saved one more soul from hell with my evangelistic endeavors. (and of coarse at the time I would say that it will be with a lot of help from Jesus.)

If you are someone who believes this stuff, you should be witnessing and praying with the same intensity of a soul that has come back from hell! If your not, I would question whether you really believe in an eternal hell where souls are condemned under the wrath of God forever. I plead with you to use your logic skills and add 2 and 2 together. If they went to hell primarily because you didn't witness to them, then their is a strong sense in which you have the will power (as long as you live) to determine whether or not one more soul get's saved from Hell. You have become a co-redeemer with Jesus. WOW! Just think of how many souls went to hell this past week because you were too lazy to witness to them or too careless to prayer fervently for them. [I speak as a foolish man here, for some will conclude] It's all you fault! They are in Hell because of you! You could have helped Jesus get them into heaven with their free will! You have condemnation you lukewarm sleepy Christian!

God forbid that we should tolerate such man-centered foolish thinking. That is why I don't recommend the sermons of preachers who say things like, 'If we had more Christians in the prayer meeting, we would have less people in hell! There will be souls in hell-fire screaming the name of their pastor forever and ever because their pastor had not a Holy Ghost fire!'

That's Why I don't recommend preachers who snap their fingers and leave a subtly implication that we have the power to determine if one more soul get's into heaven (through or evangelistic endeavors) Has any sat under preaching like this? I have. Did Jesus ever do this to the disciples when he sent them out to Preach. Did Paul ever write to the Churches like this. '[Snap]Their goes another 2 souls in hell forever. [Snap] There goes another 2 souls. [Snap] What are going to do about it. [Snap] What are going to do about it. [Snap] You need to witness more. [Snap] You need to pray more. [Snap] God's going to spew lukewarm Christians out of his mouth. [snap] evangelize! God wants more souls! [Snap] You need to pray more. [snap]...etc. etc.

I have sat under this kind of preaching for far way to long. Often we put a huge guilt trip on Christians because they do not evengelize enough, when the reason why they don't evangelize more is because they are not being taught the glorious of the gospel of Jesus Christ! I thank God for men like John Piper who spent almost a decade preaching through the entire book of Romans so that the People of God might see and taste the goodness of Jesus Christ. I thank God for men like Paul Washer who is laboring night and day take God's people on a journey into the glories of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Consequently, God is raising up men and woman with a passion for God's name and His gospel to be exalted. And this passion has drven them to preach fearlessly. They don't need foolish Hyper Revivalism that brings God's people into man-centered evangelism and man-centered motives for Christian living.

I served a frustrated Trinity and this had me getting frustrated with people who wouldn't repent when asked them to nicely. I remember, on one occasion I refused to shake a man's hand. I was getting so frustrated because he wouldn't let God save him. I said to him, "No! You can shake hands with God!" My Man-centered theology led me into much pride and I often was afraid to admit it because if I admitted it, I would have to come to grips with the fact that human self-sufficiency is dung and filthy rags.

I could stay out late preaching to people everywhere 5 days a week . Some might consider this a bad means to a good end. But, it was all man-centered and void of close communion with God. Through the years, God has changed my motives in evangelism. You can read about some of the truths that God pierced me with [url=http://abrahamjuliot.blogspot.com/2008/02/god-centered-evangelism-and-man.html]Here[/url] and [url=http://abrahamjuliot.blogspot.com/2008/06/doctrines-of-you-are-unprofitable-and-i.html]Here[/url]. As a result of a change in motives, I began to spend more time in close communion with God in the Word of God rather than out on the streets trying to save the world with my freewill and everyone else free will (and of coarse some of God's freewill to). I used to think that it was my fault that souls went to hell, and as a result of this I would preach more than I prayed and I was frantic in evangelistic endeavors, but I was lacking close communion and listening to God's Word. Primarily, because I thought if I didn't evangelize to every one I might be guilty of sending them to hell and thus lose my salvation. My love for the lost has changed to a God-centered motive to pray and preach. I pray because:

[1] I know that God has the power to give the new heart to dead sinners.

[2] God has declared in His word that He will actually save a people throughout the whole world among all nations.

[3] The intercessions of His spirit are an ordained means to an ordained end. God doesn't need their wills to let Him answer my prayers that God lays on my heart. I pray because I believe God can actually save that sinner completely. Before I would pray much... but, I thought that God really couldn't regenerate the sinner unless the sinner cooperated with an act of their will. Many times I would pray with Calvinistic cries for God to work a miracle. I believe God was humbling me at those times. That's why I wrote the article [url=http://abrahamjuliot.blogspot.com/2008/07/all-christians-are-calvinistic-when.html]All Christians are Calvinistic When They Are on Their Knees[/url]. But, many times when I prayed, I feared that even after God makes them a new creature they might eventually perish and be one of many born again children of God lost in Hell forever. That really discouraged me from confidence in the power of God to save a soul and keep them saved. Consequently, I figured that perhaps most of my Bible College roomates would end up in hell because they were not as holy as I was. Oh, LORD have mercy on me a sinner.

My desire to evangelize the lost (for the glory of God) has actually increased to a greater degree than before. I took some seasons for God to root out my man-centered motives. I have not been able to preach as much as I used to, as I am now entrusted to give special attention and care to my wife. But, my missionary endeavors have increased in the God-centered direction, and their have many been doors that God opens for me to evangelize. (Whereas before I would kick the door down with my freewill) Some believe that the man who preaches to the most sinners knows God the most. Then Mormons and J.W. would be closer to God than many Christians are. It's not about how many people you reach out to. I'm just saying that, because in past times that has wrongly become my focus, and the Sovereign grace of God has brought a balance in my life. Please don't think I don't evangelize anymore. I have written the article [url=http://abrahamjuliot.blogspot.com/2008/03/urgent-command-from-scriptures-to-go.html]An Urgent Command (from the Scriptures) To Go and Preach the Gospel![/url] to wake-up those who sit cozy and careless while many of God's sheep throughout the whole World are not brought home yet. God has ordained the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. God has also ordained the means of intercession to bring about the answered prayer of souls being saved to the glory of God. Those Calvinistic men like Goerge Muller and David Brainerd learned this God wrought art very well.

Paul Washer said something that brought tears to my eyes. Upon hearing this, I found myself longing for souls to be saved in a God-centered manner. I made a compilation to remind me that my Jesus loves sinners and he is moved with compassion to compel them to come home. Please keep a copy of this on your IPOD at all times.

[url=http://www.theopenlife.com/music/abrahamjuliot/comps/somebodyprayed1.mp3]Somebody Prayed (part 1)[/url]

[url=http://www.theopenlife.com/music/abrahamjuliot/comps/somebodyprayed2.mp3]Somebody prayed (part 2)[/url]


B. Concerning Communion with God

These truths have led me to abound with thanksgiving for God's unspeakable gift towards me and others. [url=http://www.monergism.com/thethreshold/articles/onsite/gracelist.html]These doctrines[/url] have led me to weep in the presence of God in light of His great goodness toward the whole World. Before, I was like one of the nine of the ten cleanesed leapers in Luke 17. It was rare that you would find me weeping at the feet of Jesus with tears of thanksgiving. By God's grace that has been a place that I have found myself rejoicing in the presence of God. I wrote the article [url=http://abrahamjuliot.blogspot.com/2008/07/shall-we-thank-you-or-lord.html]Shall We Thank You or the LORD[/url] to correct the sin of not giving God the glory due unto His name when it comes to what God has accomplished by His mercy towards us.

I strongly believe in the doctrine of common grace. Or in simpler terms, God's acts of goodness towards all men universally. This truth (as well as the truth of God's saving grace) has put a passion in me to plead with sinners to taste and see that the LORD is good. I was worthless and a wretched sinner when God sought me and He gave me a new heart and a new will through the preaching of the gospel. These truths of God's unfrustrated Grace have led me to abhor my flesh and be quick to confess sin with hope in the everlasting mercy of God. These doctrines have led me into deeper prayer sessions. I love him because He first loved me. And these doctrines highly teach that God first loved me. As a result of these truths pressed upon my heart, God's Spirit has worked His love in me through the revelation of His love towards me. I can talk for ever on this point. I encourage you to read an article I wrote called [url=http://abrahamjuliot.blogspot.com/2008/08/kisses-of-his-mouth.html]The Kisses of His Mouth[/url]

C. God protected me from the extreme teachings on Christian Perfection

A few years ago, I was being taught that if a Christian sins (even one idle or vain thought) he will go to hell at that moment... If he dies or the rapture happens. Also, along with this I was being taught that you had to be perfect in every possible way, to remain being saved, or you will lose your salvation and go to hell When Jesus Comes back. At the time, I began believing that I was in danger of losing my salvation everyday. I was afraid that God was going to kill me by the end of the week because I didn't pray and live holy enough. I was so afraid I would end up in hell because I knew that daily a struggle being entirely perfect. I was afraid God might change His mind and Hate me by casting me into hell forever. Not because I was enslaved to sin and unbelief. But, because I knew that some times I would not be as fervent in prayer as I ought to be or I wasn't as zealous in good works as I ought to be. I was being led astray back into "the fear of death." The fear of death should never be the motivation for doing good works. Rather we should be motivated by "the mercy and love of God" for He has saved us from our sins and the fear of death.

Some Perfection brothers don't struggle with these fears because they have a low view of the Law of God and they justify their sin as an unintentional accident rather than rebellion and wickedness. I have known a man who actually said he had not sinned in months. You can read about what sin really is in this scripture List called [url=http://abrahamjuliot.blogspot.com/2008/11/ten-commandments.html]The Ten Commandments[/url].

I often struggle with the sin of anxiety and pride. I know God is doing a work in me because I hate my sin and that's because God has given me eyes to see what sin did to His beloved Son as He suffered the wrath of God to Justify an ungodly sinner like me. Hallelujah!

D. Some Points of Edification and Practical Application. I shared these in the "Frustrated Trinity" post. By God's grace, I will continue to share them till the day I die.

1. I have found great confidence to pray for souls when I look to my Lord who succeeds in His prayers. I have found great discouragement to prayer for souls when I look to a frustrated and false [idea of] Jesus that cannot accomplish the prayers that he prays.

2. I have found great joy in God to walk in love and holiness when I meditate on the Eternal Electing Love of the Father. By the mercies of God, I present my body as a living sacrifice to Him. I found great confidence in God concerning my missionary endeavors. For I serve the God of the bible who promises that He will save many sinners out of every kindred, tongue, people, and nation. I don't just hope He will save people in a specific nation. I know that he will. And since by the grace of God I'm not loveless and careless towards the lost, I seek to save them as my savior does with my confidence in the power of God to bring in a people from every nation. Hallelujah!!!

3. I have found great peace in trusting in the Spirits power to mercifully and powerfully regenerate whomsoever He wills.

4. When I held my first born baby Isaac in my arms and kissed him goodbye, I would not have found peace that surpasses understanding and I would not have worshiped the Lord in that hour, unless I had known the Sovereign God of the Bible who is Sovereign over all things. My son died almost 4 weeks ago [3 months now] and I wont let anyone discourage me that God was not Sovereign over it. I rejoice that God has ordained this trail in my life to conform me into His image and to manifest His Son in me. He is not a frustrated God who cannot accomplish His purposes. "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified." (Romans 8:28-30)

Ashley and I were given the blessing to hold Isaac and Worship the Lord for His Sovereign goodness towards us. We trust that He ordained this to conform us to His image.

This moment has been brought to me by the cross of Christ, by the love of Christ, and by the goodness of Christ. Let us rejoice and be glad in it! Brothers and sisters, I pray that the Lord may take us deeper into the waters of His grace. There is Peace in Christ that surpasses understanding of which I have found myself hungering after even more as a result of this event in our lives.

Please read this portion of the sermon by John Piper that God has used to strengthen me in this trial:

"I met a young woman from India a few years ago who thanked me for the truth she had heard in something I had said and asked if she could write to me. When she was born a treatable disease was misdiagnosed, and she was paralyzed. By age 14 she had had 21 surgeries and was cruelly treated by other children calling her "crippled." She became a Christian in high school. She married, had four miscarriages, and her second child died in her husband's arms at two months. She closed the letter,

I have read many books on suffering, but they are often so man-centered and... nullify, or at least diminish the glory, majesty and sovereignty of God. It is radical thinking to say that God wills and ordains our suffering and not just passively allows it, hoping to make the best of it for us. As I have grown in my walk, I can see that nothing in this world happens apart from the sovereign will of God."

God bless you! -Abraham


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Abraham Juliot

 2009/1/19 0:15Profile
TaylorOtwell
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Joined: 2006/6/19
Posts: 927
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 Re: My Last Post - My Testimony of the Goodness of God on my Journey to Heaven

Thank you, brother. I can relate in so many ways.

A wretch with a great Savior,
Taylor



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Taylor Otwell

 2009/1/19 7:54Profile









 Re: My Last Post - My Testimony of the Goodness of God on my Journey to Heaven

Abe

Very good testimony.


Old Joe

 2009/1/19 8:27
rowdy2
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Joined: 2007/1/21
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 Re: My Last Post - My Testimony of the Goodness of God on my Journey to Heaven

Reply to Abe

Watch and be prepared for the times when our Lord intrusts you with a little

May you abide in His peace.

Eddie


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Eddie

 2009/1/19 8:41Profile
graceamazed
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Joined: 2008/11/3
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 Re:

Sorry to hear this will be your last post. I greatly enjoyed reading it and wish we could have had more fellowship in these forums. I will rejoice with you that we do serve a sovereign, omnipotent God who works all things according to the good council of His will!


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Buck Yates

 2009/1/19 8:53Profile
crsschk
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Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 9192
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 Re: My Last Post - My Testimony of the Goodness of God on my Journey to Heaven

Dear Abe ...

Make it a sabbatical will you? I understand brother, I really truly do. In my time here, now some 6 years I believe have seen and observed many things and if there is any one great matter that looms the largest it is the one of misunderstanding ...

That would or could be extrapolated out into pages of clarifications and quantifying aspects. Most of them being with the preface; "It's not about _____".

Forgive me for making too much of an illustration out of this but it is the results of these two waring factions, let's not kid ourselves about it. And I want to stress, is it worth it? Is this what scripture teaches, exemplifies .. warrants? Is it truly, [u]truly[/u] a matter of 'sound doctrine' or is it the effects of a micro-management of them, of particulars and particles ...

To my mind, my observation, my gleanings the issue is the [i]sides[/i] not what those sides contain. I may never, find it again but somewhere in the bowels of SI is something I have never forgotten and never will. It had to do with this very issue when it was first being developed. The names elude me as much as the particular setting but it had to do with one soul who completely agreed with a collective group of what were to become "Calvinists" to use the label broadly and those who were opposed naturally being called heretics. His lone objection was to the [i]manner[/i] in which they proposed and had begun to go about matters. He was greatly grieved over it all and at length they turned on him and made him a heretic by extension, even though he completely agreed with their premise.

I do not know how to put this without it sounding either prideful or boasting ... But there is something apparently in my DNA that is of a peacekeeping substance. As a child I could not handle strife and contention, arguments, mean-spiritedness and the like. As a Christian it was made more manifest still ad short of the fact that I have often veered off, caused my own regrettable arguments and controversies, been caught up in the same, created them, joined in, let them under my skin, there is still this root that I eventually return to when head clears and the passions, the fleshly attributes die down.

This is the matter. This is where I could but wish a pox on all of this. None of us, despite the clarifications and definitions otherwise are either of these things. We are not to be ...

[i]For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you. Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?[/i] 1Co 1:11-13

Oh for the life of me that this would sink down into the marrow of our beings. None of us are "Calvinists" - None of us are "Arminians". Don't qualify it and defend it and turn it around and redefine it. For the thousandth time, yes, we [i]get[/i] what it means to you and to others all very well if you must limit yourself to these formulas, to these lists and points and whatnot. I am indeed breaking off into generalities.

This will likely sting some, but there is something beyond these constructs and there is yet another step in this progression. The next step past these holdings is one of maturity. It is to recognize the forest of all this in the long running feud and that is the reason why there has been no reconciliation between the two. Do you know what it is my Brethren?

Just one more thing.

It is why it is endless and contentious and constantly full of strife- [i]Just one more thing[/i]. One more consideration, one more text, verse, one more- "What about _____?" We flatly refuse to see and often to hear all due to these filters that everything must be funneled through - It is likely a bit of both intention and stubbornness- ignorance as well as arrogance.

I am saying that there is a place of getting past all this, on to maturity, on to "Yes, I hear your argument - I hear your heartfelt convictions, I hear the issues and problems and they are not slighted nor thwarted nor glossed over." Much of this is problematic, much of it leads to extrapolations and hyper - you name it. It has been run with, ran over the rails, whole colleges and school of thought and books beyond number.

My, I do not know how to finish this or to express just how grievous it all is - That there would be a separation and that the accusations go back and forth amongst those of the very same [i]fold[/i].

Dear people, get beyond this. Learn the word "perhaps". Learn to hold things in abeyance and throw yourselves at the most profound and true statement of the scriptures;

[i]Lord, Thou knowest.[/i]

We just do not know the half of it. We refuse to recognize that the secret things truly belong to God alone and that all of our uncivil warfare against each other - over [b][i]two men![/i][/b] Two men, amidst how many?

We need to grow up and grow out of this. Away with these titles and labels and squaring off into sectarian camps - I am convinced if the Apostle Paul was near he would rebuke us in the strongest words and take off on that text above until we were weeping in repentance.

I love you brother in all sincerity. This site has managed, up until recently to allow the collision of these two ideologies, to let them sit in tension by the very means of what is presented here - By speaker and preacher, teacher and article, by conversation and opinion - Never was it anything but men of God who poured out their lives, their hearts, their convictions .. their souls. Never was it intentional at all, I am certain that at it's very inception and being that SI was young and I know Greg as well as myself were both very close in our time frames of being brought out of the darkness into the Light, we too were very young and might I say blissfully ignorant of so much of this. I am including myself only by extension and by observation ...

I will go no further than that. It is Greg's site and he will do as he sees fit, but these are my gleanings. I know of nowhere else that has managed to put these two colliding schools of thought [i]together[/i], without intentionality, without even the notice that it was even happening! And allow everyone and anyone to be challenged - To just simply [i]think[/i]- To just simply consider - To find that peculiar notice that the scriptures can and do find us gleaning different things.

It is my notice and musing that God has done this purposefully - To test us, to prove us, to see if we do in fact love one another and to show us just how little and how human we really are. How apart from Him we can indeed do [i]nothing[/i].


Brother, take a break and come back again however many days yet in the future. I pray this will all still be here and that we all will have grown and learned together.


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Mike Balog

 2009/1/19 9:46Profile
Koheleth
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 Re: My Last Post - My Testimony of the Goodness of God on my Journey to Heaven

The goodness of God! Yes, it will see all of us through. We will miss you, brother Abe. Thanks for your contributions.

 2009/1/19 9:54Profile









 Re:

You'll be back... trust me.

Good testimony. I trust the Lord will lead you as you seek Him!

Krispy

 2009/1/19 10:41
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"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11

Online!
 Re:

It saddens me to see brothers swept so much around to "extreme" positions on doctrines. I understand your struggles brother and do trust the Lord will guide you into His perfect ways and truth.

We must never just give up and let sin reign in our hearts. Holiness of life is possibly only through Christ. We fail but the "righteous" get back up.

Keep on the narrow path brother.


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SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2009/1/19 10:50Profile
Koheleth
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 Re:

Quote:

KrispyKrittr wrote:
You'll be back... trust me.



I hope Krispy is right!

Just wanted to add, brother, that you have suffered much from your understanding of what you have listened to. It makes a lot of sense to me that you are angry or offended at such preaching and ready to reject it. However, we also have to keep in mind how we interpret what we listen to. Jesus said, "Be careful how you listen."

What you got out of those messages was guilt and condemnation that you could not handle. I understand that, and I feel sorry you were left there. Have you ever considered that others have listened to these same messages and not gotten the same thing? The goal of most of these messages is not to condemn, nor is it to imply that we have any part in saving a sinner.

Jesus said, "You shall be my witnesses." and Paul said, "How shall they hear without a preacher?" For most of us, it is just as simple as that. No guilt complex, no condemnation. Just a simple question of following the instructions of the Master. He asked us to witness of Him. It doesn't even matter so much what our theology is, as long as we speaking of Christ and what he has done for us. God alone can save, and sometimes he does save without any human involvement, but this was not the Master Plan. Jesus asked people to tell others and spread the good news by word of mouth.

I hope my heart has come across rightly. I would like to see any brother or sister set free from a wrong understanding of why evangelism is so important. Don't let the devil rob you of the joy of telling many others about Christ! :-)

 2009/1/19 11:51Profile





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