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MJones
Member



Joined: 2008/10/31
Posts: 320
Missouri

 Repentance preaching

RobertW wrote:

Yesterday I spent the day asking myself a vital question that I'm having a hard time reckoning with. Have I personally ever witnessed anyone come to Christ and remain in Christ by the preaching of a fearful repentance message. As of this morning, I still cannot think of a single person I know that came to Christ and has stayed trusting in Christ through this method. Understand that I have been in ministry with many well known names on this site and I still can't think of a single person.



RobertW,

Having read your references to this thought a few times lately, I thought it could be a good discusion, provided it does not get sidetracked.

I don't have a lot of time right now, but I'll throw out a couple of thoughts for starters.

We must all repent, but when we do, we are then toward God. Once we are toward God, the emphasis then is to come closer to Him.

It is likely that there will be subsequent needs of repentence, but only to the extent that we do not come as close to Him as we should. The more we come to Him the less need for subsequent repentance. Conversely, the less we come, the more need.

A steady dose of repentence preaching seems like repeating step 1 over and over, when there should be more emphasis on moving on to step 2, 3 and 4. Step 1 gets us started. Steps 2, 3 and 4 keep us going.

My thoughts in nutshell version.


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Mike Jones

 2009/1/29 21:03Profile
RobertW
Member



Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4636
Independence, Missouri

 Re: Repentance preaching

One year I ministered for an entire year on repentance. It's the only message I heard in 2004. And repentance is truly necessary.

I did a little post on Finney's conversion and also mentioned Wesley's. It is interesting to me that these men did not come to God as a result of heavy handed repentance preaching, but as God dealt with them in their hearts and they saw by revelation the truth of the Gospel and responded.

I also read of [url=http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/articles/index.php?view=article&aid=19496]George Whitefield's Conversion Experience[/url] in which after some time of God dealing he simply fell on the bed and cried out with a dry mouth, "I thirst! I thirst!". DL Moody was saved in a shoe store as I understand it.

I may be missing it, but it seems to me that the Gospel as presented as 'good' news tends to yield conversions, but when folk are told to turn now or face hell- there are very few converted. In fact, I have been in situations when it seemed sorely solemn- week after week and month after month and yet very few took any step toward God.

So there has to come that day of visitation- that point in which God has been dealing with the person to turn to Him and they turn. It seems to matter little what means of grace is employed, only that the person comes to that point of decision. It could be in the shoe store, the woods or a formal setting.




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Robert Wurtz II

 2009/1/29 21:26Profile









 Re:

Quote:
I may be missing it, but it seems to me that the Gospel as presented as 'good' news tends to yield conversions, but when folk are told to turn now or face hell- there are very few converted.



Brother, I would have to disagreee with you to a certain extent. The great awakenings through the preaching of Jonathon Edwards would be a good example that I would call as a witness. Two of his most effectual sermons said to have created the most vislible fruit were "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" and the "Justice of God in the Damnation of Sinners". Once people were awakened to their desperate need to turn or burn, terrified of their soon coming damnation, then the message of grace was preached as a precious jewel to the poor sinners. Edwards sermons on grace, the excellencies of Christ and Gods undeserved mercy are only rivaled by his sermons on the just damnation of sinners and the terrors of an eternal hell. These really should work as one in the same message though. Repentance preaching in the proper spirit should cause the sinner to greater esteem the precious blood of Christ upon hearing of Gods great love for such wretched, miserable, monstrous, hell deserving sinners.

God bless you in Christ Jesus

-Jim

 2009/1/29 21:51
RobertW
Member



Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4636
Independence, Missouri

 Re:

Quote:
Edwards sermons on grace, the excellencies of Christ and Gods undeserved mercy are only rivaled by his sermons on the just damnation of sinners and the terrors of an eternal hell. These really should work as one in the same message though. Repentance preaching in the proper spirit should cause the sinner to greater esteem the precious blood of Christ upon hearing of Gods great love for such wretched, miserable, monstrous, hell deserving sinners.



I have found in my limited experience that people turn to God in a sense from this type preaching, but I 'personally' have not seen the conversions last. It may be good for an altar call, but then there is an ongoing need to keep preaching repentance week after week after week.

So what I'm really driving at is, I'm not convinced that folk lastingly come to God until they respond to the revelation of God working in their life on a very personal level. It seems to me that we need to preach in such a way that folk can 'begin in the Spirit' as did the saints at Galatia. I have often been taken by how folk seem to temporarily 'turn', but it is rarely enough for them to come into a self-sustaining Christian life. By self-sustaining I mean one that will of their [u]own[/u] volition work out their salvation with fear and trembling.



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Robert Wurtz II

 2009/1/29 22:01Profile
AbideinHim
Member



Joined: 2006/11/26
Posts: 3385
Louisiana

 Re:

I don't believe that there is a certain method that will work to save people. What works is when the Sprit of God is dealing with the one that you are speaking to, and you are not just speaking the right words, but there is an anointing on the word that is being delivered.

It is the Holy Spirit that convicts men, and regenerates them. It is not our methods or just mouthing the right scriptures.

The Word says "And some save by fire". There are some people that will respond to this, but not all.

There are a lot of different fish out there, and God knows the right bait to use to catch them with.

Mike


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Mike

 2009/1/29 22:11Profile
RobertW
Member



Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4636
Independence, Missouri

 Re:

Quote:
There are a lot of different fish out there, and God knows the right bait to use to catch them with.



I think of the passage:

[color=000066]And of some have compassion, making a difference: (Jude)[/color]

It does seem that the Holy Spirit wants to meet people right where they are. I also recall the purpose of Christ's anointing:

[color=000066] The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. (Luke 4)[/color]

I hear in this passage a willingness to deliver from bondage to sin and heal the brokenhearted. There is a tenderness here that really challenges me.


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Robert Wurtz II

 2009/1/29 22:31Profile
tjservant
Member



Joined: 2006/8/25
Posts: 1658
Indiana USA

 Re:

Quote:
I have found in my limited experience that people turn to God in a sense from this type preaching, but I 'personally' have not seen the conversions last. It may be good for an altar call, but then there is an ongoing need to keep preaching repentance week after week after week.



I personally have experienced the opposite.

I had heard that Jesus loved me all my life. I never thought twice about Him giving His Son for me. I never needed it. It wasn’t till years later when the reality of hell and the understanding that I deserved it came upon me that I was broken by His love.

A lack of hell, damnation, and repentance preaching provides no understanding of price paid. No understanding of divine justice. Folks I see don’t view themselves as deserving or having ever been deserving of anything but love because they are basically good people.

There is a balance. Hell, eternal damnation, repentance, mercy, grace and love must all be preached.

In order to be saved, doesn’t one need to be convinced of their need of a savior?


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TJ

 2009/1/29 22:33Profile
tjservant
Member



Joined: 2006/8/25
Posts: 1658
Indiana USA

 Re:

Quote:
It is the Holy Spirit that convicts men, and regenerates them. It is not our methods or just mouthing the right scriptures.



Amen. Preach it all, all the time.


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TJ

 2009/1/29 22:34Profile
RobertW
Member



Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4636
Independence, Missouri

 Re:

Quote:
In order to be saved, doesn’t one need to be convinced of their need of a savior?



To clarify as we peel back the layers here, I believe there needs to be more than a simple understanding of our guilt before God and that we deserved hell, etc.. We need to see the reality of it by [i]revelation[/i]. We need to see by revelation our awesomely dreadful condition and God's unspeakable love in His answer to our condition. We need to know by revelation that He desires to put away our Sin and sins and reconcile with us.

What I am really driving at is that repentance preaching typically focuses on the fact that we deserve hell and on that basis seeks to secure the repentance of a sinner. I am not convinced that this is sufficient. Many people I know, if we went through a series of questions, would be forced to admit they are sinners destined for hell; but those same people have not repented after hearing about hell their whole life. They have likewise heard that God loved them their whole life.

Many people know to some degree or another that they are sinners and deserve hell. Here in the so-called Bible Belt, you will find that people age 35 and up typically understand they are sinners. But there has to be a point in time in the person's life when they [i]respond[/i] to the drawing of the Holy Spirit. I think of the life of Abraham:


[color=000066]And he said, Men, brethren, and fathers, hearken; The God of glory appeared unto our father Abraham, when he was in Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Charran,

And said unto him, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and come into the land which I shall shew thee.

Then came he out of the land of the Chaldaeans, and dwelt in Charran: and from thence, when his father was dead, he removed him into this land, wherein ye now dwell. (Acts 7)[/color]


This is Steven's sermon that we all know ends with him assuring them saying, [color=000066]Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye. [/color] He began the sermon with Abraham yielding to God and ended with the unbelieving Jews resisting the Holy Ghost. That is an amazing contrast.

Yet there are some people that need to know that God can and will deliver them from their sin. Some are in severe bondage. Others have not yet reached a place where they are ready and willing to respond rightly to God. Abraham did not serve God because of a fear of hell, even though he knew that God was the Judge of all the Earth. He seemed to walk with God and love God almost independent of that fear. The focus of their relationship was on the [i]present circumstances[/i] with a view of eternity.

The last few months have been a real time of reflection for me. But I am seeing one thing for certain, the last 5 years of my life have been seemingly relatively unfruitful years. I feel that God is showing me that their must be a deep heart of compassion for people and that includes sinners in my life. Not a lip-service. Not a 'they all deserve hell' attitude. But a deep compassion for people that springs from the love of God. I have to ask myself if my zeal to secure a sinners repentance had been tempered more with good fruits (as James says), others may have been saved.


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Robert Wurtz II

 2009/1/30 4:07Profile
Lysa
Member



Joined: 2008/10/25
Posts: 3392
East TN (for now)

 Re:

Quote:

RobertW wrote:
I have found in my limited experience that people turn to God in a sense from this type preaching, but I 'personally' have not seen the conversions last. It may be good for an altar call, but then there is an ongoing need to keep preaching repentance week after week after week.

So what I'm really driving at is, I'm not convinced that folk lastingly come to God until they respond to the revelation of God working in their life on a very personal level. It seems to me that we need to preach in such a way that folk can 'begin in the Spirit' as did the saints at Galatia. I have often been taken by how folk seem to temporarily 'turn', but it is rarely enough for them to come into a self-sustaining Christian life. By self-sustaining I mean one that will of their [u]own[/u] volition work out their salvation with fear and trembling.


All I can offer is "my" experience and I cannot debate my experience.

I am one of those that RobertW speaks of. Under repentance preaching, if I went to the altar once, I went 50 times and most of the times by the next day the fear would wear off (is the only way I know how to say it).

When I heard a message by the "Spirit," I gave my mind, body, heart, and soul to Christ. What I heard was from the Father's heart to me that day and since.

Again, "MY" experience has shown me that the difference (take it or leave it, for what it's worth), is that a true father doesn't need to beat their child into submittance by fear but understands how the Spirit operates and so leads and feeds the children.

[If you find fault with my description, then blame my lack of english and grammar skills to convey what took place that day. Do not blame God.) I personally believe the Church of Jesus Christ needs more men presenting the wonderful Gospel of Jesus Christ with the Father's heart.


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Lisa

 2009/1/30 4:52Profile





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