Confused Christians, yes?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Gina B, May 22, 2010.

  1. Gina B

    Gina B
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    There appears to be much confusion in the world of Christianity.

    Since I joined into the fray, I've heard people complain about other Christians and churches being too strict, too modern, too lenient, too tough, too pansy, or a zillion other "too" problems.

    I've heard one church teacher comment how most in his day and time became believers out of fear - they were afraid of hell. Is that what saves someone? Fear? Does fear of hell honestly spawn love and belief?

    I've heard others not accept salvation testimonies because the testifier couldn't name an exact time and place. Some people relax a little on this issue and say one can still be saved provided that person recalls a general date.

    Those professing themselves to be Christians often can't even agree on how salvation is obtained! How can the supposed saved apply Christian doctrine to their lives or teach it to others if the very qualifier of Christianity STILL isn't known?!

    It's amazing that this far into history, the plain truth still isn't very plain to plain old people. Can anyone explain why the issue has become so confused? Was it ever clear after physical efforts were no longer required?
     
  2. Jon-Marc

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    From June 1, 1962 to May 18, 1963, I faithfully attended a Baptist church and served there, but I was lost as could be. I heard the gospel preached, the Bible taught, and I believed I was a Christian. However, that changed on May 18, 1963 as I was reading God's word that you must believe AND repent. I thought back and realized that I had done neither. I had simply repeated words I didn't understand when told to do so.

    On May 18, 1963, I came to the realization that I was still lost and on my way to hell. Such fear as I had never felt before came over me, and I fell on my knees and called on the Lord to forgive me and save me, and He DID! Yes, fear got me to call on the Lord for salvation, but that doesn't mean it wasn't real. What wasn't real was the "Christian" life I was living before that May 18.

    If there is no fear of hell, why would anyone see any need to be saved? There is too much of this "God loves you" preaching without the "You are a sinner and need to be saved or suffer the wrath of God" included. Yes, "God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." However, there is more to the message than "God loves you." God loved us so much that He provided a way for us to live eternally WITH HIM! He didn't just love us, but He gave the best He had to buy us from sin and darkness--from spending eternity in hell! Hell is definitely something to fear.
     
  3. gb93433

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    God has a way of reaching each person and that cannot be limited to our rationalistic finite mind.
     
  4. Gina B

    Gina B
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    My motivating factor is love. There is a God out there who loves me, who sent the Son to die for me even though I wasn't rich or beautiful or talented in any way that set me apart from the average human being. If such love existed, I want to return it. I want my children to know of that love and experience it.
    Curiosity is another driving force. What is truth? I am convicted of the truth of Christ. That convictions gives me the obligation to share that truth.

    The fear of hell being screeched from pulpits only helped drive me to atheism. I wanted no part of a fear-based religion, and I certainly wasn't going to ground my faith in fear. Fear is all about ME. People fear hell because it's supposed to be torture.
    Well, guess what? If an Islamic extremist stood in front of me with a knife, it's probably take me two seconds to beg for mercy and convert to Islam. I'd hope I'd not do it, but fear would make me say that. If that person stood over me with his weapon, I'd continue saying and doing what he wanted as long as he did, unless I grew so tired of it I didn't care anymore.

    And that's what I see in a lot of Christians. They go to church and serve and talk the talk because the threat of hell looms over them. They say it's not there, but it is because they get afraid they aren't "really" saved and do it all over again. Then they get sick of that fear in the back of their minds and they give up trying. They backslide, some say they know they can lose their salvation because they experienced it.

    When it truth, somewhere along the line, their motivation for calling out to God wasn't belief in anything other than they didn't really want to go to hell. The mind is a powerful thing. If someone thinks believing will save them from physical pain, they can talk themselves into believing with relative ease, then they fall apart when push comes to shove and they have to depend on that faith...and they can't because their faith is only a mirage.

    Fear in terms of respect for God is different than fear of going to hell. Fear God. Respect His authority, wisdom, and power. But don't cower and make statements just because you know what He can do. Believe because it's true, and because of what He already DID.
     
  5. Iconoclast

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    Solomon says the fear of the LORD IS THE BEGINNING OF WISDOM.

    The fear of the Lord leads to searching scripture for truth.

    look how Paul put it in 2cor5
    9Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him.

    10For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

    11Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences.
    The apostles never lead any sermon in the most evangelistic book{acts]
    with the love of God. In fact the word does not occur in the book of Acts.
    It is true however that the gospel speaks about God saving His people in love. that saving love is only presented in Christ, not apart from Him.

    Confusion in churches is to be expected unless the members are searching the scriptures daily.
    Additonally there are different levels of maturity among believers,as well as false brethren among the true, who think emotionally rather than biblically and created confusion. double-minded persons cause much confusion.
     
  6. SaggyWoman

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    Thank you. You are so right.

    Although I can "pinpoint" a day that I "knew Christ", I think I have that day in my mind because people are incessant that there was a time and a moment that one "had to" come to know Christ, In reality in my life, it was more of a progress where I came to God in steps. I remember hearing the word of God over a few months,,,even a year, and at early stages in that year, I felt the annointing of God but didn't know what it was because I was so young and no one explained it to me. Later, on the date I use, I was asked if I wanted to become a Christian,and I knew what I was doing then, and so I said yes and "prayed the prayer." Although I had a marked change then, I had a marked changed earlier in the year, and continued to have marked changes through out my teen years as I began to walk with God and learn about him and build a relationship with him.
     
  7. SaggyWoman

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    No, I didn't want to go to hell, and I have heard my share of the FEAR HELL preaching.

    Certainly not a major motivating factor for me since I was a child when I became saved, and it was in a church training class about something more boring than burning in hell.

    My mentors at that time were teaching me more about a relationship with God.

    Which is harsher? Wrath of God later or Discipline of God now?
     
  8. jaigner

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    I'm thankful for the grace of God that got a hold of you back then.

    I came to faith not because of a fear of hell, but because my entire being was enveloped by the consuming love of Christ.

    We should preach scripture faithfully, but we can't emphasize one part of it just to scare people. That's not the gospel.
     

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