A VERY good night.

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by jshurley04, May 24, 2007.

  1. jshurley04

    jshurley04
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    Gentlemen,

    This was a very good night (5-23-07) for Community Baptist Church. It actually started on Monday afternoon when I received a phone call from a young man that wanted to know if I would baptize him in the Guadalupe River because he did not want to be baptized in a church. He asked if that were possible and I replied that with God all things are possible, but before I would schedule anything or even answer if I would or not, we had to meet. I told him that if he was genuinely saved that a conversation between he and I would bear that out and his words of his salvation would fall into line with scripture. I invited him to come to the church and have a conversation. He said that he would be here on Wednesday night and asked if we could talk after church.

    In speaking with a few of my officers and the former pastor so that I could know a little about him and were he comes from, I did not get a good feeling about him. So I spent the last few days in prayer over this meeting. I knew that it was going to be very important. He arrived tonight and I don't think that he knew what to expect, when, after we sang, we went right into a reading of Psalms 18:1-12. After a brief commentary about verse 2 where David personalized his relationship to God we went right into our weekly prayer list. After covering, updating, and adding to the list we broke up into prayer groups, as is our custom every Wednesday night, for prayer. I only have one man in my church so he and I get together and pray and we asked Chad to join us. I could tell he was a little uncomfortable so I just asked him to pray over a short section of the list designated as the "10 Most Wanted". After we finished praying, and Chad did pray, but not for our "10" list. We went into the church office to talk.

    He said some things that really made me think that he did not understand salvation, even though he was basically raised in church. He mentioned that he did not believe that a real Christian needed to be in church to be saved to be right with God. He mentioned that he had been clean and sober for the last 4 to 5 months and really wanted to make sure he could go to heaven. So he has been praying every night asking God to forgive all of his sins and naming as much as he could think of. I asked him what he had done about Christ (this is where I started to get a little nervous, I have never dealt well with this type of person the "prayed every night" in the past) in relation to his sins and the work of Christ. He basically rambled about praying and wanting to go to heaven, so I just started with who the true Triune God Creator God is. I talked about what Christ did on the Cross and how we have no hope of anything good in our lives outside of what God allows in this life. We have nothing in our life that is worth anything good or that would make us want to know God. I explained that the result of Adam's sin was passed down through all mankind by the act of procreation, with the one exception of Christ. I explained how important it was that Christ was born of a virgin and not have an earthly father. I then explained how the Bible tells us how we are sinners and that our expected pay off for sin is simply an eternal separation from God in Hell. I then explained how God made a way for us to avoid Hell and at this point there was not much more protest about his nightly praying. It was about this time that I also explained how the only way we could want to know God is if the Holy Spirit was working on our lives and in our heart to place the desire there. When we got into Romans 10 he was beginning to cry silently (I worried I was boring him to death) (hush Steven Jones) and we explained God's plan for salvation. How God laid out the process which was to first believe in his heart, we talked about where his heart was and what it was there for. Then we talked about the confession with the mouth and how God not only wants to hear us say we confess and want His forgiveness and to come into our lives, but we NEED to say those things as an act of personal admission and heavenly humility. We talked about how we don't go to heaven for just asking our sins to be forgiven, but that he has to acknowledge Jesus as the one that is capable of his salvation and able to save us. If we don't do something with Jesus we are leaving out the second major part of salvation.

    At this point I looked at him and said that God was speaking to his heart and he knew what he needed to do, he answered yes. I reached out for his hand and we held hands and I prayed for him. I then allowed him to pray and without me putting any words into his mouth or speaking at all, he asked God for forgiveness of his sins, to save him and come into his heart. After we were done praying I asked him what he had done, he responded that he asked Jesus to save him and forgive him. After that I asked how long he was saved or if he would need to be saved again, he said that he would always be saved and that he only needed to be saved once. I asked him what about if he were to go out and get drunk, he said he would still be saved. It is amazing how the spirit seals in that immediate confidence of eternal salvation. We spent a few minutes in I John 5 and then talked about the fact that he is a new baby and needs to be part of the church so that we can care for him spiritually until he is mature enough to begin to care for other new believers in his own ministry. Before he left we agreed that we would be the church's first discipleship group and would meet once a week to build up each other and grow in the Lord and to also be accountable to each other for our actions and lack of actions. His attitude had also changed about church and he was excited to be in Sunday School and Church this coming Sunday. I told him that we are beginning our walk through the Articles of Faith and we were just on the Scriptures, so this was very good time to get involved.

    I'm sorry that this is so long and I realize that I went way out of the way, but I simply had to follow the spirit's leading and I really felt that he needed the information that I presented. As we went through it he went from a look of a calf at a new gate to I need to get this settled. I also have been tossing and turning for about 2 hours because I just needed to talk it out so that I could settle down to sleep.

    I just needed to start a topic like this because this particular situation felt very awkward. I would appreciate any pointers you may have, although as and IFB I reserve the right to disagree. :thumbs:
     
  2. Mexdeaf

    Mexdeaf
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    I think you done good!

    Praise the Lord!
     
  3. jshurley04

    jshurley04
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    A VERY Good Night

    Now that I have had a chance to think about it, I am not so sure that when the night started that this fellow and I were playing on the same team, and I am not referring to anything spiritual. Just going by what I saw in his dress, mannerisms, and handshake I believe that there is more than meets the eye. He also stated that he was "disabled" and yet I saw no signs of any outward physical or mental disability. I guess that to me it is more remarkable that a person of this lifestyle would make the first move towards God rather than seeking to move away and justify the lifestyle of choice and to have someone "work them" into the point of being ready to accept Him.
     

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