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What is a Christian's Responsibility?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by ktn4eg, Apr 5, 2007.

  1. ktn4eg

    ktn4eg New Member

    Nov 19, 2004
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    The other day as I was channel surfing, I came across this TV preacher who was answering questions submitted by members of his viewing audience.

    One of the questions was whether or not a person who had committed a crime prior to his salvation but was never caught or arrested for that crime needed to turn himself into the authorities and confess that he was guilty of said crime.

    This preacher replied that, with the exception of the crimes of murder or rape, such a person need not confess his guilt to the authorities of any crimes he committed before he was saved since God had completely forgiven him of all of his sins once he trusted Christ as savior.

    Is such a view really what God would expect of His children?

    Suppose that before I received Christ as my savior I had stolen something of significant value from my neighbor but was never apprehended for robbery. Do I at least owe it to my neighbor to return that item I'd stolen, or at least compensate him for that item's value?

    If I correctly understood what that TV preacher told his viewing audience, I would be under no obligation to pay any restitution or serve any time for any crimes I may have committed prior to my salvation with the exception of murder or rape since God had now completely forgiven me of those crimes.

    What do you think about such a viewpoint as the one that this TV preacher apparently maintains?
  2. mcdirector

    mcdirector Active Member

    Jul 11, 2005
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    I think he's wrong. I don't think we need to wrack our brains for every little thing we did presalvation, but certainly if God brings something to mind or if I'm sitting here looking at the lawn mower I conveniently never returned, I need to return it.

    I realize that (the lawn mower) is not in the same league as outright stealing, but isn't that just a human category. Essentially, I've held it hostage and not returned it. The only difference is that my neighbor knows it. If I return it because he knows I've got it, why wouldn't I return it otherwise. I've probably convoluted my thinking here :D

    But, as a Christian, I've got something that doesn't belong to me. How can I sleep until I've made restitution? I've got to set it right. I've got to make amends. I've got to go to the the person I've wronged.
  3. preachinjesus

    preachinjesus Well-Known Member
    Site Supporter

    Feb 9, 2004
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    it's a convictionl thing.

    Anyone who accepts Christ's call to salvation while in the scope of my ministry is encouraged to make amends with anyone they wronged while they were lost.

    Sort of like an AA thing I guess. We've actually seen several people come to Christ through the reconciliation request. Not everyone we've wrong will forgive us, but than that's not on us.

    Again, it's a convictional thing imho. I don't know what to do about crime, particularly if the statute of limitations has expired.
  4. tinytim

    tinytim <img src =/tim2.jpg>

    Oct 31, 2003
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    Apply this verse to the situation and see what you come up with...

    Micah 6:8
    He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God?
  5. North Carolina Tentmaker

    Sep 19, 2003
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    I would disagree with him. I know a prison minister with ‘Rock of Ages’ in SC that shared with me that he was actually a fugitive with outstanding warrants when he got saved. He said he went almost immediately and turned himself in, did two years time. Now he has a very effective prison ministry.

    When possible, you need to go back and make things right. The only real exception I can think of to this is if going back would bring up pain and make things worse. You don’t want to revictomize someone you have hurt but if you can you need attempt restitution.
  6. 2 Timothy2:1-4

    2 Timothy2:1-4 New Member

    Dec 22, 2006
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    Luke 19:8 And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord; Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold. 9 And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house,.....
  7. Salty

    Salty 20,000 Posts Club

    Apr 8, 2003
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    What about that $10 I lent you 5 years ago. I sure could use that $90 check!:laugh:

    From a legal standpoint, suppose there was a crime committed, that had expired under statue of limitations? The govt could not convict you, and you would only bring back hard feeling for the victim. Hmmmm
  8. bapmom

    bapmom New Member

    Sep 3, 2005
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    I was going to bring up Zacceus too. So looking at what Zaccheus did, I don't think he was required under Roman law to pay back those he had overcharged......what he was doing was pretty much accepted practice for the tax collectors - at least in the eyes of the Romans. (I could be wrong, this is just the impression Ive gotten from studies.)

    But the preacher's premise is implying that sins before salvation are somehow in a different subset than sins after salvation. When we are saved we are accepting the forgiveness which Jesus bought for us 2,000 years ago. It applies to ALL our sins, before and after salvation, equally.

    His premise also assumes that forgiveness equals absolution from the earthly consequences of our sins. This is not what forgiveness is. When we sin we are just as subject to the earthly, natural consequences of those sins as anyone else is.
  9. Ps104_33

    Ps104_33 New Member

    Sep 3, 2001
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    About 3 years before he got saved, my brother got drunk and rolled his jeep and totaled it. The next morning he reported it stolen, got book value from the insurance company and got away with it. When he got saved he knew that the right thing to do would be to tell the insurance company what he had done and pay them back. They told him that it wasnt worth it to them to bother with it and thanked him for his honesty and told him to forget it. Later on he got called to the ministry and pastors a church in Michigan.