A question about John MacArthur...

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by Chris L., Aug 7, 2006.

  1. Chris L.

    Chris L.
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    I consider John MacArthur to be an excellent Bible teacher and preacher and I've learned much from him, but is he a good soulwinner? I've listened to him on the radio many times and read some of his books but I've never once heard him offer a call of salvation to the general audience, asking them to accept Jesus as their Lord and Saviour.

    I've read that he leans towards Calvinism, which would explain his apparent lack of interest in soulwinning. If one believes that God already pre-ordained certain sinners to be saved then I could understand one not being too aggressive in soulwinning.

    This is the only problem I might say I have with him, and his preaching is a bit too intellectual at times and seems mainly geared towards mature Christians rather than babes in Christ. Am I missing something here? Does he just edit out the salvation message from his radio program in order to avoid being redundant? What is his stand on this issue?

    In the end, a Pastor or ministry which is not very interested in winning new souls for Christ, no matter how intelligent or learned, doesn't have much to teach a new Christian.
     
    #1 Chris L., Aug 7, 2006
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  2. gb93433

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    The vast majority of churches are aimed at babies and not making mature believers. I do not agree with some of what MacArthur teaches but I have noticed that the seminary produces some good pastors and the churches they pastor are doing well.

    I became a Christian and grew on preaching much like MacArthur's. We were shocked at such shallowness in so many churches we visited when we moved to other states. So many pastors starve their people and the people believe it is the pastor's job to do everything. I knew my pastor discipled people. I was being discipled at the time. I knew nothing different. That was the way I was taught. I do not think of MacArthur as being so intellectual as I do being well prepared. He has something to say. Why give people watery milk when if you will work and study hard you can give them meat? People do not come to Christ on the basis of ignorance but knowledge.

    If I remember right about 75% of the Christians in his congregation are former catholics.

    People do not want to hear 156 different salvation messages aimed at the non-christian each year. Most of the Bible is not aimed at non-believers and salvation. An evangelist does his work outside of the church. A pastor does it inside primarily with believers and teaching them to observe all Jesus commanded.

    Some of the deadest churches I have been in, aim everything at salvation and nothing about obedience. The most alive churches disciple their people. Am I against teaching about salvation? Of course not. I have been teaching people to share their faith for years. But it does not stop and start there. It ends with making disciples in such a way that they do the same thing with others they meet.

    Birth is not the end of a process. It is the start.

    I became a Christian and grew on preaching much like MacArthur's
     
    #2 gb93433, Aug 7, 2006
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  3. webdog

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    This is an understatement. He's Lordship Salvation all the way.
     
  4. Chris L.

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    ..........
     
    #4 Chris L., Aug 7, 2006
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  5. Chris L.

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    A good response, I agree with most of what you said.

    When I talk of soulwinning, I mean people actually believing and repenting and not just being herded in like cattle with easy-prayerism and never to be heard from again type of thing.

    Do you believe that the task of winning souls are given to certain Christians while discipling and teaching them are given to others? After all, you can't disiple a person if they first don't hear the Gospel and believe on Jesus.

    When I say that JM's preaching is a bit too intellectual or technical at times, I mean that when a non-believer or new Christian turns on the radio and hears some guy speaking Greek words and telling you what such and such passage REALLY means in such and such a language, they're probably going to turn off.

    You don't need to be as knowledgable as JM is to be effective for soulwinning, as a matter of fact, I think a preacher can be TOO knowledgable for their own good and forget what their mission for Christ was in the first place, fulfilling the great commission.

    There is a danger where we can spend more time reading and learning ABOUT the Bible and Christianity rather than reading the bible and living it.
     
  6. webdog

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    He's a great expository preacher (I have his study Bible). He does view things from a calvinist's perspective, though, and that is why his preaching seems "deep". He believes that the "elect" will understand whether they are believers or not yet, and the "non elect" will have no interest. His preaching style and Paul's are not the same. Paul tried to relate to the audience, Macarthur believes the Holy Spirit's job is to get the "elect" to relate to what he is preaching.
     
  7. Chris L.

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    Does "Lordship Salvation" basically sum up what Calvinism is all about? I guess than that all true Christians who know better are Calvinists at heart, for who wouldn't want Jesus as the Lord of their life?

    However, I suspect that Calvinism isn't that simple to define. I agree with some of what Calvin taught, but I can't with a clean conscience follow after the teachings of someone who had some involvement with burning a man at the stake.
     
  8. J. Jump

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    The Bible tells us quite the opposite. There are going to be many people that when they stand before Christ have nothing but ashes to show for their "Christian" life, meaning that they stayed in control of their lives until the end.

    What does it profit a man to gain the whole world, but lose his soul. We can gain the whole world as Christians as still lose our souls.

    Broad is the way that leads to destruction and many there be that find it, but narrow is the way that leads to life and few there be that find it.

    That was written to believers and in regard to believers.

    You can lose your life now and save it in the coming age or you can save your life now and lose it in the coming age.

    This was written to believers and in regard to believers.

    The Bible just doesn't support Lordship salvation. Acts 16:30-31, Ephesians 2:8-9 and Romans 4 are just a view passages that contradict Lordship salvation.

    We accept Jesus as the Lamb of God as the Sacrifice in regard to eternal salvation. Christ as Lord has to do with right living, which comes ONLY AFTER eternal salvation is done.
     
  9. webdog

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    Interesting article about Lordship Salvation...

    http://www.faithalone.org/journal/1993ii/J11-93c.htm
     
  10. Chris L.

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    I'm not quite sure what you mean here, but don't take my comments about Lordship Salvation too seriouly. I'm not even sure what the doctrine of Lordship Salvation is about.

    How can one lose their soul and still be a saved Christian? I believe this verse was in regards to worldly people trading their eternal souls for personal gain, like politicians, celebrities, etc.

    Do you believe this was in regards to life here on earth for Christians? It seems to me that Jesus was speaking about the unsaved multitudes at the judgement, teaching us that it is not as easy to be saved as many might think.

    Jesus is giving the hearers of the Gospel a choice here, we can keep our sinful, former lifestyle and reject Jesus, or we can lose our old self for his sake and receive eternal life later. How can a saved Christian lose his life in the coming age?

    I believe these verses Jesus spoke of were ment for both the saved and the unsaved, or else how would the unsaved learn?

    Again, I don't know enough about Lordship Salvation to comment.

    Amen.
     
    #10 Chris L., Aug 7, 2006
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  11. BobRyan

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    He is a good Bible teacher. Kind of reminds me of R.C Sproul.

    I would not be surprised to discover that a number of people have been saved through his ministry and I think the same is true of R.C.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  12. J. Jump

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    Basically it means that if you don't accept Christ as Lord of your life and produce good works then you are not saved. It is works based salvation with the works loaded on the back end of salvation.

    Great question! Eternal salvation is spiritually salvation. It is the spirit that is made alive at the very moment we believe, because it is the spirit that is dead. The body and the soul are not dead, but corrupted. The spirit is actually dead.

    So when the spirit is made alive then and only then is a person able to comprehend the rest of the Bible which has to do with right living. And we live right in order that our souls might be saved at a future point. I Peter 1:9 says that the saving of our souls comes at the END of our faith.

    I have some great resource material if you are interested in studying Scripture more in depth regarding these issues.

    It can't be addressing unsaved people because the only spiritual message they can understand is that Jesus died on the cross and shed His blood on their behalf a sinner.

    This message is a warning for "saved" people.

    This message is another warning to "saved" individuals. Again this isn't even something that "unsaved" people could understand.

    It can't be speaking of the judgment because saved and unsaved are never together when it comes to judgment. There is the Judgment Seat of Christ for the saved and then the Great White Throne for the unsaved. These are at two separate times.

    And eternal salvation is extremely easy! It's a gift that just has to be received by faith. That' it. Nothing difficult about it. God says that He desires all men to be saved. If that is true and I believe that it is true then why would He make salvation difficult?

    Now just because it is easy doesn't mean that all will accept it. Eternal salvation is a simple gift.

    Discipleship on the other hand is EXTREMELY DIFFICULT. There is a great price that must be paid to be a follower/disciple of Christ. That is making Christ Lord, which comes ONLY AFTER eternal salvation is done.

    Hope that makes sense. Again I have some great resource material if you want to go more in depth.

    YOu answered your question at the end of the statement. He is talking about an age, not eternal life. Eternal life (should really be everlasting life) is something that once you step into it it never ends, hence the name everlasting.

    However the when we step into eternity it will never end, but Jesus was speaking of the next age to come, which has a definite beginning and a definite ending. He is speaking of age-lasting life. And a Christian is capable of losing that.

    Again I'd love to send you some study material if you are interested.

    That's just it...the unsaved are incapable of learning until they are saved. They can only understand one message, and that is Jesus died and shed His blood for their sins according to Scriptures. If they believe they are saved. If they don't believe then they remain unsaved and spiritually dead.

    Just PM me if you want me to send you the study information!
     
  13. El_Guero

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    J Jump

    Put the study information on the board or on the web for us to look at.
     
  14. El_Guero

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    Bob

    How are you?

    If I remember correctly he has said that he studied under R.C.

    In Him

    Wayne

     
  15. mojoala

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    He's got several books out. Trying to get rich too. Can't a Christian Website exist without someone trying to get rich off of you?
     
  16. J. Jump

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    mojoala I hope that is not in reference to me, because you don't even know me. Just so that you know I have not written any books and everything on my website is free to read and free to be distributed, so I'm not looking to make money off anyone.

    And the resource material that I am speaking of is free as well, so I apologize if you weren't addressing me, but if you were then you need to get your facts straight, before you speak (type in this case).
     
  17. Chris L.

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    Why do saved Christians need to be continuously reminded they might lose there life, or may be heading for destruction? Are we saved or unsaved?



    I never said that both the saved and the unsaved would be together in judgement, however I do understand that the two judgements are separate occasions.

    I know that eternal salvation is easy for those who believe, but believing in itself can be very hard or next to impossible with some people. Imagine someone came up to you I told you that the earth was flat. No matter how many "supposed proofs" he showed you, you wouldn't believe him because you're sure the earth is round. Even if he kept telling you until he was blue in the face that the earth was flat you wouldn't listen. A person can't simply believe in something they don't. That's an example of what I ment that being saved may not be as easy as some think.

    It's easy to be saved but not easy to believe. People want to follow an easy religion or way of life that suits their needs. I don't believe that true Christians would follow the broad path, how can a Christian be both heading for destruction and saved at the same time?

    I agree.

    Eternal life and everlasting life mean the same thing to me, and I don't think the Bible is exactly clear on the "age to come", thus it is open for and speculation. What age is it? When does this age begin or end? Is it the thousand year kingdom? etc. Does my not living right exclude me from a life in this age? Why would I care anyway if I was guaranteed eternal life in Heaven? etc.


    I hope you realize that by telling me my readings of certain scripture are wrong, than that means I don't understand them which by your definition means I'm not saved. Would you have me doubt my salvation by my interpretations of certain scripture not lining up with yours?

    I received salvation for believing and trusting in Jesus. He never promised us that we all would clearly understand every word of scripture did he? I do believe in the power of Gods word in reaching the lost, and I'm not sure if it's only limited to a few sentences of scripture.

    It's been interesting talking with you J. Jump, and I'll think about what you said.
     
    #17 Chris L., Aug 7, 2006
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  18. gb93433

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    I have begun the discipleship process with many who are not believers. Everyone of them have become believers. I begin with a Bible study on who God is and who Jesus is.

    You are right that one does not have to be knowledgeable to do soulwinning. I led a man to Christ and within one hour he was planning a big party with his employees to tell them.

    I agree with you in that I believe the majority of churches teach people about Jesus but the majority really do not know him. They read about Him but they have not experienced His grace, love and discipline.

    The majority of listeners to Christian radio are Christians. How many would support a station which does primarily apologetics such as what Lee Strobel does?

    Having spiritual gifts does not mean that the person only does one thing. When Jesus commanded his disciples to make disciples he did not just tell them to evangelize or just show mercy.

    I see no indication that Jesus advocated ignorance but rather quite the opposite. Much of what Jesus taught is not learned by intellectual study only but rather by obedience to God. Obediece to ignorance is misdirected obedience. Jesus did not get the attention of the religious leaders by selling them religion but rather obedience to the one and only true God. I have not ever have any problem with the dead or alive but rather the half hearted lukewarm pew sitters who want a good social club with amenities of great music and a good building.

    If you really want to get challenged then read the two sermons given in the early 1950s at http://www.bibleteacher.org/Dm118_8.htm
     
  19. J. Jump

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    Because it's a real possibility.

    When it comes to the kingdom salvation can be gained and then lost. That's why there are so many warnings and the warnings are so stearn.

    What has happened is a part of Christendom has taken these warning passages and said it's warnings to only non-believers. If I am a believer then it doesn't matter what I do in this life I will get my slice of heaven just like any other saved believer despite how I live.

    Then there is another part of Christendom that has taken these warnings and they understand that these warnings are to Christians, but they apply them to eternal salvation and say that a Christian can lose his eternal salvation.

    Both of these views are errant. The Bible only gives us one possible option. And the only option that doesn't contradict with other Scripture is the warnings apply to Christians, but it doesn't have anything to do with eternal salvation.

    These warnings have to do with salvation for the kingdom age.

    Gotcha! And I would agree. While the offer is simple and easy not everyone finds it that way.

    Reference the top part again. Destruction has to do with one's works. One's works have to do with the time frame after eternal salvation is over and done with and no longer in view.

    There are a number of Scriptures that point to the fact that a good number of Christians will never surrender control of their lives to Christ, but will receive Him as Savior, but continue to live as they desire.

    Well eternal means without beginning and without end. And while people use the terms interchangably they are technically different. Because the life that you have has a distinct beginning and will not end, which is everlasting.

    Great questions. I don't think the Bible leaves anything open to speculation. Sometimes we just don't have a full grasp of certain things and aren't able to put all the pieces together, but the Bible interprets Itself so that it leaves us with no room for error with we allow the Holy Spirit to teach us.

    I think when comparing Scripture with Scripture that the Bible is very clear that the coming age is the 1,000-year reign of Christ. And yes it is possible as a "saved" person to miss out on life in this age.

    The reason why it should matter to you is because this is the reason you were saved. You were redeemed so that you could be restored to the original position that man was created for and that was rulership over the earth. Life in the kingdom age is about ruling and reigning with Christ.

    It is our inheritance. Our inheritance is EXTREMELY valuable. Unfortunately there are some Christians that don't think much of the 1,000 years and they will find themselves like Esau who sought repentance from his father with many tears and great sorrow.

    It is FAR better to realize the importance and value of our inheritance now than it will be to miss out on it and experience the wailing and gnashing of teeth, because then it will be too late.

    NOT AT ALL. If that is the way my words came across I apologize, becuase I have never once questioned your salvation. If someone tells me they are saved then I believe them and treat them as such. DO NOT doubt your eternal salvation for one minute!!! That is a done deal and secure for all eternity!!!

    However we can have misunderstandings of Scripture in regard to other areas and that doesn't mean you are unsaved, just growing. We are to be growing Christians as long as we live. That means as we are shown error we change and as we encounter new Truth we incorporate that into our walk.

    Amen! Do not let anyone make you doubt that!

    Well He did say that He was giving us the Holy Spirit that could lead us into ALL Truth. I don't know if we have enough human years to understand all the great detail of Scripture, but we certainly are capable of understanding the Big Picture items and much of the detail if we will allow the Spirit to teach us.

    Look forward to more conversations in the future!
     
  20. BobRyan

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    Although both of these men are Calvinist - and I am not, I still think they both have some very powerful teaching messages on many topics.

    I usually benefit from listening to their teaching.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     

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