Monday, July 10, 2006

Coocoo For Cocoa Puffs

I had my first experience with street witnessing on Friday night. A group of us went to the downtown core from 9:30pm til about 12:30am. This was prime time to meet people on the streets.

We followed The Way Of The Master, which is the same approach that is taught in at the Biblical School of Evangelism where I am currently enrolled. We gave out tracts to tons of people. Mostly we gave out an "IQ Test" tract which everyone enjoyed. If the people stopped to talk with us then we engaged them in a spiritual conversation which led them to understand their position as sinners. If they came to understand that and were wanting the solution that's when we share the Gospel with them. That's when they are prepared for God's Grace, and that's when we give all of it to them.

What an incredible experience. No one was offended. People wanted more and more of our tracts. We got to see people be convicted by the Holy Spirit and cry out to know what God had done for them to save them from Hell. Amazing. Edifying. Unforgettable.

The amazing thing about all of this is that witnessing has nothing to do with any skill or ability of the witnesser. You're only there to engage the person. The Holy Spirit truly does the rest. You need only stay on topic and not argue. You don't condemn the sinner, you simply lead him through the steps and let the Holy Spirit do it quietly in his own heart. When he realizes where he is and what he faces, all on his own, then you offer him the solution and let him reach for it.

As for rejection.... well we gave out a couple hundred tracts. In all of that there were a few people who didn't want one, and one guy we talked to who was drunk but nice enough told Ken he is "KooKoo For CooCoo Puffs". That's also something I doubt I'll ever forget.

Check out the great tracts that Living Waters Canada puts out.


Joseph said...

Have you ever checked the statistics of people who come to the Lord by this method against the people who leave the church because they have no relationship with Christ?

If you bring a person to the place where they think they are sinners, and that's the only way they receive God, then that's the only way they'll accept God and themselves - and you'll have to keep them in that mentality in order for them to have any relationship with him, and sooner or later they'll get tired of hating themselves and reject the whole idea.

Why don't more people do what Jesus did? he didn't hand out tracts during peak hours on the street - he truly showed only twelve people what it meant to BE the Kingdom of God, and they showed others, and those showed others, he must have known that the relationship that he had with the people that were close to him was the only thing that carried his message forth.

Kevl said...

Actually Jesus did exactly what we were doing. Without the tracts mind you.

He met people. Spoke of natural things. Moved the conversation to the spiritual. Let the Law convict them. And then showed them grace.

People fall away, some 80-90% of "new believers" in fact because of the "new gospel" of easy believism. They don't come because they need to be saved from hell, they come because they want a new best friend. So when the trip gets hard they fall away.

Sorry to be short, but there is no subsitute for letting meeting people where they are, letting them be convicted and then offering them the salvation of Our Lord, crucified and risen.

Kevl said...

You don't "have to keep them in that mentality to keep them". The Holy Spirit indwells them if they are truly saved. They are "bought with a price". There is no falling away of the truly saved. It's a done deal.

The truly saved are "new creations" they are not subject to the Law of Sin and Death any more. They are under the undeserved grace of God.

I would not preach Law to a believer. The Law is for sinners, not saints. We are saints in Christ, but dead in our own flesh.

This does not mean a true Christian won't sin. They will, but with study of the Word they will be able to "die to self" properly and more consistantly as their walk progresses.

Joseph said...

ok, ok, - 1 John 3:8-9 for such an instance we see:

" Whoever sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. Whosoever has been born of God does not sin, His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God."

the ref: "of the devil" is in reference to a persons "Identity", for someone to believe they are a sinner they create in themselves an Identity "of the devil" and so the more truth (word of God) they hear the further away from their True Identity they get because their association to it is still "of the devil"

Striking the lost with the law is a good way to awaken feelings of self doubt and guilt, which can very effectively bring them to a position to accept a savior, but when they're alone and crying out for a God who loves them, their only reference point is "that guy on the Cross who makes me feel bad because I'm such a sinner."

Kevl said...

Excellent point :)

This is where it becomes VERY important that you choose wisely when you leave tracts places. Check the ones I linked too. They don't leave a sinner hanging. They are not the typical "self righteous tract" and surely not the "jesus wants to make your life better" tract.

Kevl said...

To complete the point. The sinner needs to understand he is condemned by the Law. Then he needs to understand he is freed by the atoning blood of Christ Jesus. If he understands that payment for his sin had to be made, and that Jesus paid it for him - he'll never think that Jesus makes him feel bad.

Believers are redeemed and should never feel that Jesus makes them feel bad. He condemns no believer.

Joseph said...

Sinners need to know they are your brothers, and that you hold the message of freedom, and that you're accountable for it, and them. Jesus came to save the world - he condemns no believer or sinner either, he set us free from the law of sin and death - people need to see freedom

"let him who has no sin cast the first stone"

example: John 8:9 And hearing, and being convicted by conscience, they went out one by one, beginning at the oldest, until the last. And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. 10 And bending back up, and seeing no one but the woman, Jesus said to her, Woman, where are the ones who accused you? Did not one give judgment against you? 11 And she said, No one, Lord. And Jesus said to her, Neither do I give judgment. Go, and sin no more.

Jesus says he gives no judgement? and aren't you Christ on the earth!?! the only witness to some of these, and so their first impression is to be struck by the law? seemingly pro-God but in truth anti-christ.

Kevl said...

Hey Joseph,

Sinners are not a believer's brother. The believer will love them none the less, yet they are still enemies of God. The Word calls them "Sons of Wrath" while it calls believers "Sons of God".

Why do you quote "let him who has no sin cast the first stone"? Where have I cast any stone? Or indicated that I would. The Law condemns, not I. We are here to give the gospel to the heart that has been prepared. We are not to preach grace to sinners. Grace is for saints. The Law is for sinners.

Christ came to fufill the Law. The Law is good when used lawfully. It is made for the sinner.;&version=9;

"But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully;

Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers,

For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine;

According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust."

If I came up to you and said "Good News! This really nice guy paid a $25,000 fine for you!" You'd likely respond with "ok..... tell him thanks... I guess." Why? Because you don't even suspect you have a $25,000 fine.

To preach "Jesus died for your sins" to someone who doesn't see themselves personally as a sinner, who doesn't understand the condemnation they are under is pure foolishness. They won't reach for a savior because they don't think they need one. So then people say they don't want to "judge" them so I'll preach how much Jesus loves them... well the first time the "new believer" goes through a trial in life after that they begin to wonder if Jesus really does love them. When their son is killed in a car accident.. when their wife dies of cancer, slowly. The "new believer" has been sold a lie - that the role of Jesus is to make your life better. Read the Word to see if this is true. Surely the experiences of the Apostles will show you this is far from the case.

The modern gospel says "Jesus will make your life better. You should love Him."

The true Gospel says "You sin because you are a sinner. (not the other way around)You are going to have to face a Just and Holy God on Judgment day and account for every idle word, every thought, ever action of your entire life. Jesus loved you enough to die to pay the price for the sins you deserve to die for. You cannot earn your way out of death but Jesus paid it for you."

This is when the "Gospel" really does become "Good News!" Salvation isn't good news if you weren't going to die and go to hell.

One last thing, Jesus took all the sin of the world on Him at the Cross, as a sufficient atonement. However, the forgiveness of sins comes from confession of your sin to Him, belief IN Him. No one shares in salvation who has not confessed to God that they are a sinner and that Christ Jesus is the Son of God come in the flesh to fulfill the Law by dying on the Cross and raising again three days later. The Believer who confesses this is now IN Christ. Bought with a price and no longer under the Law of Sin and Death. They are now freed, where before they were in bondage to sin. One must never preach freedom to someone in chains they themselves are unable to break. What torture it would be to still be chained and think you’re supposed to be free.

Kevl said...

As though my above wasn't long enough I left out something important.

People really are dying without salvation and are going to hell for eternity. This is not "destruction" but eternal torment.

I am more than willing to let someone be uncomfortable for a few moments inorder to have them cry out for the Savior. Whom I know answers these calles faithfully.

Those who die without Him are parishing. There are many who have, and will die after a lifetime of calling Him "Lord, Lord" and yet He never knew them and they too will be cast into the Lake of Fire.

It's a heart issue. The heart doesn't get convicted by "Jesus loves you". Though He does more than you and I could begin to understand.

Joseph said...

Based on your two posts I would submit this to you about your understanding of sin, I'm going to reply because I think you're going to get this and I know already that you are a smart man, and there's a reason we're talking about this.

I know you use bible gateway so this is easy -

King James Version: James 1:
14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. 15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.

There is a statement there that I'd like you to see -"when lust has conceived" is important because it takes 2 to conceive anything (as in child birth) -

within this verse - "he is drawn away of his own lust" - there are two identities "his" and "lust". - this verse personifies lust but why?

let's move back up to verse 6:

6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.
7 For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.
8 A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.

again in international version:

6 But he must ask in faith, without any doubts, for the one who has doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.
7 Such a person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.
8 He is a double-minded man, unstable in all he undertakes.

and now we see again a dual identity within one mind "double-minded"

It's a dual Identity - the 2 - that must concieve and bear sin. Double Mindedness is like Idolatry - when we seek things that end up in position between us and God.

let's take a look at who we are - even though there are several more references I want to use this one to illustrate a point:

Hebrews 2:
6 But one in a certain place testified, saying, What is man, that thou art mindful of him? or the son of man, that thou visitest him?
7 Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of thy hands:

that word angels was misinterpreted and is originally elohim- and small case "e" or upper case it's still elohim. - does it matter? not when the important part comes next:

8 Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him.
9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.

again - little lower than the angels this time in ref. to Jesus - and this puts all things in subjection to US, the world is under OUR feet.

when we speak now we speak with authority - and have faith in this message that we (the church) are equal to Christ on the earth (as a corporate anointing), that we (as individuals) are seated in heavenly places - Hebrews 4 talks about it - entering Gods rest. - walking in dominion over the things of this earth because we are co-heirs with Christ Redeemed by his Blood. we have Faith - that our Identity - is this and so realize the secret - to be content in ANY situation knowing who I am in Christ. There are no Chains holding anyone! simply people holding on to chains attached to bodily destruction.

People fall away from God when the going gets tough because they don't know who they are - they become anxious for a quick fix - "be anxious for nothing" phil 4:6 - the world anxious there is similar to "being pulled in two directions" - duality! and they'll receive nothing.

"Secure in your Identity" and it is impossible to sin- why? because sin is "missing the mark" - that word mark is "charigma" (strongs 5486) or "Character of Christ" - "Identity".

And what's the opposite? - that's sin - both are Identities and waivering between the two is duality.

When you're telling people they are sinners because of what the ten commandments say you missed the point much like the pharisees in Mark 10:

1 Jesus then left that place and went into the region of Judea and across the Jordan. Again crowds of people came to him, and as was his custom, he taught them.
2 Some Pharisees came and tested him by asking, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?"
3"What did Moses command you?" he replied.
4 They said, "Moses permitted a man to write a certificate of divorce and send her away."
5 "It was because your hearts were hard that Moses wrote you this law," Jesus replied.
6"But at the beginning of creation God 'made them male and female.'
7 For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife,
8 and the two will become one flesh.' So they are no longer two, but one.
9 Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate."

From a law perspective this passage is about marriage when in fact Jesus is talking about the relationship between Himself and his Church - the bride of Christ. -verse 8 is when we overcome duality and become one in Christ.
This relationship is representative of our relationship to the "lost". Our ministry is reconciliation - not whistle blowing. the stones we throw are bits of the tablet carried down the mountain by moses smashed to bits- the law, where Jesus ministry set about restoration and belief - not in magic fairy dust and mary poppins style snap of the fingers miracles no - but in the enabling of the body to do the work - reconciliation.

Which one?

You are the word of God, you are his son, Cast your cares upon God because God cares about you!


You'll go to hell because you touch yourself at night!

Kevl said...

Hey again Joseph, let me start with this. I'm very much enjoying this conversation. This post is getting long. Forgive me if it doesn't sound to personal I am pretty tired.

Lust is personified because Sin is personified as an active participant in our flesh. I'm thinking of Paul's writings mostly when I think of Sin being personified. I believe the lable or specific sin can be personified in exactly the same fashion.

I'm going to respond in the order you've written it - because I'm exhausted. :) LONG Bike ride.. broke down.. fun stuff. :)

Heb 2:7 The word interpreted as angels is actually the Greek word "aggelos" Strong's Number G32. "a messenger; especially an “angel”; by implication a pastor: - angel, messenger." Not elohim. I was a bit surprised to see you write that and had to go check for myself.

That being said I was right with you up to where you say that "there are no chains holding anyone." This is true if you are only speaking of the Body of Christ - but the whole world is not in the Body of Christ (The Church), only those who have believed.

Some true believers do distance themselves from God because of troubles, however true believers never "fall away". People who confessed Christ but never truly believed fall away all the time. They were never saved. Such as Judas.

There is "duality" in the Christian's life because the old flesh while spiritually dead is carnally alive. We must live in it, but not be of it. It will never get "better" it will always be as evil as it was before we were saved. It is the process of learning to die to self and abide in Christ that makes mature Christians "seem" different than immature ones.

About using the 10 commandments. They are still in effect for those who have not been Justified. (we are Justified, Sanctified and Redeemed in Christ at the point of Salvation - instantly)

Christ used the 10 commandments every time He witnesses to a sinner. Not all of them at once, but some part of them each time.

The woman at the well - adultry. The rich man - idoltary.

I could go on but this is not the point. Grace is only ever given to those who are already broken and humble. No sinner is humble.

Never does a Christian have to condemn anyone. I don't need to say "you're going to hell because you touch yourself at night." I simply take the person through some of the 10 commandments and the Spirit will reveal to them their state.

IE when witnessing to a homosexual you don't say "You're going to hell because of your homosexual behavior" That may be one of the reasons but you have no right to point out the speck in his eye until you have removed the plank from your own. "cast the first stone if you are sinless". INSTEAD you take him through the 10 commandments. The Spirit will speak to his heart - YOU can't speak to his heart. He will see that no matter about his sexual practices he is bound for Hell anyway.

NONE of us have kept the 10 commandments. Not one.

SO now that the person sees it's not about A issue but it's really about an inability to save one's self they are ready to reach out to the only one who can save them.

So to answer your end question - which btw is exactly the same question everyone who uses a "man centered" gospel asks - NEITHER.

I use the same method that Christ used. I let the Spirit reveal to the inside of the person their true state and THEN I show them all the grace that Christ gave us.

I never condem a person- infact if I did they would not look for a savior because MY condemnation is meaningless. Only the wrath of a Just and Holy God requires a savior to avoid. If it's ME condemning them they can just avoid me on the street from now on. They can not avoid God, we all have our appointed day to stand before Him and give account for ourselves.

Fear of God is the begining of all wisdom.

To tell someone that is bound for Hell that "everything is great and lovely" is to lie to them. God DOES love them. He doesn't want them to go to hell. But this is serious stuff. They have to honestly confess their true nature to God in order for forgiveness to be theirs.

There is no condemnation IN Christ. However, we need to be sure we are IN Christ before we can be sure there is no condemnation for us.

Kevl said...

Hey you should give this a lesson.

It's almost an hour long if I remember correctly but it's WELL worth the time. <-- Hell's best kept secret. No it's not a message about hell, but about how evangelism should be done. I think you'll enjoy it.

Joseph said...

I actually have hear "hell's best kept secret" It was thought provoking but remember that evangelism is simple one of five folds of ministry and there are always other things to consider. Keep on looking at what you're given - check out the strongs for the true revelation, I'm going to prepare something for you that I think will help you - I agree that evangelism is of great importance don't get me wrong but I've seen the terrible side of spreading the law and while I know your heart is in the right place I think you'll be discouraged later to find out how many of the people you're witnessing to would have stayed if you had approached them differently - not more correctly - just differently.

Kevl said...

That's cool.

I've been witnessing for 17 years and I've seen the lack of fruit of "Jesus loves you". I've seen people go up to alter call after alter call after alter call.

Actually, the Way of The Master "method" (for lack of a better word) does not spread the Law. The Law gets used for maybe 10 minutes and then the person is given Grace. The Law now has no place in that person's life.

Every other "method" for witnessing that I've seen has been man centered. How clever can I be? How original can I be? How attractive can I make this? How clearly can I show His love? How clean a life can I live? and on and on.

God doesn't need you to be any of those things to save souls. In fact The Gospel is not attractive to the world. The world hates God. The world sees the Gospel as foolishness. There's nothing I can do to overcome that, the world is bigger than I am. But, the world is not bigger than God the Holy Spirit.

The Law shuts the mouths of the prideful. I don't have to overcome anyone's argument.

I have for SO long thought the "issue" was Evolution vs Creation. This is a very interesting field of study for me, and it does help people feel safe in thier faith.

However, how much sense does it make to argue with a man, blind since birth, about the color Blue? He can't see it. Never has been able to. No matter how convinced he is that I can see it he still can't. The ONLY solution is to let the Great Phycian give him sight so he can see it for himself.

It's a heart issue. We have to get to the heart. It's a scary place to go. Believe me. Yet, this is exactly what Christ did while He was here. He didn't argue with people about anything. He asked them questions that revealed their own hearts.

I will surely engage in conversation about Creation again. However, it will no longer be my evangelism tool. It relies too much on my own cleverness, on my own study. How good I am at arguing.

The Holy Spirit doesn't care how good I am at anything. How clean my life has been, or not, nor how well I speak or write. If I am willing to stop and speak with someone and just get them to open up for a moment. He does what needs to be done.

You would be amazed at the response people give you. I have been speaking about Jesus for 17 years and people run, hate, get angery argue... it's crazy. Yet if I just do it the way He did they never feel like I'm judging them - because I'm not. They choose freedom or they don't in the end I've done all that I'm required to do.

OK so last thing, the Church has been given "The Great Commission". We've only been told to do two things here on Earth. Remember the Lord's Death at His table, and spread the Gospel. Nothing else should ever come before those two things. Anything else that forwards those two things is worthy as long as the workers aren't kept from their primary task by them.

Think of a fire fighter who sat in his truck calling His Mom who was short on money and scared. He spoke of how much he loves her and that he'd stop by after he got off work. The conversation took less than 10 minutes. It was quick and she felt much better after it.

However, later that evening the fire fighter was arrested. He was speaking to her in the truck across the street from a burning apartment building. In the short time he was on the phone a family, father, mother, son and daughter was burned to death.

He was doing a "good thing" by calling his mom. However, because he was busy doing good things instead of the primary task he'd been given a family perished.

That's not ment to be a "guilt trip" it's ment to show that all the other things that churches do are "good" yet they are not always helpful for our true job in the world.


Joseph said...

Kev, the only thing that separates man from God is his own covering, that covering is found to be necessary because of shame, a shame brought on by a set of standards we can never live up to called religon. That firefighter was not accountable for the office he holds and so the family burned, your office is "Christ on the earth" - Christ was not here to preach to the saved but to the lost, the "method" you use works on people who have heard the law - but how well does it apply to muslims?, buddhists? and people of other religons? it doesn't.

Kevl said...

You have missed the point of sin.

Sin is the transgression of God's Law.

That's it.

The price to be paid for it is death.

The price had to be paid because God is Just.

We couldn't pay the price. So God paid it for us, because He is Love.

Those who are saved are freed from the Law. The Law makes no man free, it simply leaves us condemned.

Every single person is under the Law no matter what idol they choose to bow down too.

It's not a work of man, it's a work of God.

When you ask someone if they have kept the 10 commandments the Spirit speaks to them. It's not about me, it's not about their oppinions. The Spirit speaks to their heart. It doesn't matter who or what they are. It's not a work of man.

Joseph said...

you missed the point of my question - the muslims the hindus, what about them? are they doomed?, you're preaching to the choir while others burn - what about people who don't believe in the bible and don't care what the ten commandments are?

Matthew 19

16Now a man came up to Jesus and asked, "Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?"

17"Why do you ask me about what is good?" Jesus replied. "There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, obey the commandments."

18"Which ones?" the man inquired.

Jesus replied, " 'Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, 19honor your father and mother,'[d] and 'love your neighbor as yourself.'[e]"

20"All these I have kept," the young man said. "What do I still lack?"

21Jesus answered, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."

22When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.

Even after fufilling the ten commandments the young man was not able to enter the Kingdom of Heaven - you say Idolatry - you're right but his Idolatry was for himself, and his pride in keeping the commandments, what Jesus was asking him to do was give up his life of order, his own will, trust in his own knowledge (of scripture of law) and when he could do that he would enter the Kingdom of Heaven -

p.s. the word in hebrews chapter 2 is aggellos, upon further examination though you'll see that pauls reference is a quote from the psalms - in hebrew - for a word that is not translated into the greek -

Read Psalm 5:8 - this is the reference that paul made there in hebrews, mistranslated because there's no word in greek for "elohim" strongs 430

Kevl said...

Hey I just sat down to email someone and I got a notice that you had posted. I really haven't been sitting here waiting for you to reply.. really I haven't... really.


Well putting the joviality of the above away for a moment. There is only one true God. Jesus said "no one comes to the Father except by Me."

There is only one God, and one Heaven. There is only one plan for salvation and that is Christ Jesus. Anyone who denies that has no place in Heaven. This includes people of any other faith or lack of faith.

The man you quoted the Word on from Matt 19 broke the 1st commandments. Jesus exposed this to him that he had actually not kept the ten commandments at all.

He had broken the very first one. "Thou shalt have no other gods before Me.";&version=9;

The man worshiped mammon, money. He went away sad because he knew he could not give up the money. Jesus knew this of course, as He knows all of us through and through. He knew what to ask to expose this man's sin. He asked him to sell all his possessions and give all the money away.

It is not a requirement to sell all your possessions to be saved. This question exposed the sin it was designed and purposed to expose.

Had the man humbled himself before Our Lord, He would have given the man grace. But the man did not, he chose his money and possessions over God.

We get to be in the same position as Christ was that day when we witness. Jesus didn't accuse the man of anything. All He did was ask questions. The man was convicted in his own heart. He responded to that as his own heart led him too. Today, when we witness we get to see this conviction. And if the person wants the solution, the very solution that God Himself gave we offer the person Grace beyond understanding.

When the person truly sees their state and seeks the savior, He responds. We are simply there to "witness" it. I never thought of it that way before, but that's the thing. We start out being a witness of Christ, and we end up witnessing someone's Salvation.

Kevl said...

btw did you really mean Psalm 5:8?

"Lead me, O LORD, in thy righteousness because of mine enemies; make thy way straight before my face. "

I don't see the connection.

Joseph said...

psalm 8:5

mammon - Greek 3126 of aramaic origin for "confidence"

"Man cannot serve two masters" God or Mammon - Mammon is his confidence in his own knowledge and strength personified in his ability to attain righteousness through the law -

*Here's Paul speaking of the law and why it's effective and why it's so deadly:

Romans 7:7-10

7 What shall we say, then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! Indeed I would not have known what sin was except through the law. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, "Do not covet."

8 But sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, produced in me every kind of covetous desire. For apart from law, sin is dead.

9 Once I was alive apart from law; but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life and I died.

10 I found that the very commandment that was intended to bring life actually brought death.

*Here we see the answer for "the lost" or "creation":

Romans 8

18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.

19 The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed.

20 For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, ---> but by the will of the one who subjected it <---, in hope:

21 that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.

*here we see what we are to him - we see our position as his creation

Romans 8

28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.

30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.

31 What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us?

32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?

33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies.

34 Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.

35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?

36 As it is written:
"For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered."

37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.

38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,

39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

what do you think it means to be more than conquerors?

Kevl said...

You are not separating Christians from non-Christians.

Not all are saved.

The Law is for sinners, and it is DEADLY. It condemns them all to eternal punishment in Hell.

The Creation spoken of in Romans 8 is all of God's creation. The Earth, Stars, Water, Plants, Animals. It is all in the pains before birthing. It is suffering the effects of the Curse. This is why bad things happen to "good" people. The birthing pains it is experiencing right now are those leading up to Christ's return. Like a mother expecting.

God does work all things for the good of those who love Him. Things that are painful - of which I am very familiar - and things which are not painful. But the key is, for those who love Him.

To be more than conquerors means we do not conqueror anything. We are already Victors sharing in the victory of Christ Jesus over Sin and Death. His finished work at the Cross. His triumphant resurrection three days later. Because we are not subject to these things anymore we do not need to conquer anything. We struggle with principalities not with the flesh. It is ours to look at the world from our position in Christ, not to look from our flesh up to Christ.

Those who are IN Christ are free. Those who are not in Christ are yet in bondage, and destined for eternal torment.

Heading out for dinner with my lovely wife, who's birthday it is today. I've had a very rough day, and I'm sure some of that may have spilled into my language here. I fell down the stairs and had to put the banister back up... the wall was damaged and it was very rough. 5 hours later it's finally up. Please accept my apology for the tonality of my responses.


Joseph said...

I hope you're physically all-right -of sound mind AND body. I understand - most of the times I've written you I've been in the middle of something else too - thus we get Psaln 5:8 instead of 8:5. I appreciate that you're speaking with me this long, it's commendable. and so..

first I'd like to say that you've uncovered my secret - sort of - I don't separate Christians from non-Christians, mentally or physically, this is the only way to ensure that we can build relationships, I keep going back to the same point - anyone that knows the ten commandments enough to be convicted by them is already "saved". I could convict only believers with the law - I can show believers who need 'conviction' the power of God through my relationship to the lost - it is contageous, and it works. If you can convict with the law, redeem through grace, and keep with what? we're shepards, we 'tend' flocks, we don't buy sheep. - this is what it means to be 'more than conquerors' - because we're faithful with the little - more is added to us.

Look at King Solomons reign - he asked for wisdom to guide the people of Isreal (and got it) and ruled so well in fact that every now and then during that record there's little mentions of him just 'getting' land from surrounding nations like a bonus. This increases his land but it also increases his responsibility to 'tend' that land. He also had many many wives and each of them had little temples for their gods - which means that they too came from lands around isreal. say what you want about Solomon - he illustrates the point

When we are responsible for the one - we'll be given more, outside of this and we're working on our own strength - even setting forth in the task of bringing the lost to salvation - if we do it under our own strength it will fail eventually and we'll be known only by OUR fruit.

"To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory." -Col 1:27

"it is no longer I who live but Christ liveth in me" -Gal 2:20

"I can do all things through Christ" Phil 4:13

There's another context to the bible when it's seen as just a book like any other book - and the person holding it is the word of God

Kevl said...

I only have a few moments but I'll respond now, and hopefully again later.

The muscles all up and down my left side are pulled, mostly my shoulder... oh well that worked out for the best as well... we ended up going out to eat and there was someone there to be witnessed too.

There is a point of witnessing through how we live. Through how we interact with people. This is "general witnessing" ( like General Revelation - where all of Creation reveals the Creator) We should all be doing this.

Where this falls down is this. If it takes an hour to get to know someone and to influence their life, and they get hit by a bus 30 minutes into the process they are going to perish in Hell.

The difference, the separation if you will, between Christians and non-Christians is we are saved, they are not. We are safely in Christ (it's He that lives not I) and they are in bondage to sin. We are sealed with the Holy Spirit marked and destined to enter eternal fellowship with God. They are yet heading for condemnation, eternal punishment. This should seriously motivate us. If someone were getting in a car to drink and drive we'd do just about anything to make them stop. We really wouldn't worry if they were offended, we're trying to save them. But what will most Christian's do for the unsaved, the perishing? They will invite them to BBQ's, go shopping with them, hang out with them, every now and then drop "hints" about Jesus, we pray for them earnestly night after night, week after week, year after year.... mean while 150,000 people die every day - most of whom die without Christ. If this doesn't eat at our hearts we surely need to examine ourselves to see if we are in the faith.

Non-Christians who have never heard of the 10 commandments are convicted by the Holy Spirit just as much as those who have heard of them. People who are SURE they are not underthem, that they are foolishness are convicted by them. People desperately appossed to them are convicted by them. You'd be amazed. You start a conversation with them, it's light hearted, jovial even. Once the conviction starts they get quiet, intent. I've seen a person begging to know what God did for them. This person who only moments before had been completely carnal.

I sympathize with your point of view because I held a similar one. I surely didn't believe that this kind of evangelism would work - or that people would even stand for it. I tell you the world is ripe for the harvest. It's time to stop tending the fields and start reaping them!

King Solomon. I laughed at "say what you want about Solomon - he illustrates the point." What a mess he turned into eh? Wisest of men... oops.

You describe the issue of Stewardship. And what you say is true. However, we must also be good stewards with the Gospel. We've been told to spread it to every creature.

Paul also spoke of the churches he and Apollos (I seldom spell his name correctly) planted saying to the effect (I don't have it memorized and don't have time to find it) one man sows and another waters.

Those who respond to the Gospel do get discipled. Not always by myself but by someone.