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live4jc
Member



Joined: 2008/10/2
Posts: 203


 Re:


To me Psalm 96:9 is a verse that provides some insight into this topic, "Worship the Lord in the beauty of his holiness". As has been mentioned often in this forum, the trend in modern Christianity has been to emphasize the love of God over attributes such as his justice and his holiness. On the other hand, sometimes in the past, God's wrath was presented as so large as to leave no room for God loving humanity. I think that as we recognize God's key attributes and see beauty in both his love and his holiness, this is where a balanced view of God is found.

When I entered my first year of university, back in 1985, I experienced something I call my 'dark night of the soul'. Prior to this, I believe that I was a Christian, but God brought me to a place where I had greater desire to know him intimately, and to experience Him at work in my life. Without this, I felt like I could not go on, in fact, I went through a number of months where I could not focus much on my studies, because my need for a greater sense of God's power in my life, seemed so pressing a matter.

God used a sermon by brother David Wilkerson to accomplish the work he was wanting to bring about in my heart. This sermon focussed on the topic of Christian rock music. While Wilkerson's 'All Christian rock is wrong' stance is open for debate, what I received from this sermon went beyond the issue of Christian rock music. I'll never forget the tenderness and urgency in his voice when he preached this message. It seemed like for the first time, I was hearing a preacher preach a message where God's love and holiness were both held up at the same time, not one to the exclusion of the other, but in a way where both held their rightful place, and the beauty of both attributes was apparent.

I can recall Wilkerson addressing the young people who were present at the meeting and saying, "Young people, it's not about your rock and roll music. It's about that fact that you listen to music for hours on end and you won't give God 5 minutes of your listening ear. God's a jealous God. He wants your heart. He wants to put his arms around you and put you on a foundation."

For weeks, every time I listened to the taped message, there was a softness in me afterwards; a brokenness that God had worked in my spirit. It produced, both a greater sense of my sinfulness, and also of God's love for me.

I just wanted to share about this experience, as I felt it relates somewhat to the topic of repentance preaching. If repentance preaching is done in way that produces a tenderness of spirit, a conviction of sin, and a love for God, then I see it as good preaching.

In Jesus,
John

 2009/1/30 14:46Profile
InTheLight
Member



Joined: 2003/7/31
Posts: 2772
Phoenix, Arizona USA

 Re:

This thread has reminded me of a true story that I read to my children recently, I will share a condensed version of it here. It is a tremendous illustration of how we are broken by God's love and His goodness leads to repentance...

Many years ago two boys lived on a New England farm and their father assigned each of them many chores to complete each day. The younger boy, Tom, was to open the gate for the cows to come in from the field and be milked and and then to allow them again to return to the pasture after milking. As this opening and closing of the gate all the time seemed a bit tedious to Tom, he sometimes left the gate open and the cows would get out and do some damage.

After this happened many times Tom's father told him that if it happened again he would get a whipping. So Tom was obedient for a while but time soon dimmed the vision of the whip to Tom's eyes and one night he left the gate open when it should have been closed and much damage was done.

Tom's older brother Joe came to his father and said, "I don't want to see Tom get whipped." The father said, "Tom must be punished for his disobedience." Joe then said, "didn't we read at morning devotions, 'He was wounded for our transgressions?' Well father, I will take half of Tom's whipping."

The father then called for Tom and told him that Joe had offered to take half his whipping. Tom was taken off guard and his face softened as he told Joe that he must not do that. Tom swung around to His father and told him that he alone was guilty and deserved the punishment. Tom's father, with eyes not very clear nor voice very steady said, "there will be no whipping today."

Tom never left that gate open again. It was Joe's offer - Joe's love - that held Tom steady at the gate. Nothing else but divine love can help us see our utter selfishness.

In Christ,

Ron


_________________
Ron Halverson

 2009/1/30 17:52Profile









 Re:

Quote:
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.



I actually was talking abour terror, exceeding fright that defies words. (In the way that a rebel anarchist in the land would be scared to death of a king who was about to hand him over to the tortures and executioners). If the Apostle tells believers to "cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear* of God", how much more should the ungodly tremble under their state of damnation before the just judge of the universe who will one day soon throw them into an eternal hell to weep and wail and gnash their teeth.

*1 Corinthians 1:7
Strongs reference
G5401
φόβος
phobos
fob'-os
From a primary φέβομαι phebomai (to be put in fear); alarm or fright: - be afraid, + exceedingly, fear, terror.


This word is used all over the new testament, and is distinct from:

G5399
φοβέω
phobeō
fob-eh'-o
From G5401; to frighten, that is, (passively) to be alarmed; by analogy to be in awe of, that is, revere: - be (+ sore) afraid, fear (exceedingly), reverence.

I understand the reason for this thread, and that some may have experienced fleshly repentance preaching with bad results, but this is NOT the norm in the land. The "christian" gang members, prostitutes, and crack addicts on the streets that I minister to in Detroit are a result of asking Jesus into their heart under false love preaching... not repentance preaching.

-Jim

 2009/2/1 12:34
live4jc
Member



Joined: 2008/10/2
Posts: 203


 Re:



Do you guys think it would be true to say that the messages preached by Jesus and the apostles were 'tailor made' to the audience they were preached to ?

I think of the messages Jesus gave to the Pharisees. These were strong words, 'rebuking words'. The message he gave to Nicodemus might be described as 'instructive words'. To the woman at the well, you might say his words were 'searching words'. In Mark 10:21, when Jesus addressed the rich young ruler, it says that, "Jesus beholding him loved him".

Some have said that these differences are because Christ knew what was in the hearts of men and women. If this is true, it brings up another question. Should we as sinful people, with imperfect knowledge, preach a message with a slightly different emphasis, depending on our audience ? I wonder, if we examine the gospel messages delivered by the apostles, if this was as much the case, as it had been for Christ.

In Jesus,
John

 2009/2/1 14:03Profile
MJones
Member



Joined: 2008/10/31
Posts: 320
Missouri

 Re:

live4jc,

I think your point is good. Jesus seemed to have a way of cutting to the chase. Out and out rebuke for the Pharisees, because of how ill they treated the masses, and then mercy to masses for how ill they had been treated. Then with Nicodemus, it was kind of a middle of the road approach.

I believe this thread supports that. Some have responded to a message geared toward repenting to avoid punishment while others have responded more to a message of love and God calling them unto Himself.

Whatever the message that initially draws us to God, and though there may be some times that fear keeps us, I believe ultimately, God desires that His love will keep us.

Paul says in Eph 3 'and I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge - that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God'.

Nothing has ever constrained me like the awareness of this love.


_________________
Mike Jones

 2009/2/1 15:16Profile









 Re:

Quote:
Do you guys think it would be true to say that the messages preached by Jesus and the apostles were 'tailor made' to the audience they were preached to ?



Excellent point brother. Ray Comforts ministry, the Way of the Master makes a good case for a biblical pattern of preaching law to the proud, grace to the humble....


Quote:
Whatever the message that initially draws us to God, and though there may be some times that fear keeps us, I believe ultimately, God desires that His love will keep us.



I agree with this too.

-Jim

 2009/2/1 15:45
Mikey_da_rev
Member



Joined: 2008/11/18
Posts: 18
Wellington, New Zealand

 Re:

Hey guys,

Really enjoying this thread, particularly your story Ron.

I had an opportunity to share at the communion part of the service yesterday morning. I shared from Isaiah 53 and shared a possible story of child going up to Jerusalem for the passover feast in Jesus' time. At the end of the story after his father explained why a lamb had to die to atone for sin I proposed that the kid might say, "If a lamb has to die because of my sin, I don't ever want to sin".

I then used Isaiah 53:10 to illustrate how God made Jesus' soul to be an offering for sin and explained repentance by saying our response to Christ's sacrifice should be the same of the kid in the story. One lady came up and said, "I believe that story about the kid could've happened".

I'm glad this stuff is coming up. There is a time I would have jumped up and yelled repentance at everyone but I think over the years I've seen a biblical standard for preaching repentance that has changed my approach. I wonder if anyone else can pick it up...

John the Baptist: "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand" (Matt 3:1)

Jesus: " The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe the gospel. (Mark 1:15)

Jesus: "...and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem" (Luke 23:47)

Peter: "repent and let everyone of you be baptised in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall recieve the gift of the Holy Spirit" (Acts 2:28)

Peter: "And He commanded us to preach to the people, and to testify that it is He who was ordained by God to be Judge of the living and the dead. To Him all the prophets witness that, through His name, whoever believes in Him will receive remission of sins" (Acts 10:42)

Do you see it? There's a combo in each of these either a call to repentance or a declaration of the judgement of God combined with the message of the good news i.e. the gospel or remission of sins (remember the kingdom of heaven or of God leads to explaining God's nature, his love, kindness, mercy, judgement and wrath).

Hope this stuff helps some. It's certainly helped me be more gracious and dare I say it relaxed in preaching and witnessing.

God bless yas

Mikey


_________________
Mikey

 2009/2/1 22:56Profile









 Re:

Quote:
One lady came up and said, "I believe that story about the kid could've happened".



It is also just as probable that the same kid grew up to be among those shouting "crucify Him and let Barabbas go free". Some may find this comment unpleasent, but it is more realistic given the radical depravity of man.

-Jim

 2009/2/2 9:03
RobertW
Member



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

 Re:

Quote:
Do you see it? There's a combo in each of these either a call to repentance or a declaration of the judgement of God combined with the message of the good news i.e. the gospel or remission of sins (remember the kingdom of heaven or of God leads to explaining God's nature, his love, kindness, mercy, judgement and wrath).



I think the thing we have to keep in mind is that there are times of 'visitation' when God deals strongly with individuals. If we consider what brought salvation to pass in Wesley's life I see some key things. One is the Moravian boat incident in the storm. In Finney's life it was the realization that he was 'ashamed' of God as it were or ashamed to be seen praying, etc. Other things as well. So God deals with folk for a while and then it comes down to a time of 'visitation'. Many of the Jews in the time of Christ had such a visitation- but missed it.

So I think it makes it all the more important to be hearing what God is saying and being sensitive to the Holy Spirit. Wesley responded to God as the preface to Romans was read out. Finney just seemed to be wrestling with God on a personal level. Other examples we could give. When Jesus met Paul on the road to Demascus He never told him to repent. When Jesus met the disciples He told them, "Follow me." The act of repentance is implied- but the words were not necessarily spoken.


_________________
Robert Wurtz II

 2009/2/2 9:13Profile
whyme
Member



Joined: 2007/4/3
Posts: 293


 Re:


It is interesting that much of the discussion in the thread about what to preach to "get more saved" or to realize true conversions is based on people's "experiences" and ultimately what motivates a sinner to come to Christ. I respectfully submit that this is the absolute last place to search for an answer to the question. Scripture is clear about what Jesus, Peter, Paul, Stephen and other biblical teachers preached ( they preached repentance and faith ). If you think we need a new way that is more effective ( which is what a lot of these discussions drill down to )then you're going down rabbit trails. I may be overreacting to this post, but I'm heartsick.

 2009/2/2 11:28Profile





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