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Excerpt from Thom Rainer’s article. To view original, please click on this link

 

Seven Characteristics

It is inevitable that, when we do research on evangelistic churches, we learn about one or more members in the church who, to use the book title by Charles H. Spurgeon, embody the traits of “The Soul Winner.” Oftentimes one of those members is the pastor. But we have also seen many laypersons who are themselves soul winners.

In our interviews with these people, or with those who tell us about the soul winners, we began to discern some clear patterns. We called those patterns “the seven characteristics of highly evangelistic Christians.”

1. They are people of prayer. They realize that only God can convict and convert, and they are totally dependent upon Him in prayer. Most of the highly evangelistic Christians spend at least an hour in prayer each day.

2. They have a theology that compels them to evangelize. They believe in the urgency of the gospel message. They believe that Christ is the only way of salvation. They believe that anyone without Christ is doomed for a literal hell.

3. They are people who spend time in the Word. The more time they spend in the Bible, the more likely they are to see the lostness of humanity and the love of God in Christ to save those who are lost.

4. They are compassionate people. Their hearts break for those who don’t have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. They have learned to love the world by becoming more like Christ who has the greatest love for the world.

5. They love the communities where God has placed them. They are immersed in the culture because they desire for the light of Christ to shine through them in their communities.

6. They are intentional about evangelism. They pray for opportunities to share the gospel. They look for those opportunities. And they see many so-called casual encounters as appointments set by God.

7. They are accountable to someone for their evangelistic activities. They know that many good activities can replace Great Commission activities if they are not careful. Good can replace the best. So they make certain that someone holds them accountable each week, either formally or informally, for their evangelistic efforts.

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 By Paul Proctor – January 13, 2010 – NewsWithViews.com

I have addressed, on numerous occasions, the Church’s ongoing efforts to reinvent Christianity into a global religion of Results & Relationships by using the powers of pragmatism and consensus to artificially grow itself into something more widely accepted by the world instead of faithfully proclaiming the Word of God “in season and out” as we are commanded to do in 2nd Timothy 4:2. The leaders of the new spirituality and its church growth movement have always had a hard time avoiding the “wide gate” and “broad way” choosing clever methods of “evangelism” that are not only incompatible with God’s Word, but also prove them unwilling to trust Him with the increase – ever looking for something more clever, spectacular and impressive to glory in and boast about to a watching world.

“…for men to search their own glory is not glory.” – Proverbs 25:27b

“So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.” – 1Corinthians 3:7

There’s no better example of this than a recent story from The Baptist Standard where Christians are encouraged by a “veteran missionary” to employ what’s called “The Camel Method” to evangelize, where the Quran is used, instead of the Bible, to share Christ with Muslims – a method that reportedly utilizes “selected verses” and “doesn’t teach or lecture, but asks questions.”

Isn’t this exactly what dialectically trained facilitators have done for years in many seeker-sensitive and purpose driven churches to draw and hold large and diverse crowds of potential converts with a lot of non-offensive opinion sharing and relationship building in order to find common ground and greater tolerance for one another through compromise and group dynamics? That may be the agenda of global socialists at the United Nations, but it’s not the Bible’s agenda for Christians or the gospel of Jesus Christ. I’m sure the UN would have no problem with a program like this where sidelining biblical truths for a contrived unity is celebrated and syncretism is the spirituality of choice.

“There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” – Proverbs 14:12

According to the report, missionary Kevin Greeson, who “has served 16 years with the Southern Baptist International Mission Board,” is “working to start Christian movements among Muslims in Bangladesh, Pakistan and Nepal…” adding that “his goal focuses less on individual conversions and more on starting spiritual movements that will result in thousands of Muslims becoming followers of Christ.”

Greeson: “Our generation can’t afford to be satisfied or happy with winning one lost person to Christ. There are so many lost people, we can’t be happy with that.”

“…I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.” – Luke 15:10

Certainly most Christians would like to see more than one person they witness to repent and receive Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, but where in God’s Word are we commanded to “take up thy Quran” and “go ye into all the world and start a movement?” Sure it sounds lofty and high-minded in our Big Box culture where consumers like to impress each other and get the most for the least; but isn’t this more of an exercise in ecumenical egomania and spiritual sleight-of-hand than humble obedience to Jesus’ call to “take up thy cross” and “go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature?”

It’s alarming enough that the Bible is set aside with this method of “evangelism,” but it’s outright heresy that Jesus Christ is presented as the son of Allah, since Allah was widely recognized and worshipped as a pagan moon god even before there was a Mohammed.

How then can the truth set you free if it begins with a lie?

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” – Isaiah 55:8-9

 

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Foreword: The Legacy of Antioch was preached by John Piper on October 25, 2009, his exposition on Acts 11:19-26 interspersed with a topic on partnering for missions. Hereunder is an excerpt from that sermon which I would like to share to you with the hopes as well that anyone who is called in the “sending” or in the “going” for missions will be encouraged further for the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

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The Church in Antioch

19 Now those who were scattered because of the persecution that arose over Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia and Cyprus and Antioch, speaking the word to no one except Jews. 20 But there were some of them, men of Cyprus and Cyrene, who on coming to Antioch spoke to the Hellenists also, preaching the Lord Jesus. 21 And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number who believed turned to the Lord. 22 The report of this came to the ears of the church in Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch. 23 When he came and saw the grace of God, he was glad, and he exhorted them all to remain faithful to the Lord with steadfast purpose, 24 for he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And a great many people were added to the Lord. 25 So Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul, 26 and when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. For a whole year they met with the church and taught a great many people. And in Antioch the disciples were first called Christians.” – Acts 11:19-26

I have asked the Lord to help me choose words so that one or more of these eight implications will penetrate hundreds of hearts that he has been preparing for this work. Some of you are ready and only need guidance. Others of you are sensing a change of life on the horizon, and you need God to push you over the edge of your dream. And some you will be awakened to a new calling from the Lord for the first time today. And the rest will, I pray, rededicate yourselves to aggressive involvement in sending. There are only three kinds of people in relation to missions: Goers, Senders, and Disobedient.

1. Someone must cross the cultural barriers that separate unreached peoples from the gospel.

Some of you are being called to this hardest of all work. Look at Acts 11:19-20.

Now those who were scattered because of the persecution that arose over Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia and Cyprus and Antioch, speaking the word to no one except Jews. But there were some of them, men of Cyprus and Cyrene, who on coming to Antioch spoke to the Hellenists also, preaching the Lord Jesus.

The Hellenists in this context means Greek-speaking Gentiles. Till now the gospel was spreading mostly along the mono-cultural lines of Judaism from synagogue to synagogue (with the exception of Cornelius in Acts 10). But in Antioch, someone broke through the barriers of language and culture and spoke the gospel to the Gentiles.

Is that you? Is God stirring you, moving you? Would you consider giving your life to this? There is no other way for the church to fulfill her mission in the world. God will raise up the workers and send them out. What an honor we have to send them. And what an honor it would be if you were one of them.

2. Don’t wait to be forced out by persecution.

Look at Acts 11:19: “Now those who were scattered because of the persecution that arose over Stephen traveled.” The believers in Jerusalem were not leaving on mission voluntarily. It took a persecution to force them into mission.

Little did Stephen know that one of the great effects of his death would be the mission of the church outside Jerusalem because people were driven away. So my point is simply this: Don’t wait till someone has to die to move out of America—or across the street to the Somalis or the Native Americans. God has his ways to loosen our roots and move us. Some of them are gentle—like a still small voice—and some are severe—like the death of a great man. Tune your heart, and discern how God is leading. Do it before you have to do it.

3. The hand of the Lord will be with you, when you follow him into his mission.

Acts 11:21: “And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number who believed turned to the Lord.”

When Jesus gave the Great Commission in Matthew 28:20, he closed with a promise, one of the sweetest in the Bible—one that has sustained many missionaries in the darkest hours. “Behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Jesus gave us this promise so that as you sit there and ponder how he may be changing your whole life-course, you will have ringing in your ears: Don’t be afraid. I am going to be with you. I am going to be with you.

4. Be willing to serve a work that God has already begun.

Acts 11:22-23: “The report of this [pioneer breakthrough in Antioch] came to the ears of the church in Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch. When he came and saw the grace of God, he was glad, and he exhorted them all to remain faithful to the Lord with steadfast purpose.”

Barnabas was not the first on the ground in Antioch. He did not begin the work. He was sent to serve what someone else began. He was building where someone else had laid the foundation. Some of you are called to do this. It is a noble work.

It means that dozens of jobs that are done here at home in the midst of thousands of churches and tens of thousands of Christians could be done in a place where the church is younger and smaller. Many of you are being loosened from your roots these days to make such a move.

5. The main prerequisite for this work is not great gifts but great grace.

Acts 11:23-24: “When he [Barnabas] came and saw the grace of God, he was glad, and he exhorted them all to remain faithful to the Lord with steadfast purpose, for he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And a great many people were added to the Lord.”

There is no reference here to Barnabas’ gifts, but only to his graces—that is, his spiritual and moral qualities, not his skills. Verse 24: He was good. He was full of the Holy Spirit. And he was full of faith. The effect was that God worked. He added people to the Lord. God is not mainly looking for great gifts. He is looking for great faith that is willing to be filled with the Holy Spirit and then does good. God may be calling you not because you have great gifts, but because he has taught you to trust him implicitly. I don’t mean there are no qualifications. I mean they may not be as insurmountable as you think.

6. When you sense God’s leading, recruit others to go with you.

Acts 11:24-25: “So Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul, and when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch.”

Acts doesn’t tell us that God told Barnabas to do this. It just says he did it. He needed help and he knew someone who would be a good helper. So he recruited him. And Saul came. Don’t be afraid of saying to a friend, “Would you consider going with me?”—or to a couple, “Would you consider going with us?” Many times in history God has called a person through the forthright requests of others.

7. In all your evangelism and church planting, don’t neglect to teach the converts and to take them deep into the gospel and build them up so they are stable and strong.

Acts 11:23 says that Barnabas “exhorted them all to remain faithful to the Lord with steadfast purpose.” And in verse 26, it says that Barnabas and Saul together focused on teaching. “For a whole year they met with the church and taught a great many people.”

What if God sends a great awakening? What if he gives a great harvest and grows the church with a great response the way he did in Antioch? Verse 21: “A great number who believed turned to the Lord.” Verse 24: “A great many people were added to the Lord.” What will you do if God sends such blessing?

Don Carson tells of talking to woman who had been converted during the Welsh Revival of 1904-1905. That conversation was, he says, “an inexpressibly glorious half hour.” But then he commented on how sad it is that so little of the revival was preserved. “Almost nothing was done to capture or develop theological schools, multiply Bible teaching, or train a new generation of preachers.” So Carson makes this amazing pledge, and I turn it into an exhortation to some of you:

Should the Lord in his mercy ever pour out large-scale revival on any part of the world where I have influence, I shall devote all my energy to teaching the Word, to training a new generation of godly pastors, to channeling all of this God-given fervor toward doctrinal maturity, multiplication of Christian leaders, evangelistic zeal, maturity in Christ, genuine Christian “fellowship.”8

In other words, he would do what Barnabas and Saul did. They saw a great ingathering, and they taught and taught and taught. They strengthened the believers. They sank the roots of the people down deep. They brought stability. They built a foundation for missions.

All over the world (you read this in all the literature), the cry is for trained, strong, Bible-saturated leaders. What will your part be in raising them up?

8. Be open to a significant change in your life.

Some of you know that God is making you restless where you are. You sense deeply that what you are doing now is not what you will be doing for long. Others of you need to think seriously about whether your present secure and established position maybe is not a path to security or an exit ramp to retirement, but a runway for taking off into something new in missions.

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Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: By John Piper. © Desiring God. Website: desiringGod.org

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Man hath a free will to go to hell, but none to go to heaven, till God worketh in him to will and to do his good pleasure.” – George Whitefield

 

George Whitefield was born on December 16, 1714, in Gloucester, England. The youngest225px-George_Whitefield_(head) of seven children, he was born in the Bell Inn where his father, Thomas, was a wine merchant and innkeeper. George Whitefield is considered by many as the greatest evangelist of all  time. Whitefield was an astounding preacher from the beginning. Though he was slender in build, he stormed in the pulpit as if he were a giant. Within a year it was said that “his voice startled England like a trumpet blast.” At a time when London had a population of less than 700,000, he could hold spellbound 20,000 people at a time at Moorfields and Kennington Common. For thirty-four years his preaching resounded george-whitefield-picturethroughout England and America. In his preaching ministry he crossed the Atlantic thirteen times and became known as the ‘apostle of the British empire.’ He was a firm Calvinist in his theology yet unrivaled as an aggressive evangelist. Though a clergyman of the Church of England, he cooperated with and had a profound impact on people and churches of many traditions, including Presbyterians, Congregationalists, and Baptists. Whitefield, along with the Wesleys, inspired the movement that became known as the Methodists. Whitefield preached more than 18,000 sermons in his lifetime, an average of 500 a year or ten a week. He died in the parsonage of Old South Presbyterian Church,  Newburyport, Massachusetts on September 30, 1770. He was buried, according to his wishes, in a crypt under the pulpit of this church.

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Foreword

My cousin, Susan, brought my attention to an article entitled ‘John Calvin: Comeback Kid’ by Timothy George posted in Christianity Today on September 8, 2009.  Although I do not fully agree always with some of the  views of the various contributors published in this magazine, may I direct you to view the full printer-friendly article though this LINK, while an excerpt is pasted below.  Indeed there is a resurgence of Reformed Theology today, thank God! The article is a primer of sorts in answer to the the following questions: Why does Calvin persist as such a controversial—and monumental—figure in the Christian story? Why does he still generate such contrary emotions? What has kept Calvin from fading into the shadows of church history? 

‘John Calvin: Comeback Kid’ contain the following sections:

  • Introduction
  • Late Bloomer
  • Ministry ‘On the Boundary’
  • A Churchly Reformer
  • ‘Preforeordestination’
  • Theology for Trekkers
  • Complex, Inconsistent
  • Calvinism Reborn

I pasted an excerpt below which brings a testimony to fore on  the fact that Reformed Christians (or Calvinists) were instrumental to a robust missionary movement in the last few hundred years contrary to what others have said concerning predestination-election theology that purports to make one complacent in the Great Commission.

Timothy George (ThD, Harvard University) is founding dean of Beeson Divinity School in Birmingham, Alabama, and a senior editor of Christianity Today. He is the author or editor of more than twenty books, including Theology of the Reformers and God the Holy Trinity. He also serves as the general editor of the Reformation Commentary on Scripture, a 28-volume work of 16th-century biblical comment forthcoming from InterVarsity Press.

 

Excerpt from John Calvin: Comeback Kid

Theology for Trekkers

In Calvin’s day, Geneva became a great center for church planting, evangelism, and even “foreign” missions: a group of Protestants supported by Admiral de Coligny carried the message of Christ to the far shores of Brazil in 1557, more than 60 years before the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock. William Carey, the father of modern missions in the 18th century, went to India with a Calvinist vision of a full-sized God—eternal, transcendent, holy, filled with compassion, sovereignly working by his Holy Spirit to call unto himself a people from every nation, tribe, and language group on earth.

In Book Three of the Institutes, Calvin treats predestination and prayer in contiguous chapters (Institutes3.20-21). The universal appeal of Calvin’s thought is expressed clearly in this petition he prepared for his liturgy “The Form of Prayers”:

We pray you now, O most gracious God and merciful father, for all people everywhere. As it is your will to be acknowledged as the Savior of the whole world, through the redemption wrought by your son Jesus Christ, grant that those who are still estranged from the knowledge of him, being in the darkness and captivity of error and ignorance, may be brought by the illumination of your Holy Spirit and the preaching of your Gospel to the right way of salvation, which is to know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent (John 17:3).

…One of the mysteries of the mystique of Calvinism is how such a high predestinarian theology could motivate so many of its adherents to such intense this-worldly activism. Calvinism was certainly a dynamic force in shaping the contours of the modern world, including features of it that most of us would not want to live without, such as the rule of law, the limitation of state power, and a democratic approach to civil governance. Though Max Weber was off the mark in identifying the “spirit of capitalism” with the Puritan desire to find assurance of election in a joyless acquisitiveness, he was right to point to the importance of Calvinist ideals—thrift, hard work, fair play, personal responsibility—in the development of a robust economic system.

Calvin’s theology was meant for trekkers, not for settlers, as historian Heiko Oberman put it. In the 16th century, Calvinist trekkers fanned out across Europe initiating political change as well as church reform from Holland to Hungary, from the Palatinate to Poland, from Lithuania to Scotland, England, and eventually to New England. In its drive and passion, in its world-transforming vision, Calvinism was an international fraternity comparable only to the Society of Jesus in the era of the Reformation. It is perhaps ironic that Calvin and Ignatius Loyola studied at the same time in the same school in Paris.

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A major Philippine e-newspaper announces, “Christmas came early this year for a lucky bettor who hit the P150.9 million jackpot in Sunday night’s 6/49 SuperLotto draw…” Christmas has been traditionally associated with the birth of Jesus Christ on December 25 since Rome adopted it for a pagan holiday (winter solstice) around 354AD. How the world has denigrated the message of Christmas is never more pronounced than this headline! Idolatrous consumerism, materialism, self-indulgence and greed became the symbols of this most significant day. One may suppose that I am a romish traditionalist, which I am not, but we evangelicals must admit that many among us too are smitten by a worldly orientation of Christmas, mixing into it shades of the Gospel. But wait a minute! Why am I writing about Christmas when its only the beginning of September???

The Bible nor any secular source do not have records of the exact date of Christ’s incarnation. Neither was the gregorian calendar existing at that time. We do have bits and pieces of biblical information that may give us an idea, like the rulership of Caesar Augustus in Rome and Governor Quirinius in Syria (Luke 2:1-2), or the time of census which necessitated Joseph to take the pregnant Mary with the unborn incarnate Messiah from Nazareth to Bethlehem (Luke 2:4-6). Perhaps even the climate that allowed shepherds to stay out in the night to guard their flocks might provide us some clue (Luke 2:8). A number of bible commentators put the Lord’s birth between 6–2 BC (based on the gregorian calendar) and perhaps, after the harvest season (similar to Israel’s September to October), not considering global warming, of course.

Contrast now the announcement made on that particular moment of human history, when an angel appearAnnouncemented to the shepherds in a field in the region of Bethlehem, and the glory of the Lord surrounded them, proclaiming the arrival of the promised Messiah. Then the dark of the night sky was opened to reveal a heavenly host giving praise to God Most High (Luke 2:1-14). “Fear not, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people” was the initial declaration of the first angel, while the chorus of angelic hosts that followed praised and said “Glory to God in highest and on earth peace among those whom He is pleased!”

Good news and peace! This is the headline that marked the message of the  incarnation of the Son of God whose name is Jesus (Matthew 1:21) because He will accomplish salvation and the forgiveness of sin for  a particular group of men and women from every tribe, tongue and nation to be at peace with God in Him. And so goes Christmas redemption story that Jesus Christ was born into this world as foretold by God in Genesis 3 :14-15, and through the prophets in many generations down Israel’s history while in these last days, in the Son Himself (Hebrews 1:1-2; note that the Greek says en huio, literally ‘in Son’ – meaning Jesus is more than the final herald of the message, but the message Himself).

To infer then that the biblical ‘Christmas’ message has come early into a person’s life is to mean that the good news (euanggelion, Gospel) of Christ’s redemption has reached him . The only gift that will matter to all men is the message of the Person of Jesus Himself who gave His life as a ransom for many. Salvation was realized during His birth, fulfilled at His death on the cross, and affirmed in His resurrection from the dead. This is the good news of great joy for anyone who believes!

Should a man look somewhere or for something else to bring him great joy and peace, he won’t find it and end up with the bad news of unspeakable misery in the fiery pit, weeping and gnashing his teeth, forever banished from presence of the one and only Savior, Jesus Christ.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him. Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.” – John 3:16-18

Redemption story does not wait for December 25. As the Scriptures say, “Behold now is the favorable time, behold now is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2)

 

GOSPEL SUMMARY

by John Hendryx, contributor to Reformation Theology and founder of Monergism.com

  • Man was created to glorify God & Enjoy Him forever “Worthy are you, our Lord and our God to receive glory and honor and power, for You created all things.” (Revelation 4:11) “Do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31)
  • Man has failed to glorify God & is under His just condemnation “For all have sinned…” (Romans 3:23). The wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23) “These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction” (2 Thessalonians 1:9)
  • Jesus fully bore the wrath and suffered the punishment sinners deserve. Not wishing that sinners perish forever, God determined to save a people for Himself in the Eternal Son who became a man and lived the life we should have lived and died the death we justly deserve. God loves sinners and sent His Son to be the wrath absorbing sacrifice for their sin (1 John 4:10; John 6:37) he “…gave His life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45) & “rose again” from the dead (2 Corinthians 5:15) on their behalf.
  • All who, by the grace of God, turn to Jesus in repent submissive faith are forgiven & begin a life-changing, eternally satisfying relationship with God! “Repent and believe the gospel (Mark 1:5). “In Your presence is fullness of Joy (Psalm 16:11)

For a more detailed analysis of the Gospel click here

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And  even  if  our  gospel  is  veiled,  it  is  veiled only to  those  who  are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has  shone  in  our  hearts  to give the light of he knowledge of the glory of God in the face of  Jesus Christ. – 2 Corinthians 4:3-6

In almost all cases of evangelism that I have been involved with, the most common reactions I get from unbelievers were, either believing in Christ because of the good news of salvation, indifference, anger and persecution or outright rejection of the Person of Jesus Christ. Some would not admit to rejection, saying that they love the Lord but would prefer to stay on their current belief system (without realizing, of course, that they really do not love the Lord). 

These past few days I have a one-on-one evangelism with an officemate. About a year ago, the opportunity first arose for evangelism with him but he would prefer to stay in his adulterous relationship.  However lately, because of a cultic problem that some members of his family in the southern Philippines are involved in, he came to me in obvious distress over the situation and began to ask about certain Scriptures.  As always, the explanation I gave him dealt with the context of the section from which he ripped the verses off, and most assuredly pointing him to Jesus Christ to whom the Scriptures testify.  During a course of 3 days, I explained carefully, choosing the simplest words possible, reasoned with him from the bible and pleaded with him on his need to repent and turn to the Lord in faith according to truth before we can really address the demonic activity with which his family is embroiled in. I find it very necessary to explain to him his need for the Savior. I remember Tozer’s words that the bible is for the elect only (meaning, only the regenerated of heart will understand it).

I write this because for the first time, as far as I could remember, I have observed Scriptures and explanation flying over the top of someone’s head, so to speak.  He would ask, I would explain, and then he continues with the same issues as if nothing was heard. He would not reject it nor receive it, but  would just go on about what concerns him. The more I engaged him with the Gospel, the more he becomes “unhearing”; like nothing was really going through his ears and mind, at least in a cognitive way.  It would have been more comprehensible for me if he would outright reject it after having some amount of understanding.  It was just amazing (in a bad sort of way)!

The Bible explicitly teaches that none will understand unless God unfolds his Word. This is a monergistic work of God.  A part of Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians quoted above, we read in verse 5 that it is God who “speaks” and “shines in the heart” the Gospel, and unless God will do that through the agency of the Holy Spirit as the Gospel of Jesus Christ is preached, everyone will remain in the blindness of their own minds  which has resulted from man’s fatal concurrence to Satan’s blasphemous words at the garden of Eden, “did God really say…?” The devil has blinded the mind of this man that he could not at all comprehend the truth.  In the end, his non-repentance (but claimed he had “faith in the Lord”) proved that he is still unregenerated. May God shine the light of the Gospel of His Son in this man’s heart.

In conclusion, I am confident that I explained to him the whole Gospel while at the same time relying on God to grant him grace so that he may see and hear, and that he may turn from his wicked ways and be healed from spiritual blindness.  Yet, I felt grief for him for the total darkness of his soul and the fiery place away forever from the love of God that awaits him for his unbelief.  Hope is nonetheless alive for as long as there is breath in this man, there is no ceasing in looking towards the Lord for His mercies upon him.

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