11
Sep
12

REPENT! And Bring Back the Gospel.


As I write this I’m about halfway through Called to Controversy, Ruth Rosen’s biography of her father, Moishe, founder of Jews for Jesus. I’m enjoying the insights it gives into the man, the organisation and a significant time in recent history: the time of the “Jesus Movement”.

Use of the term “recent history” clearly reveals my own vintage. My serious journey to Christian faith began around the time that the Jesus Movement was touching Australia in the early 70s.

When I now read about that period of Christian history it reminds me how much things have changed. Attitudes have changed, priorities have changed, and the perceived nature of the gospel has changed. None of this change seems to be for the better.

A lot of it seems to have taken place in the 1990s at the same time I was going through a “spiritual crisis” that kept me away from Christian contact for almost 15 years. That crisis also seems to have kept me away from the causes of the change.

Prior to my crisis the believers I knew had a much different attitude to what I see today. Churches then held beach missions, sent people out onto the streets preaching the gospel and were devoted to evangelism. People were excited to share the gospel no matter how daunting it could seem at times. With the company and support of others it was easier to overcome any fears.

Maybe I’m looking in the wrong places but that kind of evangelism and commitment to the gospel, seems to be a thing of the distant past. There’s no longer a sense of urgency. There’s no noticeable desire to risk reputation for the sake of others and their eternal future.

Overall the purpose of those formerly evangelising churches seems to have changed. They have either slipped into a similar cultural rut to the historical, traditional churches or they have become self-absorbed centres of “blessing”, primarily desiring personal encounters with dubious signs, wonders and “prophetic” claims.

The whole focus of the gospel has been removed from any idea of repentance and the need for reconciliation with a Holy and Righteous God. The focus now seems to be on a desperate god so sentimentally attached to humanity that he will go to any lengths to win mankind over.

The “Churches” have by and large abandoned any sense of the genuine gospel. In most cases now, the gospel of Jesus seems to be entrusted to a scattering of individuals.

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21 Responses to “REPENT! And Bring Back the Gospel.”


  1. 1 stephenwinters
    September 11, 2012 at 10:34 pm

    I think you’re right about the 90’s, a sea change occurred. It represented the coming of age (power, cultural influence) of a new generation. The children of the baby boomers (and those who are coming on line afterwards) are a different lot altogether, it seems. Either they don’t want to hear of repentance or don’t respond to it well. I’ve always suspected the over emphasis on self-esteem had something to do with how they turned out, but I think the increasing prevalence of divorce during their upbringing played a role too. Either way the church ceased calling for repentance and obedience to Christ.

  2. 2 Chris Strom
    September 12, 2012 at 8:25 am

    You’re right Tim! We shd be living for the Good News of Jesus Christ! At least put out tracts wherever we go, wherever there are people! Hard-hitting tracts–like some (but not all!) Chick tracts such as THIS WAS YOUR LIFE and PARTY GIRL. Repentance-expecting tracts! When I distributed 726 tracts in the main street of our main city a few days ago some people even asked me for one and several thanked me! So few are evangelising! Even non-Christians appreciate the effort!
    Living for Jesus: evangelising and prayer. But expect persecution! You’ll get it!

  3. 3 Chris Strom
    September 12, 2012 at 8:31 am

    BTW that’s a fine painting Tim. It shd be in some boy’s bedroom, changing his life! Any relatives needing presents?

  4. 4 UnprofitableServant
    September 13, 2012 at 3:19 pm

    Total repentance would require the assembly of believers to cast off Dispensationalism in every doctrine that it is found in…..

    If not…… expect the falling away to gather much more speed and intensity….

    Don’t post this if you don’t care to but you have been warned.

  5. September 13, 2012 at 3:59 pm

    Not sure why I wouldn’t post this particular comment and I’m equally puzzled about why I have been warned.

    I’m sure I had made it clear in the past that Dispensationalism is a false theology but it’s no worse than any other false teachings; ALL of which should be turned away from.

    The falling away will happen and its inevitability and its speed will not be changed by any act or belief of mans’s.

    To ensure that we are not caught up in the falling away it is necessary for our priorities and motivations to be right and to avoid chasing misleading rabbits around the paddock.

  6. September 14, 2012 at 8:22 am

    Hi Stephen,
    last night I was watching a Christian TV interview during which the interviewer also mentioned how different things have been seen the 70s and 80s – that some time after that the desire to witness seems to have gone from the church.

    You’re probably right about the generational change. The issue of self-esteem that you mention also seems to be valid. It effectively became the mission of the church to build self-esteem instead of dealing with the issuse of sin through repentance.

    And faith became something we need to DO to get stuff and to improve our self worth instead of a trust we have in someone (Jesus) to be reconciled with God.

  7. 7 UnprofitableServant
    September 14, 2012 at 6:30 pm

    “The falling away will happen and its inevitability and its speed will not be changed by any act or belief of mans’s.”

    Now that sounds very Calvinist to me….

    It is man doing the falling away and just as we have free will to come to Christ at Gods drawing, we have that same free will to leave.

    False doctrines of all types can and will cause people to fall away but some, such as Dispensationalism, have a MUCH farther reach than others.

    It is taught in virtually every seminary in the US and is required to be believed in to graduate from these whited sepulchers of dead mens bones..

    And then, these missionaries of false doctrine travel land and sea searching for proselytes to make twice the sons of hell as themselves.

    Some say that the US has done more to spread the “gospel” than any other nation on earth….

    I agree, but the problem is, it is another gospel that they are bringing… even to your country….

    And whether you want to believe it or not…. you have been touched by Dispensationalism all through your life as have I.

    It is very difficult to totally break free from and I hope some day that you are able to cast off every remnant of it.

    I’m not trying to be elusive but you need to examine what Dispensationalism teaches and check your beliefs to see if any of it’s corrupting influence remains.

    I would tell you what I can see, but you can’t accept it right now so you will have to find out for yourself.

    Study to show yourself approved by God is all I can say at this time.

  8. September 17, 2012 at 9:16 am

    UPS your obsessive opposition to Dispensationalism has been made clear on more than one occasion. And as a result you have probably been more affected and driven by dispensationalism than most dispensationalists.

    Your comment also displays a serious overestimation of the importance and worldwide effect of the USA on theology. Yes, there has been an effect, yes many have picked up dispensationalism, from American sources, but dispensationalism is nowhere near as widespread around the rest of the world as Americans like you may like to think. Today there is an increased leaning towards dominionism and other forms of postmillennialism.

    I rejected the beliefs of Dispensationalism even before I knew it had a theological name. I rejected its beliefs when I started to study scripture for myself instead of relying on the likes of Hal Lindsay for my end time beliefs.

    And it was NOT difficult to break free from. The difficult part is overcoming the laziness that causes people to blindly follow someone else instead of taking up the responsibility of testing what is being taught.

    Yes study to show yourself approved – but that does not mean study conspiracies or theologies that become an obsessive substitute for God’s word.

    And regarding your “Calvinist” comment – Calvinism would deny the possibility of any falling away as we would define it, since they believe God alone chooses who will be saved and those He chooses are unable to fall away (according to their theology).

  9. 9 UnprofitableServant
    September 24, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    overestimation?

    Nay, you underestimate.

    The Word of God is plain concerning the influence of Babylon….

    It has corrupted the entire earth from pole to pole.

    Revelation 14:8 And another angel followed, saying, “Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she has made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.”

    Revelation 19:2 For true and righteous are His judgments, because He has judged the great harlot who corrupted the earth with her fornication; and He has avenged on her the blood of His servants shed by her.”

    Oh, and dominionism?

    We sent that to you as well….

    Google EW Kenyon…..

    Yes, I am guilty as charged for trying to understand the conspiracy facts around the world.

    On the other hand, you don’t believe anyone that ever existed on the face of the earth has ever conspired against anything or anyone…

    Read Psalm 2

    No man is an island Ones…. thats why the assembly is called the “Body of Christ”.

  10. September 25, 2012 at 8:35 am

    Like so many Americans you over-exalt your own nation. A form of idolatry.

    While some glory in America’s “greatness” and will stand hand over heart to support whatever the nation does, others like yourself take delight in America’s perversity – as if it is the worst of the worst (if America can’t be the most righteous nation then let its evil exceed every other nation!).

    I know you interpret scripture in such a way to identify America as being Babylon. Again a perverse example of American “patriotic” idolatry.

  11. 11 UnprofitableServant
    September 26, 2012 at 2:07 pm

    Over-exalt? Take delight?

    They are false accusations that I hope you repent of..

    And I don’t “interpret scripture” to find the identity of Babylon, I merely read it and believe that there are no other nations on the planet that fit the clear decriptions of Babylon in both the Old and New Testamants.

    You think you see?

    In closing your eyes to conspiracy in any form, you are setting yourself up to be deceived by the NWO AKA Daniels 4th beast of the time of the end.

    Or do you not even believe there is a new world order being planned outside your house as you paint your life away?

    You think you know everything about everything. I say you are wrong.

  12. September 26, 2012 at 2:55 pm

    Unprofitable Servant, there’s probably no reason to say more in response to you. Your own words show that you are your own worse enemy.
    When you abandon your American centred conspiracies you will make more room to receive the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
    I hope that WILL happen
    And I pray it will happen sooner rather than later, enabling you to become a profitable servant to your Creator.

  13. 13 UnprofitableServant
    September 27, 2012 at 2:20 pm

    Ones,

    I hope you open your eyes.

    The scriptures plainly describe the character traits of end time Babylon. If you can’t see the mystery now, hopefully you will when she begins to openly shed the blood of the saints, prophets and all who dwell on the earth.. Not that she hasn’t shed alot of blood already…..

    I’ll never abandon anything I know to be proven by scripture beyond a shadow of doubt.

    And also, Jesus told us to watch the things going on in the world to see the signs of His coming.

    I suppose you consider that conspiracy watching as well…

    If you can’t see the woman that rides the beast, how do you suppose you will be able to figure out who the antichrist and false prophet are? Because if you don’t, the only other thing to receive is strong delusion..

    I gotta say… between the confusion that the false church and men like Andrew Strom have sown it will be a miracle that any of us make it to the kingdom of God.

    You, me, most of us…..

  14. September 27, 2012 at 2:44 pm

    UPS,
    My hope is that you stop digging deeper into your imaginative conspiracies and accept (and be satisfied with) what scripture ACTUALLY says instead of insisting it supports your personal interpretations.

  15. 15 UnprofitableServant
    September 29, 2012 at 8:12 am

    Your ascertation that it’s “personal interpretation” is absolutely wrong.

    Concerning conspiracies, I suppose you also believe that satan didn’t conspire to take over heaven and destroy God’s greatest creation, man.

    I also suppose that you believe that Judas didn’t conspire to betray Jesus with the Pharisee’s…

    I also suppose that you believe that the Jews didn’t conspire to kill Paul in the book of Acts…

    And finally, I suppose that you believe that mankind as a whole isn’t conspiring to make war against Jesus when He returns?

  16. October 2, 2012 at 8:39 am

    You can justify your love of conspiracy theories however you like. Personally I’m content to stick with what scripture reveals without feeling the need to force personal interpretations onto scripture.

  17. 17 UnprofitableServant
    October 2, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    Yes, scripture reveals the identity of Babylon the great quite clearly and it’s not the catholic church….

    And WAY more than a few verses also. Entire chapters..

    Jeremiah 50 and 51
    Revelation 14, 16, 17, 18 and 19

    The false prophets and false teachers such as Tim LaHaye and Hal Lindsey taught the mainstream church for decades that Babylon is the catholic church…

    I don’t buy into that false teaching any more than I buy into any of the TV charlatans on GodTV, TBN, CBN or any of the other dispensationalism dispensers that have infected the earth from pole to pole..

  18. October 2, 2012 at 3:58 pm

    I don’t care what Tim LaHaye and Hals Lindsay have taught. They have nothing to do with this topic. In my opinion their end time teachings are mostly false prophecy.
    Your mention of them and dispensationalism shows more than you realise about the obsessions that distract you.
    Carry on your crusade against Dispensationalism if you want, but please do it somewhere else more relevant.

    No, Babylon is not the Catholic church. I never said it is and I’ve never believed that it is. But equally I do not believe that the USA is Babylon.
    I’m quite sure that the USA is less important in God’s eyes than many Americans seem to think.

  19. 19 UnprofitableServant
    October 3, 2012 at 5:34 am

    It really doesn’t matter who you believe Babylon the great is any more than it matters who I think it is…

    What matters is the truth of who she really is.

    She is who she is in spite of what ANYONE wants to believe.

    Just like God exists whether atheists want to believe it or not..

    Their beliefs are irrelevant to the facts…

  20. October 3, 2012 at 8:28 am

    It matters a GREAT deal if you wrongly identifying who Babylon is, and when that wrong identification colours your other beliefs and actions.

    It won’t change the truth, but it WILL change the individual’s relationship to the truth.

    An atheists denial of God makes no difference to the truth – but it makes a big difference to the life and destiny of that atheist.

  21. 21 UnprofitableServant
    October 3, 2012 at 10:08 am

    “It matters a GREAT deal if you wrongly identify who Babylon is, and when that wrong identification colours your other beliefs and actions.”

    Absolutely agree.


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