The journey of a nerd who loves the Lord

“I have been writing this volume while residing in Germany for a teaching trip. I am humbled by penning these 95 theses in the same country as Martin Luther did many years ago. I submit these to the evangelical church of our day and pray that God would allow anything of truth in these pages to bend and change men’s hearts back to God.” – Greg Gordon –

It is useless for large companies of believers to spend long hours begging God to send revival. Unless we intend to reform we may as well not pray. Unless praying men have the insight and faith to amend their whole way of life to conform to the New Testament pattern there can be no true revival. – A.W. Tozer

I am currently reviewing and commenting on  95 theses to the modern evangelical church “revised” by Greg Gordon.  The following discusses pastors and conversion.

 

 

Thesis 52

Run from those that are only after money and they use one gimmick after another to get your money.

2 Peter 2:3 And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.

2 Corinthians 12:14 Here for the third time I am ready to come to you. And I will not be a burden, for I seek not what is yours but you. For children are not bound to save up for their parents, but parents for their children.

1 Corinthians 9:18 What then is my reward? That in my preaching I may present the gospel free of charge, so as not to make full use of my right in the gospel.

I like to think most people can recognize a religious money grab when they see one.  However, as multitudes of false churches exist, my presumption is far from reality.  Thousands fall for these charlatans every year, and keep the pockets of charlatans lined with gold.

A little less insidious, and more widespread, many churches push money raising efforts constantly to grow their church, going so far as push the rule of the tithe on their followers.  I have personally struggled when a well known pastor I respected took this approach.  Honestly, I do not know how my friends expect me to attend churches when such practices are utilized and defended.

Now, the Bible does make it clear that any who work full time for the body of Christ should receive compensation.   Yet, note that Paul earned his pay through hard work outside the church, and used that to his advantage when others slung accusations about.

I will not frown upon any brother who asks for money for a ministry.  Far from it!  I support a number of organizations focused on spreading the Gospel and Jesus’ love.  The Bible calls us to sow these seeds.  But when ministries become juggernauts requiring massive infusions of cash to continue, and those leaders compromise the values of the Bible to meet goals, I simply cannot support them any longer.

 

 

Thesis 53

The phrase ‘accept Jesus as your personal Saviour’ is not found in the Scriptures.

Romans 10:9-10 because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.

Colossians 1:13 He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son,

Acts 26:20 but declared first to those in Damascus, then in Jerusalem and throughout all the region of Judea, and also to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, performing deeds in keeping with their repentance.

The largest challenge I see in today’s evangelical messages lies in a man-centered gospel message.  We emphasize that Jesus saves us, gets us into heaven, and can make our lives better.  While following Jesus with all our hearts may lead in that general direction, this is hardly the point of the true gospel.

The Bible makes it clear that all have sinned, and we need a redeemer lest we end up in hell, which we deserve.  Jesus came, lived a perfect life and died on the cross to become that redeemer we so desperately need.  Yet, the Bible makes it clear, to become saved in God’s sight, we need to do more than ‘accept Jesus as our personal Saviour.”  Indeed, we must lay down our rebellious heart at the foot of the cross and confess that He is LORD.

If we simply accepted Jesus gift of salvation, but never repented of sin and accepted Him as the LORD of our lives, then we would never leave our life of sin.  Heaven would become hell, as a result.

 

Thesis 54

Evidence of true conversion is something that does not seem important to modern day evangelicals.

1 John 2:6 whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.

1 John 4:17 By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world.

Matthew 7:20 Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.

The Bible warns us to work hard at our faith that we might qualify for the prize at the end.  We do not have to worry about salvation, if we have true faith in Jesus.  However, true faith bears fruit.  I do believe that very few churches talk enough about this topic, leaving the subject matter to be covered in a number of books.

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