can a person be saved on this basis?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by nodak, Dec 15, 2010.

  1. nodak

    nodak
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    Often in threads concerning the direction of the church today you will run across the idea that people today are not interested in the hereafter, but will come to Jesus if it makes life better today.

    Do you think it is possible to truly evangelize leaving out the hereafter?
     
  2. Tom Butler

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    Try that "best life now" message on those poor folks in the Sudan. Try that those two million Haitians fighting survival after the hurricane.

    I doubt if anyone can really be saved if you don't get 'em lost first.
     
  3. annsni

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    I'm afraid it's the "best life now" kind of witnessing that gets people into trouble. There's no heart change - they just want to have things better now and they don't care about repentance and life change. It is the message of sin, death, the cross and all that is the heart of the Gospel. I tell people to never expect a better life than the Son of God Himself had. :)
     
  4. David Lamb

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    Paul wrote to the Christians at Corinth, in 1 Corinthians 15.19:

    If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable.
    "Evangelize" means "spread the good news." Paul says that a "this-life-only" Christianity is anything but good news.
     
  5. Jeffriesw

    Jeffriesw
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    That'll preach right there!
     
  6. John Toppass

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    AMEN and AMEN:godisgood:
     
  7. preacher4truth

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    Didn't people follow Jesus only due to the fact He fed them?

    I had a Cadillac Escalade to sell, the people came to me to check it out, and GUARANTEED since they believed, by faith that God was and had to give it to them, and that they would be back. They sat there and claimed it in Jesus' name. I never saw them again.

    This Gospel is Gain/Prosperity Gospel nonsense is unscriptural, and is false teaching. So is the nonsense Joel Osteen "preaches" concerning not ever going through trials and being a champion and other corporate America success jargon.

    People are easily fooled.

    If persons are only concerned with now, and what they have, they don't have any conviction about being lost in their sins and of the wrath and terror to come upon them. To them the Gospel is like a scratch-off ticket. God to them is a genie. This is charismatic heresy.

    So to answer your question, no, they can't get saved on their terms.

    Folks, if you are saved, let us be thankful to God for this right now, look what goes on in this evil, deceived world.
     
    #7 preacher4truth, Dec 15, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2010
  8. TCassidy

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    Wow! That old boy David Lamb can PREACH! AMEN!
     
  9. The Archangel

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    No.

    The so-called "health and wealth gospel" is a false gospel. It is paganism repackaged with a dash of Jesus-lite just to mask the smell of death emanating from those who espouse this false gospel.

    The Archangel
     
  10. David Lamb

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    Sorry, translation needed. :) What does that mean?
     
  11. Tom Butler

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    Jeffriesw can answer for him self, but that's a colloquial expression in the American South.

    I think he's saying that the scripture verse you cited is a text to build a sermon around.
    Since he highlighted this:
    He could have meant that the sentence is also something you can expand into a sermon.

    A similar expression for us Southerners is "Preach it!" It is giving approval, like saying "Amen!" to what the preacher is saying.
     
  12. glfredrick

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    Are you referring to a post I made about the FIRST influence of the gospel based on exegeting the target audience?

    If so, then you have seriously mistaken my point.

    First, ALL people are actually concerned with the "hereafter" but some have a false concept of what that means.

    Second, what we teach about Christ and the hereafter is KEY and CRITICAL in our presentation of the gospel. But we do not have to "lead out" with a statement concerning the hereafter when the context of the people suggests that a different FIRST approach would better serve.

    Third, even the word hereafter is deficit. What we are talking about is not "after" life. We are talking about REAL life -- true life. What we have right now is the here-before life. We await the real life to come. Misunderstanding that is one of the reasons that people are not all that excited about what happens once we close our eyes here on earth and in large part why they don't understand some of the difficult teachings of Christ. Jesus essentially said that we should do ANYTHING and EVERYTHING to gain the true life to come, even if that meant sabotaging our pre-life in this world, which is just temporary anyway.

    So, no, it is not possible to evangelize by leaving out the "rest of the story" (to play off Paul Harvey). But we can start the conversation without going there -- as do many missionaries in places where the worldview of the people is to avoid the concept of "eternal life" as much as possible.
     
  13. David Lamb

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    Thanks, Tom! I understand now. Amazing that we all speak English but can so easily confuse each other by using our "brand" of English. :laugh:
     
  14. nodak

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    Thanks all! Good help!

    I'm dealing with a young woman who says she "doesn't want a bloody religion of pie in the sky by and by" but thinks she can "be saved" just by "accepting the fact Jesus loves her and wants her to have a good life."

    I tell her as best I know how that I also believe Jesus loves her and wants her to have His best life for her, that isn't saving faith. She is determined to throw out any doctrine of blood sacrifice as barbaric and pagan, seeing herself as too enlightened and too educated for "that stuff."

    How would you procede?
     
  15. SolaSaint

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    I was watching Kenneth & Gloria Copeland a couple of nights ago and they were preaching the ole "Name it claim it". They were stating with just a word Christians can become free from sickness forever on this world and become very wealthy. They never ever mentioned eternity. And the audience LOVED it. SO SAD!!!!
     
  16. Tom Butler

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    In 2008, my wife Janice and I flew to London to visit a family with whom she had lived back in the mid-1980s. The matriarch of the family, Barbara, was 87 at the time, and she invited us to stay with her for the week.

    One of her favorite expressions was "Crikey." Much later, out of curiosity, I looked it up. It's a mild interjection, which had its origin in "Christ kill me."
    I learned that it's similar to "blimey," short for "God blind me."

    Now, I think there is an American South equivalent. It is "if I'm lyin', I'm dyin." In other words, if I'm not telling you the truth, may God take my life.

    I don't want to derail the thread, so rather than give any more examples, I suggest you search-engine "Southern Expressions, and you'll find a lot of them.
     
  17. glfredrick

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    Until this young woman understands her sin, she will never understand why Christ is so important. But how you explain her sin to her will make a huge difference as to whether or not she can see or understand it. What she is wanting is a syncretistic addition to make her life better. Christianity is not that. Lord, help me if I ever even suggest that becoming a Christian is going to make one's life easier! It does not. True Christians who act on the Word of God will see persecution in some form, they will see God discipline them as His children (The penalty for sinners is that God lets them continue in their sin!), and they will be expected to make radical life-changing decisions in order to be a disciple of Christ. Those that do none of the above are probably not doing the first thing God tells them to do in the Word (such as love your neighbor, even if they are un-lovable).

    I have developed a means of sharing the gospel without sharing the gospel, so to speak. I share all about it, but I don't recite the typical "Do you know Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior..." canned spiel. Rather than deal with "nouns" (disseminate information that someone else is expected to embrace and believe) I ask questions, and share from a vantage point of our broken relationship, both with God and with fellow human being. This method gives me the opportunity to point out our (and everyone's) sin contrasted to the way God originally designed the world and us, and also gives me an opportunity to venture into the remedy for those broken relationships.

    To any that think this may be "soft-pedaling" the gospel, I disagree heartily. If anything this IS the gospel -- but we are so accustomed to hearing it proclaimed in religious terms that we don't even recognize the facts of the story if they are not couched in proof-texts.

    You have already initiated the conversation, so I'll not venture far into that aspect of this method, but in short, it involves asking a big "worldview" question, then taking the time to actively listen to the response of the person. In a sense, I am trying (really trying, via intelligent questions) to get them to share "their gospel." I'm not afraid to do this because I know (KNOW) that there is no other true gospel beside that of Christ crucified and raised from the dead. What this does is allow the person to see, rather quickly at that, that they do not have a gospel. At the end of the day, no matter which alternate religion or philosophy they espouse, they all end up with some form of human works that are both difficult and counterproductive.

    The "big worldview" questions are all based in one of four areas: How did the world come to be? What is the big problem in the world? What is the solution to that big problem? How does it all end? The questions are customized to the individual and I'll base them on cultural clues that lead me to see that individual in a certain light. I'm letting them do the talking anyway, so all I need is an entry point, and they'll be happy to correct any misunderstanding -- which encourages them to continue the conversation, by the way. I've found that people actually like talking about religious stuff if they get to talk. They don't so much like we Christians ramming our beliefs and doctrines down their throat, which is typically the way we are perceived.

    When I actually share "the gospel" I start by painting a picture from Genesis 1-2. God made everything and it was good. When God made we humans, He said it was "very good." If an objection is raised to creation, just ask the person to go with it for a bit for the sake of discussion. After all, "I'm not trying to get you to believe anything... Just having a conversation."

    In this very good world, we literally had paradise. We lived in a garden that was beautiful and met all of our needs. God created humans to have a partner, and so fulfilled human relational needs in a very loving way, plus we actually got to walk and talk to God so that we could get direct answers to important questions -- paradise! We still long for that paradise now. We go on vacation to places that are beautiful. We plant gardens and remodel our homes.

    Even more, we seek loving relationships, but so often those relationships turn sour and we all know the pain of broken and damaged relationships. Even more, we've lost our relationship with God and people everywhere are seeking, inventing religions, acting in hateful manners against each other and each other's gods. All this signifies that something came to spoil that original "very good" world. That something was one of God's created beings who wanted to consolidate power for himself at the expense of everyone else. God removed that being (Lucifer) from His presence, and the first act that this rebel against God did was to convince that first loving man and woman that God's word was not what God said. He convinced these first two people to do something that God said not to do, and the moment they did that act, their loving relationship with God was destroyed. God had promised that if they ate the forbidden fruit that they would surely die, and they did eat it -- but the death was different than they thought -- they didn't fall over on the spot, but they were dead to God and dead to each other. Their relationships were shattered! More so, all their children were born into a world where shattered relationships were the only ones. No more was there paradise and no more were their totally loving bonds between God and man and between fellow humans. Murder, strife, lying, sickness -- all the bad things in this world -- came into being.

    There is no human remedy for this condition! Oh, we've tried. Government after government, king after king, has tried to recreate that paradise state. We look for love, but find often that it is counterfeit -- not truly love at all, but rather merely the means to meet selfish needs. So, we might ask, "What is the answer to this huge problem? Is there an answer?

    There is an answer! You see, the same God who made everything "very good," loving, and a paradise has not stopped wanting to do just that, even now. He still wishes to see His plan fulfilled, and He has made a way to accomplish that fulfillment. He will pay the death penalty that we are born into for being born under the curse placed on humankind by our rebellion. Only God could pay that much without dying, but even God had to die to actually pay the price for us! That is what Jesus is all about. Jesus came to die in our place so that we would not have to. He came to restore and redeem our relationship with God, and then He also teaches us how to love once again and with His help and power, we also start rebuilding loving relationships with our fellow humans. We learn to serve each other -- not for selfish reasons -- but to show them how much we love them. We feed the hungry, cloth the persons without clothing, send missionaries all over the world to spread this good news -- that God is STILL about His plan to redeem and restore this entire cosmos and this world to a "very good" paradise, where all is loving and just.

    Now, there is something that needs to be considered... Would you rather fight against God and remain in all the brokenness or join God in His work to actually created a beautiful and loving world? The choice is before you even now, and all it takes to enter into God's plan is to get to a quiet place and earnest ask God to make you one of His own children. I know that He can do that -- He did it for me! That's why I'm so excited to share this good news with you.



    I have had a lot of success breaking through difficult boundaries where people hate God with the presentation above. Of course, as I said above, I modify it to fit the person, and inevitably there are questions while I share -- just deal with them quietly in love and move forward -- or not -- return to the discussion on another day!

    Let me know if you try it...
     
  18. nodak

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    Let me ponder on that a bit and see how to fit it in. She was raised fundamentalist Baptist and is just determined there was no "blood sacrifice."
     
  19. TCassidy

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    This brought to my memory a missions trip to the Philippines my wife and I took several years ago. We were staying with a very well off woman who was a member of our church who lived for 6 months in the Philippines and 6 months in the US.

    She had a huge home (about 15,000 square feet would be my guess) and 6 cars including a Mercedes, a Mitsubishi Pujero SUV, a Toyota Corolla, a small SUV I did not recognize, and a chauffeur driven limousine based on a Lexus.

    One day she was getting ready to go out for a while and told us she would be back shortly and was just going out in the saloon.

    My wife and I looked at each other with a wondering look on our face.

    The lady asked what was wrong and I explained to her that in the US a saloon was a venue for public alcoholic beverage consumption. A Bar.

    She laughed and told us that in the Philippines a saloon was what we call a sedan.

    We had a good laugh and learned something about the common English language that separated us. :)
     
  20. glfredrick

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    She is wrong...

    Starting with the animals that GOD sacrificed to "cover over" Adam and Eve in the Garden and the shedding of blood of the hymen of a woman to seal the covenant of marriage before God, God has always included a blood sacrifice as a sign, seal, type, shadow, etc., of the final shedding of blood -- that of Messiah, Jesus Christ on the cross for the atonement of our sin (not sins).

    The entire OT sacrificial system where an "unblemished lamb" was offered in sacrifice for the atonement of Israel. And before Israel was a people, God called Abraham to sacrifice his "only" son Issac, but a "substitutionary atonement" was offered by God in the form of a ram that was sacrificed.

    All the OT blood sacrifices were for one primary reason -- to point to the ONE sacrifice that would be efficacious for the final propitiation of the elect.

    No way to escape it, and no modern view that simply does not like the idea of a blood sacrifice will adequately deal with the fact that for a life, a life.

    The good news is that God cares enough about this rebellious young lady that He sent His own Son to be that sacrifice. That is not an archaic OT practice that we've now grown out of -- that is the utter grace and mercy of Holy God acting on our behalf. The proper response is to get on one's face before this God and worship Him, serve, Him, and to share with others what He has done for us.
     

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