Thursday, July 28, 2011


"I was warned so many years ago, that if I overemphasized sin in my preaching it would drive people away, if I preached too frequently on sin it would offend people and people wouldn't come, and if I continued to preach on sin, it would wear people out.

"I don't believe that. I never have believed that if you try to deal with sin people aren't going to come because they don't want to be exposed to that, it's too intimidating and threatening.

"Listen I know one thing about the true children of God, their inner person desires holiness, and they will pursue an environment where they are aided in fulfilling those longings." - John MacArthur

This is what I love about John MacArthur. I mean, look at that first paragraph of the quote above. Isn't that what the church in America believes these days? Isn't that what we're taught? Our seminary's and Bible colleges are teaching us not to proclaim the very Gospel! And it takes a man like MacArthur to stand up against that and say, no, I don't believe that, it's contrary to the plain teaching of the Bible.

No wonder the modern Gospel is watered down, sugar-coated and powerless. We're taught to take out the very reason that we need a Savior. We're being taught to entertain people, to work on their self-esteem and have fun. Our up and coming pastors are being trained as "goat-hearders" rather than true shepherds proclaiming the truth of the Gospel. No wonder it's so hard to find a good church in America these days.

But then look at the last paragraph of the quote. True children of God will desire this, they will pursue holiness, they will want to remove sin from their lives whenever it's found, not attempt to ignore it and see how much they can get away with while still avoiding hell. This is the difference between true and false converts.

How do professed believers react when you bring something like this up to them? They might say, 'Well, we can't know their hearts', but I say find that in the Bible. Instead, I find, "You'll know them by their fruits" (Matt 7:16, Matt 7:20, Matt 12:33, Col 1:10).
I find where we ARE to judge those inside the Church (1 Cor 5:12), and not to associate with those who call themselves believers, yet continue in a lifestyle of sin (1 Cor 5:11).

Do you know what "judgmental" means? I looked it up, since people always seem to take it in a negative way. But here's what I found.
1. involving the use or exercise of judgment.
2. tending to make moral judgments

Word Origin & History - "inclined to make moral judgments," 1952, from judgment.
Online Etymology Dictionary, C 2010 Douglas Harper

So, the next time someone calls me "judgmental", I think I'm just going to thank them. According to that definition, it's a compliment to my ability to make moral decisions.
What about "judge not, lest ye be judged"? Context, people, context. If you continue reading (Matt 7) you will find that you must remove the log from your own eye, and then it is permissible to judge a brother, in love. This was written to a hypocrite, so don't be one of those by quoting it out of context. Continue reading and you'll get to the part where Jesus says, "You'll know them by their fruit."
Use your discernment, make a righteous moral judgment, based on Scripture (John 7:24).

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Carnal Christians?

When someone claims, "I still sin everyday, I am a man, ya know?" The next question should be, "Do you hate it? Or do you embrace that sin?" It almost sounds as though he is proud of it, and obviously not convicted or repenting of it. If we feel that we are not subject to God's moral Law, we may have a problem (Rom 8:7, Col 1:21, Col 3:6, 2 Tim 2:19).

There should be a battle with sin and when the possibility of sin in their life is brought to a believer's attention, they should not get defensive and call you "judgmental" or "legalistic." Maybe a better response would be, "Is that what you see in me?"
A true believer should be sensitive to sin in their lives, and take any such accusation seriously, contemplating if this could be true or not. This is important to a believer! We don't want to be in sin. It may take some study and prayer, but if there is no struggle against sin, that's a bad sign.

Discussing this subject with some Christian brothers caused me to consider how this affects my life and my walk with the Lord. This post may end up with more questions than answers.

Now I believe there is no such thing as a "carnal Christian" as defined by today's standards. When Paul is speaking in 1 Cor 3:1-3, he is strongly rebuking them as spiritually ignorant, immature, acting as unbelievers, not condoning what they're doing. Rom 8:6 tells us where that leads, and Heb 10:26-27 states this fact clearly.

We won't be perfect this side of heaven, but should be striving for it. We still sin, yet not willfully, there should be a struggle, a conflict within ourselves regarding the sin still in our lives. We should hate it, not embrace it. But do we really sin against our will, unintentionally? Maybe, but that's a blurry line, isn't it? Aren't we still responsible for our own actions? How exactly do we "sin against our own will"?

Take pornography for instance, that's hardly against our will. We have to get the pornography, find the time and then be able to view it. It takes some planning ahead, I don't think that a person can just "slip" into this one.

How about speeding? The Bible tells us that we are to follow the law of the land (Rom 13:1-7) as long as it doesn't contradict God's Law. So, when we set our cruise control for 10 mph higher than the speed limit, are we not willfully sinning?
Do we really just pick and choose which things we like from the Bible, as unbelievers so often accuse us of?

Are we sensitive to sin in our lives? What happens when someone brings it to your attention? Is your first thought an attempt to justify yourself, or is it to repent of that sin that you hadn't really thought about before? It should be the latter, but I often find that it's the former.

Paul's words in Romans 7:18-20, do not give us the right to continue in sin. There should be a battle against it (Rom 6:12), and we should be making progress towards eliminating sin in our lives if we are truly in Christ (Rom 8:1). We will walk according to the Spirit (Rom 8:4), not to GET saved, but because we ARE saved, no longer willing to fulfill our sinful lusts (Gal 5:16).

Whatever ways these sins may manifest in our lives, whether it's lusting glances at women walking down the street, habitually speeding, or foul language, one of the tests of salvation is that we are growing in holiness (1 John 2:29 ). We should be more holy than we were last year at this time, and continuing in the sanctification process, not stagnating to see what we can still get away with in the ways of the world (1 John 2:15 ). Otherwise, we may find that we're not yet saved at all, and need to examine ourselves with Scripture (2 Cor 13:5, 1 John 5:13).

Saturday 07-23-11

It was hot and humid out on Mill Ave on Saturday night. I did some Open Air Trivia and met Sonnie and Tim. They answered a couple of the trivia questions and had been through the Good Person Test (GPT) with Tom before. I talked to them a bit to see if they understood it and had made any sort of changes in their lives, and they said that they had.

A couple of older ladies walked by while Tom was doing some Open Air, and they said they really liked what he was doing, in taking a young girl through the Law to show her need of a Savior. They were familiar with Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron, so I gave them a tract with the Living Waters website on it, so they could look into more of it.

Some others were talking with some bikers for Jesus and got into a conversation about carnal Christianity and sinning as believers. Even though I wasn't involved in that particular conversation, we discussed the subject later and it made me think about some things. I'm working on a separate post for some of my own thoughts on that one.

We distributed some tracts and talked with a few others. Next week we have a WOTM class, and hopefully even more people to come out on Mill to reach out to the lost (Luke 10:2).

Soli Deo Gloria

Monday, July 18, 2011

Saturday 07-16-11

A guy named Lester stopped to check out the sign which has a few verses from Isaiah 53, showing fulfilled prophecy 700 years before Christ was born. He seemed to be a believer, but I took him through some of the Commandments and gave him an "Are You Good Enough to Get into Heaven?" tract. It seemed to make sense to him.

I talked with a homeless guy who called himself "Brother Tom." He agreed to go through the Good Person Test(GPT) and he said that he was a believer and had repented. He said that he does share his faith with other homeless people and can reach people that I cannot. I agreed with him and gave him an "Are You Good Enough to Get into Heaven?" tract so that he might be able to use those principles in speaking with others.

Then Richie from last week stopped by on his bike again, while I was doing some Open Air Trivia. He hung around for a while, saying that he saw "truth" in me, so I tried to give him more truth every time I could. When I saw him looking over my shoulder at women with lust, I'd mention the 7th Commandment to him. He would usually remain quiet and then change the subject, but he remembered a lot of the stuff I had talked with him about last week. I didn't think he was even listening.

He said he liked the song by the Rolling Stones, "Sympathy for the Devil", (kinda random, but a little strange, since I had had a discussion on Facebook about a particular "church" that performed this song on Easter Sunday.)

I was able to talk about the Ten Commandments with him some more, and the fact that none of us are considered good by God's standards. He didn't have much to say on that subject and still wouldn't take any tracts from me, but now I know that he's listening, even if he doesn't like it.

"Boonie" and a friend got a few trivia questions right and went through the GPT. He found that he was not a good person when held to God's standard, and seemed to take it seriously, while his friend, who said he'd been through the test before seemed a bit unstable. He was laughing and a little crazy. He wouldn't take a tract because he said he had a bunch of them, so I gave him a Ten Commandment coin, which he liked. Boonie took an "Are You Good Enough to Get into Heaven?" tract and said he'd read it. He was raised Catholic and had looked into some different religions.

The drummers showed up around 9:30, but they went somewhere else for a while and didn't set up the drums until around 11:00, so we packed up once they got started. Over all, it was a productive night.

Soli Deo Gloria

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Saturday 07-09-11

I headed out to Mill Ave alone this week, but Marcus, Kat and Alex showed up shortly after. It was a little windy, which was actually nice because it cooled the temperature down some from the heat of the day.

A couple wandered by, looking at the "Are You A Good Person?" sign. It seemed that they were curious, but went over to the side to discuss it amongst themselves first. Finally, they asked how to know if they're good or not. I explained that I'd ask them a few questions based on the Ten Commandments, which is where I encountered my first resistance. They said, "You mean your interpretation of the Ten Commandments?" and I said no, just the Commandments themselves, which is God's moral standard in outline form.

I mean, how many different ways can one "interpret" you shall not murder, steal or lie? But TJ and Jessica were unbelievers who liked to debate. When asked what they would call someone who told lies, they said, "a human being." Really? Hey you human being! Not real specific there, is it? They said it would have to be habitual to be a liar, and I told them that would make a person a habitual liar. Or someone with a problem might be called a pathological liar. But we're talking about a regular teller of lies. How many lies do you think one would have to tell in order to be labeled a liar? One lie will transgress God's law, and Rev 21:8 tells us that "all liars will have their part in the lake of fire." All liars. All. But, I guess others may want to "interpret" differently. I would call it lying to themselves.

Anyway, we got a bit sidetracked with all the different objections they had obviously not researched very thoroughly. Misplaced faith in the silly arguments that they'd rather believe, instead of seriously searching for truth. They even brought up the "Jefferson Bible", which I explained was not exactly what they thought it was.
Jefferson Bible Link

A guy named Richie stopped by on a bike. He claimed to have spent some time in a Mexican prison, where someone showed him this one particular verse in the Bible that is supposed to be the "key." In speaking with him further, this apparently meant that he could ignore everything else. The verse was John 3:21, which he said allows him to act righteously, keeping him from watching pornography, fighting or doing drugs, although he continued to lust over women while talking to me. I even asked him what he was doing while he was staring at girls walking by, and he said that he was showing them that he was interested in a couple of them. Yet he held that he was a good person, doing no wrong.

He wanted me to tell him that he passed the Good Person Test, but we didn't even get through it. He seemed to think that he could be good enough on his own, per his "key" verse that he had showed me. He claimed that he had learned in the Mexican prison about not wanting to be harmed, so he harmed no one. Kinda sounds like the old Wiccan saying to me. This guy was extremely lost and not open to the Gospel, I pray that God would work in his heart, convicting him of his sins so that he might repent and believe.

The drummer from last week returned and had a friend with his own drum set, so it was twice as loud. We handed out tracts, but weren't able to get into to many One 2 One conversations or do any Open Air.

Later, Melissa (the woman with the URL's) showed up, blowing bubbles and debating her idea of science with us. I'm not sure why she comes out there. Just as the "atheists" used to come out, she comes to debate because she hates our message. It would seem that people would simply avoid things that they dislike, rather than search them out to argue about them. I guess it's a good sign that she's hearing the Word every time she comes out. Maybe one of these days the Lord will reach down and take away her objections, showing her that none of these things matter in light of eternity.

Soli Deo Gloria

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Saturday 07-02-11

Well, I haven't posted anything here in a couple of weeks. I was at Kids Camp for four days the previous weekend, and had a lot of stuff going on when I got back. However, we did make it out to Mill Ave on Saturday for some evangelizing.

Tom and I arrived to find some protesters on the corner. They seemed to be Muslim, as the women were wearing head coverings. We talked to them and found that they were protesting for the freedom of Syria. Apparently, there had been something on 360 with Anderson Cooper that revealed some brutalities going on during protests there.

We set up nearby and Tom took a couple of people through the Good Person Test, giving away glowsticks to anyone willing to participate. We were trying something new, using a splitter for a second mic. I held the second mic for the person going through the test, so that they could be heard.

One of them, Sadie, didn't like the message and held to "her god" who would forgive everyone, without the need to turn from sin (repentance) and trust in Christ alone to pay her penalty. She didn't understand the need of a Savior, and hopefully thought further about how her idolatrous "god" that allows people to continue in their sins (Hebrews 10:26-27) has no power to save and in fact, doesn't even exist. Keep her in prayer that the one true God of the Bible will reveal Himself to her and draw her for salvation.

After the protesters left, a man came by on the other side and set up a drum set. We moved a little further over so that we could be heard. It was pretty hot out, so when he took a break, I offered him an ice cold water bottle and a Gospel tract, which he thanked me for.

Junior and Cassandra were another couple that went through the Good Person Test. Junior looked angry, but was actually very receptive to the Gospel message. Someone else stopped by to interrupt, asking us if we'd ever been to Jerusalem. We said that we had not, and she claimed that she had. I really have no idea what sort of point that was supposed to make. But Junior and Cassandra wanted to hear our message and told her to go away and stop interrupting, which she did.

We went to IHOP afterward to hang out in fellowship before heading home. We had an interesting discussion about whether or not the Law (Ten Commandments) is still relevant today. I believe it is, but that subject is worth a separate post of it's own, which I'm working on. Meanwhile, if anyone has an interest, you can click the tab at the top labeled WOTM.

Soli Deo Gloria