Hi Bro. Jesse,
What do you do with Jeremiah? He saw no converts. Though he was not successful, he was faithful.
There are no Jeremiah's in the New Testament. Everywhere the Gospel went there were results. Sometimes only a few- but when God's glory was manifest many turned to Christ and believed. The persecutions that happened in the New Testament was due to the converts more than the message. Had their been no results- there had been few beatings. It was the people being turned aside after Christ that caused the uproar. People turning from idols and burning them or being set free from devils.
In many years of Nursing Home ministry where the people are sorely hardened in their sins we still see 'some' results. We are talking about 70-100 year old people that are hardened. We still believe that God will bring results. These signs SHALL follow them that believe...
When Christ is set forth evidently among the people and they meet him in the message there is great opportunity for harvest. God will direct the paths of people to come directly into cntact with you. Out of your belly shall flow RIVERS of living water. Surely there will be one that will drink. Yet, we cannot allow the waters to be tainted with anything of 'us'. No dead flys in the ointment here. Remember- full manifestation of both fruits and gifts. When God is fully in charge everything will be in equilibrium. He will manifest Himself to the hearers and faith will come.
Robert Wurtz II
| 2005/6/20 9:15||Profile|
Anyone can make a person angry enough to fight. It takes no unction.
Indeed, drunks are the cause of many fights, and neither with a lick of unction. All one needs is a spirit of contention and strife to cause a fight. There are all sorts of carnal ways to stir people up and gather crowds. I've seen and read of various street preachers who just go around calling people "whores" and the like, and without a doubt, a crowd (often angry) gathers.
Then again, you can see the exact same thing on Jerry Springer. Go into a bar and call some big man's girlfriend a whore. Without a doubt you will get a response, but it won't be due to any unction of the Spirit that is convicting them of their sin because of a revelation they've had of the holiness of God.
Robert is right, it's about delivering a key word at key times. Sometimes you might preach hard, but sometimes you might preach soft. You can't just employ various methods and think "This will surely work, such a style will surely bring about the conviction and conversion of sinners." You can see both very active in the lives of many succesfull evangelists.
Take David Wilkerson for example. We think of David Wilkerson as a hard, no-nonsense preacher... and sometimes he is. But if you've read books like the Cross and the Switchblade, it wasn't his hard, no-nonsense preaching that brought about the conversion of some of the hardest sinners. Yes, Wilkerson preached the holiness of God and the righteousness of God and the law of God and the justice of God and the wisdom of His requirements, but it was at the same time bathed, soaked, and drenched his sermons in the love of God (and not sentimental mush). The simple manifestation of the love of God broke many hearts of drug addicts and gang members, as nobody had ever dared love them before.
Proverbs says that the fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and he who is wise wins souls. Last I saw hell-fire preaching was not a fruit of the Spirit in Gal 5:22.
Please don't get me wrong, I'm not knocking hell-fire preaching. I consider myself a hell-fire preacher. I think we could use a lot more hell-fire preaching at that, namely, because the love of God cannot properly be understood without the wrath of God.
But then again, where in the Bible is it said that the proper way to bring about the conversion of sinners is through getting them to understand the doctrines of salvation e.g. justification by faith, Christ as a propiation, etc? It seems to me the preaching "method" of the early Church was directed at showing people Jesus. And the only way to properly show people Jesus was through the manifestation of the Spirit in the gifts and fruit. When people saw Jesus, it was then they came under the conviction of sin.
In the call of Isaiah and the revelation of God he had in Isaiah 6, what command of the law was invoked to bring about his conviction that he was a man of unclean lips and that his people were a people of unclean lips? He heard no such thing. Rather he simply saw God, and by being in the presence of God, he saw what his uncleanness was.
I believe lately the reason my preaching has had seen a response it did not see much of before is simply God being more present in my preaching than He was before. When I've seen persecution lately, it's often been within moments of me being there to preach. This past Friday I had simply started preaching about eternity, and within moments... hardling uttering but a sentence or two, I saw resistance, and being told I was to expect a beating if I continued on preaching. This beating was not threatened because of any particular preaching method I invoked, nor using elaborate metaphors and analogies to make a deep point. It was simply God.
| 2005/6/20 12:45||Profile|
What a marvelous thing. And when you suffer knowing it was God- you will go away rejoicing for knowing that you had been counted worthy for suffering for the Lord's sake. Oh how horrible it would be to be buffeted for my own faults. But if I endure it for His sake- this is acceptable with God.
Robert Wurtz II
| 2005/6/20 13:27||Profile|
I agree with you guys. We obviously need the Spirit to give a words in due season. When we work hand in hand with the holy Spirit,there will be times when we'll see sinners turn from all their sin.
I don't believe Stephen had any converts. People got angry at his message, not at his converts. It was when he said "you stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears! You always resist the Holy Spirit, as your fathers did, so do you." Acts 7:51
| 2005/6/20 18:47|
| Re: Ministry|
When I go to the Nursing Homes to minister in
Song or the Word of God, I find that the very ones who oppose to begin with, later want to come to the saving Knowledge of Jesus Christ.
I've also found out that it has to be all of Jesus, and none of me.
It is when I give up, and let the Spirit of the Living God take over, then lives are changed.
Some in the body of Christ feel like the Nursing Home people won't get saved, I say they limit our God.
If God saved you and me, then He will save them.
It is my desire to be His hand maiden, and go where He leads.
God Bless all of you.
I enjoy this forum.
| 2005/6/20 18:59||Profile|
Washington st. u.S. A.
by Lazarus1719 on 2005/6/20 15:47:03
"I don't believe Stephen had any converts. People got angry at his message, not at his converts. It was when he said "you stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears! You always resist the Holy Spirit, as your fathers did, so do you." Acts 7:51"
The word says he was filled with the power and did signs and wonders Acts 6:8" And Stephen,FULL of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people."
sound like some one who would get my attention.
| 2005/6/20 19:30||Profile|
I think we could use a lot more hell-fire preaching at that, namely, because the love of God cannot properly be understood without the wrath of God.
This seems like a balance I've heard of before. I was shocked the first time, but it makes sense. It is also possible to present God's longing for man to return to Him, as a cause of His sadness.
It was when he said "you stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears! You always resist the Holy Spirit, as your fathers did, so do you." Acts 7:51
I was astonished to find the concept of 'stiffnecked and uncircumcised heart'ed people, in Deuteronomy - so long ago - and I'm seeing much more clearly, that the Lord has a hand in this situation. It is followed some chapters later by this clause
4 [b]Yet [i]the LORD hath not given you[/i] an heart to perceive[/b], and eyes to see, and ears to hear, [b]unto this day[/b].
Inasmuchas the Jews said 'His blood be on us and on our children', I wonder if this alters how one explains the gospel to Jews these days?
| 2005/6/20 19:52|
This seems like a balance I've heard of before. I was shocked the first time, but it makes sense.
John 3:16 perhaps the most famous of Scripture in all the world. Many people hear the "God so loved the world..." part, and think, "Well of course God loves me, I mean... It's me after-all." But consider the entire verse, for God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son so that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. This verse mentions both the "kindness and severity of God." It mentions both His wrath and His love.
Romans 5:8 says it perhaps best, that God demonstrated His own love towards us that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us on the cross. The Scriptures consistantly picture the love of God alongside the wrath of God. The love of God is chiefly manifest in the cross of Jesus Christ. The cross of Jesus Christ teaches us that Christ took the punishment of God's wrath upon Himself, even though the stroke was really due to us. It teaches us that the just died for the unjust. It teaches us that God humbled Himself taking on the form of a servant, and being obedient to the point of death. The love of God can only be properly understood when one understands that God is angry with the wicked every day, and that is why God "gave" Jesus up on the cross.
| 2005/6/20 20:36||Profile|
Washington st. u.S. A.
"I think we could use a lot more hell-fire preaching at that, namely, because the love of God cannot properly be understood without the wrath of God."
We need to first know that we have done something wrong, before the love of God can be of any good. for because of his love for not just me but for the world, his own son paid my price and yours
| 2005/6/20 21:43||Profile|
| Re: Threatened for Preaching|
Well King Jimmy, I believe what you did there was right on. If someone doesn't want to hear the message move on, Jesus did and it was wise that you did. There will be other times, just today wasn't the moment for those tough guys to receive the word.
When I am confronted by those who have doctrinal differences, I just let them be as I can't change the minds if I tried. What does change is the goodness of God, it never fails it always leads to repentance.
As long as I am good to those that despitefully use me, someone will repent, even though I may get a punch in the side of the head, yet if I endure that hardness as a good soldier, it will produce fruits of righteousness, and that is what we are looking for, the fruit of winning souls.
But I truly believe with all my heart that winning souls is not so much the sinner that is out their on the street, but it's with those that have been damaged by christianity over the years. I have met more of this class that have been spiritually and mentally abused by the Church that it is these that we need to reach out to more than ever. They don't go to church, they don't go anywhere, but they still feel God, others are hardened towards Him, yet they just need a word of knoweledge or wisdom as my people are perishing because of the lack therof.
I hope this Post encourages you brother, and do keep up the faith in Jesus name, Amen.
| 2005/6/20 22:19|