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InTheLight
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Joined: 2003/7/31
Posts: 2733
Phoenix, Arizona USA

 Passion for Souls or Passion for Sanctification?

I was reading the following bit from Oswald Chambers and it really seemed to fly in the face of the way much of the church operates today. There seems to be much focus on a salvation message and not so much on discipleship. Just "get them into the kingdom" seems to be the prevailing thought. I have backed up this line of thinking myself with the verses like; "(Phi 1:6) Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform [it] until the day of Jesus Christ:" But this bit from Mr. Chambers really challenges me to rethink this matter...

[i]"If you are justified by faith, show it by your works." says the Apostle James (see James 2:14-24); in what way are you different in your life? Does the reality of the Redemption at work in you justify God in having forgiven you? A man has to clear the conscience of God in forgiving him. Present day evangelism is inclined to go much more strongly on the line of the "passion for souls" than "the passion for sanctification"; everyone has gone a-slumming to save the lost; it suits our religious passion to help the men and women who are down and out. Saving souls is God's work, man's work is discipling those souls (see Matthew 28:18-20). When Jesus Christ faced men with all the forces of evil born in them and men who were cleanliving and moral and upright, He did not look at the immorality of the one and the morality of the other, He looked at something we do not see-self-realization. If my religion is based on my right to myself, that spells "Satan" in my soul; I may be right-living, but I am anti-God. "If you are going to be my disciple", Jesus says, "you must give up your right to yourself."...He [God] went into the Redemption absolutely, there was nothing of Himself left out. Am I willing to put my whole self into becoming His? or am I one of those who accept His salvation, but thoroughly object to giving up my right to myself to Him?[/i]

Obviously "God's work" involves using men to reach the lost but have we forgotten about "go therefore and [b]teach[/b] all nations"? I'm curious to hear which "passion" is predominant in your church.

In Christ,

Ron


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Ron Halverson

 2005/10/15 21:18Profile
repentcanada
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Joined: 2005/5/9
Posts: 659


 Re: Passion for Souls or Passion for Sanctification?

It seems much of the Church has forgotten "that without Holiness no man shall see the Lord", and that we are to be holy as He is Holy.

 2005/10/15 22:53Profile
repentcanada
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Joined: 2005/5/9
Posts: 659


 Re: Passion for Souls or Passion for Sanctification?

I'd say they go hand in hand.

 2005/10/16 10:25Profile
lamuskrat
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Joined: 2005/10/3
Posts: 117
Gonzales, La

 Re: Passion for Souls or Passion for Sanctification?

It seems to me that much of the apostacy in the church today is directly linked to this subject. We/they have forgotten that they serve a thrice Holy God. One who cannot even look upon sin, yet the church in a way just winks at sin. At salvation a convert is positionally sanctified and cleansed from all unrightousness. Yet due to failings of the church (pastors, teachers, etc...), converts are not taught/ equipped to do spiritual warfare and keep themselves clean.

It seems to me that your statement is right, that all emphasis is on conversion, and not so much on sanctification (positionally or continually).

This indeed has broken the heart of God (mine too). But what else saddens me is the lack of men of God with fortitude and backbone, who will call sin:sin, heaven:sweet, hell:hot.

Just remember folks that the so-called church that we see is not the church (bride) that God sees.


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Mike Androne

 2005/10/16 18:09Profile
letsgetbusy
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Joined: 2004/9/28
Posts: 957
Cleveland, Georgia

 Re:

While I am a firm believer that a strong salvation message should be evident in a holy people, I do not see the potential convert of today being told the 'whole truth.'

The message of today for the most part is, from square one: 'Believe.' Then when counseling the potential convert, the next step is, 'Did you believe?' If the answer is "yes," then my best guess is that the next reply is, 'Well, you're saved. Don't ever doubt it.'

Now may I add that the above conversation may take place, and carry a potential convert to Christ, assuming that the witness has the spiritual discernment to detect some things. The problem is that the above has become the pattern. I was not lead through a prayer of anything when I was converted, and was worried sick I had had a false conversion because I had not gone through certain steps or a certain prayer.

These subjects, when spoken by a submitted believer, will bring Holy Ghost conviction: sin, law, righteousness, holiness, judgment, hell and the Biblical dichotomies throughout Scripture (saved or lost, house built on rock or sand, born again or not, heaven or hell, paradise or condemnation, wise or foolish virgins, Christ lives in you or He doesn't, and many other strict divisions). The problem is, very few, for the most part, are preaching these things.

Some verses I read almost angered me when I read them, in that, no one had ever instructed me concerning them. Here are some that blew me away and still do:

Matthew 3:10 "And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire."

Matthew 7:

[21] Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
[22] Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
[23] And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

Matthew 24:50-51 "The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of, And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth."

Luke 12:51 "Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division"

Luke 13:3/5 "I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish."

Luke 21:36 "Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man."

John 16:8 "And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment" (the Comforter, God the Holy Ghost)

2 Cor 13:5a "Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves."

I don't think the average church-goer is familiar with these, much less the average professing Christian. How many are being instructed concerning these things. This, in my opinion, has brought about this message of 'believe', without the rest of the message.

I think Paris Reidhead put it beautifully when he asks the question, "Why did you repent? I'd like to see some people repent on Biblical terms again."


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Hal Bachman

 2005/10/17 0:00Profile
InTheLight
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Joined: 2003/7/31
Posts: 2733
Phoenix, Arizona USA

 Re:

My thoughts in posting this were not so much about the content of the evangelical message as about our individual responsibility in taking new believers under our wings. The true and false conversion issue is a whole other matter that I wasn't intending to explore in this thread.

Let's assume for a moment that we are talking about genuine converts. What kind of follow-up do we do? Is follow-up even necessary if the Holy Spirit has truly done a work in their heart?

I'm questioning these things because of street ministry that I've been involved in where there is no real consideration of discipling those who receive Christ. The thought is to encourage them to read the Bible, pray, and seek out a church to attend. The focus is entirely on getting them into the Kingdom but are we leaving them to the wolves so to speak after that?

In Christ,

Ron


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Ron Halverson

 2005/10/17 15:20Profile
philologos
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Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re:

I have been a reader of Oswald Chambers for many decades now and he has been one of formative influences in my thinking. He was not an ivory tower saint. During WW1 he went to work in the transit camps in Egypt where he looked after a YMCA hut, providing drinks and writing materials and company for soldiers en route to the killing field of Gallopoli. His evangelism was not of the 'are you saved variety?' and his 'talks' to the soldiers dealt with some very pertinent topics. Where is God in this war? His real passion was Jesus Christ and a walk in reckless dependence upon Him. It is interesting that in the 1850's Spurgeon was protesting that Christianity was slipping into positions and mental acceptances. 50 years later Chambers was saying the same thing, and 50 years after that A W Tozer was saying the same things...

I think it was Tozer who said that modern evangelism concentrates on making a man a worker, whereas we ought to concentrate of making a man a worshipper. Worshippers, he said, will always become workers but workers don't always become worshippers.


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Ron Bailey

 2005/10/17 15:53Profile





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