True & False Conversion

Convinced May Not Mean Changed, Evans Olang

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Acts 26:28, “Then Agrippa said to Paul, “You almost persuade me to become a Christian.”  

confrontation

To come close but feel like it’s still far is a test we all face. This happens to me many times when I evangelize, there are people who seem to be close but in reality still far, very raw. For those who appear close, we are often tempted to close the deal, ask them to say the sinner’s prayer and proclaim them believers. I see this many times when reports are given of hundreds or thousands of people making decisions to follow Christ through crusades, meetings etc. And my thought, how was the gospel presented and how many of those are truly saved (God saved them). Could it be possible that we are dealing with almost persuaded, people convinced but not changed when 80-90% of those who make a profession of faith fall away? That is the question. Read the rest of this entry »

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Fallen From Grace, Evans Olang

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Galatians 5:1-4, “1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free,  and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage. 2 Indeed I, Paul, say to you that if you become circumcised, Christ will profit you nothing. 3 And I testify again to every man who becomes circumcised that he is a debtor to keep the whole law. 4 You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.”

Law-and-grace

In my study time on Galatians 5, I paused on vs. 4 and started working my way backwards to get a grasp as to what Paul wanted us to understand. Some  have suggested that vs. 4 is one of the strong passages to show that it is possible for one to lose their salvation. I do not believe that is what Paul is addressing here.  Read the rest of this entry »

To Be Saved …, Evans Olang

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Acts 17:30-31, “30 Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, 31 because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.”

Paul in one occasion brought the gospel to the Athenians in Acts 17, very religious people. They believed that there was a force, a being beyond their ability to understand who made all things. In their state, they lacked understanding of who God truly was (is) though they were very religious. Paul says to them vs. 22Men of Athens, I perceive that in all things you are very religious; 23 for as I was passing through and considering the objects of your worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: TO THE UNKNOWN GOD”. Read the rest of this entry »

What’s Wrong With The Gospel? Section 1:”The Missing Parts”, Part 6of6, Keith Green 1953-1982

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What’s Specifically Wrong With Our Modern Gospel?

3. Salvation is Shown as a Barter or Trade, Instead of the Result of Obedience by Faith. We offer forgiveness of sin like Monty Hall on “Let’s Make a Deal.” I’ve even heard, “You give Jesus your sin, and He’ll give you salvation in return!” No one in the Bible ever thought so low of the grace of God to talk about the gift of eternal life like it was for trade. It is a gift! You can’t earn it, or buy it, or give anything in return for it. How it must offend the Holy Spirit to hear people talk of His Jesus so. (Acts 8:18-23) Read the rest of this entry »

What’s Wrong With The Gospel? Section 1:”The Missing Parts”, Part 5of6, Keith Green 1953-1982

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What’s Specifically Wrong With Our Modern Gospel?

1.It’s Me-Centered Instead of Christ-Centered. First and foremost, it is the gospel that appeals to the selfish. Instead of honoring God, it places the sinner at the center of God’s love and plan. But the Bible places Jesus at the center of God’s plan, not the sinner.

One of the most well-known phrases of modern evangelism is “God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life!” But the sober, biblical truth that needs to be presented to the sinner’s mind is “You have made yourself an enemy of God, and in your present state of rebellion there is absolutely no hope for you.” In fact, God’s “plan” for the sinner at this point in his life is to separate him from His presence forever, in hell. However unpopular or unlovely that may sound, it is the only truth and reality about anyone who is an enemy of God through sin. Read the rest of this entry »

What’s Wrong With The Gospel? Section 1:”The Missing Parts”, Part 4of6, Keith Green 1953-1982

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Continued Missing Parts,

8. The Necessity of Holiness to Please God. Hebrews says without holiness “no one shall see the Lord.” (12:14)It is true that Jesus commands us to be perfect. (Matt. 5:48) It is also true that you most likely have never met a perfect person, nor do you probably ever expect to be perfect yourself. Nevertheless, we still have those uncomfortable words of the Lord, Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect”

Now, because of our dilemma in finding ourselves to be such numskulls, and seeing the demands of Jesus, we have invented some pretty interesting and caraaazzeey doctrines. Some Christians have said, “Well, when God looks at us, He doesn’t really see us anymore, He sees Jesus instead. And when there’s ever sin in our hearts, if God should happen to look at the wrong moment, He’ll see a smiling face of Jesus there, instead of seeing our sin. So God sees me as holy – even though I’m not! But…I really am…er, well, you know what I mean!” (I don’t happen to believe that God is that easily fooled, not even by Christians.) Read the rest of this entry »

What’s Wrong With The Gospel? Section 1:”The Missing Parts”, Part 3of6, Keith Green 1953-1982

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Continued Missing Parts,

5. The Fear of God and the Judgment Seat of Christ.Instead of the awesome majesty of Jehovah, today the Lord is presented as a sort of “ice cream man-Santa Claus.” And the Church is the “candy store” where you can get “every goodie your heart desires.” Jesus Himself is portrayed as “a sweetie pie,” so good, so loving, so forgiving, and so gentle, that you can almost hear the preacher whisper, “Aw, He wouldn’t hurt a fly…” But what happened to “It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Heb. 10:31) or “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom’? (Proverbs 9:10)10 Read the rest of this entry »