WEAK LEADERSHIP IS HARMFUL

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Leadership is difficult, especially when it involves reproof, warning, and discipline, and it often does. We all prefer to be liked. We would rather be popular than unpopular, but this can get in the way of helping those we should be leading. It is a snare into which any leader can fall, from a father and mother to a policeman to a pastor. Recently I read about a grizzly bear attack in a national park in America. The two people who were killed worked at the park, and they had been instructed and warned about how to conduct themselves around bears, but the leaders (in this case, park rangers and concession managers) didn’t always enforce the rules. Of one of these it was said that he “was highly popular with his employees; his manner tended to be light and jocular.” And though he “laid down the law to” about bear safety, he didn’t follow through with enforcement. When informed that his female employees were ignoring his “law” and walking at night near the bears for romantic interludes, he “threw up his hands” and said “there was a limit to how much advice one could hand out without becoming a bore, and he felt he had reached the limit.” His motive was to be popular and not be a “bore.” In this particular case, the girls in question were not killed by bears, but two others were. We all want to be “liked,” but true love exercises godly reproof and discipline. The Bible says, “He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes” (Proverbs 13:24). The wise parent who loves his child will correct and chasten him even though it is difficult, because the parent cares more about the child and his relationship with God and character and future than he does about his own feelings and conveniences. This is one of the great motivations for a pastor to exercise discipline. Discipline is never easy, not for the giver nor for the recipient, but it is necessary in this fallen world, and when done right according to God’s Word, it is an act of great love. One wise man said, “He who reproves me gives me a gold coin.”

 

(Friday Church News Notes, January 23, 2015, www.wayoflife.org, fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143)

http://www.wayoflife.org/friday_church_news/16_04.php

WHAT IS REPENTANCE?

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“Biblical repentance as preached by John the Baptist, the Lord Jesus Christ, and the apostles, is A CHANGE OF MIND TOWARD GOD AND SIN THAT RESULTS IN A CHANGE OF LIFE. IT IS A SPIRIT-WROUGHT CHANGE OF MIND THAT LEADS TO A CHANGE OF LIFE. It is not a change of life. That would be a works salvation. It is a radical, Spirit-wrought change of mind toward sin and God, such a dramatic change of mind that it changes one’s actions….Those who do not preach repentance or who make light of it or who claim it is the same as faith or who redefine it so that it has nothing to do with sin are not following the Bible pattern for evangelism. They are following a manmade program. The bottom line is that Bible preachers proclaimed repentance. If faith is the same as repentance, this would make no sense. Those who follow the Bible will preach repentance and will require evidence thereof. ”

— David Cloud

“There is a good deal of trouble among people about what repentance really is. If you ask people what it is, they will tell you ‘It is feeling sorry.’ If you ask a man if he repents, he will tell you: ‘Oh, yes; I generally feel sorry for my sins.’ That is not repentance. It is something more than feeling sorry. Repentance is turning right about, and forsaking sin. I wanted to speak Sunday about that verse in Isaiah, which says: ‘Let the guilty forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts.’ That is what it is. If a man don’t turn from his sin, he won’t be accepted of God; and if righteousness don’t produce a turning about—a turning from bad to good—it isn’t true righteousness.”

— D. L. Moody

“Just now some professedly Christian teachers are misleading many by saying that ‘repentance is only a change of mind.’ It is true that the original word does convey the idea of a change of mind; but the whole teaching of Scripture concerning the repentance which is not to be repented of is that it is a much more radical and complete change than is implied by our common phrase about changing one’s mind. The repentance that does not include sincere sorrow for sin is not the saving grace that is wrought by the Holy Spirit. God-given repentance makes men grieve in their inmost souls over the sin they have committed, and works in them a gracious hatred of evil in every shape and form. We cannot find a better definition of repentance than the one many of us learned at our mother’s knee: ‘Repentance is to leave the sin we loved before, and show that we in earnest grieve by doing so no more’”

— Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Ezekiel 18:30 Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, saith the Lord GOD. Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin.

WHAT IS REPENTANCE?

“There is a good deal of trouble among people about what repentance really is. If you ask people what it is, they will tell you ‘It is feeling sorry.’ If you ask a man if he repents, he will tell you: ‘Oh, yes; I generally feel sorry for my sins.’ That is not repentance. It is something more than feeling sorry. Repentance is turning right about, and forsaking sin. I wanted to speak Sunday about that verse in Isaiah, which says: ‘Let the guilty forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts.’ That is what it is. If a man don’t turn from his sin, he won’t be accepted of God; and if righteousness don’t produce a turning about—a turning from bad to good—it isn’t true righteousness.”

— D. L. Moody

“Just now some professedly Christian teachers are misleading many by saying that ‘repentance is only a change of mind.’ It is true that the original word does convey the idea of a change of mind; but the whole teaching of Scripture concerning the repentance which is not to be repented of is that it is a much more radical and complete change than is implied by our common phrase about changing one’s mind. The repentance that does not include sincere sorrow for sin is not the saving grace that is wrought by the Holy Spirit. God-given repentance makes men grieve in their inmost souls over the sin they have committed, and works in them a gracious hatred of evil in every shape and form. We cannot find a better definition of repentance than the one many of us learned at our mother’s knee: ‘Repentance is to leave the sin we loved before, and show that we in earnest grieve by doing so no more’”

—- Charles Haddon Spurgeon

“Biblical repentance as preached by John the Baptist, the Lord Jesus Christ, and the apostles, is A CHANGE OF MIND TOWARD GOD AND SIN THAT RESULTS IN A CHANGE OF LIFE. IT IS A SPIRIT-WROUGHT CHANGE OF MIND THAT LEADS TO A CHANGE OF LIFE. It is not a change of life. That would be a works salvation. It is a radical, Spirit-wrought change of mind toward sin and God, such a dramatic change of mind that it changes one’s actions….Those who do not preach repentance or who make light of it or who claim it is the same as faith or who redefine it so that it has nothing to do with sin are not following the Bible pattern for evangelism. They are following a manmade program. The bottom line is that Bible preachers proclaimed repentance. If faith is the same as repentance, this would make no sense. Those who follow the Bible will preach repentance and will require evidence thereof. ”

— David Cloud

Jeremiah 8:6 I hearkened and heard, but they spake not aright: no man repented him of his wickedness, saying, What have I done? every one turned to his course, as the horse rusheth into the battle.

Ezekiel 14:6 Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Repent, and turn yourselves from your idols; and turn away your faces from all your abominations.

Ezekiel 18:30 Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, saith the Lord GOD. Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin.

Matthew 21:28-30 But what think ye? A certain man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, Son, go work to day in my vineyard. He answered and said, I will not: but afterward he repented, and went. And he came to the second, and said likewise. And he answered and said, I go, sir: and went not.

Acts 8:21-23 Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God. Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee. For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity.

Revelation 16:9-11 And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues: and they repented not to give him glory. And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the seat of the beast; and his kingdom was full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues for pain, And blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds.

THE FRUIT OF THE EVANGELICAL MOVEMENT

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“The evangelical movement took a dramatic new turn in the mid-20th century, and we see the shocking fruit of it today. It is large, influential, wealthy, intellectually interesting, but it is also filled with worldly compromise and heresies. …. As for independent Baptists in particular, they are at the same place today that the New Evangelicals were just a few decades ago. …. Evangelical churches are filled with nominal Christians who do not have a clear new birth testimony….. The purity of the gospel and …. salvation is foundational to maintaining the truth and keeping churches pure, and salvation is a supernatural birth and not a sacramental process. Those who are not saved do not have the indwelling Spirit of truth and cannot properly interpret the Bible and do not have zeal to defend it. …… When you meet a victim of a Quick Prayerism program and try to deal with them about the salvation of his soul, he will reply, “I have done that,” even though he is still living like the devil. What he means is that he has “prayed the prayer” and been given assurance by a Quick Prayerism evangelist. This could be a major reason why the independent Baptist movement has been shot through and through with immorality, biblical shallowness, and carnality. Churches that are not exceedingly careful about salvation and about receiving members can become filled up with nominal Christians.”

— David Cloud

Titus 1:16 They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.

1 John 2:4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.

Isaiah 29:13 Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men:

Mark 7:6 He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.

 

QUICK PRAYERISM

“Quick Prayerism is an evangelistic methodology that is
quick to get people to pray a sinner’s prayer after a shallow
gospel presentation and usually without any hint of the
necessity of repentance (or by redefining repentance to be the
same as faith or to be a mere change of mind).

It is quick to pronounce those people saved and to give
them “assurance” and to try to baptize them even if they
barely show any interest and even if they give zero biblical
evidence of having been born again.

Frequently, Quick Prayerism incorporates psychological
salesmanship manipulation. …..

In Quick Prayerism, an empty “sinner’s prayer” typically
replaces Holy Spirit conviction and miraculous regeneration.
Quick Prayerism is characterized by soul winning reports
that are grossly exaggerated, since the number of real
conversions (as evidenced by changed lives) are tiny
compared to the overall statistics. ……

We realize that not everyone that professes Christ will “pan
out.” There will be false professions in any ministry, but
Quick Prayerism is characterized by the amazing fact that
THE VAST MAJORITY of its professions are EMPTY.”

— David Cloud

NO BAPTIST CHURCHES MENTIONED IN THE BIBLE

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“I have been a Baptist by conviction for 40 years. At the same time, I understand that the name “Baptist” is never used in the Bible in direct connection with the church. God gave the name Baptist to John, but He never called any of the churches a Baptist church. I refuse to go beyond the Bible in these matters and to make more of a name than the Bible itself would support. The Bible is the sole authority for faith and practice. Regardless of how helpful the term “Baptist” might be, and regardless of how renowned its history might be, the fact remains that most Baptist churches today are deeply compromised and multitudes of them are apostate.”

— David Cloud

WHICH JESUS ARE YOU FOLLOWING?

“Those who profess to be Christians quite often have ideas about Jesus that are just as wrong as those people who are not Christians. For example, Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that Jesus is a created god and that He is also Michael the Archangel. Mormons believe Jesus is the spirit brother of Lucifer and that He was married and had children. The followers of Christian Science and the Religious Science religions believe that Jesus was simply a man upon whom the “Christ empowerment” came. Roman Catholics believe that the bread and wine of the Eucharist can be transubstantiated, or changed, into the literal body and blood of Jesus, who is then ingested into one’s stomach. Lutherans believe that Jesus is con substantiated, or present, “in, with, and under” the bread and wine of communion. Such unbiblical beliefs are a mere handful among hundreds promoted by various Christian denominations and cults. Yet what is even more appalling is that an inquiry about Jesus today among those who call themselves evangelicals (Bible-believing Christians!) too often reveals “another Jesus” and a “false Christ.”
–T. A. McMahon (https://www.thebereancall.org/content/jesus-world-loves)

“Consider some of the false christs that are in the world today:

1. The Wafer Jesus who is worshipped in the Roman Catholic mass.
2. The Mormon Jesus who was a polygamist.
3. The Modernist Jesus who was not born of a virgin.
4. The Unitarian Jesus who was not God.
5. The Universalist Jesus who will not send anyone to Hell.
6. The Prosperity Jesus who was wealthy.
7. The Laughing Jesus who “slays” people with his spirit and causes them to laugh uncontrollably and to stagger like drunk men.
8. The Self-esteem Jesus who never called man a sinner and who came merely to build up his self image.
9. The Revolutionary Jesus who was the founder of Liberation Theology.

These are just a few of the false christs in the world today. Beware of those who refuse to expose false christs and false gospels. It is impossible to love the true Jesus without hating the false ones. Those who claim that God has called them to preach only a positive message and not to enter into theological controversy are greatly deceived.”
— David Cloud (http://www.wayoflife.org/database/lovingwhatjesus.html)

There are a lot of people talking about Jesus, but is it the Jesus of the Bible?

2 Corinthians 11:3-4 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.

2 John 1:7-11 For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward. Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.
Some say that they know and love Jesus, but they don’t obey him and His gospel.

John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.

1 John 2:3-6 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.

2 Thessalonians 1:8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:

Which Jesus are you following? Is it the Jesus the world loves or the Jesus the world hates? If you claim to be following the Jesus of the Bible, perhaps you should be thinking to yourself, “if the true Jesus was hated, then I would be hated also!” However, if you are loved by the world, which Jesus are you following?

John 15:18-20 If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.

Is your Jesus the one Thomas followed and said he was God?

John 20:28 And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.

Are you following the Jesus of the Bible who said offending words?

John 6:60-61 Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it? When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, Doth this offend you?

Matthew 13:57 And they were offended in him. But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, and in his own house.

Matthew 11:6 And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.

How do you know you are following the true Jesus?
Are you a fisher of men? Are you denying yourself?  Are you bearing the cross?  Did you lose your life?

Matthew 4:19 And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.

Matthew 16:24-26 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?