Missions Forum: Unbelievers have no place in the Church!

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by CorpseNoMore, Jul 16, 2001.

  1. CorpseNoMore

    CorpseNoMore
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    The following excerpted exchange between firedome and CNM took place in the General Discussion forum of the BB and it is placed here for the purpose of isolating the topic.

    Unsaved people shouldn't be routinely venturing into the church as a rule. It may be that God in His sovereign workings, leads an unconverted person to a church from time to time, and praise His name for it, for His ways are perfect. But as far as efforts to bring unbelievers into the assembly of the saints, it is a missplaced effort and one remiscient of the Finneyism you have previously objected to.

    cordially,

    CNM

    [ September 20, 2002, 04:19 PM: Message edited by: The Squire ]
     
  2. Gina B

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    Just a note. I agree with you for the most part. I think my pastor used to do an excellent job. He would have his lesson ready, but if a visitor happened in he would either preach it and add the salvation message, or if the lesson was one we had been following and would go over an unbelievers head he would save it and go ahead with a whole message on Jesus and his salvation. We all accepted and expected this to happen.
    Gina
     
  3. Bible Believing Bill

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    A question if unsaved people are not to go to church where are they going to learn about Christ?

    Yes poeple may witness to them, yes friends and loved ones may try to teach them, but where will they get good solid teaching about Christ.

    I know from personal experience that 99.9% of a message goes over the head of an unsaved person. I always took something away from a message, and those little bits added up. Eventually I was taking more and more away from a message, even though I wasn't saved. Then one evening my eyes were opened, I KNEW and BELIVED that was a sinner and NEEDED to be FORGIVEN. That night I was SAVED!!!! PRAISE GOD, AND THANK THE LORD JESUS!!

    Lots of things led to my being saved, and one of them was those few times I went to church when I was only going to please my wife. Then I wanted to go, and then I WAS SAVED!! If I hadn't gone would I be saved now, only God knows that.
     
  4. Ransom

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    NewBeliever asked:

    A question if unsaved people are not to go to church where are they going to learn about Christ?

    Yes poeple may witness to them, yes friends and loved ones may try to teach them, but where will they get good solid teaching about Christ.


    If they haven't even gotten to the stage where they can drink the milk of the word, then they certainly aren't ready for the meat.
     
  5. the 'I AM' hath sent me

    the 'I AM' hath sent me
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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by NewBeliever:
    A question if unsaved people are not to go to church where are they going to learn about Christ?

    Yes poeple may witness to them, yes friends and loved ones may try to teach them, but where will they get good solid teaching about Christ.

    I know from personal experience that 99.9% of a message goes over the head of an unsaved person. I always took something away from a message, and those little bits added up. Eventually I was taking more and more away from a message, even though I wasn't saved. Then one evening my eyes were opened, I KNEW and BELIVED that was a sinner and NEEDED to be FORGIVEN. That night I was SAVED!!!! PRAISE GOD, AND THANK THE LORD JESUS!!

    Lots of things led to my being saved, and one of them was those few times I went to church when I was only going to please my wife. Then I wanted to go, and then I WAS SAVED!! If I hadn't gone would I be saved now, only God knows that.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


    I totally agree with NewBeliever. I am a new convert myself(2 years). If it weren't for people praying for me and inviting me to Church, I would still be on a one way road to hell.

    When we go on visitation on Thursdays, we give out the Gospel, but we also asked them to come to Church.

    To say that the Church is no place for an unsaved person is wrong. How many of us were saved in a Church?

    Our pastor closes every service, whether it be a baptism, Sunday morning night, Wednesday night service, etc; He always closes a service with an alter call. What is more important than a soul being Saved? Is that not what CHristians are left on this earth to do(spread the Gospel)?

    Kenneth
    [​IMG]
     
  6. Dr. Bob

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    Many christians are taking the easy way out. They are inviting friends to church (hope the pastor will share the Gospel and win them) rather than following the Bible mandate to be witnesses to them in every part of life.

    God didn't call the pastor to do the work of the member. Sheep have lambs, not shepherds!

    And nowhere in the Bible do we see unsaved invited into the church. Now, a few said they were saved and were there (Ananias & Sapphira, Demas come to mind) but the church is a place for the fellowship and indoctrination of the believers only to prepare them for the real world the rest of the week.
     
  7. Chris Temple

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    In any discussion of "The Church", it is wise to first define the term. In Easton's it says this:


    Church — Derived probably from the Greek kuriakon (i.e., “the Lord’s house” ; ), which was used by ancient authors for the place of worship.
    In the New Testament it is the translation of the Greek word ecclesia, which is synonymous with the Hebrew kahal of the Old Testament, both words meaning simply an assembly, the character of which can only be known from the connection in which the word is found. There is no clear instance of its being used for a place of meeting or of worship, although in post-apostolic times it early received this meaning. Nor is this word ever used to denote the inhabitants of a country united in the same profession, as when we say the “Church of England,” the “Church of Scotland,” etc.
    We find the word ecclesia used in the following senses in the New Testament: (1.) It is translated “assembly” in the ordinary classical sense (Acts 19:32, 39, 41).
    (2.) It denotes the whole body of the redeemed, all those whom the Father has given to Christ, the invisible catholic church (Eph. 5:23, 25, 27, 29; Heb. 12:23).
    (3.) A few Christians associated together in observing the ordinances of the gospel are an ecclesia (Rom. 16:5; Col. 4:15).
    (4.) All the Christians in a particular city, whether they assembled together in one place or in several places for religious worship, were an ecclesia. Thus all the disciples in Antioch, forming several congregations, were one church (Acts 13:1); so also we read of the “church of God at Corinth” (1 Cor. 1:2), “the church at Jerusalem” (Acts 8:1), “the church of Ephesus” (Rev. 2:1), etc.
    (5.) The whole body of professing Christians throughout the world (1 Cor. 15:9; Gal. 1:13; Matt. 16:18) are the church of Christ.
    The church visible “consists of all those throughout the world that profess the true religion, together with their children.” It is called “visible” because its members are known and its assemblies are public. Here there is a mixture of “wheat and chaff,” of saints and sinners. “God has commanded his people to organize themselves into distinct visible ecclesiastical communities, with constitutions, laws, and officers, badges, ordinances, and discipline, for the great purpose of giving visibility to his kingdom, of making known the gospel of that kingdom, and of gathering in all its elect subjects. Each one of these distinct organized communities which is faithful to the great King is an integral part of the visible church, and all together constitute the catholic or universal visible church.” A credible profession of the true religion constitutes a person a member of this church. This is “the kingdom of heaven,” whose character and progress are set forth in the parables recorded in Matt. 13.

    The church invisible “consists of the whole number of the elect that have been, are, or shall be gathered into one under Christ, the head thereof.” This is a pure society, the church in which Christ dwells. It is the body of Christ. it is called “invisible” because the greater part of those who constitute it are already in heaven or are yet unborn, and also because its members still on earth cannot certainly be distinguished. The qualifications of membership in it are internal and are hidden. It is unseen except by Him who “searches the heart.” “The Lord knoweth them that are his” (2 Tim. 2:19).
    The church to which the attributes, prerogatives, and promises appertaining to Christ’s kingdom belong, is a spiritual body consisting of all true believers, i.e., the church invisible.
    (1.) Its unity. God has ever had only one church on earth. We sometimes speak of the Old Testament Church and of the New Testament church, but they are one and the same. The Old Testament church was not to be changed but enlarged (Isa. 49:13–23; 60:1–14). When the Jews are at length restored, they will not enter a new church, but will be grafted again into “their own olive tree” (Rom. 11:18–24; comp. Eph. 2:11–22). The apostles did not set up a new organization. Under their ministry disciples were “added” to the “church” already existing (Acts 2:47).
    (2.) Its universality. It is the “catholic” church; not confined to any particular country or outward organization, but comprehending all believers throughout the whole world.
    (3.) Its perpetuity. It will continue through all ages to the end of the world. It can never be destroyed. It is an “everlasting kindgdom.”

    It can be readily seen that the unbeliever cannot be in the church, nor is allowed in the church. An unbeliever may come to a worship service of the church in a building as an observer and guest, but they have not entered "the church".

    [ July 16, 2001: Message edited by: Chris Temple ]
     
  8. Chris Temple

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by MyhelpisfromAbove:
    Our pastor closes every service, whether it be a baptism, Sunday morning night, Wednesday night service, etc; He always closes a service with an alter call. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    As do most Baptist pastors. But the question is: where in the NT did anyone ever give an altar call at the end of the assembly of believer's worship time?

    How does an interior church "altar call" line-up with the NT exterior command to go and make disciples?

    :confused:
     
  9. firedome

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    CNM,
    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Unsaved people shouldn't be routinely venturing into the church as a rule. It may be that God in His sovereign workings, leads an unconverted person to a church from time to time, and praise His name for it, for His ways are perfect. But as far as efforts to bring unbelievers into the assembly of the saints, it is a missplaced effort and one remiscient of the Finneyism you have previously objected to.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I would like to know what the following verse of scripture refers to? Lk. 14:23 "And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. 24 For I say unto you, That none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper."

    [ July 16, 2001: Message edited by: firedome ]
     
  10. CorpseNoMore

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    Chris, I would note that, as a general matter, the defintion of "the Church" is a subject for the Baptist Theology forum. My post here was to a question of practice.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>originally posted by Chris Temple:
    It can be readily seen that the unbeliever cannot be in the church, nor is allowed in the church. An unbeliever may come to a worship service of the church in a building as an observer and guest, but they have not entered "the church".
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Chris, I would agree that it is impossible for a unbeliever to be a member of the true-church, because by definition one must be born-again into it.

    I had contemplated using the word assembly in the title of this thread but felt that the word "church" had more punch for a provocative title, plus I used the word assembly in the body of the message, so I'm avoiding redundancy.

    As to an unbeliever being a member of a local church, that is something that is a routine problem, as I'm sure you will admit. These goats fool the undershepherds and escape the disciplinary hurdles which are designed to keep the sheep separate from them. In this sense, they are in-the-church, if church means local assembly of professors.

    cordially,

    CNM
     
  11. CorpseNoMore

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by firedome:
    CNM, I would like to know what the following verse of scripture refers to? Lk. 14:23 "And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. 24 For I say unto you, That none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper."
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    firedome, I perceive you are posting these verses under the presumption that such persons are unrepentant. Contextually speaking, the parable is a contrast between those who are invited to the Great Supper and have made worldly excuses as to why they are too busy to come(presumably the ungrateful children of Israel), with those who are broken and afar off, (presumably the Gentiles.) If I'm correct, it is in part a partial allusion to the New Covenant.

    The implication is that if such persons do come they are in some way different from those who did not. Such a difference it is logical(and theological) to infer is repentance. Such an inference is fortified in it's credibility (in my view) by the immediate proximity of the following sermonette on the high cost of following Christ. An exhortaion which is a theological tour-de-force on the doctrine of repentance.

    The Scriptures are written to the people of God, not to God's enemies. As such they are instruction as to how to live that sanctified life we are called to. No such messages are for unbelievers. If unbelievers, routinely populate the assembly of the saints they are a corrupting influence on that assembly, and are by defintion a discipline problem, because they are not disciples.

    Moreover, if we encourage them to get comfortable in our midst, the worship they offer is but blasphemy and a stench in God's nostrils. Why do we want to encourage that?

    cordially,

    CNM

    [ July 17, 2001: Message edited by: CorpseNoMore ]
     
  12. the 'I AM' hath sent me

    the 'I AM' hath sent me
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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Chris Temple:


    As do most Baptist pastors. But the question is: where in the NT did anyone ever give an altar call at the end of the assembly of believer's worship time?

    How does an interior church "altar call" line-up with the NT exterior command to go and make disciples?

    :confused:
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


    So, are you saying that all baptist preachers who give alter calls at service are disobeying the Bible? If we are to go out and make disciples everywhere preaching the Word. Then why not let the Lord work in the Church( local assembly) and lead people to Him?

    Thank God the Church I got saved at didn't view things as you do. For I would probably still be a heathen.
    :confused:

    And are you also trying to say that there is not one lost person in your congregation? I would be hard pressed to believe that.

    If what you say is true, then no Church in the world should ever preach on Revelation, or most of the Parables of Christ.

    This doesn't make since to me. I am a babe in Christ Jesus, and to hear that lost people shouldn't be in the Church, knowing that I got saved in a Church, is well hard to swallow. I can understand not being a member of the local Church or the Body of Christ, but to say they shouldn't be in the Church at all, is going too far. So your children who haven't trusted the Lord yet, should they not come to Church with you?

    Help me to understand this. I am really having a hard time with this one.

    Kenneth :confused:
     
  13. Pete Richert

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    How about both. How about we whittness to people outside the church, invite them to go to church, invite them into our homes and to see our lives. I can't understand Dr. Bob's concern that if we allow to many non belivers in the Church, we will never preach on meat to disciple the belivers. But just because you invite non-belivers, doesn't mean you need alter calls. Let them whitness people singing praises to God, going before the Lord in Prayer, and the serious love for one another that I hope all body of believers show. John says that they will known we are from Christ from our love for one another.
     
  14. Chris Temple

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by MyhelpisfromAbove:
    So, are you saying that all baptist preachers who give alter calls at service are disobeying the Bible? If we are to go out and make disciples everywhere preaching the Word. Then why not let the Lord work in the Church( local assembly) and lead people to Him? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Take note that you did not answer the question.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR> Thank God the Church I got saved at didn't view things as you do. For I would probably still be a heathen. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    That is an impossibility, as you were saved when the Lord had determined to save you.

    You are confusing orthopraxy and pragmatism. Sure, people are saved by altar calls; Gdo can and does work through any means. But is that what Scripture calls for? Most altar calls (which are different from invitations to receive Christ) are emotional, humanistic pleadings to come to Jesus while the organist plays 7 rounds of Just as I Am. And by so doing, preachers get their "numbers up", but thousands have walked and aisle and made a decision without ever really being saved by grace.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR> And are you also trying to say that there is not one lost person in your congregation? I would be hard pressed to believe that. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Where did you read that in my post? That is begging the question. Every church has the unsaved in the congregation. Does that give us license to incorporate unbiblical practices just to "boost" numbers?

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR> If what you say is true, then no Church in the world should ever preach on Revelation, or most of the Parables of Christ. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    :confused:


    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR> This doesn't make since to me. I am a babe in Christ Jesus, and to hear that lost people shouldn't be in the Church, knowing that I got saved in a Church, is well hard to swallow. I can understand not being a member of the local Church or the Body of Christ, but to say they shouldn't be in the Church at all, is going too far. So your children who haven't trusted the Lord yet, should they not come to Church with you?

    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Again, you are saying things that I have not said.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR> Help me to understand this. I am really having a hard time with this one.

    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    That's what I'm trying to do.

    See the article The Altar Call: Helpful or Harmful?, at http://www.biblicalstudies.com/bstudy/ecclesiology/altar.htm

    [ July 17, 2001: Message edited by: Chris Temple ]
     
  15. the 'I AM' hath sent me

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Chris Temple:


    That's what I'm trying to do.

    See the article The Altar Call: Helpful or Harmful?, at http://www.biblicalstudies.com/bstudy/ecclesiology/altar.htm

    [ July 17, 2001: Message edited by: Chris Temple ]
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


    Chris,
    Read the article. Still don't see what an alter call has to do with unsaved people not being in the Church.

    As for the alter call, I got saved in a Pentecostal Church in the pew were I sat. No alter call was needed for the Lord to touch my heart.

    Should we turn unsaved people away from the Church? I go out on visitations, I give out the Word as much as possible. Sadly I do fail at this. But the point is, I always invite that person, if they live near my Church, to attend. Is that wrong?

    Do you actually think that one single Church today is the same as those of the apostolic Church? I think all of the Churches have failed at that.

    I don't think we should turn a lost person away from the House of God. If that person actually makes and effort to come to a God Fearing, Bible Believing Church, then let them in. It would be obvious that the Lord is dealing with that heart.

    God Bless, Kenneth

    Thanks for the article, I will have to print it and give it to my pastor.
     
  16. Bible Believing Bill

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    If the theory is that the unsaved can't digest the Word of God therefore they shouldn't be in church. Then as a baby Christian since I can't diget as large a protion as my Brothers and Sisters who are more mature. Does that mean I shouldn't be in church either?

    There will always be messages that are over the head of some, and there will be messages that are too basic for some. I belive its up to the Pastor to provide the right mix for his flock. Why can't that mix include some food for the little lost sheep?
     
  17. John Wells

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    In reading the various posts (we are getting some good heated discussions), shouldn't we delineate between "unsaved," spiritually depraved, and spiritual seekers?

    I agree we should not try to drag our spiritually depraved next door neighbor to church with us.

    I disagree that we should not invite our neighbor, relative, or friend who shows signs that the Holy Spirit might be working in their heart! But I also don't suggest we cop out with an invite rather than volunteering to be God's vessel and witness to this person in the home. :D
    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, (1 Pet 3:15b NIV) <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    [ July 17, 2001: Message edited by: wellsjs ]
     
  18. firedome

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by CorpseNoMore:


    firedome, I perceive you are posting these verses under the presumption that such persons are unrepentant. Contextually speaking, the parable is a contrast between those who are invited to the Great Supper and have made worldly excuses as to why they are too busy to come(presumably the ungrateful children of Israel), with those who are broken and afar off, (presumably the Gentiles.) If I'm correct, it is in part a partial allusion to the New Covenant.

    The implication is that if such persons do come they are in some way different from those who did not. Such a difference it is logical(and theological) to infer is repentance. Such an inference is fortified in it's credibility (in my view) by the immediate proximity of the following sermonette on the high cost of following Christ. An exhortaion which is a theological tour-de-force on the doctrine of repentance.

    The Scriptures are written to the people of God, not to God's enemies. As such they are instruction as to how to live that sanctified life we are called to. No such messages are for unbelievers. If unbelievers, routinely populate the assembly of the saints they are a corrupting influence on that assembly, and are by defintion a discipline problem, because they are not disciples.

    Moreover, if we encourage them to get comfortable in our midst, the worship they offer is but blasphemy and a stench in God's nostrils. Why do we want to encourage that?

    cordially,

    CNM

    [ July 17, 2001: Message edited by: CorpseNoMore ]
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    The scripture is written to bring lost man to the point that man enjoyed prior to Chapter 3 of Genesis.

    I have never suggested that we should allow unregenerate people into our congregation. I guess I should not have used the term "church" when saying to bring them in, but I seem to think that the people on this board don't say when asked by unregenerate people what we do on any given worship day, "oh I am going to the fellowship of fellow believer's gathering".

    I did say that we need to get away from psychology-ridden lectures from the pulpit. Wellsjs was not far from the truth when inferring that we need "hellfire and brimstone" "turn or burn" preaching. But to say only this falls short. I stated that we need to feed the flock, but we must reach the lost, first and foremost. Is there only one worship service per week? I say that if this is the case we need to preach Gospel only! If we have two or more services, I say that we should dedicate one solely to Gospel, and the rest to Prayer and Discipleship. I will refer back to Richard Baxter's "Reformed Pastor", in which I quote, "O, therefore, brethren, whomsoever you neglect, neglect not the most miserable! Whatever you pass over, forget not poor souls that are under the condemnation and curse of the law, and who may look every hour for the infernal execution, if a speedy change do not prevent it. O call after the impenitent, and ply this great work of converting souls, whatever else you leave undone." He is not speaking to the congregation. He is speaking to fellow pastors. In my mind this refutes the claim that the building in which we gather to worship should not to be used to preach the Gospel. It is true that some members do cop out by "inviting people to the assembly of believer's gathering, but, some people do witness and seek to affirm their witnessing to the lost person(s) by the message from the pulpit.

    It seems to me that the signs of the end of times are more rapidly coming upon us and in that, we should be more fervent in our seeking to bring one to the point of what God's Word spoke of in Isaiah 42:7, "To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, [and] them that sit in darkness out of the prison house." You seem to contradict yourself by saying "there are so many goats hanging around the sheep-pen pretending they are sheep." In my mind this states that they are already members. :confused:

    In Christ,
    Rodney

    [ July 17, 2001: Message edited by: firedome ]
     
  19. CorpseNoMore

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by firedome:
    I have never suggested that we should allow unregenerate people into our congregation...<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    firedome were not as far apart as our flamboyant posts suggest. I do whole-heartedly agree with you with regard to psycologically based sermons. My reference to goats in the sheep-pen relates to the fact that many local church members are frauds, which likely means they are deluded. That the true conversion of members should be a concern to all, I whole heartily agree. A straight forward sermon on the need to be converted is a wise thing from time to time. But a so-called "hellfire & brimstone" sermon can be employed as a gimmick if we are not careful. It is just as effective(more so actually) in my view, when solid and grave theology is pressed on the members, BECAUSE it brings the true sheep into a more sure sense of their regeneration, and it eventually drives away the fakes.

    What I object to is, intentionally bringing unbelievers into the fellowship of the saints where they may ravage the Lord's lambs. For this reason I am opposed to the crusade model-of-gathering practiced in most Baptist churches. The assembly of the saints is for the primary purposes of (1) Worship of a Holy God, and (2) building up the saints in Christ BOTH doctrinally and spiritually.

    cordially,

    CNM

    [ July 19, 2001: Message edited by: CorpseNoMore ]
     
  20. firedome

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>My reference to goats in the sheep-pen relates to the fact that many local church members are frauds, which likely means they are deluded.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    This, I believe shows that they are lost. My question is, how did they become members? Is it possible that they have no idea of their depravity? This is the only delusion to which they subscribe. C.H. Spurgeon would not allow any person in his church until they showed proper proofs of the fuits of The Spirit as laid out by God's Word in Galatians 5. Subsequent to the knowledge of God's saving grace upon one's life, John Angell James wrote a book titled "The Anxious Inquirer", in which he set forth the discipling of people seeking membership. I suggest that you give it a read. The following link is to a website that you may obtain a copy whic has been re-written into modern english (for readability). The Anxious Inquirer The price is quite modest.

    [ July 19, 2001: Message edited by: firedome ]
     

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