Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Qualifications for Soul Winning - D.L. Moody

The Qualifications for Soul Winning

1. Shake off the vipers that are in the Church, formalism, pride, and self-importance, etc.

2. It is the only happy life to live for the salvation of souls.

3. We must be willing to do little things for Christ.

4. Must be of good courage.

5. Must be cheerful.

God had no children too weak, but a great many too strong to make use of. God stands in no need of our strength or wisdom, but of our ignorance, of our weakness; let us but give these to Him, and He can make use of us in winning souls.

"And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever." Daniel 12:3.

Now we all want to shine; the mother wishes it for her boy, when she sends him to school, the father for his lad, when he goes off to college; and here God tells us who are to shine - not statesmen, or warriors, or such like, that shine but for a season - but such as will shine for ever and ever; those, namely, who win souls to Christ; the little boy even who persuades one to come to Christ.

Speaking of this, Paul counts up five things (1 Cor. 1:27-9) that God makes use of - the weak things, the foolish things, the base things, the despised things, and the things which are not, and for this purpose, that no flesh might glory in his sight - all five being just such as we should despise. He can and will use us, just when we are willing to be humble for Christ's sake, and so for six thousand years God has been teaching men; so with an ass's jawbone Samson slew his thousands (Judges 15:15), so at the blowing of rams' horns the walls of Jericho fell (Joshua 6:20). Let God work in His own way, and with His own instruments; let us all rejoice that He should, and let us too get into the position in which God can use us.

There is much mourning to-day over false "isms," infidelity, and the like, but sum them all up, and I do not fear them one half so much as that dead and cold formalism that has crept into the Church of God. The unbelieving world, and these skeptics holding out their false lights, are watching you and me: when Jacob put away his idols, he could go up to Bethel and get strength and the blessing - so will it be with the Church of God. A viper fixes upon the hand of the shipwrecked Paul; immediately he is judged by the barbarians some criminal unfit to live; but he shakes it off into the fire, and suffers no harm, and now they are ready to worship him, and ready too to hear and receive his message: the Church of God must shake off the vipers that have fastened on hand and heart too, ere men will hear. Where one ungodly man reads this Bible, a hundred read you and me: and if they find nothing in us, they set the whole thing aside as a myth.

Again, a man who has found out what his true work is, winning souls to Christ, and does it, such is the happiest man. Not the richest are this - least of all those who have just got converted for themselves, and into the Church - lost what pleasure the world could give, and found none other. Job's captivity turned away when he began praying for his friends; and so will all who thus work for others shine not in heaven alone and hereafter, but here as well, and now.

But you say "I haven't got the ability." Well, God doesn't call you to do Dr. Bonar's work, or Dr. Duff's work, else He had given you their ability, their talent. The word is, "To every man his work." I have a work to do, laid out for me in the secret counsels of eternity; no other can do it. If I neglect it, it is not true that some other will do it; it will remain undone. And if, for the work laid upon us, we feel we have not the ability or talent necessary, then we have a throne of grace; and God never sends, unless that He is willing to give the strength and wisdom. The instruments He often uses may seem all unlikely, yet when did they fail? - when once? and why not? Because He had fitted them out as well.

He sent Moses to Egypt to deliver His people - not an eloquent, but a stuttering man. He refuses a while, at last he went; and no man once sent by God ever did break down.

So was Elisha a most unlikely man to be a successor to the great prophet Elijah. Men would have chosen some famous man, some professor in the school of the prophets. God took one from the plough; but He gave him what was needed. Elisha had but to keep by his master to the end; and he received even a double portion of the Spirit. And if we want to get it, we too must keep by the Lord, nor ever lose sight of Him, should He, as Elijah Elisha, in one way or another try our faith. And further, we must be ready to do little things for God; many are willing to do the great things. I dare say hundreds would have been ready to occupy this pulpit to-day. How many of them would be as willing to teach a dirty class in the ragged school? I remember, one afternoon I was preaching, observing a young lady from the house I was staying at, in the audience. I had heard she taught in the Sabbath-school, which I knew was at the same hour; and so I asked her, after service, how she came to be there? "Oh," said she, "my class is but five little boys, and I thought it did not matter for them." And yet among these there might have been, who knows, a Luther or a Knox, the beginning of a stream of blessing, that would have gone on widening and ever widening; and besides, one soul is worth all the kingdoms of the earth.

You can read the rest of this great sermon HERE.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

You May be an Evangelist IF...

...you get bummed out when it rains because you can't go witnessing... then you go anyway and stand under an umbrella.

Where are the Men?

Open air Meetings - R.A. Torrey

Here is some incredibly practical teaching from R.A. Torrey on Open-Air preaching. You can read the entire Article HERE.

IV. Don't.

1. Don't unnecessarily antagonize your audience. I heard of a man addressing a Roman Catholic audience in the open air and pitching into the Roman Catholic Church and the Pope. That man did not have good sense. Another man attempted a prohibition discourse immediately in front of a saloon. He got a brick instead of votes.

2.
Don't get scared. Let Psalm 27: 1 be your motto: "The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?" There is not a particle need of being scared. You may be surrounded by a crowd of bowling hoodlums, but you may be absolutely certain that you will not be hurt unless the Lord wants you to be hurt; and if the Lord wants you to be hurt, that is the best thing for you. You may be killed if the Lord sees fit to allow you to be killed, but it is a wonderful privilege to be killed for the Lord Jesus Christ. One night I was holding a meeting in one of the worst parts of Chicago. Something happened to enrage a part of the crowd that gathered around me. Friends near at hand were in fear lest I be killed, but I kept on speaking and was not even struck.

3.
Don't lose your temper. Whatever happens, never lose your temper. You ought never to get angry under any circumstances, but it is especially foolish to do so when you are holding an openair meeting. You will doubtless have many temptations to lose your temper, but never do it. It is very hard to hit a man when he is serene, and if you preserve your serenity, the chances are that you will escape unscathed. Even if a tough strikes you, he cannot do so a second time if you remain calm. Serenity is one of the best safeguards.

4.
Don't let your meeting be broken up. No matter what happens, hold your ground if you can, and you generally can. One night I was holding a meeting in a square in one of the most desperate parts of a large city. The steps of an adjacent saloon were crowded with men, many of whom were half drunk. A man came along on a load of hay, went into the saloon and fired himself up with strong drink. Then he attempted to drive right down upon the crowd in the middle of the square, in which there were many women and children. Some man stopped his horses, and the infuriated man came down from the load of hay and the howling mob swept down from the steps of the saloon. Somehow or other the drunken driver got a rough handling in the mob, but not one of our number was struck. Two policemen in citizens' clothes happened to be passing by and stopped the riot. I said a few words more, and then formed our little party into a procession, behind which the crowd fell in, and marched down to the mission singing.

5.
Don't fight. Never fight under any circumstances. Even if they almost pound the life out of you, refuse to fight back.

6.
Don't be dull. Dullness will kill an open-air meeting at once. Prosiness will drive the whole audience away. In order to avoid being dull, do not preach long sermons. Use a great many striking illustrations. Keep wide awake yourself, and you will keep the audience awake. Be energetic in your manner. Talk so people can bear you. Don't preach, but simply talk to people.

7.
Don't be soft. One of these nice, namby-pamby, sentimental sort of fellows in an open-air meeting the crowd cannot and will
not stand. The temptation to throw a brick or a rotten apple at him is perfectly irresistible, and one can hardly blame the crowd.

8.
Dont read a sermon. Whatever may be said in defence of reading essays in the pulpit, it will never do in the open air. It is possible to have no notes whatever. If you cannot talk long without notes, so much the better; you can talk as long as you ought to. If you read, you will talk longer than you ought to.

9.
Don't use "cant." Use language that people are acquainted with, but do not use vulgar language. Some people think it is necessary to use slang, but slang is never admissible. There is language that is popular and easily understood by the people that is purest Anglo-Saxon.

10.
Don't talk too long. You may have a number of talks in an open-air meeting, but do not have any of them over ten or fifteen minutes long. As a rule do not have them as long as that. Of course there are exceptions to this, when a great crowd is gathered to bear some person in the open air. Under such circumstances I have beard a sermon an hour long that held the interest of the people, but this is not true in the ordinary open-air meeting.

V. Things absolutely necessary to success.

1. Consecrated men and women. None but consecrated men and women will ever succeed in open-air meetings. If you cannot get such, you might as well give up holding open-air meetings.

2.
Depend upon God. There is nothing that will teach one his dependence upon God more quickly and more thoroughly than holding open-air meetings. You never know what is going to happen. You cannot lay plans that you can always follow in an openair meeting. You never know what moment some one will come along and ask some troublesome question. You do not know what unforeseen event is going to occur. All you can do is to depend upon God, but that is perfectly sufficient.

3.
Loyalty to the Word of God. It is the man who is absolutely loyal to God's Word, and who is familiar with it and constantly uses it, who succeeds in the open air. God often takes a text that is quoted, and uses it for the salvation of some hearer. Arguments and illustrations are forgotten, but the text sticks and converts.

4.
Be frequently filled anew with the Holy Spirit. If any man needs to take advantage of the privilege of fresh infillings of the Holy Spirit, it is the open-air worker. Spiritual power is the great secret of success in this, as in all other Christian work.

R. A. Torrey (1856-1928) was a Congregational evangelist, teacher, author, born in Hoboken, New Jersey. He was educated in Yale University and Divinity School. After a period of skepticism he trusted in Jesus Christ as Saviour. Soon after he pastored in Ohio and then in Minnesota. In 1889 Dwight L. Moody called Torrey to Chicago to become the superintendant of the school which became known as the Moody Bible Institute. He also served as pastor of the Chicago Avenue Church, now the Moody Memorial Church, for twelve years. Between 1902-1906 Torrey and Charles Alexander conducted a very fruitful evangelistic outreach in Australia, Tasmania, New Zealand, India, China, Japan, Britain, Germany, Canada, and the USA. From 1912-1924 Torrey was dean of the Bible Institute of Los Angeles during which he pastored the Church of the Open Door. His remaining years involved holding Bible conferences, teaching at the Moody Bible Institute, and other endevours. (Adapted from "The Wycliffe Biographical Dictionary of the Church, Elgin S. Moyer, Moody Press, 1982)

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Walk Boldly into His Presence!



PRAYER, has been one of my hardest disciplines on my walk with the Lord. I'm reading a Spurgeon now that has been helping me greatly. As I was reading this scene from Prince of Egypt came to mind. The moment after Moses is "blasted" by the rebuke of the Lord, he is then lifted up by the Spirit into the wonder of God's presence. This is where I want to be! To "wrestle with God" until I get the blessing of His presence. From that will flow the desire to tell others about this Great God!

Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way,
which be hath consecrated for us, through the, veil, that is to say, his flesh—Hebrews 10:19-20.

"Beloved, we have now no fear of death in the most holy place. The high priest, whoever he might be, must always have dreaded that solemn day of atonement, when he had to pass into the silent and secluded place. I cannot tell whether it is true, but I have read that there is at tradition among the Jews, that a rope was fastened to the high priest's foot that they might draw out his corpse in case he died before the Lord. I should not wonder if their superstition devised such a thing, for it is an awful position for a man to enter into the secret dwelling of Jehovah. But we cannot die in the holy place now, since Jesus has died for us. The death of Jesus is the guarantee of the eternal life of all for whom He died. We have boldness to enter, for we shall not perish.
Our boldness arises from the perfection of His sacrifice. Read the fourteenth verse: "He hath perfected forever them that are sanctified." We rely upon the sacrifice of Christ, believing that He was such a perfect Substitute for us, that it is not possible for us to die after our Substitute has died; and we must be accepted, because He is accepted. We believe that the precious blood has so effectually and eternally put away sin from us, that we are no longer obnoxious to the wrath of God. We may safely stand where sin must be smitten, if there be any sin upon us; for we are so washed, so cleaned, and so fully justified that we are accepted in the Beloved. Sin is so completely lifted from us by the vicarious sacrifice of Christ, that we have boldness to enter where Jehovah Himself dwells."

C.H. Spurgeon - "The Rent Veil"

Monday, December 28, 2009

Noho/Hollywood after Christmas

"What better way to work off a HAM than to go out witnessing!" - Me

Six of us went out to Noho and Hollywood this past Saturday and had a great time witnessing! Bea, Dean, Sai, Aaron, Nathan and myself handed out a bunch of tracts at Hollywood, there were SO MANY people. Probably because of the Christmas weekend, the Lord drew many people to hear preaching from Aaron, Dean and myself and get tracts. A lot of those people were tourists from all over the world. Think of it, if they get saved they go to their country and then become soul winners themselves. Please pray for that. GLORY to GOD!

When I showed up at the Noho station, there was a guy there who stood out to me with three women. Sadly I believe he was a pimp with his prostitutes. God in His sovereignty had them get on the bus and then suddenly they got off again. I handed two of them a tract and they then sat down to wait for another bus... I had to take advantage of that moment! The batteries on my recorder died but here is almost all of what was said:

Judging Preachers

I want to publicly apologize and ask for forgiveness from my preaching brothers Dean, Aaron, Kareem and Lawman for when I have been critical.

Brothers, please forgive me. Forgive me for not encouraging you more! Preach the Word! I trust the Holy Spirit who will not leave us where we are as street preachers but will change us and work on our hearts and increase our ability to proclaim the Gospel of our Lord and Savior! Forgive me when I have tried to act as the Holy Spirit... I'm a donkey.

What brought about this conviction you may ask? Who else? The Spirit using Sprugeon:

The Poor Trade of Judging Preachers

"Sometimes it is the way the preacher speaks which is hauled over the coals, and here again is a fine field for fault-hunting, for every bean has its black, and every man has his failing. I never knew a good horse which had not some odd habit or other, and I never yet saw a minister worth his salt who had not some crotchet or oddity: now, these are the bits of cheese which cavillers smell out and nibble at: this man is too slow, and another too fast; the first is too flowery, and the second is too dull. Dear me, if all God’s creatures were judged in this way, we should wring the dove’s neck for being too tame, shoot the robins for eating spiders, kill the cows for swinging their tails, and the hens for not giving us milk. When a man wants to beat a dog, he can soon find a stick; and at this rate any fool may have something to say against the best minister in England .

As to a preacher’s manner, if there be but plain speaking, none shall cavil at it because it wants polish, for if a thing is good and earnestly spoken, it cannot sound much amiss. No man should use bad language in the pulpit—and all language is bad which common people cannot make head or tail of—but godly, sober, decent, plain words none should carp at. A countryman is as warm in fustian as a king in velvet, and a truth is as comfortable in homely words as in fine speech. As to the way of dishing up the meat, hungry men leave that to the cook, only let the meat be sweet and substantial.

If hearers were better, sermons would be better. When men say they can’t hear, I recommend them to buy a horn, and remember the old saying, “There’s none so deaf as those who will not hear.” When young speakers get down-hearted because of hard, unkind remarks, I generally tell them of the old man and his boy and his ass, and what came of trying to please everybody. No piper ever suited all ears. Where whims and fancies sit in the seat of judgment, a man’s opinion is only so much wind, therefore take no more notice of it than of the wind whistling through a keyhole.

I have heard men find fault with a discourse for what was not in it; no matter how well the subject in hand was brought out, there was another subject about which nothing was said, and so all was wrong; which is as reasonable as finding fault with my ploughing because it does not dibble the holes for the beans, or abusing a good corn-field because there are no turnips in it. Does any man look for every truth in one sermon? As well look for every dish at one meal, and rail at a joint of beef because there are neither bacon, nor veal, nor green peas, nor parsnips on the table. Suppose a sermon is not full of comfort to the saint, yet if it warn the sinner, shall we despise it? A handsaw would be a poor tool to shave with, shall we therefore throw it away? Where is the use of always trying to hunt out faults? I hate to see a man with a fine nose smelling about for things to rail at like a rat-catcher’s dog sniffing at rat holes. By all means let us down with error, root and branch, but do let us save our billhooks till there are brambles to chop, and not fall foul of our own mercies.

Judging preachers is a poor trade, for it pays neither party concerned in it. At a ploughing match they do give a prize to the best of us; but these judges of preaching are precious slow to give anything even to those whom they profess to think so much of. They pay in praise, but give no pudding. They get the gospel for nothing, and if they do not grumble, think that they have made an abundant return.

Everybody thinks himself a judge of a sermon, but nine out of ten might as well pretend to weigh the moon. I believe that, at bottom, most people think it an uncommonly easy thing to preach, and that they could do it amazingly well themselves. Every donkey thinks itself worthy to stand with the king’s horses; every girl thinks she could keep house better than her mother; but thoughts are not facts; for the sprat thought itself a herring, but the fisherman knew better.

I dare say those who can whistle fancy that they can plough; but there’s more than whistling in a good ploughman, and so let me tell you there’s more in good preaching than taking a text, and saying, firstly, secondly, and thirdly. I try my hand at preaching myself, and in my poor way I find it no very easy thing to give the folks something worth hearing; and if the fine critics, who reckon us up on their thumbs, would but try their own hands at it, they might be a little more quiet. Dogs, however, always will bark, and what is worse, some of them will bite too; but let decent people do all they can, if not to muzzle them, yet to prevent them doing any great mischief."

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Hope you had a great Christmas

This was a piece of artwork that I drew digitally LIVE for my mother who is also an artist. We listened to Handle's Messiah while I drew it and afterwards I explained to her what it meant. She believes that many roads lead to "god." When I tried to present to her that when Jesus says "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." He meant that there is only one way... HIM. Her reply was "Yes, I know He says that." I tried to reason with her that either Jesus is wrong or she is wrong. She believes HE is wrong. Please pray for her.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas Eve

"Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel," which is translated, "God with us." Matthew 1:23

Noho last night... AMAZING!


"So the last shall be first, and the first last."—Matthew 20:16.

"Neither shall we be put down as one of the last because of non-success. God intends that some men shall never succeed, according to the rule of success that appertains among men; for he sent even his servant Isaiah to go and make the people's hearts hard, and their ears dull of hearing; and he sent Jeremiah to weep over a nation to whom his tears brought no repentance and no reformation. He may send you, like Noah, to preach for one hundred and twenty years, and never got a soul beside your own family into the ark. But if you are faithful, that is well pleasing in his sight. Here lies the good pleasure of God. I do not suppose that it will happen that you are to do all the ploughing and all the sowing, and there should never be an armful of sheaves for you in all your life; though, if it should be thus, and you shall have been at the last found faithful to the commission that your God has given to you, verily, I say unto you, you shall have your reward; but the reward is not measured out according to man's rule of success."

Prognosis for Matt Chandler

You can find an update HERE. Praise God that they can even try something for him! I'm not sure why I feel such a connection to this brother. I think it may be that he has a wife and three children and I can imagine how they must feel.

The other night I held one of my girls and wept. I had to remember IF I'm ever called to suffer like Matt... Jesus is "IN the boat" with me, and I am IN Him!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Noho this morning.


Cold and windy! That summed it up. We were there about an hour. Clint,Tony and I had a great time freezing and fellowshipping!

By the way did you know that "Elliot" grew up to be a street preacher?

Monday, December 21, 2009

Noho was great!

Just a quick follow up. Noho yesterday was great. FIVE faithful brothers showed up all from CBC! Jorge, Mike S, Aaron, Nathan and myself were the "Furious 5" punching the devil in the throat!

Handed out a bunch of tracts Aaron, Mike and I all preached. I was blessed to share the good news to a girl who seemed broken by her sin. Her name was "Shorty" and she was very receptive to the good news. Pray she submits to Christ.

At one point I just started to use the Amp to let people know we are giving out bibles , almost immediately a guy came up trying to distract the good news and it escalated into a full blown open air! There was another loud heckler who was talking to Nathan named "Joe", I asked him if he thought he was a good person and we were off!! He was a great heckler and drew a BIG crowd! (well to me it was, at least 50 + people were all ears)

This is what I would consider "Christian Etiquette" for those who are in the crowd and listening to the preaching. This clip was taken from from Ray Comforts Hells Best Kept Secret. If you are going to join street preachers where there is open-air preaching this clip is a MUST to listen to. It will help you to help those who are preaching to advance the gospel!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Washer Declares War on the Sinners Prayer

I've been learning that there is this "thing" in us that wants to try to take the place of the Holy Spirit. It may stem from unbelief. Some of it may be a genuine concern for peoples souls, but in our zeal we can try to force what only God can do. We don't trust the Spirit to give life to dry bones and instead of trusting what God has told us to say and that the power is in the gospel, we try to do something in our own fleshly effort. There is absolutely no danger in preaching the gospel to someone and letting the Lord work on their heart to draw them to salvation.



Burbank Media Center-FOLLOW-UP-12/19/09

Its always a blessing to go out and witness. It was Dean, Sai, Aaron, Jorge, Nathan & myself last night. Dean and I were blessed to preach after waiting for the "world record flute playing girls" to finish. They were actually playing very nice Christmas music but man, they just went on and on! We were then joined by Law Man and his Project Ezra crew who took on the epic task of reading the entire gospel of John.

We handed out a lot of tracts to all the last minute shoppers. Had a few witnessing opportunities. Shared with a guy named Tony who I've met before up at Burbank High. He kind of mixed Christianity with some new age "gobble-dee-goop", he had the basics, but there were a lot of things that indicated that he may have been a false convert. Bobby, a homeless guy who I've shared with before... keep trying! Also two Catholic teens.

Overall we had a nice time and its always an encouragement to see the Lord raising up more and more people to work the harvest!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Spurgeon quote for the day! 12/19 "The First Last and the Last First"


"But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first."—Matthew 19:30.
"So the last shall be first, and the first last."—Matthew 20:16.

"Beloved, the call to serve God in any special way is also of grace. If we are called to the ministry, remember how Paul puts it: "Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ." If our kings put upon their coins"Dei gratia"—kings, by the grace of God—well, well, let them say so; but we can put it on our lives. "Sunday-school teachers, by the grace of God." "Street-preachers, by the grace of God." "Students in the College, by the grace of God." "Preachers of the gospel, by the grace of God." It is God who calls us to our several sacred employments. Our ordination, if it be an ordination at all, is from that great Shepherd and Bishop of souls, who went up into a mountain, and called unto him whom he would, and made them to be his first messengers. Before he left them, he gave them that great commission which is still binding upon all his followers, "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature." It is of grace that we are put into any sphere of service; and what a grace it is to be permitted to do anything for him! His shoes' latchets we are not worthy to unloose; his shoes we are not worthy to bear. Though it be a menial's work, it is a monarch's work to do anything for Christ. Blessed be his name, if he will let me be anywhere in his service, though it were but as a scullion in the kitchen! The kitchen is in the palace, and Christ's kitchen-maids are maids of honor. He that serveth God, reigneth. To serve him on earth is to be glorified. To serve him in heaven will be a part of our endless glory. Surely this, then, is by grace."


This weekend is the last weekend of "shoppers" going to buy gifts, I encourage all those who hand out tracts to take advantage of the crowds! Even one hour in front of a mall... you will be blessed! Labor while its still light because the days are getting darker.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

By Faith or By Faith Alone?

There is something I've experienced first hand from other Christians and recently even seen people posting on Youtube who have a problem with "Way of the Master" style evangelism. I've also noticed the same folks have an issue with Paul Washer and even John MacArthur. Their main accusation is, "If you tell someone they need to REPENT, you are adding works to salvation. Because you are saved by faith alone." Some have even gone as far to say that is a heresy to call men to repentance. This really amazes me considering that Jesus the Apostles and the OT prophets all called men to repent.

From that time Jesus began to preach, saying,“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”(Matthew 4:17)

I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance. (Luke 5:32)

The men of Nineveh will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and behold, something greater than Jonah is here. (Matthew 12:41)

Unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.(Luke 13:3,5)

I believe this is part of the Lordship salvation "controversy" and is a complete misunderstanding of the work God does in the sinners heart by giving them the means (grace) to meet His requirements (repentance & faith). Pastor Jack has really helped me to understand that the goodness of God is where His attributes of mercy, kindness, grace etc. these flow from His goodness. If we only look at one part of scripture we are neglecting the scriptures that say we are saved by God's mercy,or saved by God's grace, or saved by faith, or saved by repentance. If you think about it telling them to "believe"... well they can't do that with out God. So why do we hear "repent" and that cannot be a work of God as well?

The question: Is a man required to repent of his sins (Change of mind about sin AND turning from sin) in order to be saved?

This verse to me really encapsulates repentance: "Let the wicked forsake his way, And the unrighteous man his thoughts; Let him return to the LORD, And He will have mercy on him; And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon." Is. 55:7

Notice "forsake his way" (turn from sin) & "his thoughts" (change of mind over sin).

I hope this presentation given by RC Sproul will help those who have had questions about this topic as well.

I have heard the argument, "Repentance is never mentioned in the Gospel of John." Well if we only had the gospel of John you may have an argument, though here is a great article from MacArthur refuting this idea.

Also MacArthur gives such a great summary during a Q&A question he answered. What's interesting about this Q & A is it addresses what I believe is the "flaw" of those who say "you are saved by faith alone."

What scripture teaches is that you are saved by GRACE (Eph.2:8&9, Rom. 3:24, Rom. 5:20, Titus 3:7)... THROUGH faith. You are not saved by trusting your repentance or your faith but trusting in the person and work of JESUS CHRIST! Salvation is of the Lord. God gives the grace which enables you to repent and believe unto salvation, and is a gift from God and He gets all the glory. Those who accuse people of "adding works to salvation by saying someone must repent" are actually guilty of their own accusation. By saying someone is saved "by faith", they are turning faith into a work. The sinner is just as unable to repent as he is to believe. The whole thing is a "work" of God.

..."in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth," 2 Tim 2:25

Trying to define repentance as "only a change of mind" doesn't work. It may work if you only read a Lexicon but not if you read the context of the bible. Scripture doesn't present it as only a change of mind and its just as impossible for a sinner to change his mind about the sin he loves unless God enables him... by grace.

"Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard its spots? Then may you also do good who are accustomed to do evil." Jer. 13:23

Trying to "straw man" repentance as perfectionism doesn't work. Biblical repentance is not telling someone to "clean up your life and then maybe Jesus will save you." Preachers who call men to biblical repentance are not preaching perfectionism they are preaching what Jesus said and what the OT prophets meant when they said "TURN and live!"

This is why we are in such desperate need of grace! We can't DO anything unless the Lord enables. As preachers of the Gospel the Lord tells us what to say. "I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish." Luke 13:3

Notice that Jesus doesn't qualify this statement, He just commands it. Was Jesus wrong when He said unless you repent you will perish? That sounds like repentance is required not to perish.

This sermon by Steve Lawson is so helpful to understanding "Radical Repentance":


Something I learned from Pastor Jack which was extremely helpful is, "it isn't the knowledge of grace that saves, its GRACE that saves." I think many times we can try to over explain everything as if the people hearing will understand and get saved because we crossed every "t" and dotted every "i" in our gospel presentation.

The Lord tells us to call men to repentance and faith. Call men to do what God enables and trust that by His sovereign grace, He will draw His elect and give life by the Spirit!

I plan to read something from Thomas Watson on repentance. I already like the first line of the book: "The two great graces essential to a saint in this life, are faith and repentance. These are the two wings by which he flies to heaven".

Here is a great study note from MacArthur on Mark 1:4 "John came baptizing in the wilderness and preaching a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins..." MAC: A baptism resulting from true repentance. John's ministry was to call Israel to repentance in preparation for the coming Messiah. Baptism did not produce repentance, but was its result. Far more than a mere change of mind or remorse, repentance involves a turning from sin to God. (1 Thes. 1:9) which results in righteous living. Genuine repentance is a work of God in the human heart (Acts 11:18).

I've heard some people say "That was John's ministry." But if you notice Jesus first words in the start of His ministry were "The time is fulfilled... REPENT, and believe in the gospel." Same as Johns. Mark 1:15

MAC: Repentance and faith are man's required response to God's gracious offer of salvation. (Acts 20:21)

My question is: since its all of grace and a work of God and our whole lives are a life of repentance and trust in Christ, why would we not expect God to require us to turn from our sins in the beginning of our walk with Him? With the "free grace" view WHEN are you supposed to turn from your sins? I see the biblical command given to men before they come to Christ. Why would God command unbelievers to repent? Because they are required to.I believe this misunderstanding comes from an incorrect understanding of the nature and definition of repentance.

Spurgeon sums up the whole matter with this:
"You will be sure to join with me in the next point without a single demur:success in holy service is wholly of the Lord. If we were so wicked as to attribute to ourselves the sowing, and to ourselves the watering, apart from grace, yet we dare not attribute to ourselves the increase. "I have planted," said Paul; "Apollos watered; but God gave the increase." Would a single persuasion of ours prevail with man's hard heart if the Holy Spirit did not convince him of sin, and make him repent? Would the preaching of the gospel in our poor way ever enlighten a single eye if Jesus Christ were not seen in his own light? Could we comfort the broken-hearted, could we proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound, if the Spirit of God were not upon us? Why, if we did make the proclamation, would it not fall flat to the ground apart from the work of God, who doeth all things through us and by us? We are laborers together with him. We lift our hand, and God lifts his. We speak, and he speaks. We would fain lay hold of men's hearts, and he does lay hold upon them. We would weep them to Christ, and he brings them weeping to Christ, and saves them to eternal life. Blessed be his name! After many years of prophesying in his name, dare any of us say that we have made the dry bones to live? After having long given the invitation, do we say that we have persuaded one to come to the wedding-feast apart from the Lord's divine working? Do we take any of the glory of a saved soul to ourselves? It were treason; it were blasphemy. We dare not commit such a sin. Our work, if it succeeds at all, if it is worth calling good work, is all of grace."

Matt Chandler update

Please pray for his whole family. The prognosis of Matt Chandler did not sound good... but God is. You can get an update HERE.

How precious life is, but Christ is our treasure more valuable than life itself. I think I am starting to learn, by God's grace what this means: "Worthy is the Lamb who was slain To receive power and riches and wisdom, And strength and honor and glory and blessing!" Rev. 5:12

The more you keep your eyes turned to Jesus and fix your gaze upon His eyes of fire, YES they burn into the soul and the pain of sin is exposed but the GLORY of Christ, the worthiness of Christ brings healing. Worthy... because the beautiful One died for me. Worthy... when I was worthless, He died for me.

"Were the whole realm of nature mine, that were an offering far to small, love so amazing so divine demands my soul my life my all."

May the Lord fix our gaze upon Christ until we see Him face to face.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

AWAKE!!



"And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts." Romans 13:11-14

Monday, December 14, 2009

When do we disobey?

Lately I've had this question on my mind: "If we have been given the great commission to GO and preach the gospel, when do we disobey the "law of the land" and put tracts where we are not allowed to and preach where we are not allowed to? Christ has all authority and has given us the command to GO."

The rebel in me wants to "kick against the goads" and keep preaching. Yesterday Pastor Jack gave me such a wise answer: Jesus said that when you come to a city and they don't receive you to depart from there and go to another.

"Whatever house you enter, stay there, and from there depart. And whoever will not receive you, when you go out of that city, shake off the very dust from your feet as a testimony against them." Luke 9:4&5

The rejection of the gospel is a form of God's judgement on a city. The Pastor asked me,"Can God make opportunities for the gospel?" Yes, then we should see His sovereign hand MOVING us to where He wants His gospel preached, and the flip side to that is the removal of His word as a form of judgment.

That was so helpful and practical. I've often thought (in a very American way I might add) "Well its my rights and freedom of speech etc. etc." And there is a place for that, but I think wisdom would suggest that we are stewards of time, money and energy. Fighting those battles isn't worth it when we can just move somewhere else and see the Lords hand directing where He wants His gospel to go. One other thing, the preacher who can avoid going to jail, gets to preach another day. There may be a day when we do go to jail, but for now... move along and keep preaching!