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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

I got rid of a bunch of Gospel tracts today.. it's interesting how many tracts today don't even have the Gospel in them. (The death, burial, and resurrection.)

I think in some ways we make the Gospel more complicated than it is. Salvation is simple childlike faith and dependence on the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

I think in our zeal to protect from false professions, and easy believism that we have swung too far in the opposite direction. Sometimes giving people the impression that they have to clean up their lives before they can be saved.

I can't tell you how many people I have seen who come from fundamental churches that question their salvation, they say things like "I don't know if I repented enough" or "I don't know if I was sorry enough"...Salvation is us trusting Christ to do it all, it's not us working up enough sorrow or tears, it's not even us making a commitment to give up sins. Yes people have to understand that they are sinners and deserve hell, but to say a sinner has to "give their life to Christ" or "make Jesus Lord of their life" or anything else is preaching a false gospel. Neither is salvation "asking Jesus into your heart."

I am against easy believism 1-2-3 pray after me, but I am also against Lordship Salvation and false views of repentance. The truth is in the middle.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

"The Gospel does get confused through some articulations of faith, repentance, Lordship Salvation and assurance.

The evangelical message is salvation by grace through faith in Christ alone. This, of course, is based on the finished work of Christ, who died for us and rose again. The focus of the Gospel is on Jesus, based on His finished work.

There is no debate that Jesus is Lord. The debate revolves around what is the condition for salvation. The Gospel is blurred when:

  • Faith and/or repentance are articulated in a way that switches the focus from the object of faith—Jesus—to the subject of faith—man.
  • Faith is made something other than, or more than, dependence on Jesus.
  • Repentance is made something more than the flip side of faith, which makes repentance a work.
  • Assurance is made to be by works rather than faith.

Salvation is not your commitment to change (self-dependence), but your dependence on the changer—Jesus (God-dependence). Faith is not a work, but dependence on the worker—Jesus. The condition for salvation is dependence on Jesus—plus nothing, minus nothing. If you twist the condition to be or include your commitment to change or your willingness to change, then you have switched the object of faith to yourself from Jesus.

However, many who blur the condition of salvation do so unwittingly. In other words they would subscribe wholeheartedly to salvation by grace through faith in Christ alone. In that sense they are orthodox concerning the Gospel. Sadly, their confusing articulations of the Gospel undermine their own orthodoxy."

http://revivalfocus.org/q24-another-gospel/

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist
49 minutes ago, Jordan Kurecki said:

I got rid of a bunch of Gospel tracts today.. it's interesting how many tracts today don't even have the Gospel in them. (The death, burial, and resurrection.)

I think in some ways we make the Gospel more complicated than it is. Salvation is simple childlike faith and dependence on the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

I think in our zeal to protect from false professions, and easy believism that we have swung too far in the opposite direction. Sometimes giving people the impression that they have to clean up their lives before they can be saved.

I can't tell you how many people I have seen who come from fundamental churches that question their salvation, they say things like "I don't know if I repented enough" or "I don't know if I was sorry enough"...Salvation is us trusting Christ to do it all, it's not us working up enough sorrow or tears, it's not even us making a commitment to give up sins. Yes people have to understand that they are sinners and deserve hell, but to say a sinner has to "give their life to Christ" or "make Jesus Lord of their life" or anything else is preaching a false gospel. Neither is salvation "asking Jesus into your heart."

I am against easy believism 1-2-3 pray after me, but I am also against Lordship Salvation and false views of repentance. The truth is in the middle.

This is nothinf to do woth tracts - you are talking about "churched" people bwing confused about assurance.

In the place, this is a teaching problem, not a tract problem. 

In the second place, it is not uncommon for people to have doubts about their salvation. It is, after all, part of what the deciever does.......

 

But yes, there are some very poor tracts out there........

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist
14 hours ago, DaveW said:

This is nothinf to do woth tracts - you are talking about "churched" people bwing confused about assurance.

In the place, this is a teaching problem, not a tract problem. 

In the second place, it is not uncommon for people to have doubts about their salvation. It is, after all, part of what the deciever does.......

 

But yes, there are some very poor tracts out there........

 consider this quote: "It actually cuts at the root of theological paradigms. To reword your question if I understand it rightly, you are asking, “Isn’t evidential change inevitable if you’re really saved?” The question comes down to, “Is evidential change inevitable or is it by faith?”

At salvation, among many great truths, the Holy Spirit moves in to the now regenerated human spirit, bringing the very throne life of Jesus Christ into the believer. There is phenomenal internal change. Therefore, the provision for evidential change is available immediately at salvation. Often, since people are in the mode of looking unto Jesus, they initially keep doing so and access grace for new living. This is evidential change. But when they stop looking to Jesus, no longer walking by faith, they stop accessing grace. Then the “evidence” is no longer seen. But when they walk by faith again, they access grace again, and so on. At any given moment, saved people either walk after the flesh or after the Spirit. We’re all a little schizophrenic!

How much change is “evidence”? This focus makes everything subjective. How much failure is lack of evidence? Did you and I sin today? How about yesterday and the day before that? There is no way to objectively measure this. So people tend to classify sins into the grosser sins and the glossed over sins. They tend to think if people commit the more culturally distasteful sins, they’re not saved, but then overlook sins like bitterness and pride. This is not a fair evaluation.

The point is that the access of grace for change is a matter of faith and not that which is inevitable. “Without faith it is impossible to please him” (Heb. 11:6). If change was inevitable, then the imperatives and admonitions of the New Testament are irrelevant. Certainly, the indwelling Spirit is constantly urging believers to trust to obey. Divine initiation is readily at work—this is inevitable. But change through grace demands a faith response—this faith response is not inevitable. Sadly, at times we yield to the flesh (unbelief) instead of the Spirit (faith).The steps of faith for obedience are just that—steps of faith. They are not inevitable, but rather by faith. Therefore, the ensuing change is not inevitable either. The grace for change comes through faith. “We have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand” (Rom. 5:2).

To come back to your question, the change of mind in repentance results in salvation. Based on the provision of the indwelling Christ and the access by faith to that provision, the change of life can and shouldstart taking place at this point. But is not inevitable; it’s by faith. Faith accesses grace and transformation occurs—but it is only by faith. It’s not automatic.

The fruit of John 15 and the “evidences” of 1 John are both connected repeatedly to the inspired word abide. Jesus defines “abiding” as dependence on Him (John 15:4-5). The word abide occurs over 20 times in 1 John 2-4. Again, “evidences” are not inevitable; they evidence through abiding—the picturesque word for faith.

To help us understand this, we could ask, “Is regeneration inevitable or is it by faith?” In other words, “Does regeneration precede faith or does faith precede regeneration?” Martin Luther and John Calvin both rightly came to the understanding that salvation is by grace through faith. However, they both wrongly understood faith to be a work. This is not a mean-spirited criticism. After the darkness of the dark ages, it is understandable they didn’t see everything right. It was still the early rays of morning light after the dark night, not the brightness of daylight that would follow. But since they wrongly concluded faith to be a human work, they wrongly concluded that you must get regenerated in order to believe (and therefore faith would no longer be a human work). In so doing they made faith inevitable, instead of responsible. (I addressed this more thoroughly in Q#8 Reformed Theology vs. Keswick Theology.) If you’re regenerated, it’s inevitable you would believe.

But faith is not a work. The Bible clearly says so. “But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness” (Rom. 4:5). Faith is something man “does,” but it’s not a work; it is dependence on the Worker. True, no one will believe without the divine initiation of the Spirit’s convincing of sin, righteousness and judgment. In that sense the Spirit offers the “gift” of faith. As when someone convinces you of the worthiness of a particular doctor’s care so that you entrust yourself to his care—and in that sense he has given you the gift of faith in that doctor, the same is true in salvation. When the Spirit convinces you of the worthiness of Jesus as the Savior so that you trust Him to save you—in that sense the Spirit has given you the gift of faith—but only in that sense. You can respond in faith or you can resist (Acts 7:51). It is not an outside alien element entered into you so that you inevitably believe, as in regeneration before faith.

If you conclude that regeneration precedes faith, so that faith for salvation is inevitable, then it would fair to conclude, that faith for change would be inevitable too—and thus evidential evidence would be inevitable. But it would also follow that if it is inevitable, faith for change would be perfect, just as faith for salvation would have to perfectly follow regeneration. But perfect change is not the case.

In actuality when you believe in response to Holy Spirit conviction, you then receive a regenerated spirit providing a place for the Holy Spirit to indwell, who then moves in. Simply put, when you believe in Jesus you receive eternal life (John 3:15, 16, 36; 5:24; 6:47). Faith accesses, and therefore, precedes regenerating grace. Then as you walk by faith, you grow in grace, making “evidential” what has occurred internally. This is what can and should happen, and will happen when you by faith access grace—but it’s not automatic or inevitable; it’s by faith. Here faith accesses transforming grace."

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A brochure to the U.S. military is used to ignite an interest in a young man to go and speak with a recruiter. Sometimes young men make the decision quickly when they take a look at the brochure because to them, it made sense. Sometimes young men go and speak with a recruiter and ask more questions because they simply do not know.

The gospel written on the back of a tract can be used to ignite an interest to know more about how one can be saved and born again. Some people make a decision of salvation based on the gospel written on the tract (depending how it is written) because it "clicked" in their head. Some people need or have more questions to ask.

It's a tool, plus you can't fit much characters into the back of a tract... it's like trying to fit Romans 10:9-13 in a twitter post, you can't because its more than 140 characters.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Hi Jordan,

Rather than there being "one way" when it comes to personal evangelism, I would say that there are as many correct approaches as there are Christians with regards to spreading the Gospel message.  Unfortunately, of course, this does not keep many from incorrect ways, and one reason for that is the influence of the church-visible in its traditions and "normal" ways of doing things.  So while I don't have anything against tracts per se, in my experience, observation and reading of the Bible, it seems to me that a simple conversation with an unbeliever on the part of someone they know or someone with whom they show interest in hearing from is going to be far more effective than handing tracts to strangers.  Not to say that the latter is necessarily wrong, but it is wrong to think of this as "the right way" as opposed to one particular way that some Christians in their own ministries to which they have been called have been guided to proceed.  We are all gifted and we are all given particular ministries in this life . . . if we persevere in growth to get to the point where the Lord puts us into service. All Christians share the responsibility and the privilege of sharing the Word of salvation in Jesus Christ, but some are better at it than others, and some are given more opportunities for it than others.  The key thing to remember that is that this is about Jesus Christ who wants all to be saved and also about the other person who has to decide whether or not to respond to that great Gift.  It is NOT about us.  So our feelings have nothing to do with it.  In other words, we should not feel guilty or bad that others do not come to Christ; but we should be ready to help if they are willing.  And we should not feel proud or justified if and when we have the opportunity to share the gospel; this was their choice, paid for by Jesus Christ (we were just instruments in the process). I'm sure that you understand where I'm coming from as a missionary. 

God Bless,

Daniel

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Different tools and/or approaches affect different people in different ways.

I know a man who was given a tract on Halloween and stuck it in his coat pocket. A month later (after his daughter died) he found it (while looking for a cigarette). He went to the church named on the tract and two services later got saved. One man, backslidden after a nasty church split, got right after finding a tract in a public restroom. Another man found a tract while cleaning a bathroom, read it and got saved. For my f-i-l it took a personal letter from a co-worker, pieces of witness from my wife and I, and the witness of a two former Marines ---- over the course of 34 years. My wife grew up knowing Jesus died, was buried and rose again for redemption from sin, but never knew she could be reconciled with God NOW (she was raised RC). There are some places where it is considered extremely rude (to the point of being offensive) to begin a conversation with a stranger on the street, places where door knocking is impractical to impossible, places where a mailing ministry is impossible (there are neither building numbers nor mail service in all of Nicaragua, there's only 15 named roads in the whole country). Some people need to handled roughly and some gently.

I could go on, but, we need discernment more than methods.

 

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      “Ah, Grandchild, He was the One who died for me. He died for my sins.”
      Tears of joy lled my eyes as I replied, “Grandmother, I am so very glad to hear what you have said, for God’s Word says that all those who trust only in the Lord Jesus as their Savior, believing that He died for them and then rose again, have all their sins forgiven by God and will never go to Hell. They have eternal life and will be received by God into Heaven.”
      How di erent was the testimony of this illiterate tribal woman compared to that of my wife’s aunt, who went forward in response to an altar call at an evangelistic meeting in Australia. We were excited to think that this may be the rst of Fran’s relatives, outside of her immediate family, to be converted. So, while visiting with her, Fran began to question her regarding her profession. It soon became obvious that her aunt was taken up with her own personal feelings and experience rather than the historical accomplishments of Christ on her behalf. In an endeavor to determine her aunt’s real grounds for assurance, Fran asked her, “Aunty, why did you go forward to the invitation of the preacher? Was it because you realized that you are a sinner?”
      “Sinner? I’m not a sinner!” she exclaimed.
      In spite of her lack of understanding of even the basic truths of Scripture, Christians had accepted her as having been saved simply because she had responded to the invitation.
      Regardless of how careful we may be in questioning professing converts, there will always be those, as portrayed in the Parable of the Sower, who will appear to be Christians but
      will fall away after a time. Being fully aware of this danger is all the more reason why we should do everything we can to retain the purity,simplicity, and objectivity of the Gospel message, so that people will rest in the rightness of Christ’s actions, and not their own. "
    • By Jordan Kurecki
      Of all the verses in the bible that describe God's requirement for man to receive salvation what percentage of them use the words "Faith", "Believe" or "Repent" as opposed to "Ask Jesus into your heart" or even praying a prayer for that matter? I'll help you out, Faith and Believe are found the most over 100 times, Repent is probably second with at least 33 times, and you could maybe argue that 3-5 particular passages describe a prayer, and ZERO times do we find man commanded to "Ask Jesus into your heart"
      Now take those figures and ask yourself if those numbers accurately reflects what we most often emphasis as man's responsibility in salvation is? Maybe we need to rethink about how we are explaining the Gospel to people.
    • By Jordan Kurecki
      in the near future I will begin sending email updates about my journey to and future ministry in Uganda, if you are interested in receiving these update, then please click the link below to subscribe!
      http://eepurl.com/c3Df8T
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