“I grant freely that it costs little to be a mere outward Christian. A man has only got to attend a place of worship twice on Sunday, and to be tolerably moral during the week, and he has gone as far as thousands around him ever go in religion. All this is cheap and easy work: it entails no self-denial or self-sacrifice. If this is saving Christianity, and will take us to heaven when we die, we must alter the description of the way of life, and write, “Wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to heaven!”
J. C. Ryle
2 Corinthians 13:5 Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test! ESV
“Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?” (Galatians 4:16)
But Can One Truly Be A Fisherman, If He Never Goes Fishing And Catches Fish?
Now it came to pass that a group existed who called themselves fishermen. And lo, there were many fish in the waters all around. In fact, the whole area was surrounded by streams and lakes filled with fish. And the fish were hungry. Year after year these who called themselves fishermen met in meetings and talked about their call to fish, the abundance of fish, and how they might go about fishing.
Continually they searched for new and better definitions of fishing. They sponsored costly nationwide and worldwide congresses to discuss fishing and to promote fishing and hear about all the ways of fishing. These fishermen built large, beautiful buildings called “Fishing Headquarters.” The plea was that everyone should be a fisherman and every fisherman should fish.
One thing they didn’t do, however; they didn’t fish. They organized a board to send out fishermen to where there were many fish. The board was formed by those who had the great vision and courage to speak about fishing, to define fishing, and to promote the idea of fishing in far-away streams and lakes where many other fish of different colors lived.
Counseling Seekers by Jeff Noblit
The problem is there is little to no counseling done.
There is a numbers idolatry today.
No man can judge whether a person is saved or not.
An old method of joining the church was by “Experience.”
Only the Lord adds to the number of the church.
Acts 2:47 And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved. ESV
Often people will say that the Acts church would baptize the new converts right away. That is true but the Acts church was in a different context.
Start of the Church
When new believers joined the church they were ostracized by their families and suffered intense persecution. Joining the church was not the light matter that it is in today’s churches in America.
I. Discerning Awakening, Conviction and Conversion
4 For it is impossible to restore again to repentance those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit,
5 and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come,
6 if they then fall away, since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt. ESV
Tasting is not swallowing.
3 “Listen! A sower went out to sow.
4 And as he sowed, some seed fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured it.
5 Other seed fell on rocky ground, where it did not have much soil, and immediately it sprang up, since it had no depth of soil.
6 And when the sun rose it was scorched, and since it had no root, it withered away.
7 Other seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no grain.
8 And other seeds fell into good soil and produced grain, growing up and increasing and yielding thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold.” ESV
John 16:8 And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: ESV
Seeing self as corrupt not just their actions.
Rising of faith in the heart.
II. The Counseling Session
B. Holy Spirit
C. Knowledgeable Counselors – Knows the Word of God – Rom 10:17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. ESV
D. Tools available – CD’s, Books, Faith cometh by hearing
Press upon them their lostness.
Look for the witness of the Spirit.
Rom 8:16 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, … ESV
Counseling Seekers for Repentance 2/21/2009
Visit What if i’m … pretending? and watch the videos and listen to the sermons.
“The churches are full of “professing Christians,” but WHAT IF? What if some of them, some of you, are pretending?
I would highly encourage you to take the time to listen to this hour long, well-worth-it message. Consider the gravity of this message, have your older children listen to it, pass it on to others. This is so very important!
I was one of those people who “thought” I was saved b/c I prayed a prayer. I was one of those who when I questioned my salvation was told, “If you were sincere when you prayed that prayer, then you were saved all those years ago,” even though there was NO fruit in my life. No one said EXAMINE YOURSELF against Scripture, everyone just assumed I was saved because I could talk the talk, and when compared with others in the church, I looked and acted the part. I was even asked to write articles in a Christian publication because I “appeared” to be a good Christian.
But, deep down, I knew I wasn’t real. I “thought” I was saved in 1993. It was 7 years later before I truly turned my life over to God and started following Him with my whole heart, not just giving Him occasional lip service.”
Please examine yourself.
2 Cor 13:5 Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you — unless, of course, you fail the test? NIV
From StreetFishing at http://streetfishing.blogspot.com/
“I met “Top hat” Todd on Hollywood Blvd. during Ambassadors’ Academy #1. Todd had a lot of knowledge and Christian terminology, But he also mentioned purgatory and thought being a pretty good person would get him to Heaven. This is a typical conversation with someone who is often referred to as an inoculated Christian. That is, someone who knows enough to have gotten some truth, but there is enough false thinking that has made a mess of things. It’s like trying to untie a dozen knots on a shoestring. It takes awhile to get through it all and can be very frustrating. God only knows where Todd really is at. Please pray for him. Listen here as I witness to Todd.”
For the full article:
From Time 2 Change Churches http://time2changechurches.blogspot.com/
Ten Reasons to NOT ask Jesus into Your Heart
By Pastor Brian Culver
“Telling someone to ask Jesus into their hearts has a very typical result, backsliding. the Bible says that a person who is soundly saved puts his hand to the plow and does not look back because he is fit for service. In other words, a true convert cannot backslide. If a person backslides, he never slid forward in the first place. “If any man is in Christ, he is a new creation.” (II Cor.5) No backsliding there.
Brace yourself for this one: with very few if any exceptions, anyone who asked Jesus into their hearts to be saved…is not. If you asked Jesus into your heart because you were told that is what you have to do to become a Christian, you were mis-informed. …”
For the full article:
Hell’s Best Kept Secret
In the late seventies, God very graciously opened an itinerant ministry to me. As I began to travel, I found that I had access to church growth records, and found to my horror that something like 80 to 90% of those making a decision for Christ were falling away from the faith. That is, modern evangelism with its methods is creating something like 80 to 90 of what we commonly call backsliders for every hundred decisions for Christ.
Let me make it more real for you. In 1991, in the first year of the decade of harvest, a major denomination in the U.S. was able to obtain 294,000 decisions for Christ. That is, in one year, this major denomination of 11,500 churches was able to obtain 294,000 decisions for Christ. Unfortunately, they could only find 14,000 in fellowship, which means they couldn’t account for 280,000 of their decisions, and this is normal, modern evangelical results, and something I discovered way back in the late seventies; it greatly concerned me. I began to study the book of Romans intently and, specifically, the gospel proclamation of men like Spurgeon, Wesley, Moody, Finney, Whitfield, Luther, and others that God used down through the ages, and I found they used a principle which is almost entirely neglected by modern evangelical methods.
Click here for the rest of the sermon:
“An almost Christian, if we consider him in respect to his duty to God, is one that halts between two opinions; that wavers between Christ and the world; that would reconcile God and Mammon, light and darkness, Christ and Belial. It is true, he has an inclination to religion, but then he is very cautious how he goes too far in it: his false heart is always crying out, Spare thyself, do thyself no harm. He prays indeed, that “God’s will may be done on earth, as it is in heaven.” But notwithstanding, he is very partial in his obedience, and fondly hopes that God will not be extreme to mark every thing that he willfully does amiss; though an inspired apostle has told him, that “he who offends in one point is guilty of all.” But chiefly, he is one that depends much on outward ordinances, and on that account looks upon himself as righteous, and despises others; though at the same time he is as great a stranger to the divine life as any other person whatsoever. In short, he is fond of the form, but never experiences the power of godliness in his heart. He goes on year after year, attending on the means of grace, but then, like Pharaoh’s lean cows, he is never the better, but rather the worse for them.”