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AdamL

All things are become new

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II Corinthians 5:17 says Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

Within the past couple months at the church I am a member of has seen a few folks get saved and folks join the church.  I praise the Lord for that.  But something seems to be off.

According to the verse above when we are in Christ old things are passed away and all things are become new.  My old life is dead and buried and I'm given a new life in Christ.  Why is there then for lack of a better word so many "worthless" Christians?  "Christians" that would rather live like the world then live the more abundant life that they have been given in Christ.

I started personal discipleship with a new couple in our church.  They were coming to every service, wife joined the choir, husband started doing some maintenance things around the church.  Now within a couple months things have happened and we have probably lost the couple.

Another guy joined the church recently, he's a graduate of a popular Bible college, he came to one or two services since then and is living in sin.

I used to think that it was a problem with lack of discipleship, we just get them saved and forget about them.  But when you are doing personal discipleship and encouraging folks to come to all services and get involveId and befriend them, I'm not sure that is the problem.

I'm concerned about whether the professions of faith we are seeing are true or not.  I am a firm believer in and it is taught at my church that if there is no conviction there is no conversion.  I have never seen anyone rushed through a gospel presentation and pushed to say a prayer.  People are given a thorough presentation, time is taken, and no one forces anyone to do anything.

Only God knows folks hearts but we see the fruit or lack thereof that is produced.

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AdamL,

Thank you for your thoughts on 2 Corinthians 5:17. Sometimes all of us wonder about whether or not some of our converts are true converts or not. Most of the pastors and soul-winners I know are cautious on how they deal with people and only desire true conversions. As you have seen some notable examples of the sad condition of some converts I think all of us have experienced the same thing. I think, maybe, part of the problem is the open acceptance of immorality in our generation.

I think all of us need to encourage one another in this matter. As you concluded that only God knows the true condition of the converts and why fruit is not evidenced. In this situation I always think of Nahum 1:7, "The LORD is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him." May Nahum's words bless your heart.

Alan

Edited by Alan
grammer

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All I can do is refer to my own life

I was saved pretty young, and I know, looking back, that there was a difference within me. I tried to witness to friends a couple times, but got shut down quick and got discouraged, and just kind of became a Sunday Christian. 

In my home, there was little Christian living-not that there was rampant sin or swearing or drinking or anything-there wasn't; just the only Christianity at home was praying over meals and praying at night-there was no Bible reading with the family, (I remember my father tried to start it, but it quickly fizzled out), no discussion of biblical truths and leading, so Christianity was always just a Sunday thing for us, it never became a part of my active life.

Of course, this carried on into adulthood-I went to church, but lived pretty much as I chose otherwise-yet I ALWAYS had a guilt, which manifested in a "am I really saved?" manner of thinking. I doubted my salvation because I kept doing what I had always done and as it went further, I found it harder to shake the sin out, which made my doubts worse. I came to find that I didn't feel that way because I was not saved, it was the Devil using my lack of growth and insistence on worldly living to drive me further with doubts. Eventually, I can see the hand of God in my life as He got tired of me living as I did-I became an IFB, and suddenly things began to matter, and while it still took some time, the things of God became more important to me, and I sought to live a more godly life. I fought it at times, and fell into the old habits from time to time, but eventually I really began to learn and hold to truths of scripture and doctrine, and eventually, the Lord made me a preacher, (and it was after I submitted myself to service that He REALLY worked me over!)

So, yes, we are new, we are a new creature-just the old man is still present. The old sins pass from our record, but the old man is still there, and we can choose to let that old man control us. I find now the biggest issue is getting people to start reading their Bibles at home during the week, which would help them greatly, and to actually LIVE what they learn, to get them to take what begins as doctrinal theory for them, and make it real in a day-to-day basis. Some do better than others, but we have a big, bright, exciting, crazy world to fight today, with a whole lot more distractions than ever in history, so we need to keep going and faint not.

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I can relate to much of what Mike said. My first few years as a Christian were very much like a roller coaster ride. For awhile I would be "up", on fire for the Lord, trying to learn the Word, trying to live by what i would learn...then for various reasons at different times I would become lukewarm (most often not even realizing it at the time) or I would become distracted by "life", or even become discouraged.

Some of what effected me then is what I see as a problem now. Most Christians are not immersed in Christianity. They go to church, not always a good one, they may watch a preacher on TV (not always a good one), they may have someone at the church they are friendly with at church, but for the most part we Christians in America are very much immersed in the world the rest of the time. Most still have some or all of the same unsaved friends, they work in the same job with the same lost people, the children go to the same ungodly public school, they listen/watch much of the same stuff they did before, the old worldview still dominates most views with the little Christianity that gets in often mixed with those preexisting old worldviews.

Muslims, and some other false religions, find their people most often very immersed in their religion. In America today Christians are expected to keep their religion to themselves, there is an antagonism towards biblical Christianity, Christians don't tend to befriend one another quickly, they don't form the family and community the Bible intends.

Most new believers go through a time of doubting, backsliding, lukewarmness and such which is made all the worse by the lack of being immersed in Christianity.

Eventually some believers become comfortable or think such is the norm so they settle into some level of immature Christian walk and don't even recognize it as such. A hundred Christians gather for church then they all go their separate ways, often to hang out with unsaved friends watching a game, shopping, gathering for a BBQ and the like.

How much different might things be if Christians actually befriended one another, spent time together outside of church, helped one another, got together for weekly or even daily Bible study, spent recreation time together, helped one another in areas of employment and schooling where possible.

From what I've heard from missionaries and talking with Christians from other nations, this is much more a problem in America than in those nations. In many nations when one comes to Christ they are instantly accepted as family by the local Christians and often the unsaved reject them. They more fully grasp the fact they are new creatures in Christ and separate themselves from the things of the world, old associations with the unsaved, and become much more immersed in Christianity and Christian living than do most Christians in America.

Unfortunately, most of our churches, much of our Christian living is far from being what we see exampled in Acts.

Patience and perseverance, with love, is needed in dealing with immature and roller coaster Christians.

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