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Discussion Forum : General Topics : Repentance preaching

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rbanks
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Joined: 2008/6/19
Posts: 1257


 Re:

Dear Brethren,

I have been blessed by reading this thread.

We all know that Jesus said that no one could come to him except His Father draw him. We know that the spirit must convict and draw a person to Christ. The most effective witnessing is to be led by the Spirit and depending on the Spirit to work in the person you are witnessing to. We know that when we are witnessing to someone who is lost that they do not know the things that we know about the gospel (good news) of Christ.

2 Corinthians 4:3-4 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

The bible also says that it is the goodness of God that leads man to repentance. It also says that we love Him because he first loved us. I believe that people must see the goodness of God. We must be led by the Spirit to minister to others about the goodness of God toward us in his Son Christ Jesus. The good news of Jesus Christ and what he went through for us should be told to the sinner in such a way as to convict him of his lost and sinful condition.

We must proclaim Jesus Christ in such a way as to draw that person to Christ. If we preach at them for their sins first, most of the times they want listen to us any further. Most of the time I tell them what Christ has done in me. I try to show them the necessity of Christ and why we don’t want to be without Him. We must proclaim Christ and His goodness to sinful people allowing the Holy Spirit to convict them of their need of Him to save them and to give them eternal life. It is when there eyes have been opened to the glorious Savior that they will desire salvation. When we begin in the Spirit with a concern for that lost person then we must realize that they don’t have that same concern that you have because they don’t really know what they are missing. When they see Jesus they can believe and when they call upon Him they will be saved and repent of all known sin.

1 Corinthians 1:18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

Repentance is on going in a persons life as more of the glory of Christ is revealed to them.

2 Corinthians 3:18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

Blessings to all!

 2009/1/30 10:26Profile









 Re:

"The bible also says that it is the goodness of God that leads man to repentance. It also says that we love Him because he first loved us. I believe that people must see the goodness of God." rbanks

Amen. This is great truth and perspective.

 2009/1/30 10:34
RobertW
Member



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

 Re:

Quote:
Mike's: Another important factor in the salvation of sinners is prayer. When we pray for people to be saved the Holy Spirit will prepare the ground in their lives to receive the incorruptable seed



I also want to say that the old timers believed in 'praying through', that is until folk really touched God.

But I think there needs to be a simultaneous understanding that God loves us. In repentance preaching there is often an attempt to get the person to submit by fear. This does not typically cultivate an understanding that though we deserve Hell, Christ died for us while we were yet sinners. I guess I am pressing the point because I feel like when I was born again there were some 'complications' that caused some long term side effects in my life. One being that I had a very very hard time over the years viewing God as a loving Father.

I'm not convinced that many repentance preachers want God to be perceived as a loving Father, but as an an angry Judge. That is fine for those that are in rebellion- but how does the born again come to know God as a loving Father once the notion of an angry judge has been forged in their minds?


_________________
Robert Wurtz II

 2009/1/30 11:02Profile









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"In repentance preaching there is often an attempt to get the person to submit by fear." RobertW

I have to agree with this. I don't see conviction and fear as bedfellows of salvation. Many have preached under a cloud of fear but does the Holy Spirit convict in this manner? I truly don't know for sure. Fear of a consequence doesn't change a heart in my opinion. I would like to think that my daughter obeys not because there's a consequence to misbehavior but because she knows I have consistently demonstrated my love for her and therefore consequence is out of love... not cold hearted discipline or simple behavior modification. You can change your behavior and still have a heart of stone and rebellion. I don't see brokenness from simply getting out of an eternal consequence... if it's presented in this manner. I fear more now than when I was an ignorant sinner, simply because of what would have become of me had God not broken me. I don't obey out of this fear, I obey out of my love of the Father that never wanted me there but always with Him.

If I had to pick between a sinner who repents out of fear and one who is sincerely convicted of their sin as an offense to God and are broken over it, I would say the latter sinner is on the road to redemption and relationship that produces much fruit.

 2009/1/30 11:21









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True repentance preaching in the power of the Spirit will produce more then fear filled converts, it will produce tear filled converts. Our nation is not on the brink of collapse because of repentance preaching but because of a lack of true repentance preaching. Through love sin is atoned for and by the fear of God men depart from their iniquity.

Oh that men, especially unconverted and lukewarm church men would fear God again. But oh they are blinded by todays prominent false Gospel.


-Jim

 2009/1/30 11:40
RobertW
Member



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

 Re:

Quote:
CCRider You can change your behavior and still have a heart of stone and rebellion. I don't see brokenness from simply getting out of an eternal consequence... if it's presented in this manner. I fear more now than when I was an ignorant sinner, simply because of what would have become of me had God not broken me. I don't obey out of this fear, I obey out of my love of the Father that never wanted me there but always with Him.



I wonder as I read this if a continual attempt to reach sinners in rebellion within local churches does not cause a misrepresentation of God? I also wonder how preaching repentance effects the preacher. I recall reading where Finney said that he could not live in the repentance preaching level. His relationship with God was far beyond that.

Now I think we may have stumbled on the importance of the whole 'word of His grace' thing that Ron Bailey taught on at Greenock. We need to be ready to come to God without presuppositions as preacher/teachers. if we have already determined that the 'word' for the meeting is 'repent' then we are liable to preach a good word out of season.


_________________
Robert Wurtz II

 2009/1/30 11:41Profile
RobertW
Member



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

 Re:

Quote:
Oh that men, especially unconverted and lukewarm church men would fear God again. But oh they are blinded by todays prominent false Gospel.



I think this is true also. I actually did a study called "The Betrayal of the Ages" that deals with how we got here. But I am equally concerned that in an attempt to somehow balance the false Gospel some are presenting an equally 'false' Gospel only the other extreme. And because the typical attitude is 'stricter' = more spiritual- it is passes off as legit. But the reality is, I don't see how any Gospel that does not balance the fundamental elements and apply them according to where the particular individual is could be considered the Gospel. :-?


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Robert Wurtz II

 2009/1/30 11:44Profile
PaulWest
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Joined: 2006/6/28
Posts: 3405
Dallas, Texas

 Re:

Quote:
We need to be ready to come to God without presuppositions as preacher/teachers. if we have already determined that the 'word' for the meeting is 'repent' then we are liable to preach a good word out of season.


When I was younger in the faith and enamoured by Finney and Wesley and Whitfield (and I still love those guys), I would endeavor to preach the gospel just like they did, laying heavy emphasis on repentance and fear and hellfire. My heart was in the right place, but I still had an inadequate understanding of grace...and therefore the results I sought - and, yes, I did seek results - were not ultimately what I had expected. I would see short term fear, tears, transformation in the youth and adults I preached to, but these results would never last. It was like trying to start a campfire with wet wood and dry paper. The paper would blaze brightly beneath the wood, and for a moment you think the wood was aflame, but then the paper turned to ash and the wood smouldered and you realize it was just the paper making all those flames.

O, how I would burn with zeal and cry out and speak of hell as if I'd been there. How I would trumpet "Repent or perish!" and thump my Bible on the pulpit. I was 100% genuine; I really wanted to get that fire going. I would see the initial flames: the tears, the kids running to the altar, the warmth of people lfting their hands worshipping God as the guitars played and drums beat out a rhythm.

I had no understanding of grace at that time...because I hadn't failed. I was surging on victory; a victory that rested on my perception of sin, and how, up until that time, I had refrained from yielding to. I ascribed my victory to pertinacious Bible study and prayer. I would force myself to read, force myself to swallow the peas and carrots and spinach of God's Word in methodical fashion. After all, that's what my heros, E.M. Bounds and Finney and Ravehill told me to do. I couldn't be of any use to God unless the Bible was beneath my nose 24/7 and I was prostrate and weeping.

Well, I praise God now for His grace. I bless God for the word of His Spirit in my life, and that His ways are not like ours. I bless the God that used Haman's gallows on Haman and instead exhalted Mordecai and put him on Ahasuerus' royal horse. The most precious thing a child of God can have is a right view of the grace of his Father. Not a skewered view like many teach; not an antinomian view, or a blasphemous view that engenders lasciviousness and flesh, but a real, Biblical and accurate perception that leads to genuine holiness and a love for God's Word, to unfeigned humility and charity to one's neighbor.

I found that I couldn't have these growth spurts until God brought be through some failures. Notice I didnlt say God "led me into" some failures. I led myself into them, He brought me through them. For me, they were necessary. I was so full of myself and my Whitefieldesque trumpeting, my Finney emulation, my fixation on Wesleyian piety. I had to be broken somehow. For men, this is usually accomplished via moral failure.

Now, because of grace, the Lord is using me in ways I never fathomed...and the results are different from before. I don't need guitars and drums and soul-hot pleadings. I can use them if I want, but they are not the cause for the effect. The Lord is now bringing people to me, and I just speak to them as led by God, and I don't worry about results; I have rest knowing the Word of God never returns to the Father empty-handed.

And the testimonies the Father allows to [i]return to me[/i] are truly amazing. Never in a million years...

Brother Paul


_________________
Paul Frederick West

 2009/1/30 12:18Profile
RobertW
Member



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

 Re:

Quote:
I would see short term fear, tears, transformation in the youth and adults I preached to, but these results would never last. It was like trying to start a campfire with wet wood and dry paper. The paper would blaze brightly beneath the wood, and for a moment you think the wood was aflame, but then the paper turned to ash and the wood smouldered and you realize it was just the paper making all those flames.



This is very good Paul. I think you have your hand on what I'm saying.



_________________
Robert Wurtz II

 2009/1/30 12:30Profile









 Re:

I agree but I also believe that the fear of God can be taken out of context as literal fear, which we know is not 'to be scared or frightened' but respecting God as a sovereign authority over us and letting Him be Lord over our lives. We know the difference, many sinners do not. The so called church is comprised of both.... those who do understand this and those who do not. Although Paul Washer would say that the church is comprised only of those who lament over their sin and the sins of the church, and have a relationship that involves repentance and restoration as a process of fruit bearing. Those who know what it means when it is said that 'the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom'.

I'm not so quick to place all of the blame on the false preachers either. It is also the people with itching ears who demand a certain Gospel be preached and flock to those preachers. The Bible says many will seek out what they want to hear. That's a culpability that is theirs alone. Many mega churches are filled to the brim with a 'fluffy Gospel' and churches who preach truth in terms of sin and it's eternal consequence are fading fast. We need prayer that ears are turned toward truth in love. But I think much of the old school Hell, Fire and Brimstone teaching the past seventy or so years came from coldhearted legalists who wanted to lump themselves in with the great teachers before them who preached sin and repentance as part of a whole Gospel of salvation and doing it in the love of God and the anointing of the Holy Spirit. We hear of great preachers and some have named them.... like Rolfe Barnard. But we forget about the thousands and thousands of small chuches peppered all over the country throughout the years who have had their pastors literally put them in a bondage of fear and call that salvation. It is not. But neither is lukewarmness, I understand this as well.

 2009/1/30 12:38





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