How Were You When Christ Found You?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by preacher4truth, Aug 6, 2011.

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Where Were You When Christ Found You?

  1. Totally lost, unrighteous, not good, not seeking, and even worst things.

    12 vote(s)
    50.0%
  2. I was doing and/or being good, seeking God, doing righteous acts & works.

    4 vote(s)
    16.7%
  3. I was doing good things, showing I was able to come to Him as are others.

    2 vote(s)
    8.3%
  4. God knows that I could do nothing good and was unable to come to Him, He came to me and enabled me.

    13 vote(s)
    54.2%
  5. No one is good outside of Christ, all are in a lost, sinful state of enmity toward God.

    10 vote(s)
    41.7%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. preacher4truth

    preacher4truth
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    Not when you found Christ, when He found you.

    A couple or so persons on the BB paint man (prior to regeneration) as doing good works, seeking God, and in these things as pretty good folks, Cornelius, and Zacharias and Elizabeth used as examples of this. Cornelius actually being presented (by one) as though because of his prayers and works, God recognized them, and then sent Peter to him for this reason. This was used to argue and refute one who rightly said "we can do no good concering salvation." Cornelius was then touted as proof we can do good concerning salvation.

    Several others, on the other hand, recognize Cornelius as regenerate, and a teaching lesson to Peter that God was also saving Gentiles. Thus Peters dream and encounter with regenerate Cornelius to whom Peter would concisely explain how they, Gentiles, were going to be saved, yet the work already began in his/their hearts, concerning Cornelius and possibly also the others within his houselhold. Peter was then sent to express to him Christ and the Gospel and finalize the yet incomplete process already begun in his heart. This can be found in Acts 10, 11.

    There are other accounts in Acts also that show an "incomplete" regeneration, but God definitely saving some, and completing their understanding of salvation at a later time. Anyhow, several proof-texts as these are used to prove man good, seeking, not unrighteous, &c, or in other words “able.” But the problem with this premise is that an unbiblical view of man (that he is good, seeking, doing righteous works) is used to come to an erroneous conclusion, that then he is “able” v. incapable of coming to God through deeds. Two fallacious conclusions are arrived at because the foundation is incorrect, and therefore anything off of this false base will only lead one to more error.

    I must admit that I have never seen in any Baptist church, anywhere, teaching man earning a hearing, such as Cornelius has been falsely represented, due to his works, or, ever hearing in Baptist churches of lost man seeking God, doing good, being righteous, at all, outside of Christ. However, after hearing this on the BB, I have to say this is a false error and teaching that has infiltrated some churches (apparently).

    Such teaching is akin to the teaching of the Masonic Lodge, (to which I came out of years ago) wherein a "good" person is invited to become a member based upon his "goodness." Yet the Scriptures attest that there are none good, and I agree to this.

    I must also say that a man cannot and will not be saved until such recognizes oneself as lost and in need of a Savior.

    Now, here are what the Scriptures say about lost man:

    1) That lost man does not do good, does not seek God and is not righteous, no reverence for God &c; Romans 3:10-18.

    2) That our minds are at enmity toward God, and that we are incapable within this state of lostness to keep the Law of God; Romans 8:7-8 (Note those that are in the flesh cannot please God, thus Cornelius must not have been in the flesh, or rather must not have been lost, but had to be in a regenerate state.)

    3) We were alienated, and enemies of God, by wicked works; Colossians 1:21.

    4) We were in the Kingdom of Darkness; Colossians 1:13.

    5) We were spiritually dead, walked according to the course of this world, indulged the flesh and passions of the mind, were children of wrath; Ephesians 2:1-3.

    6) Served and had other gods than the true God; 1 Thessalonians 1:9.

    7) Were enslaved to and by sin and were not free; John 8:31-34.

    8) Lived by the futility of our minds, had a darkened understanding, and were excluded from life, had hardened hearts, were sensual; Ephesians 4:18-19.

    9) Practiced the works of the flesh: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife...&c; Galatians 5:20-21.

    10) Were on the wrong course, obedient to the prince of this world; Ephesians 2.

    11) That in our flesh nothing good dwells; Romans 7:18.

    12) We were born in sin; Psalms 51:5.

    13) Our hearts deceive us, and from within our hearts comes wickedness, being desperately wicked, and we cannot even understand this state; Jeremiah 17:9; Matthew 5:18-19.

    14) We are lost (to be destroyed); 2 Corinthians 4:3.

    Jesus also came only to save the lost, and specifically not the righteous, "But go and learn what this means: 'I DESIRE COMPASSION, AND NOT SACRIFICE,' for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners." Matthew 9:13 calling all that are lost to repentance. Thus Cornelius was not righteous, seeking God &c as Jesus did not come to call such to Himself. These false conclusions that he was in such a state of righteousness, seeking, good &c is a prime example of the unfounded and misguided conclusions one will arrive at using proof-text methodology v. using Scripture to interpret Scripture.

    There is much more describing the lost state of man throughout Scriptures, and the bottom line indictment is that lost man (those in the flesh) cannot please God in works, deeds, or in any way whatsoever. God’s indictment upon lost man is that outside of Christ they are wicked, not one is good, that we are lost, enemies of God, at warfare with Him and more, and we can conclude in this that until God alone does a work of grace within our hearts we remain in this state.

    Here is what Wayne Grudem says about this;
    When Peter discovered Cornelius (by Holy Spirit leadership), he recognized these truths and that God must have done a work of regeneration in the heart of Cornelius, and judged thus “That God (since he was saving gentiles) is no respecter of persons” or “Opening his mouth Peter said: I most certainly understand now that God is not one to show partiality.” Acts 10:34 (note how he has come to “understand” this, God is teaching him a thing here, which is the contextual objective of Acts 10-11) and the proof was Cornelius incomplete work of regeneration in that God made this lost Gentile capable of being pleasing to Himself through His Grace, thus and for this reason he states “but in every nation he who fears Him and does what is right is welcome to Him.” Acts 10:35. They later concluded this and saw that those repenting were being led to such a state by God, and that He had also granted Gentiles repentance unto life; Acts 11:18. This is the method God used in the life of Cornelius to teach the Apostles how far-reaching His saving grace was. I believe He had to show forth to these Apostles this man in a state of good works/regeneration for them to be able to see and accept this. Context, the counsel of Scriptures and dogma of God concerning the state of lost man supports this.

    But where were you when Christ found you? Lost, unrighteous, works as filthy rags, not accepted, as the Bible declares, or were you otherwise, and seeking God, doing righteous works, and good?

    Me? Lost, unworthy, not seeking God, not righteous, not doing righteous works, wicked, evil, fit for destruction, and definitely not doing any good before the eyes of Holy God. I only began to seek God after He sought me and began His drawing work, and then I was saved.

    - Peace
     
  2. Tom Butler

    Tom Butler
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    I was nine years old, sitting with a bunch of other kids about two-thirds of the way towards the last row.

    The Holy Spirit opened my eyes to my sin and to my guilt, drew me to repentance and faith, and moved me down the aisle to see the pastor.

    I was never under conviction or even knew I was lost until that day.
     
  3. glfredrick

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    I walked away from our early religious background and became, at first, angry with God, then later, I came to realize that there was no god with whom to be angry, so I just became an atheist.

    When God found me, I was not seeking, searching, nor even caring, even a little bit, about any religious exercise. My faith was in myself and my own abilities, coupled with a hope that humanistic science could solve the world's problems, starting by making stupid religions go away so we could get on with life.

    My conversion was child's play for God... Just a few choice circumstances that He orchestrated over which I had no control. He and I, no other live humans were involved, and within a year, I not only recognized that HE IS, I also recognized my sin, and turned from that sin to Christ, who saved me. Without God's drawing power and effectual call, I would yet be lost in my sin and doomed.

    Imagine, a God who could use a story on the radio about the pain of loosing a child to draw a man, who lost a child and blamed God for that loss, into a right and justified relationship with the King of all kings and Lord of all lords! Oh, praise Him, that He called my name!

    This song really exemplifies the sort of anguish that I should have had, had I known my spiritual state... "How Long, O, Lord?"

    Indeed, how long will He make me wait before He rescues me... Will He wait until my bones have turned into dust and my enemies laugh at my state? How Long!

    http://sojournmusic.bandcamp.com/track/how-long
     
  4. Amy.G

    Amy.G
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    Christ didn't "find" me. He always knew right where I was and pursued me. :)

    Although I did try to hide from Him.
     
  5. preacher4truth

    preacher4truth
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    Amen! He came to seek and save that which was lost, Luke 19:10, chose us, 1 Thessalonians 1:4.

    Thanks
     
  6. preacher4truth

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    He found me, for He came to seek and save the lost; Luke 19:10, which is in the sense which I mean.

    He chose me, sought me. :)
     
  7. preacher4truth

    preacher4truth
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    That's amazing isn't it, how He can do that work in our heart, and bring us to that knowledge and conviction, and save us. :thumbsup:
     
  8. freeatlast

    freeatlast
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    No question I was Totally lost, unrighteous, not good, not seeking, and even worst things. Things too evil to mention. I was in my 30's and the Lord dealt with me totally apart from any church or preaching as I would not listen to any preacher.

    I would make this point. By the OP I agree with you that Cornelius was already a Child of God when Pater arrived, but stopping there I don't believe is the whole story as stopping there makes it one sided and that is not how the text presents it.
    For one thing Peter needed some added information about God and who He was saving and that there is no distinction between gentile and Jew for salvation as both received the same Spirit.
    Second while Cornelius was a child of God it looks like he was not a NT saint. He evidently was brought in under law as Peter had to explain to him all about Jesus as well as offer him baptism when he believed and the spirit revealed it by the gift of tongues.
    So I think to suggest or say that Cornelius was in a process of regeneration is inaccurate. Regeneration is instant, but in this case it looks like Cornelius just needed to cross over from law to grace and that took place bringing him into the church and teaching Peter a much needed lesson.
    Finally the fact that God seeks us out first does not mean we do have to receive His seeking. Both His moving on the hearts of men and man's volition work together to bring salvation.
     
  9. glfredrick

    glfredrick
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    I'm pretty sure he had me in mind when He caused that verse to be written.

    I was the one raising the pigs that the prodigal son worked for... :laugh:
     
  10. Tom Bryant

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    I had openly declared my disbelief in and opposition to the things of God. I was not seeking him but He found me. He showed me that I was on my way to hell without Jesus. So I came to Him in repentance for forgiveness, knowing I was totally unworthy of His love and His death for my sin.
     
  11. Iconoclast

    Iconoclast
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    :thumbsup::thumbsup:......same here....i started reading the bible to disprove it .....I was 100% certain it was false.....I was 100% wrong!:laugh:
     
  12. righteousdude2

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    I Was Good at Being Bad, but Religious in Deeds!

    I was a sinner, end of the story. How much worse can that be? I was also going about doing good works, and keeping a good work versus bad works note book, and at the end of each day, if I had done better than bad, I could go to sleep knowing he'd take me home had I died in my sleep.

    As you can see, I had no IDEA of what it took to be saved, at peace with God, and living by faith.

    I did Catholic things mixed with Lutheran things, and tried so hard to be religious, thinking I was going to heaven.

    After all, I was born in America, A God fearing country, with "In God, We Trust" imprinted on every piece of coin and paper currency I handle each day. I religiously prayed the Lord's prayer throughout each day, and never went to sleep without siting "Now I lay me down to sleep!"

    My Grandparents were devout Catholics. My parents were semi-devout Lutherans. I went to Catholic church with Mom on all religious holidays, and even lit a few candles at the alter.

    I could walk into any church and not feel like the roof was going to fall in on me. And I went to church with my school friends. A few times a year I'd go to an Assembly of God church, Southern Baptist, and some main line churches.

    I was a Boy Scout, and took an oath to be "trustworthy, loyal, cheerful, kind, thrifty, clean and above all else, reverent! I had a merit badge for service to God and country!

    I could genuflect with the best of them, and my sign of the cross was as good as any priest or the Pope himself, could do.

    If one could truly be guilty by association, I was truly righteous by association. I even played taps at funerals, and in church on Military Sundays.

    I knew that I was going to heaven because I was more capable of being good according to the 10 Commandments, and I never failed to ask for forgivness when sin popped up in my daily walk.

    The problem was; I was never saved, and I didn't know about salvation and how free and liberating it could make me feel inwardly and outwardly until I was led to pray the sinner's prayer and ask Him into my life on Christmas Eve, 1966.

    From that day on, legalism and religion no longer ruled my life. I walked in faith, and knew that I was His through the precious blood of Jesus, who died for me on the cross. Suddenly, the Bible was no longer boring, and hard to understand. The words on each page jumped off the page and into my heart, lighting my path, and filling my spirit with a growing faith.

    Thus, I was found, and no longer prone to wander, lost and lonely. I was now a child of the King of Kings, destined for the throne, and eternal life was mine to have and hold and share with those who were lost as I once was.

    Shalom,

    Pastor Paul
     
  13. Arbo

    Arbo
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    My Saviour always knew where I was, but I was in bad shape when He drew me to Him. I am so thankful He did, too.
     
  14. Earth Wind and Fire

    Earth Wind and Fire
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    Totally, totally sinful.....a thief, lier, fornicator, murderer & that was on a good day. The HS confronted me with being at the root, a non believer & I denied it vehemently and then he showed me why I was a non believer (after all would I do those things if I were a believer)? Changed my life. How do you show love to a scum bucket like me but He did & all I could do is stand in amazement & give it over.
     
  15. ktn4eg

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    I grew up attending a very liberal church. No preaching about being lost and needing salvation...certainly no invitation to receive Christ as savior. We had the Bible stories (Moses, David, etc.), but emphasis was more on the Ten Commandments, Golden Rule, Sermon on the Mount. Jesus was a good, moral example but not a Savior. Church was more of a social gathering. As I entered my senior year in HS, I was turned off towards what I had experienced as "churchianity." I was turning more conservative politically as the only church I knew was turning more liberal.

    In my senior year I conversed with a gentleman who was a member of a IFB church in the general vicinity of my home. He invited me to attend their services, but at the time I wasn't interested.

    Then I joined the USAF and wound up in Arizona. I wanted to break all ties with that liberal church and considered affiliating with that IFB church where that gentleman attending. I still wasn't saved, so when they responded to my inquries about joining by asking whether or not I knew Christ as my Savior, I had no idea what they were talking about.

    While this was going on, I read in the local Tucson paper that a man by the name of John A. Stormer was going to be speaking at an IFB church in town. In 1964, Stormer wrote a book None Dare Call it Treason, a book with which I'd become familiar and was one that gentleman recommended I read. When Stormer wrote that book in 1964, he was (by his own admission) not saved. In 1965, Stormer trusted Christ as Savior and began to use his popularity as an author to try to reach concerned people with the Gospel of salvation. Of course, I didn't know anything about this.

    It was now 1966. I wanted to hear what Stormer had to say about the political situation since 1964. While he did give a good summary of our nation's situation, he concluded his presentation with what he called the solution to all of our needs. It was then when I first heard of Christ being a Savior--a Savior who died and rose again for me personally.

    I didn't know anything about this, but I knew I had to respond. A kindly old grandfatherly type man took me aside and led me to the Lord that evening.

    Since then I've been connected with 4-5 Baptist churches, all the way from Arizona to Germany and back. I've stumbled many times, backslidden, and failed Him often. But the Lord has never failed me! He's always been faithful to me, even when I wasn't faithful to Him (and thus my signature below).
     
  16. Gina B

    Gina B
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    On my knees in total helplessness and confusion. Nothing before that matters, everything after does.
     
  17. Jim1999

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    Grew up in an evangelical Church of England. Always believed in Jesus and the Bible. I realized Christ as my personal Saviour at Confirmation Classes. Nothing dramatic. No big show. Just simple realization of Him in my soul.

    Yes, I believe man can express the goodness of the world. I don't believe that is what the Bible is saying when it says, None are good, not one. That has direct reference to the regenerative state, and no man is able to attain that outside of Jesus.

    I did not become a Baptist until after my military service as a chaplain. I was baptized in a PB Gospel Hall.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  18. Tom Butler

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    Amazing is he word for it. My mother started sending me to the Baptist church a couple of blocks away when I was seven. I was in Sunday School, Training Union, Sunday Morning worship, Sunday night, Wednesday night.

    I heard bunches of SS lessons, BTU programs, sermons, revival preachers. None of them really got my attention until that day when the Holy Spirit began his work in me. Then, suddenly, they all made sense. And it scared the living daylights out of me. I was one of those sinners the pastor had preached about. I was one of those headed for hell the pastor had preached about. But I also remembered that there was a Way that the pastor had preached about.
     
  19. HankD

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    I was dead.​

    John 5:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.​

    Now I live.​

    HankD​
     
  20. nodak

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    Grew up taken to the Methodist church and sent to the Baptist church also. Whole community attended revivals at both.

    When I was 15 my dad was saved and as a family we became Methodists. Everyone kept telling me I was saved, but I knew better.

    I was seeking--asking all the saved folks I knew (happened to be Baptists) about the plan of salvation, but nothing clicked.

    Came a very busy week--my only sibling getting married, final exams my junior year of high school, getting my first car, etc. One night sat down for a few minutes breather and put the tv on. Billy Graham crusade was on (yeah, limited channels all we had).

    That sermon convicted me of sin. I fled to my room, fell on my knees, repented of sin, and He gloriously saved me.

    Years later we had a friend in the oil patch who's family got saved. All invites to church or to Jesus fell on his deaf ears and hardened heart.

    Til one day walking across a location, not seeking God and hardened to Him, the Lord drove him to his knees and saved his soul AND called him to preach.

    Wow. Just wow.
     

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