I think I pretty much totally agree with you.
"My point is that ultimately, whether its by the law or the Spirit, before or after Pentecost, the essential necessity for someone to repent is that they know of their sin, and know of their Savior."
While I mostly agree with this statemet, especially as I think you meant it, I don't want to confine repentence as only referring to sin.
"The Spirit can do many things, but ultimately his goal to bring them to Christ is to reveal to them:
1) Their sin (which means "transgression of the law")
2) God's righteousness in Christ
3) The day of Judgment is coming"
This is very helpful to me- the way you expanded on the Holy Spirit's work. I think that's right on.
| 2005/7/13 15:31||Profile|
We've assumed for far too long that "everybody knows that they are sinners". That is not true of this "amoral" generation. The truth is they don't believe or know that they are sinners. Many consider themselves to be decent, good, kind hearted people. It's time that we start using the Ten Commandments to bring awareness and conviction of sin to this lawless generation.
I generally begin also in Romans 1 demonstrating to the folks that since they were children they have been rebelling against their conscience and the law of God written upon their hearts.
George Fox came to the USA and met with some native indians. He asked them if they felt it was wrong to tell a lie. Yes, they replied. How did you know. We just knew. (para).
I realize that many cannot quote the 10 Commandments, but I would use caution in assuming they don't know when they are doing wrong enough to realize they were sinners.
My wife was raised in a home that only really heard God's name in vain. She would ask her parents about God and get yelled at for it. I asked her also if when she did things that were wrong if she knew it was wrong. She said also- "I just knew." She was invited to church for the first time in High School.
Any time you are dealing with sinners they are in one of three states:
1) Careless (could care-less about their soul)
2) Awakened (realize they need to think about their estate before God)
3) Convicted (have heard from God and know what they must do...)
This was Finney's observation and I concur more or less. When we preach to people who are 'careless' we are attempting to 'awaken them' to care about their soul. If awakened God will bring them to a personal encounter with Himself and they will know what He is requiring of them. For Abraham the first step was to come out of Ur of the Chaldees. Everone has a first step of many to take in this walk of faith.
Robert Wurtz II
| 2005/7/13 16:27||Profile|
Pietermaritzburg, South Africa
| Starting from scratch|
Quote:To put a positive spin on this, what an opportunity to introduce them to real church and a way of living that is in keeping with NT christianity.
When I asked them, on seperate occassions, if they thought they had kept the Ten Commandments they responded with "The what?". I said "The Ten Commandments". They said "What are those?". "It's God's Law. You've never heard of the Ten Commandments." And they said "No. Never."
I think that is why Paul seemed not to enjoy building on anothers foundation, at least with those kids when they do find the way, via you, they will be biblical christians.
| 2005/7/13 16:41||Profile|
College Station, TX
| Re: Starting from scratch|
Good point about this generation, although the law is definitely written upon our hearts, the hearing of them often helps one go from "careless" to "awakened" and then "convicted".
Unfortunately, though, the thing that I've come across the most in my experience are people who profess Christ, say they go to church, but have no understanding of the law of God and demonstrate that by their continual, blatant, disregard of God's ways.
Especially in my town, where it is "cool" to be a "christian", 90% of the people you meet outside the club or bar will profess Christ or that "they go to church" while they are blaspheming His holy name in a drunken stupor.
This is incredibly burdensome, because the very thing that they claim to confess is the very thing they militate against by their lifestyle.
I used to wonder what the cause was for this, and what I came to was the issue of the very thing we here are discussing, the fact that these people really were never taught the law of God, and therefore have never understood their sin in light of God's holiness, never repented, and therefore still remain shackled in their sins.
They think they are "saved", but its obvious that they aren't saved from anything. They remain under the curse, but maintain a religious "affiliation" to confront any guilt or person that might try to awaken them to the reality of their chains.
When they are told of the law, then they resort to the "prayer they prayed" when they were little, that excuses all of their later actions, no matter how rebellious or wicked they may be.
As I heard a man once say, the fruit of the true gospel is a changed life. Now this may be a process, and I believe it is, but it is a radical process that starts from the get-go of a person's death to sin and self and unto life in God through Christ.
Neglecting to use the law has therefore created a bunch of people who are still under the law and the "ministry of death" it continues. It seems to me that the Bible teaches the Law has virtually killed us (Paul - "the commandment came and I died..) but it is by the revelation that we are dead and that Christ is alive, that we can begin a new abundant life in His name.
"For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit." Romans 8:1-4
| 2005/7/13 18:27||Profile|
[quote="Jesse"]I read the topic of this thread and got excited. I thought of listing all the NT examples that I could think of where John Baptist, Jesus, Stephen, Peter, Paul, etc used the Law.
hehe thats what it started out to be... but didnt end up flowing that way :-)
So can I suggest that that: [b]Preaching [u]law[/u][/b]->conviction->repentance->grace->salvation is not the only way people get saved?
Somewhow through the preaching the Kingdom of God they can come to know Jesus... can someone explain this more? It baffles my (narrow :-)) mind how someone who asks for healing can be convicted and repent just by asking to be healed... it was obviously his faith that accounted for righteousness... so where does conviction and repentance come in?
This gospel of the Kingdom is new to me...
| 2005/7/13 20:23||Profile|
It is important that you understand that preaching the gospel of the Kingdom of God is not merely a form or model of evangelism. It is a proclaiming and presenting of the reality and truth of God.
It seems that preaching the gospel of the Kingdom of God, if fully preached, involves demonstrating the reality of God's Kingdom in the earth.
1 Corinthians 4:20
"For the Kingdom of God does not consist in words, but in power."
"But if I cast out demons by the finger of God, then the Kingdom of God has come upon you."
I understand faith and repentence as two sides of the same coin. Faith towards Jesus demonstrates a true change of thinking, which is what I understand repentence to really mean (especially in the New Testament). It seems clear to me that if a new kind of faith is present, then repentence has taken place. That is, if I now believe something that I didn't believe before, I have changed the way I think.
If I come to you and fully preach the gospel of the Kingdom of God, which I believe must include demonstrations of the reality of the Kingdom (i.e. demonstrations of power), it seems that the most likely scenario is that you will change the way you think (repent) and have faith in Jesus. This way actually makes it much easier, if you will, for both parties: the preacher and the potential convert. It's like a shortcut. This is what the anointing and power of God will do for your ministry. Less work, more fruit.
Don't forget, the word "gospel" means "good news." I believe that the message of the gospel of salvation (which seems to be what most of the Church has reduced the gospel to since the times of the Early Church), is merely one aspect of the much larger (broader) message of the gospel of the Kingdom. That is, the gospel of the Kingdom includes much more good news than the gospel of salvation (forgiveness of sins) does.
The good news about the Kingdom includes the forgiveness of sins through faith in Jesus, but it doesn't stop there.
Isn't the gospel of salvation as simple as Romans 10:9...
"that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved."
And yet the gospel of the Kingdom is about "Heaven on earth", if you will. It includes not only forgiveness of sins, but also physical healing, deliverance, and everything else that would make it "as it is in Heaven."
I'm getting further into discussing the Kingdom than I intended to here, and I would not be surprised if you are still unclear about much of it, but let me give you a little bit more to meditate on.
Jesus taught us to pray, "Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven."
And it is in God's will being done on earth as it is in Heaven, that the Kingdom of God is manifest. Are people demonized in Heaven? No, so when God's Kingdom comes and His will is done on earth as it is in Heaven, demons go. (See above reference to Luke 11:20). Is anybody sick in Heaven? No, so when His Kingdom comes and His will is done on earth as it is in Heaven, people are healed. Is anyone depressed in Heaven? No... you are probably getting the idea by now.
When the Kingdom of Heaven is manifested somewhere in the natural realm, that area or zone in which it is manifested becomes like Heaven. It becomes a "Throne Zone", if you will (King-dom means "King's domain" and speaks of where the King reigns).
"It baffles my (narrow ) mind how someone who asks for healing can be convicted and repent just by asking to be healed..."
I don't know if anyone would be convicted and repent just by merely [i]asking[/i] to be healed. But if they actually got healed in the name of Jesus, I think we can bank on it that they will, at minimum, change the way they think (repent). And when the pieces start coming together in their mind (repenting) and they realize the implications of what just took place... "God just healed me! God really is real! Jesus is real! It's all true! God cares about me! God loves me!, etc."- conviction will likely settle in as the jealous Holy Spirit does His work. The revelation of the kindness of God, coupled with the convicting work of the Spirit, will surely lead them to repentence and faith unto salvation. Though I have had at least one experience where this did not seem to be the case, at least on the outside.
But even if they don't come to the point of conversion, surely they have been awakened to some degree, and a powerful seed has been planted.
| 2005/7/13 23:32||Profile|
| Re: Law and evangelism|
OK, sorry that I haven't read all posts. I'm on a dial up in India right now.
One time, I gave a copy of Hell's Best Kept Secret to an international crusader/evangelist who goes to 10/40 countries and does the big meetings. He said "I love that show (Way of the Master). That is a great way to share the Gospel in America"...meaning that it wouldn't work elsewhere.
Well, after preaching the Gospel to thousands of people on the streets in America, and now having preached to many small Hindu and Sikh villages, which have far less Biblical knowledge, I found out something....the law STILL DOES CONVICT OF SIN. Just like in America, when I preach the law (not necessarily the 10 commandments line for line, but God's holy standards, and His judgments for breaking them), I see heads begin to look down, one by one. When that happens, you know they're convicted.
The main sin I have preached against is Idolatry, seeing how almost everyone here commits it. I don't just say "don't worship idols", but I explain why the One True God hates idols, robbing Him of His glory and worship, and give parables and examples, so that it makes sense.
The "law is a schoolmaster to lead to Christ", regardless if you are in the US, India, or anywhere else.
Blessings my bretheren,
| 2005/7/14 6:30||Profile|
| Re: Pyrofobic Salvation|
I think it is important to understand that whether a person speaks of the conscience or appeals to the Noachide laws, 10 Commandments, 613 laws of the Old Testament or the teachings of our Lord they can really only 'awaken' a sinner to cause them to think upon their soul.
The person must have an encounter with God if they are to come to genuine saving faith. Miracles may even get a person thinking- but they must encounter God. They must rightly respond to the revelation of God. If not- you may well gain a 'convert' but that will be it. Pyrofobic responses to messages that do not result in a relationship with God will need another pyrofobic message to keep them in the fold.
Bretheren, trust me on this, it is not about how hot you can preach hell fire. It is about whether or not the person encounters God and rightly responds. I have preached hell so hot it would singe eyebrows and nearly all of those who came forward to "get saved" are in gross sin right now. I have seen young people by the hundreds and thousands make commitments to God and fall away in time.
I preached repentance for 1+ years SOLID to a group that fell from God at the end save a few. You may scare someone into the Kingdom for a hot second- but the fruit of that will not last if they do not meet God and begin walking with Him. There must be a personal relationship with God develop and our preaching must be to that end. You are spinning your wheels in vain if not. You will get discouraged when folk do not respond and stay with it.
They have to have a God encounter. They have to meet God in the preaching. Awakening sinners with the laws of God is quite a job! But is not the whole of the process by any means. It is barely even the beginning. A person may mentally process their need for God in a few minutes or hours- but that is not how the heart changes. It takes God working on them for hours, days, and maybe even years. Some things cannot be taught or received in preaching- they must be an experiencial reality in order for the person to grab hold of the truth. Was it not Ravenhill who said that preachers are a strange breed. They believe they can plow a field, sow some seed and reap a harvest in a couple of hours. There is wisdom in this comment. God can save a person in a few minutes (for those who would argue this point)- but this is not at all the 'standard' method of God bringing a person out of their metaphorical Ur of the Chaldees. It takes time, patience, and tenacity to get a person to Christ. It takes being ultra sensitive to the Holy Spirit. It takes a whole lot more than preaching the law.
Robert Wurtz II
| 2005/7/14 10:46||Profile|
College Station, TX
Amen to that brother.
"The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul" Psalm 19:7
Other translation says "reviving" the soul. This serves to awaken their heart to the understanding of their need for God, but, whatever their case, God MUST meet with the person.
Upon Peter's confession that Jesus was "The Christ, the son of the Living God" Jesus said:
"Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood hath not revealed this unto you, but my Father that art in heaven."
That needs to be our desperate cry unto the Lord, that He would reveal Himself as truth through our preaching, and that we would be the emptied vessels fit for His infilling and habitating presence.
People need revelation from the living God, an encounter with the most high, for whoever drinks of that water shall never thirst...
| 2005/7/14 12:16||Profile|
Thanks so much for sharing what you've learned out of so much personal experience. That is one very valuable post!
It reminds me of something John G. Lake once said:
"There were days when the church could club men into obedience by preaching hell to them, but that day has long since passed. The world has outgrown it."
| 2005/7/14 13:41||Profile|