Tag Archive | Jeff Noblit

Jeff Noblit – The Glory of God in Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God

The tenth, and final, session of the True Church Conference 2010 was presented by Jeff Noblit during the regular Sunday morning service at Grace Life Church in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. His topic was The Glory of God in Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God.

1. The entire local church family is to be involved in missions.

a. World missions was born in the local church. It should rest in the local church, not in a board or agency (see Acts 13:1-3). Notice that God sent out missionaries from a church that still had multitudes of unbelievers surrounding them. Notice the double call. The Spirit called, and the local church called.

b. The first missionaries were accountable to the local church (see Acts 11). Peter had to provide an account to the church in Jerusalem of his mission activities. (also see Acts 14:24-28 and Acts 15:1-23)

c. The first missionaries task was to plant local churches (see Acts 14:23).

d. How important is missions to be? (see Psalm 96:3.) The command to “go into all the world” is given five times in the New Testament.

2. People are to be personally involved in local missions.

a. The local church is important, but it is also important for individuals to be personally involved in world missions.

b. We must personalize missions. We must get out of our comfort zone. We must have a heart for unreached people groups. We must be ready for God to call our own people. We must have regular reminders and emphasis.

c. Missions must be strategically planned. It must be Biblical. It must involve training people and training leaders. It must involve strengthening local churches (see Acts 15:41). We must look for open doors (1 Corinthians 6:9).

3. God must mobilize prayers, fasting, finances, laborers.

a. see Acts 8:4, Acts 5

4. The end is for the glorifying God among all peoples.

a. see Revelation 5:9-12


Question and Answer Session

Saturday night at True Church 2010 ended with a question-and-answer session. The panel consisted of: Barry King, Conrad Mbewe, Jonathan Sims, Michael Haykin, and Jeff Noblit. Matt Fowler moderated the questions. No attempt is made to relate the answers to who provided them. In many cases multiple people provided the answers.

Question: What hyper-Calvinistic tendencies have you faced in your own congregation?

Answer: Church members can be Calvinist in their head but hyper-Calvinist in their heart. This is a result of our quest for doctrinal purity. Sometimes people attack over the internet. Sometimes people have too high or different expectations based on what they read on the internet. Church members spend too much time in morbid introspection and lose their vision of Christ. Some people moving from “easy-believism” go too far and end up in the opposite ditch. It is seen in the attitude that God hates the wicked and does not want to see them saved.

Question: Is there a tension between counseling seekers and looking for lament?

Answer: Lamenting is not necessarily wrong until it is taken to an extreme. Godly sorrow for sin is right. But when a person is converted not all their attention should still be given to their sin. There is a sense in which we must recognize that our sins have been put away, as far as the east is from the west, in the depths of the sea.

Question: How do you train men who are being called to eldership in a church plant?

Answer: Encourage older elders to pick out the “Timothys” in their congregation early and begin their training before they go out to plant churches. Put these young men on the pastoral team. Get input from several people before men are sent out as elders to plant their own churches. Formally, cover three areas: doctrine, preaching, and evangelism.

Question: What about the 3000 people who heard the message in Acts 2 and were baptized the same day?

Answer: The profession of faith in the Bible is baptism. The church is not held to any one model in bringing in members.

Question: What do I do if I have become calloused to the lost?

Answer: It is not a matter of feelings, it is a matter of obedience, whether I feel like it or not. We have lost our sense of duty. It is also a matter of our awareness of what God has done in our own lives. It is also a matter of bringing glory to God.

Question: What do you say to a person since we are not seeking a “decision”?

Answer: 1) we can invite them to church and to special events. 2) we can give our personal testimony. 3) share the gospel without asking for a decision. 4) ask someone what they think. 5) don’t make the sinner’s prayer an act required for salvation. 6) guide someone to Bible passages that show what are the fruits of salvation.

Question: Is there a recommended soul-winning course?

Answer: John Blanchard’s book “Ultimate Questions” can be used to train in evangelism. Divide it up into eight sessions.

Question: Is there a revival of young people who are embracing the doctrines of grace? Do we need to fear an expansion of hyper-Calvinism?

Answer: Any time there is an expansion of Calvinism there is an expansion of hyper-Calvinism.

Question: How long should a person be inactive before church discipline is practiced?

Answer: The Bible does not give us a guideline in this, other than the spiritual well-being of the congregation is under the supervision of the elders of the church. It depends on what you have done in the period before consideration of the practice of church discipline. Have you visited with them? Have you prayed for them? Have you warned them? What were they told when they joined? Did they understand the requirements? The goal is restoration, not removal. Inactive members belong on the prayer list, not on the members list.

Question: How do we teach sovereign grace in a congregation that knows nothing of these doctrines?

Answer: Don’t use the words “reformed” and “Calvinistic”. Just preach through the word of God and over time the doctrines of grace will come up. We need to be patient with those who just don’t see it yet. Recognize that there are mysteries that may not be able to be satisfactorily resolved for all people. Weak pulpits joined with a study of systematic theology will come back to bite the church. Our aim is not reformed, our aim is not Calvinistic, our aim is Biblical. And this must be done in love. Calvinism cannot be a “hobby-horse” preaching topic. There is no need to read Calvinism into every Biblical passage. Have role models in the church – both from history and present in the church.


Jeff Noblit – The Use of Altar Calls

The fourth session of the True Church Conference 2010 was presented by Jeff Noblit concerning Altar Calls.

Altar calls are wrestled with and struggled with. An altar call is a system at the end of preaching of coming forward to receive salvation.

1. Old time religion or new fad?

The roots of the altar call go back to the 1830’s and the revivalist Charles Finney. He may not have been the first but he was the most popular, because of all of his new measures. Before Finney, there was no organized method to call people forward to be saved at the end of the sermon. Whitefield and Edwards did not do so. Spurgeon rejected the idea and warned against it. Nothing can be gotten in a private room or in front that cannot be done in the midst of the assembly.

But if there was no system, what did people do before Finney? If you don’t call people to the front, how can they be saved? Dallimore notes that Whitefield refused to count those who were saved at the end of the service. Whitefield returned months later to see if there was fruit. There were false converts, but there was a lot of lasting fruit of the First Great Awakening. But the Second Great Awakening focused on immediate results and immediate declaration of salvation. No looking for the proof of fruit. And that is the fruit of the Second Great Awakening, the lack of fruit.

Billy Graham has the same system. An immediate altar call and an immediate declaration of salvation. Graham’s invitation used the words “come” and “quickly” often. There was minimal fruit in the churches in the cities after Graham departed. The watchword is immediate pragmatism.

2. Consequences of the Altar Call

The modern invitation system has had serious consequences on the church:

a. perfection (people need a second work of grace)

b. carnal “Christians” (no change in life)

c. redundant baptisms

d. no church discipline (how can you discipline the entire church?)

e. church splits

f. loss of the glory to God

3. What do the scriptures say?

What system does the Bible give for an invitation? Nothing. The Bible has nothing about an organized invitation. Scripture tells us to make disciples.  See 2 Timothy 4:3-5. The work of an evangelist is work. It shouldn’t take only a five minute invitation and three minutes of counseling.

There are invitations in the Bible, but this word “invitation” is far too narrow. We are called to beg, command, urge, preach, reason with men to be saved. We are called to tell men to repent, believe, drink. The Holy Spirit fell on people as they were standing, not those who came forward.

4. Final Considerations

a. The gospel is the invitation. Not something after the gospel is preached.

b. The Spirit gives the invitation. And He is not confined to three verses of a song at the end of a sermon.

c. If a person has heard the word, the seed may grow any time.

d. Don’t go too far into the ditch on the other side of the road. Men still need to be called to repent and be saved. 

e. We must avoid works-salvation in our invitation. Walking to the front cannot make you a Christian.

f. Evangelism does not depend on giving a closing invitation.

g. Shepherd the people into sound practice. Those who believe in grace should have some. See Acts 18:24-27.

h. You cannot pull out all the tares among the wheat. Tares bring humility.

i. Maturity is the proof of doctrine. See 2 Corinthians 3:2


True Church Conference – Thursday, February 18, 2010

Berean Husband is reporting live from the True Church Conference at Grace Life Church in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, This is an annual four day conference that Grace Life hosts. I believe this is the fourth year for the conference. We came here together last year.  But I’m here alone this year, except for our Sunday Night Pastor is here. My wife is home with the kids.

The topic for the conference this year is “The Quagmire of Hyper-Calvinism.” I wonder, is Hyper-Calvinism a real problem in the church today, or is it just a small number of churches that are off in the “quagmire of hyper-Calvinism”? Is it important enough to talk about for four days?

Last year there were (I heard) 900 people registered for this conference, and one night there were 1,200 people here when some of the regular Grace Life congregation joined in. I heard that there are only 450 people registered this year. Could it be because of the topic or because of the economy?

One of the highlights of the conference is the bookstore. There is no wasted room in the bookstore. Every book is either a book you have read or a book you want to read. I spent $25 in a couple of minutes. I bought Dallimore’s biography of Charles Spurgeon and a collection of George Whitefield’s sermons compiled by J.C. Ryle. Not your typical Christian bookstore fare.

I think Jeff Noblit described in one sentence why the topic of hyper-Calvinism was selected for the conference: How can we know the truth and not share it with others?

The worship music is another highlight of the True Church conference. The conference is worth coming to for the music alone. There’s nothing like singing great hymns with hundreds of people who really want to be gathered together in church. I would say there are probably 600 or 700 people here tonight.


True Church Conference 2010

The Quagmire of Hyper-Calvinism

February 18-21, 2010

Grace Life Church of the Shoals
1915 Avalon Ave
Muscle Shoals, Alabama 35661-3119

Speakers include:

Dr. Michael Haykin,

Jonathan Sims,

David Miller,

Barry King

Conrad Mbewe

Jeff Noblit


Nursery Use In The Church

Several Months ago I listened to Jeff Noblit’s sermon about why their church encourages nursery use. This is unusual to me when taken in the context of the rest of the sermons that I have listened to of Noblit’s. We also don’t use the nursery personally so I was curious as to why he encouraged nursery use. (We had already been to his church with our children.)

Upon listening to his sermon I had a few specific thoughts.

1) It was based on one verse and didn’t explain other verses that stated the opposite such as:

Deut 31:12-13
12 Assemble the people, men, women, and little ones, and the sojourner within your towns, that they may hear and learn to fear the Lord your God, and be careful to do all the words of this law,
13 and that their children, who have not known it, may hear and learn to fear the Lord your God, A as long as you live in the land that you are going over the Jordan to possess
.” ESV

Ezra 10:1 While Ezra prayed and made confession, weeping and casting himself down before the house of God, a very great assembly of men, women, and children, gathered to him out of Israel, for the people wept bitterly. ESV

2) I also felt that he had not had much association with homeschooled / well behaved children. The characterizations seemed to be in relation to the typical parent / child interaction that you see in public areas.

3)  When is the “age of understanding” reached?  Sometimes I am amazed at how much children understand what you think would go right over their heads.  So how do you decide who can understand enough?

What are your thoughts after listening to this?

Why We Encourage Using the Nursery Until Your Children Are Able to Listen With Understanding
Nehemiah 8:1-3, 8
Jeff Noblit

Then I read Voddie Baucham’s post:

Nehemiah’s Nursery: Part 1

If you’ve walked into a church service lately with a baby in your arms, chances are you are well aware of the new anti-child atmosphere that dominates much of the modern American church. There are smiling men and women stationed at every door ready to “guide” you to the nursery where your child “will have a very enjoyable experience” and be cared for by the best childcare staff in the history of the universe.

Rebuff these helpful people and their smiles will soon be replaced with determined glares. Things escalate slowly at first, but eventually the truth comes out. These people are not here to help you and your child; they are here to protect the sanctity of the sanitized worship environment. Their job is to see that you –and people like you—don’t ruin the service for everyone else. They’ve been warned about people like you. You just don’t get it. For millennia Christians have been denied the privilege of enjoying worship the way God intended it (sans children); now we’ve finally arrived, and you want to mess it up by bring in your squawking baby! How selfish, inconsiderate, and unspiritual can you be?

Nehemiah’s Nursery: Part 2

Another major problem with the Nehemiah’s Nursery argument is that it is inconsistent with what we see in other Old Testament passages. For example, Deuteronomy 31 paints quite a different picture than the one suggested by nursery advocates:

Assemble the people, men, women, and little ones, and the sojourner within your towns, that they may hear and learn to fear the LORD your God, and be careful to do all the words of this law, and that their children, who have not known it, may hear and learn to fear the LORD your God, as long as you live in the land that you are going over the Jordan to possess.”” (Deuteronomy 31:12-13 ESV)

Remember, we do not have explicit instructions in Nehemiah 8 regarding the absence of children. This is an assumption read into the text. If children being absent from the worship of God’s people were to be understood as normative, one would expect to see the same pattern during assemblies in Moses’ day.

After listen to Jeff Noblit’s sermon and then reading Voddie Baucham’s post I have to say that my initial thoughts are still the same. I think that the normal Biblical worship, Old and New Testament, included the children.

What do you think?


True Church Conference 2009 – Jeff Noblit – The Glory of God in Repentance

Jeff Noblit – Sunday AM – The Glory of God in Repentance

Psalms 130
1 Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord!
2 O Lord, hear my voice! Let your ears be attentive to the voice of my pleas for mercy!
3 If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand?
4 But with you there is forgiveness, that you may be feared.
5 I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope;
6 my soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning, more than watchmen for the morning.
7 O Israel, hope in the Lord! For with the Lord there is steadfast love, and with him is plentiful redemption.
8 And he will redeem Israel from all his iniquities

Martin Luther called this the Pauline Psalm.

I. Turning to God in Despair and Confession v 1 – 3

1 Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord!
2 O Lord, hear my voice! Let your ears be attentive to the voice of my pleas for mercy!
3 If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand?

Vance Havner, “Shipwrecked on God, stranded on omnipotence.”

II. Trusting in God for Forgiveness & Hope v 4 – 5

4 But with you there is forgiveness, that you may be feared.
5 I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope;

He that is most offended by sin is also most forgiving.

III. Treasuring God as Our Highest Good v 6

6 my soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning, more than watchmen for the morning.

IV. Telling Others they must Turn, Trust, and Treasure Our God v 7 – 8

7 O Israel, hope in the Lord! For with the Lord there is steadfast love, and with him is plentiful redemption.
8 And he will redeem Israel from all his iniquities.

1 Peter 1:12 It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look. ESV

The Glory of God in Repentance video


Church Conference 2009 Noblit – Counseling Seekers

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
Miraculous Events

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

A. Awakening

Heb 6:4-6
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.

Tasting is not swallowing.

Mark 4:3-8
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

B. Conviction

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.

C. Conversion

Rising of faith in the heart.

II. The Counseling Session

A. Scriptures

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

Give Homework.

Jeff Noblit

Counseling Seekers for Repentance 2/21/2009


True Church Conference 2009 – The Down Grade Blog


True Church Conference 2009 – Baptism

An interesting part of the True Church Conference is the fact that each evening there has been a time of testimony and baptism.

Grace Life Church, Jeff Noblit’s church, has their baptismal candidates attend a few classes and review study materials about baptism. Afterwards they are to prepare a testimony to give to the church. Prior to their baptism they then tell their testimony to the church. In the typical church today many people are baptized but the members may never know anything much about them.

Very few church conferences include baptism as a central part of the meeting. But is not it very appropriate to have a conference on repentance focus also on personal testimony and baptism?