| Re: Athens|
Paul in Athens delivered perhaps his most clever and eloquent sermon ever. As for fruit? Nada.
There is no church in Athens with letters to follow, no church squabbles, no false brethren, no storming of the gates of Hell by enthusiastic new converts. It was for Paul preparatory failure, because he went from that useless exercise straight to the cauldron of sin-filled Corinth. And we know how that turned out.
Those early passages in First Corinthians were directly tied to what he learned in Athens.
"I was determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified."
"I did not come with the fancy words of man's wisdom, but in power and demonstration of the Spirit!"
Because he had tried that earlier in Athens. The Athenians were neither moved nor converted.
Powerful lesson for us. Getting fancy and being clever is to invite useless discussion, and a likely result that no one's heart will be broken and filled with the Spirit of God.
| 2014/1/22 14:28||Profile|
| Re: Second messsge|
Brethren finally had opportunity to listen to Ravi's second message given at the Mormon Tabernachle. Still mulling over it.
I asked Sandra Tanner in my visit with her how Mormons can best be reached with the gospel. She responded they needed to read ttheir Bibles. They needed to hear the truth of Christ. She said Mormons can be set free by the truth of Jesus if they will but read their Bibles.
I do aporeaciate Ravi Zacharias emphasizing the word of God. And encouraging people to read it. I pray his message takes root in those who heard it.
| 2014/1/22 15:12|
| Re: |
praise god blaine ,, maby ravi was an answer to you prayers maby ,,lets pray if he gets invited back that god will led him into some serious loving rebukes towards the mormons
side walk with all due respect i think your are reading somthing into scripture that is not there neither is it taught or implied with any clarity in scripture ,its hipothetical at best
just becasue paul saw no fruit from anthens ,does not mean his sermon was a failure ,,,,,,,with that logic jesus sermons totaly failed and his fruit was verry poor and many the most of his deciples turned away ,and whole towns rejected him
jesus said just shake the dust of you feet when you leave that town ,,that is more the bibical view rather then to relie an an asumtion of failure on pauls part ,,who in truth was a worn in ,,apostal seasend with experences with evenglising jews and gentiles
when paul said i did not come to you with exelence of speach but in fear and trembling not with words of mens wisdom ,, he is saying i did not come to like are nomale worldly pagan philsopher what i spoke and showed you was differnt from what the world shows ,,,,
even so it is noted that pauls speach was contemptable even compared with others christian speakers ,, in in revalations and knowlage he was bursting and seaping with
blessings to ya
| 2014/1/23 1:48||Profile|
| Re: |
Sidewalk, you make an important point that the gospel is not to be with clever words or man's wisdom, but through the foolishness of preaching the cross (1 Cor 1:18-21).
However I agree with Gary that there does not seem any evidence to suggest that Paul was using the wisdom of man in clever words to the Athenians on Mars hill. He preached what he always preached, which was the death and resurrection of Christ, repentance and judgement. In fact he was mocked because he preached the resurrection (being foolishness to the Greeks). Converts or no converts is not the measure of truth.
This question of what type of preaching raises an interesting question. Is apologetics a biblical method of communicating the gospel? I would suggest that in the light of 1 Corinthians 1:18-25 and 1 Corinthians 2:1-4 it is not. Apologetics may have a place in certain settings and situations, but let's not fool ourselves in thinking it is preaching the gospel. The gospel message properly presented will either bring conviction to life or offense unto death (2 Cor 2:16-17).
An article by Robert Wurtz was posted yesterday called The Power of Paul's Preaching. This is a very good presentation of this very point. I would encourage all to read it and consider the points made.
Coming back to the evening with Ravi at the Tabernacle, here is how the LDS (Mormon) News reported it, which tells us everything!!
Quote:"A rare appearance in the Salt Lake Tabernacle by an internationally acclaimed evangelist was the occasion for an "Evening of Friendship" Nov. 14 between Evangelical Protestants and Latter-day Saints,"
Quote: "Perhaps the most striking moment of the evening came when Richard Mouw, president of Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, Calif., said: "I'm not being melodramatic when I say this is surely an historic occasion. . . . Dr. Mouw said that from continuing dialogue in recent years it has become apparent that "we Evangelicals have often seriously misrepresented the beliefs and practices of the Mormon community. And let me say today on this important occasion, especially to you LDS folks that are here this evening, that we Evangelicals have sinned against you."......"Noting that next year marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Joseph Smith, he said he takes courage from Joseph's words on the occasion of the founding of the Church in April 1830."
Quote:"Pastor Greg Johnson, president of Standing Together Ministries, a group that has publicly decried the abrasive actions of street preachers protesting outside the Conference Center during general conference, expressed his gratitude to the First Presidency for allowing the use of the Tabernacle for the event".
You can read the whole article on the LDS news and you can see there that they believe that they share the same basic gospel as evangelicals apart from some 'theological differences'.
Brethren, do not be deceived!
"But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ."
"For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him."
2 Corinthians 11:3-4
Edit: I have just realised that the quotes I posted from the LDS news report are from the 2004 meetings. Sorry for any misunderstanding. However the issues are still the same.
| 2014/1/23 5:02||Profile|
| Re: |
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
It is appreciated that you are discussing these things concerning Mormonism and the recent speaking event with Ravi Zacharias. I am also a friend of Blaine Scogin from the Persecution Watch calls. He visited Utah last summer and began to see the great need in Utah as the harvest is ripe.
I am one of Mormon background (4 generations) who was saved in 1975 as my brother shared his recent conversion to Jesus Christ. I had noticed that he had a peace in his life that I did not have. He told me that Jesus has given him peace. Well, that was not my experience in "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints." I had no peace and was feeling utterly and completely condemned because I knew I had broken all the commandments of the law and did not measure up to the "righteousness" of Mormonism.
I was headed back to my apartment to commit suicide. But at the last moment I cried out to God, "If you are real, please reveal yourself to me because I don't think life on this earth is worth living."
It came to my mind to pick find a Bible from my youth that I carried around with my other books. Someone had quoted something from John 15 to me once...but I opened up the book and began reading from John 14 "Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so...." I kept reading and the Lord Jesus revealed Himself to me through His own words. His peace descended upon me and filled me. That peace has never left me in 38 years though I have been through trials and tribulations that I could not have handled were it not for Jesus as Lord and Savior in my life.
So, all that to say, my conversion to Christ was similar to Ravi Zacharias' and that has always touched me to no end! And last week as I viewed his talks in Utah, I saw no compromise to the true gospel, it was done lovingly, respectfully and kindly. Those in Mormonism who believe there is no difference between Ravi's Jesus and theirs have not gotten to the point where Ravi is always trying to speak to people: Let my people think.
When you have been lied to all your life through false teachings it is imperative to get to the place where you do start to think for yourself. I know many who have come out of Mormonism to the true Jesus and every story is different. Jesus reveals himself to many gently and others more fervently. And then it may take years to come to terms with brain-washing and family persecution.
Jesus is sufficient for all those who follow him and receive His Holy Spirit. Repentance comes. Renouncing false things comes. He does it for each believer in different ways. "A bruised reed he will not break." I have seen that over and over and He was this way with me. It will always be the love and kindness of believers in Christ who bring speak the truth in love. Compromise is not necessary, only the Word of God as given to us in Scripture.
Thank you for praying for the prisoners bound up in false religions, Mormonism being only one of them. I thank our precious Lord and Almighty God for saving me and my 3 siblings as well as thousands of others who were raised in Mormonism. I do believe he has softened many hearts to hear the gospel. When the Lord sends a "Mormon" your way, love them with the love of Christ and give your testimony. Emphasize the Bible. And leave the rest to God!
In Christ Alone,
| 2014/1/23 9:22|
| Re: |
… I saw no compromise to the true gospel, it was done lovingly, respectfully and kindly. Those in Mormonism who believe there is no difference between Ravi's Jesus and theirs have not gotten to the point…
An interesting observation! This could be said of Jesus’s ministry. Many rejoiced in his kindness (ex miracles). They liked Jesus - but were unable to grasp the deeper implications of his message.
Is the mark of Biblical integrity to be determined by how much hostility you arouse from unbelievers?
How fruitful is it to spend time assessing the integrity of messengers? Even Paul said, “What does it matter…” I have a friend who was truly saved while watching Jesus Christ Super Star. She had never heard the gospel before. Yet she saw her sins upon the cross – and turned to Christ as a result. It was Holy Spirit conviction – IN SPITE OF the movie. Her trial came afterwards when, in sharing her new faith, she was repetitively warned: “Now that you are saved you cannot do this…. and this…. and this…”
Why not lean towards the side of generous grace - GOD'S grace?
| 2014/1/23 10:08||Profile|
| Re: |
Thank you for your testimony, which is wonderful. It is great to hear how the Lord reaches out and saves each of us in our different needs and circumstances.
I know I have been hard on Ravi Zacharias regarding this issue. I don't think he has compromised the gospel, he was not preaching the gospel. He may have made references to it, but the main theme was the degeneration of the western nations. My main concern is the stance of those organising this type of event, which is finding common ground with Mormonism and giving validity to that.
I don't need to say anymore as I've said it already.
| 2014/1/23 11:55||Profile|