Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Cardinal Sin of today 'examine yourself'

Make sure you read the excerpt below in blue.
Indeed we live in a day where the church has indeed blurred it's distinction and this because of it's weak evangelistic campaigns. When I say the church, i mean majority (western church). The cost of following Christ is not stressed enough and the art of exposing false motives is also something breezed over. What makes the matter worse is that people are being told by (well-intentioned) people that they are saved, they feel that it's part of their counseling to 'assure' people that they are saved. Well let me ask what do you say to a person that would tell you that they question whether they are saved or not? This is common in any regular type of ministry, I certainly have been posed the question many times: well I'll tell you that by instinct I want to ease their doubts, I want to comfort them, but that's not biblical. That's would not be true love, a love for the soul, we must not be satisfied with less than real fruit. "i said a prayer", "i love church", "I love the preacher", "i want to go on missions trips", and "i love Christian radio". NO NO NO don't settle, do not assume they have grasped the gospel. You must ask some questions, get an idea of where they think they are, get them to tell you how their supposed decision has changed them from that point on (of course they won't have great terminology but listen for true brokenness, true repentance, truly aware of their absolute hopelessness without Christ. Then unless you are absolutely convinced then proclaim the gospel (I've never had someone get angry at that-- just be upfront about your concern "look i wanna share with you what the scriptures say a true Christian is, because the worst thing that could happen to a person is to think they are saved, and be told by the Lord Jesus, "i never knew you, depart from me".)
Let me ask what scriptures you would use to examine (as you present the gospel) someone?
You could use the promises of the new covenant in Ezekiel (36:25-27)and Jeremiah (31:31-34, 32:38-41) or the beatitudes, also a concise in your face approach would be to go to 1 John and go through every chapter examining the direct descriptions of those who 'walk', 'abide', 'love' God. Might take time? Ever examined a school (university or something), perhaps you had to drive hrs away or fly somewhere to review a school for you or a child then shouldn't the state of someone's soul be carefully, with time as no expense, examined? I'll attempt to help on this matter frequently in posts to come.
This is from A.W. Pink 1886-1952 on Apostasy
In the past, dear reader, there have been thousands who were just as confident that they had been genuinely saved and were truly trusting in the merits of the finished work of Christ to take them safely through to Heaven, as you may be. Nevertheless, they are now in the torments of Hell. Their confidence was a carnal one…They were too confident that their faith was a saving one to thoroughly, searchingly, frequently test it by the Scriptures, to discover whether or not it was bringing forth those fruits that are inseparable from the faith of God’s elect. If they read an article like this, they proudly concluded that it belonged to someone else. So cocksure were they that they were born again so many years ago, they refused to heed the command of 2 Corinthians 13:5: “Prove your ownselves.” Now it is too late. They wasted their day of opportunity, and the “blackness of darkness” is their portion forever. In view of this solemn and awful fact, the writer earnestly calls upon himself and each reader to get down before God and sincerely cry, “Search me, O God: reveal me to myself. If I am deceived, undeceive me before it be eternally too late.

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