A sermon (in print) I wish everyone person could/would read! (from George Whitefield)

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Spoudazo, Aug 24, 2006.

  1. Spoudazo

    Spoudazo
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    So often in our churches the false notion is that,

    Good person = saved person

    and

    Bad person = lost person

    It is true that one who displays a sinful life is showing his true colors, but just because someone is a "faithful church member," this doesn't mean they are saved.

    I wish we would preach the necessity of conversion more often! Instead, we give someone a sentence to say, then claim they are saved, and then wonder why they have fears and doubt about their salvation for years and years.

    http://www.gotothebible.com/HTML/Sermons/conversion.html
     
  2. ACADEMIC

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  3. J. Jump

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    People wonder and have fear because the true gospel of grace has been distorted for a great number of years now. We have way too many pastor/teachers, churches, SS leaders and evangelists that are telling people that if they are "truly" saved then they won't do the things they used to do and not only will they not do them they won't even desire to do them.

    We feed them the lie that if they don't produce fruit then they aren't really saved in the first place. And so when someone starts to desire doing something they used to do or even fall back into it we have convinced them that they weren't really saved in the first place.

    What a terrible disservice we are giving to our brothers and sisters. We are placing stumbling blocks at their feet and keeping them enslaved to the milk of the Word instead of teaching them the gospel Truth and alllowing them to go on to maturity.

    Truly, truly a sad state :( It breaks my heart.
     
  4. Spoudazo

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    We are saved by grace, in that we cannot save ourselves, we must be first drawn by the Holy Spirit. Then when He draws us, He gives us the ability to believe and trust in Him. The Gospel of Grace isn't that men can do as they want and "still go to heaven," for verily, repentence is a sine qua non of salvation. A lot of people in our churches are "saved," but few are converted.

    Hebrews 12:14 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:
     
  5. J. Jump

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    I would disagree with that statement, becuase if you tie works into grace at any point then we are no longer talking about works. Works are not involved in grace before we can be saved and works are not involved with our salvation during the event. After the event is completed it is a done deal, which means that works never enter the picture after the event either.

    Works are never involved in eternal salvation. Works are only concerned with things after salvation. Until we teach people this Truth then there are always going to be people that are scared and live in fear that they aren't good enough or they didnt' say the right words or whatever the case may be.

    Just tell people what the Bible tells us to tell people and that is that Jesus died on our behalf and shed our blood so that our sins would be forgiven. If they believe that then they are saved. We have to leave the period where God left the period.

    I would COMPLETELY agree with that statement, becuase salvation and conversion are not the same thing. Only a saved person can be converted. A lost person is not even in a position to be converted. They can only be saved (made alive spiritually).
     
  6. Spoudazo

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    So you think saved people that aren't converted go to hell, correct?

    I think you're making a distinction where there is no difference.
     
  7. J. Jump

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    I think there will be many a Christian that is cast into outer darkness. I don't know that outer darkness lines up with people's view of "hell" today. I think a number of church traditions have gotten in the way of Biblical Truth.

    I think there will be a great many Christians that do not end up with the inheritance that God desires for them to have. I think there will be a great many Christians that are not ruling and reigning with Christ during his 1,000-year reign from the heavens and the earth.

    Again I think a lot of church tradition has muddied the water, and if we want to get back to a clear understanding of Scripture we are going to have to let Scripture speak for Itself instead of inserting our own thoughts and opinions onto the text.

    There is only one Truth and we are to be about learning that Truth, allowing that Truth to conform us to the image of God's Son Jesus Christ and we are to share that Truth with others.

    And unforutnately the truth of salvation by grace through faith has been terribly muddied over the last several years if not the last several hundreds of years.

    We need to get back to teaching Scripture which says if a person believes in the death and shed blood of Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, on their behalf a sinner then they are saved. There is no doubt about it.

    We need to then take these baby Christians under our wings and be a vesel that the Spirit can use to teach them, mentor them and disciple them, taking them away from the milk and moving them onto the meat and then the strong meat.
     
  8. Spoudazo

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    So you don't believe that Holy Spirit conviction is required for salvation?
     
  9. EdSutton

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    Amen and Amen! Absolutely true!:thumbs:

    Ed
     
  10. EdSutton

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    Agreed to a point! In some instances and contexts, "Converted" [turned ( 'επιστρεψας' from 'επιστρεψω' - Gk.)- passive voice or sense in every instance except Isaiah 6:10 in Scripture- something that is done to or for us by the Lord] comes AFTER 'salvation'.

    BTW, I'm fairly sure that Peter was already saved, here.

    Likewise, I somewhat agree that "repentence (sic) is a sine qua non of salvation" has some truth in it, as well. (My alter-ego, Language Cop, says "repentance" is the correct spelling, here!) But I fear you have 'sneaked in' two ideas that are 'non sequitur'- one from 'Lordship salvation' theology, and one directly from 'classic Calvinism'. (BTW, I know three other Latin phrases, myself. :rolleyes:) So for the benefit of most of us non-lawyer types, who may not be particularly familiar with these Latin terms, I will take the liberty to rephrase in English, by giving the definition(s) of the Latin terms.

    You are saying that "repentance is a sine qua non (an absolutely indispensable or essential thing) of salvation". 25 out of 26 times the word 'repentance' occurs in the KJV is in the NT. So I will skip the single instance in the OT in Hosea 13:14, except to say that " נֹ֖חַם " or 'nocham' is better rendered as 'compassion' ('pity' - NKJV) as in the NIV, ESV, NASB and HCSB, to name a few. And I do agree basically with this. But I would almost be willing to bet that a non sequitur idea (meaning an inference that does not follow from the premise put forth) has been piggybacked sub-silento (without expressly saying so, or silently, in other words) in here, however. And that is the widely (and wrongly, I believe) held idea that 'repentance' is somehow 'repentance' of or from sin(s). This phrase, as I have said on other threads, is not to be found in Scripture. It simply does not occur. I don't discount that repentance may, in some cases, be directed in this way; I just deny that it is about, connected to, or has anything to do with salvation. I further would add that only one thing in Scripture is said to bring one to repentance, and that it is certainly not browbeating, pulpit pounding, or "hard-uh, I said- preachin' hard-uh against sin-UH!" like some 'blowhard' style preachers I've heard over the years seem to think, either. The one and only thing that is said to lead one to repentance is the goodness of God, as far as I am aware.

    The NT word is " μετανοια(ν) " - a change of mind, and noun form of "μετανοεω", and if I'm not mistaken, this in every instance. It is said to be directed toward God, not toward sin; from dead works; and specifically associated with faith or 'believe'. (Acts 20:21; Hebrews 6:1) I would offer that one might even almost define 'repent' as the 'flip-side' of 'believe' and/or 'repentance' as the 'flip-side' of 'faith', depending on whether on was using a noun or a verb.
    So without seeming to 'attack' anyone, I simply will not allow that camel's nose to get into the tent.

    Nor will I allow another camel to get his nose in, as well. You mentioned "...He gives us the ability to believe and trust in Him." While I tend to agree here, at least in some small sense, I want to be certain you are not using these words in the sense of what I am calling 'classic Calvinism' and as another way of saying that 'faith is the gift of God'. If that is what you are saying, I do not agree that Scripture teaches this at all; and as to "He gives us the ability to believe and trust in Him, I would say, as I said about 'repentance', these words or this phrase, likewise, is not found in Scripture.

    J.Jump spoke of letting Scripture speak for itself, and church tradition muddying the water. I believe that is 'right-on'. I also believe Scripture speaks in Revelation about 'adding to the words'.

    I'd say we all would do well to heed that warning.

    Ed
     
    #10 EdSutton, Aug 26, 2006
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  11. Spoudazo

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    So I guess George Whitefield should have just stopped seeking the Lord, and never been "converted" if all was necessary was a mental decision to accept Christ.

    The reason there are so many "baby" Christians who fall back into sin, revert to their old lives, etc. is because they had no root in themselves. They received the word, made a mental decision, and went on from there.

    Those who "persevere" only do so because it is God who planted them, it is God who saved them.

    Let's also look at the fruit produced. We have the example of David Brainerd (http://www.ccel.org/ccel/edwards/works2.ix.i.html), a young man who saught the Lord, saught to be reconciled to God and thus God saved him by his grace. What happened after that? The Lord continued to use him among the natives in America during his day and many came to know Christ through his preaching and praying.

    Also, there is the example of George Whitefield, who for a time was very religious, very studious, but "without knowledge" in that he wasn't seeking the righteousness of God which is by faith in Jesus Christ. But praise be to God, he was given a copy of The Life of God in the Soul of Man (http://www.ccel.org/ccel/scougal/life.toc.html) and from then on he sought that true peace with God through Christ and found it.

    We are all as Mephibosheth, we are "lame on both [our] feet" (2 Sam. 9:13) but thankfully God does choose to send His Spirit to awaken us of our need of Him. It was Paul that said to work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. Some people never think about the state of their soul before God, but rather assume (as all people do without God showing them otherwise) that they are accepted of God, even though their life denies Christ.

    Some people are converted rather quickly, but some others God works with them a while, and wears them down so that He may raise them up in due time.

    In the words of Larry Winkler, man is totally incapable but totally responsible.
     
  12. J. Jump

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    No you have misrepresented my beliefs. The Holy Spirit is the ONLY One that can bring about conviction. The Holy Spirit moves first and only then can a person believe. Without the conviction of the Holy Spirit there is no salvation.

    I'm not sure who George Whitefield is, but a mental decision is not all that is necessary for conversion...for eternal salvation yes, but not conversion. The Bible says all one has to do to be eternally saved is believe. That's what the Bible says, so we can either believe it or not.

    Now conversion has to do with right living. Only saved individuals can live right. And that takes faith + works, which is what James tells us. Works have nothing to do with eternal salvation or the Bible is a lie, because Jesus' finished works and our works do not mix.

    But salvation of the soul, which is what James is talking about is a combination of faith and works. That's why so many have a hard time with the book of James, including Martin Luther, because they try to make James talk about the common salvation of grace through faith apart from works and that's not at all what James is dealing with.

    I can somewhat agree with that statement. They went on without much sound teaching and/or discipling from a church or other believer(s).

    Again it seems as though you are combining two different messages. You speak of preservation and then talk about a past salvation. Those two things are separate things. Preservation and eternal salvation don't have anything to do with each other.

    I would agree with that in that conversion and eternal salvation are not the same thing. I was saved in 1988, but was not converted until about four years ago. And God is still working on me I pray :)!
     
  13. J.D.

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    Very important person in church history, especially in America. You should look him up.
     
  14. J. Jump

    J. Jump
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    I guess he must not be too important as I have been a Christian for almost 20 years now and I've never heard of him until this thread :)
     
  15. Spoudazo

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    Have you never heard of Jonathan Edwards or the Great Awakenings (1st and 2nd)?

    They had something we don't have in our day, that is, power with God.
     
    #15 Spoudazo, Aug 26, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 26, 2006
  16. J. Jump

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    I have actually heard of him and the great awakenings, although I would have to admit that I don't know a great deal about either.

    And I would disagree that the power of God is not available today. People just have lost the understanding and/or interest in the power of God.
     
  17. Spoudazo

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    I don't mean God isn't working anymore, but most preachers/churches rely on programs, classes, etc. to make things happen, and God is left out of it.
     
  18. J. Jump

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    Absolutely agree. That's one of the ways we can know the Bible is true, because that is exactly what the Bible says will happen in the last days. Revelation 3 tells us that in these last days Christ is on the outside of the church trying to get in, but the church thinks she has no need for the Head, because she is wealthy and such. But in reality the church is miserable, naked, blind and poor in these days.

    It's really sad. And what's even more sad is that people just continue to go on as if there is nothing wrong. Breaks my heart.
     

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