Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Journey pt 8 They're just not saved

The hard part about fessing up to being lost was that I was teaching in a Christian school. Not only that, but on the church bulletin, it was written that I was an assistant pastor. Afterwards, this fueled my desire to study church polity as during my eventual baptism, the senior pastor said, "This is the second pastor who has worked for me that has gotten saved..."

My brother John gave me a preaching tape titled, "The need for a proper concept of salvation in the church" it was a sermon on Acts 18 and 19. The thrust of the message was the question, "have you received the Holy Spirit since you believed?" God finally brought me to the end of myself. I knew in my heart of hearts that I was lost, that I had to either admit it and face up to it now or harden my heart and stop letting this tear me up inside. I was holding on to the fact that it would be so embarressing - but the Lord quickly gave me the alternative to that position,
Luk 12:5 But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.

God saved me, I prayed and made sure I covered all the important topics, blood, cross, trinity, resurrection etc. but the work had already been done and I was simply confessing the finished work. That is what it means to confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus! Repentance and Faith come AFTER regeneration. For what part do we play in our physical birth? John 3 took on a whole new meaning for me as did many other Scriptures and my understanding of conversion. My wife was excited for me- she now tells me that the thought that went through her mind was 'I wonder if God will ever save me.'

I was thrilled, a huge burden and weight had been removed from off my back. I had perma-grin. I first called my brother and told him, he was quite happy. Then, an interesting thing happened, as I began to tell the leaders in my church that I had been saved the reaction was less than exuberant to say the least. Their responses took 3 different forms- Some made light of it, he came in to talk to me after I told him and said, "Guess what? I got saved!" I was thrilled for the moment only to soon realize that he was joking.
Another pastor in the church reacted in a sort of 'oh well, good for you' manner and the head pastor came to the point where he questioned whether I wasn't really saved already.

I was so full, their negativity barely phased me. The Scriptures came alive to me. I preached a replica of the sermon I had heard on the tape to the kids in chapel and two kids were convicted and said God had saved them. Later in the week upon speaking with one of the two, she was quite frustrated because none of the pastors even seemed to be happy for her. I/we were experiencing a mini-revival in our church school and the leaders didn't seem to joyful about it.

I cannot explain how the full riches of memorizing scriptures and being brought up by a godly mother now FLOODED MY SOUL. MANY gaps were filled in, the crooked things were made straight. I became somewhat of a Boanerges even then because I realized one very clear truth. The problem in the church is that most people have the same testimony I had and they are just NOT SAVED! The more I grow, the more I study the Scriptures and serve in the church, the more I see everyone professing to be converted when there is no biblical support or fruit to such claims. Have you received the Holy Ghost since you believed?

Matthew 7:13-14 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

Matthew 7:22-23 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

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