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Soul-wiinning or the glory of God? Which?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by John of Japan, Oct 2, 2005.

  1. Scott J

    Scott J Active Member
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    Nope. The unsaved will be judged according to their deeds.
    Further, "unbelieving" is listed among other things:
    [/qb]

    The reason this is important is that "unbelief" is a willful choice. Some people will never hear the gospel and have an opportunity to not believe. OTOH, all will have a real, moral choice about whether to sin or not. Romans 2 shows that the gentiles have a law written in their conscience.

    All are guilty because of sin.

    Further, "belief" is not necessarily equivalent to faith... and it doesn't necessarily involve repentance. One can give assent to the facts about Jesus but that belief must involve turning to Him.
     
  2. Scott J

    Scott J Active Member
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    Don't mention it. I didn't think we were arguing. This is a learning opportunity for both of us I hope. I would rather you show me my error than to carelessly continue in it.

    Not exclusively. However a believer should have a desire to learn and fellowship with other believers. That is biblical. The early church met daily and depended on each other. Going to church with the right attitude may be a manifestation of these evidences.
    If someone can be added to an assembly, have consistent fellowship with the other believers in that assembly, be discipled, and serve God through the local church without going to church... then I guess it probably isn't necessary.

    I don't think church attendance is evidence of anything... it is just that many of the evidences are accomplished at or through the local assembly of believers.
    Genuine saving faith should involve a change in lifestyle and desire should it not?

    If you got married and the lifestyle of your husband didn't change... he never got a marriage certificate, didn't move in with you, never consummated the marriage, didn't support you, continued to date others, didn't associate with your family, etc.... would the simple fact that he said "I do" in a quicky emotion driven wedding mean that he had married you in a real spiritual sense?

    Doesn't matter what they feel. Biblical love is determined by action, not feeling. I Cor 13. In fact, love may not produce good feelings but rather miserable feelings.
    Graham is much worse in my opinion. They send people back to apostate churches.

    True. I watched the Kirk Cameron show on TBN one night and they have some good ideas.

    His partner made the point that if a doctor wanted to get you to take a treatment that he knew would scare you, he would spend most of his time telling you how bad your disease was. By the time he convinced you of the deadliness and painfulness of the disease, getting you to not only accept but embrace the treatment would take little time or effort.

    If you get a chance, read "Sinners in the hands of an angry God" by Jonathan Edwards. It is available on line. While you do, remember Edwards wasn't an impressive speaker. As he read this text in monotone... people fell out into the aisles in repentance.
    Kirk Cameron specifically addressed this problem. They contend and I agree that most of the time people don't really come to a point of seeing their sinfulness and need for a Savior.

    They will admit they are sinners... but not confess. Universally they will agree that heaven is a better proposition than hell... but they don't count the cost or commit to the changes involved in repentance.
     
  3. ituttut

    ituttut New Member

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  4. Johnv

    Johnv New Member

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    None of us "wins" souls. That's the privilege of the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit alone. All we can do is to respond when prompted by the HS to do what is asked of us (and ONLY do what is asked of us).

    Sould winning is quality, not quantity. Perhaps some may be blessed with the ability to bring hundreds at a time to the Lord, but most of us are not as blessed, and not as called.

    I have been sharing the Lord with a Muslim friend of mine for several years. It will probably take several more years before he comes to the Lord. Should I "give up" on that person just because I can "catch more fish" in another lake? Of course not, and neither should you.

    Blessings to you!!
    Johnv
     
  5. Petrel

    Petrel New Member

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    What, are we keeping score? :D You should go where you think and feel God has led you to go. If you get there and later think that maybe you were mistaken, stay there and keep doing your best until God leads you to go elsewhere. Maybe it will end out that you were mistaken in thinking you were mistaken!
     
  6. bapmom

    bapmom New Member

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    Scott,

    You made many good points, and of course I was not attempting to minimize the importance of being involved in church. Much of my questioning in this area, both here and in other threads, has been because I want to be sure of my own presentation of the gospel.

    I have seen The Way of the Master website, though I haven't read it indepth yet. It is something which looked very good to me, and I intend to go back there soon.

    I agree that this presents a real problem, but I do not understand what really can be done about it except for being sure to emphasize the need that the unsaved person really has for salvation.

    I feel especially burdened about this as my family will one day be going to the mission field for the express purpose of seeing people saved. We already go out on a weekly basis, and I want to be doing right.
     
  7. HACgrad

    HACgrad New Member

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    Interesting discussion! We have one man advocating that before salvation we are incapable of even making a choice about salvation and another man advocating that in that depraved state we must willfully turn from all of our known sins.

    Is it any wonder that the unbelievers are confused about salvation when those of us who profess to be students of the Word cannot agree on a thing as important as salvation?

    God gave us a will. He did not HAVE to, but once He did, He allowed us to have it and will not force on us HIS will. At the same time, the only choice I can make as an unbeliever in a depraved state is to "call upon the name of the Lord" for salvation. From there, as bapmom says, we grow in grace. Is this not simple and consistent with Scriptures? I know this doesn't fit what some of you want to think... but I am concerned that you are pressing your personal opinions on a very important doctrine.

    And Scott, you are very right that many many converts at First Baptist Church, Hammond don't get followed up on properly. A great many of them do not get discipled and thus the Great Commission is by no means complete. But rather than criticize them for that, perhaps you should go there and help them. They obviously need people with a burden for discipling. If your response is that they don't emphasize discipleship, I must tell you that you are very wrong. During my many years there I found that anyone could (and everyone was expected to) be a soul winner. Those who were mature enough and capable of discipling were those who captured the attention of the church leadership. The fields are ripe with converts my friend but where are the laborers to disciple them?
     
  8. Joseph_Botwinick

    Joseph_Botwinick <img src=/532.jpg>Banned

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    I think we might actually agree here. Let me ask you this:

    1. What is a soul winner?
    2. What does a soul winner do to win the souls?
    3. Where is the Biblical evidence for your responses to questions 1 and 2?

    And as for God's choice... I find it hard to believe he would send His only begotten Son to die for the world and not WANT every soul to be saved. Having given us a free will however God gave US the choice of salvation. But I digress... I am sure there are other threads where this would be more accurately pursued. </font>[/QUOTE]Is this the old seeker argument that folks like Warren like to put forward? I am really curious where all the seekers were when Paul wrote the following:

    Romans 3:9-18

    This, my friend, is the state of man before salvation: Totally depraved, altogether worthless, and a non-seeker of God. If God would have left the decision up to us, we would have all plunged head first into Hell.

    Joseph Botwinick
    [/QUOTE]

    HACGrad,

    I am reposting this in case you happened to miss the questions which I asked you.

    Joseph Botwinick
     
  9. ituttut

    ituttut New Member

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    QUOTE]Originally posted by Scott J:
    Nope. The unsaved will be judged according to their deeds.
    Further, "unbelieving" is listed among other things:
    [/qb]Just think of the billions (could it reach trillions) of the fearful, unbelieving filthy that will be thrown into the lake of fire.

    The reason this is important is that "unbelief" is a willful choice. Some people will never hear the gospel and have an opportunity to not believe. OTOH, all will have a real, moral choice about whether to sin or not. Romans 2 shows that the gentiles have a law written in their conscience.

    All chosen by God the Father our Savior, and all chosen by our Lord Jesus Christ are in the Book of Life, for we live.

    All are guilty because of sin.

    An Amen from this saved sinner.

    Further, "belief" is not necessarily equivalent to faith... and it doesn't necessarily involve repentance. One can give assent to the facts about Jesus but that belief must involve turning to Him.
    [/QUOTE]

    No and Yes. Repentance is necessary, and that repentance is found in Him. In our turning to Him we are circumcised then baptized without hands; we are sanctified, and justified.
     
  10. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
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    Please, Joseph Botwinick and HACgrad, don't hijack my thread here. Please head over to Calvinist/Arminian for your discussion.

    A discussion of the meaning of the term soul-winner would be relevant here, but not most of what you are discussing.

    Thank you.

    John of Japan
     
  11. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
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    I appreciate what several of you have said trying to encourage me that I am doing right by staying in Japan. However, that is irrelevant to the discussion. I think I need to give some context here.

    We have been in Japan 24 years. My doubts came after we started our first church here and found out how difficult it was. It was over 20 years ago that I came to terms with the fact that I would see very few saved here. Japan is "gospel resistant" (less than 1% Christian--including cults and Catholics--after 140 years of Protestant missions)

    Two things helped me 20 years ago. (1) I read where there was a place where the hearts of the people were so hard that even Christ Himself "did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief." (Mt 13:58) (2) The director of our mission board visited us and convinced me that, according to dispensational (and I believe Biblical) theology, the purpose of humankind on earth is to glorify God.

    Thus, this post. Do you agree with this, that our first duty as Christians is to glorify God (with soul-winning as one part of that), or is soul-winning the first duty of the Christian? (This is something I have heard many preachers say and have read in many books.)
     
  12. 4His_glory

    4His_glory New Member

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    God's chief purpose is to be glorified. In fact God deisres His glory before He desires His salvation, if He didn't He wouldn't be God.

    He was so concerned with His own glory that he sent His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ to die on the cross for sinners.

    The elect are saved to the praise of His glroy as Eph chapter 1 cearly states.

    God has choosen to use saved sinners to proclaim the Gospel to all men. In this He is glorified.

    If I am concerned about the glory of God, then I will be a wittness for Christ and testify of His grace in my life.
     
  13. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
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    Hi, bapmom. I am delighted that you and your husband are preparing to come to Japan. I will write you a private message to offer my help.

    Yes, there is a difference between the two. You can glorify God without winning souls. For example, Jesus prophesied the death by which Peter would glorify God (John 21:19). And you can preach Christ without glorifying God, just as the enemies of Paul did (Phil. 1:16)!


    The result of judging people based on how many souls they have won does not come from an undue emphasis on soul-winning. It comes from a specific teaching from the pulpit that the most important thing a Christian can do is to win souls, rather than to glorify God. There is a subtle difference here.

    This is exactly right. The Lord will take care of the results as we faithfully give the Gospel in Japan. I literally tear up when I think of the precious Japanese souls He has brought to Himself through us, the young men He has called to preach, and other ways He has used us here. All to the glory of God, because we are so unworthy of any of the glory!
     
  14. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
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    This is exactly right. If a Christian is not concerned about proclaiming the central event of history (His story), the cross, and obeying the last command of Christ, the Great Commission, then ergo, they are not concerned about the glory of God.
     
  15. Scott J

    Scott J Active Member
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    Please don't be confused on this. I never said that a person would by their own free will turn from sin. In fact, I will tell you clearly that I believe that scripture teaches that God regenerates the spirit as the initial point of salvation and is not dependent on a human decision. We can no more possess saving faith prior to new birth than we can experience life prior to conception.

    The Bible declares both God's sovereigny and man's responsibility (though I would say "unwilling" rather than "incapable" but that is largely semantics).

    If the Bible declares both, I believe both. The Bible says that faith and repentance are required. I believe it. The Bible says that God chose us before the foundation of the world. I believe it.

    I have made no secrets about my general agreement with calvinism. Like Spurgeon, Edwards, Knox, and others who never compromised on the responsibilities of men.
     
  16. Plain Old Bill

    Plain Old Bill New Member

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    We should try to glorify God in all we do.Whether we are praying,studying god's Word,fellowshipping with other Christians,spending time with our families,we should at least attempt to bring glory to God in all that we do.
    Witnessing ,evangelizing,or soul-winning are three different ways of saying the same thing.Anybody who does personal evangelizing or soul-winning knows it is the Holy Spirit that convicts and Christ that saves,we have the honor of making the introduction of Jesus Christ.I think we honor and glorify God when we do that if we are in the right spirit.
     
  17. Scott J

    Scott J Active Member
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    In theory, yes. They will give the right answer. In practice... well, that is another story.

    Badgering someone mercilessly until they recite the sinner's prayer reflects someone who is dissatisfied with the Holy Spirit's effort.
     
  18. Plain Old Bill

    Plain Old Bill New Member

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    Who said anything about badgering,that would be counter productive. We present the Gospel,that is our duty,let God do the rest.
     
  19. Scott J

    Scott J Active Member
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    You said "anybody who does... soul-winning knows..."

    My point is that I have witnessed people who would agree with you verbally but whose actions contradict what you assert. These people were universally fond of the term "soul-winner" and often were it like a gaudy, self-glorifying medal of honor.
     
  20. Plain Old Bill

    Plain Old Bill New Member

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    I would call that false pride probably the result of poor teaching and a bad example.

    Bro. John of Japan I don't know how much fruit you have personally been able to see and disciple.You make the introductions,you are the light on the hill.You have been there in Japan for over 20 years so the unsaved around you even know who you are and what you stand for,they know if there is a question they have about the God of the Bible that you can help them. The fact that you are the willing vessel of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in Japan brings glory to God.Do not be weary in well doing.
     
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