“To repent is more than feeling sorry for your sin. Judas was sorry for betraying Christ and went straight to hell.” – Steve Lawson
Reblogged from Fishing For Men…
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
Okay…I know that are a ton of false converts out there…way more than biblically saved Christians, but it never ceases to amaze me to see them spouting off about their liberty and how anyone who says anything against them is a legalist. The worst of it is this: They accuse us of not being saved. What?!
So, in light of scripture, can we go wherever we want and do whatever we want? Do we have liberty to live life as we choose or do we have limits and boundaries?
The main point of Christianity is this. We were saved by the work of Christ alone. The Scriptures say that we were bought with a price and we are not our own. Now, this illustration or analogy was used for a reason. Slavery was commonplace then and so when anyone used these expressions, the hearers knew exactly what was meant.
When a slave was bought, he belonged to the owner lock, stock and barrel. He was the owner’s property.
When God bought me, through the price of Christ’s death, He bought me lock, stock and barrel. He bought my rights, life and any future I may have. He also bought my past.
This is why the Greek word doulos: is used more often than any other word to describe the Christian in the New Testament.
Original Word: δοῦλος, ου, ὁ
Part of Speech: Adjective; Noun, Feminine; Noun, Masculine
Phonetic Spelling: (doo’-los)
Short Definition: a male slave
Definition: (a) (as adj.) enslaved, (b) (as noun) a (male) slave.
1401 doúlos (a masculine noun of uncertain derivation) – properly, someone who belongs to another; a bond-slave, without any ownership rights of their own. Ironically, 1401 /doúlos (“bond-slave”) is used with the highest dignity in the NT – namely, of believers who willingly live under Christ’s authority as His devoted followers.
We do not belong to ourselves. We live submissively under the sovereign authority of Christ.
We do as He does, we live as He would live and act as He would act to bring God the glory He deserves.
This runs up against the misaligned and corrupted view of free will and Christian Liberty.
One points to subservience…the other points to self.
One submits to God and does whatever is possible to live one’s life as a personal thank you for saving him…the other lives his life as a license to do whatever he can to bring himself happiness.
One lives his life as a slave and bows to God as HIS tool…the other uses God as a means to man’s selfish end.
This is what I am seeing in the church today. People are being taught that God saved you to make you happy, successful and prosperous.
And they are also taught that their will is God’s will. If they want it then God wants it. If it makes them happy then OBVIOUSLY it makes God happy.
This is ludicrous and reduces God to an immature child who has limited power and bows to man’s will.
This reduces God to that of a genie who can be swayed by our commands and cleverly constructed prayers.
There is no place for submission and humility in the life of a false convert. he is taught right from the altar, that if you do this and that, then God will give you this and that. If you say this then God HAS to do that. If you use scripture in your prayers, then God is bound to do what you ask.
The arrogance and ego in this is sickening. I can guarantee you one thing. Go back to your “conversion” and try to remember why you came forward. Did the preacher talk about the Law? How about your sin? How about hell?
Did he expose your sin in light of scripture and tell you how bad you really are?
Or was it something like this:
“Dear God, I’m a sinner. I’m sorry for my sins. I want to turn from my sins. I believe that Jesus Christ is your Son. I believe that He died for me. That He rose from the grave. That He’s alive. I want to invite Him to come into my heart to take control. Fill me with your Holy Spirit. From this day forward forevermore. And I pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen”
Dear God in heaven, I come to you in the name of Jesus. I acknowledge to Youthat I am a sinner, and I am sorry for my sins and the life that I have lived; I needyour forgiveness. I believe that your only begotten Son Jesus Christ shed His precious blood on the cross at Calvary and died for my sins, and I am now willing to turn from my sin. You said in Your Holy Word, Romans 10:9 that if we confess the Lord our God and believe in our hearts that God raised Jesus from the dead, we shall be saved.Right now I confess Jesus as the Lord of my soul. With my heart, I believe that God raised Jesus from the dead. This very moment I accept Jesus Christ as my own personal Savior and according to His Word, right now I am saved. Thank you Jesus for your unlimited grace which has saved me from my sins. I thank you Jesus that your grace never leads to license, but rather it always leads to repentance. Therefore Lord Jesus transform my life so that I may bring glory and honor to you alone and not to myself. Thank you Jesus for dying for me and giving me eternal life.
I ask you to come into my life, to be my Lord and Savior. I believe You died for my sins and rose victorious over death. I ask You to forgive me of all my sins. I turn from my sin today, only to follow Jesus Christ all the days of my life. Lord, I give you all of my pain, all of my hurts, all of my fears, and all of my infirmities. Today, I receive total and complete healing in my life. Because of the shed Blood of Jesus Christ, from this day forward, I am a new creation in Christ Jesus.Thank you Lord!
Pray this prayer with me. If you’ve never made Jesus the Lord of your life, now is the time. If you’ve gotten away from God, it’s time for you to come on home, brother, where you belong. Just pray it, “Oh God in Heaven, I believe with all of my heart that Jesus has been raised from the dead. I receive your Word, and I repent of sin. I renounce the past. Come into my heart, Lord Jesus. I receive my forgiveness. I receive the new birth, cleansed and washed in the Word and in the precious blood of Jesus. Fill me with Your Spirit, in Jesus’ name. Amen.”
There’s nothing about my sin and your sin nailing Christ to the cross. There’s nothing about our guilt and rebellion, there’s nothing about our arrogance in thinking we can do it ourselves.
You see, salvation brings us to the end of ourselves. It throws open the curtains of our heart and reveals our pathetic attempts to clean ourselves up.
Altar calls are specifically designed to comfort and encourage and to make the convert feel accepted and loved. But you cannot have the Good News without the Bad News.
Why on earth would a church call out its members and attendees and call them evil and bad if they are having money problems? Calling the congregation wicked does not pay the bills.
This is precisely why we have churches full of false converts, doing the ‘church thing’, and burning out and becoming ‘back-sliders’. This is why we have churches putting on seminars and conferences to find out how to reach out to the community and how to keep them coming back. Do you know what they are being told?
GIVE THEM WHAT THEY WANT!
Is church a circus? Is it an amusement park for people to go to turn off their brains and be entertained? Is this what church has become?
I guess with dead people you have to give them something to keep the farce going. Kind of like the old movie star who stares at herself in the mirror and sees the lines and wrinkles, and demands someone do something! So with many face-lifts under her belt, and a face full of collagen, she fakes being young, when down deep she knows better.
False converts down deep seem to know something’s wrong, but spend much of their day filling their minds with stuff, happenings and fluff in hopes that gnawing feeling stays down and quiet. I have had a few people come to me worried that they are not saved. They confide in me, their fears and misgivings and ask for advice and prayers.
But…they always slowly disappear and I never really hear from the again. You would think, that if someone was afraid that he wasn’t saved, he would spend as much time as is possible in the presence of God in prayer until he knew for certain he was saved. But this never happens. Why? Because they push the mute button again and try to ignore the feeling down deep.
The clock is ticking. None of us are getting any younger. The Bible says today is the day of salvation and we’d better heed this. For tomorrow? Who knows?
I guess the point of this whole post was the scripture I started with. Our hearts. Without Christ, our hearts are wicked through and through. We think about nothing but our self, and whatever we do we do it for ourselves. There is none who does right…no not one!
But when Christ saves us, He puts a new heart in us. A heart of love and service to Him who saved us.
When we see false converts doing things, going places and living life the way they do, it’s because there has not been a heart change. They still have that old, wicked heart. Their desires are still rooted in self. Their love and treasure is still ME.
No wonder they get so defensive when confronted, for when you do confront them you are actually threatening their love. When you confront a believer, he will accept your rebuke and see if it applies to his life. That’s the difference.
Something to think about…
Steve Lawson bonus coming up! 🙂