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Salvation is always just a step away

Discussion in 'Struggles by Non-Christians' started by Bob8102, Jun 14, 2021.

  1. Dorothy Mae

    Dorothy Mae Well-Known Member

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    I know what you are going for but I have never heard that this was the converts experience. I have heard that people saw their sin for what it was and repented. Like Peter did. Or on the day of Pentecost, they were cut to the heart. They did not experience of love of God and believed. IN fact, no one ever wrote that they felt loved by God and so believed in the Bible. No one preached, "just feel the love of God and you will believe." The rich young ruler did not seem to have seen the love of Jesus for him even though those standing around saw it. It was there, but he did not want to give up the worldly accomplishments. The love of God in the eyes of Jesus was not enough.

    The Biblical preaching was "repent for the Kingdom of God is at hand."
     
  2. Carl Emerson

    Carl Emerson Well-Known Member

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    Yes I agree with you, I don't claim that experiencing the love of God saves.

    I do however believe it can be a significant part of the process.

    We see in John 17 that the world seeing the love of God amongst the brethren is part of His plan of evangelism.

    Sadly we seem to have lost sight of this...
     
  3. Dorothy Mae

    Dorothy Mae Well-Known Member

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    Yes, unbelievers did comment on how the believers love one another. I do not see that people experiencing the love of God for them personally was a drawing card though. It is more after one becomes His. The problem is that our society has become very narcisstic focused more on their feelings and what pleases them. The preaching of the Gospel many times and been lost to trying to tell them that they just need to feel more of being loved, something they already do to themselves and in spades. People are deep lovers of the self today so preachers are appealing to that self-love offering that God will love them too so they feel their self is loved even more than what they are already devoting their energies to doing.
     
  4. Carl Emerson

    Carl Emerson Well-Known Member

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    Yes. but the plan is to show the world that the love of God is different than self love or the love of the world.

    What we do as Christians together is largely not visible to the world so they rarely see this.

    Further more the 'first love' we see in Acts is largely absent among believers.

    John 17
    20 Neither for these only do I pray, but for them also that believe on me through their word; 21 that they may all be one; even as thou, Father, [art] in me, and I in thee, that they also may be in us: that the world may believe that thou didst send me.

    Sadly the "Gospel" has been reduced to a call to repentance from many who don't even know their neighbours.
     
  5. Dorothy Mae

    Dorothy Mae Well-Known Member

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    I rarely hear the Gospel as being a call to repentance. I usually hear it as "pray a prayer and accept JEsus (whatever that means is never made clear) into your heart. " That is it. No cost. No pain. And if you are in some congregations, they will guarantee that you are going to Heaven no matter how you live afterwards. All for you, nothing for Him.

    And you know, those who hear the Gospel for the first are not christians and the call to know your neighbors doesn't apply as they are unbelievers at that point.
     
  6. Dorothy Mae

    Dorothy Mae Well-Known Member

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    I think on the whole this idea of a cheap, "just a step away" salvation brings forth a lot of people who are told they are saved and going to heaven who will be very surprised one day to find that they are not and never were. What the NT teaches is being a follower of Christ is hard, not a single half step away but the result of many steps, some of them quite painful.
     
  7. Carl Emerson

    Carl Emerson Well-Known Member

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    Yes, the cost of being a disciple does not make good press...

    If the aim is to get support and sustain a church then the repentance card is not a card likely to be played.

    Anyway my point has always been and still is that Love between believers should be central to evangelism and is largely absent.

    Your point seems to be that call to repentance should be central to evangelism.

    I am saying if the repentance preachers are not loving their neighbours, then their message is hollow.
     
  8. Dorothy Mae

    Dorothy Mae Well-Known Member

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    The problem is one cannot tell unbelievers that they ought become christians because the people sitting around them love each other. One cannot command love. One cannot give that as a reason to follow christ from the pulpit.
     
  9. Carl Emerson

    Carl Emerson Well-Known Member

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    Exactly, the message of John 17 is seen in early Acts, and the context is visible community. This largely does not exist. You cant preach what you don't practice. If you do practice it you wont need or want to preach it. He will use your visible lifestyle to bring attention to Himself.
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2021
  10. Dorothy Mae

    Dorothy Mae Well-Known Member

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    I actually have lived this kind of community and know it exists. But it is rare, I admit. Still, while it is attractive, one cannot join the community of believers because one will be loved. That is not why people become followers of Jesus.
     
  11. Carl Emerson

    Carl Emerson Well-Known Member

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    Correct, but this is meant to be central to our mission to make Jesus known to the world.
     
  12. Carl Emerson

    Carl Emerson Well-Known Member

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    Were you at L'Abri?
     
  13. Dorothy Mae

    Dorothy Mae Well-Known Member

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    I visited there but didn’t live there.
     
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