Monday, October 6, 2008

A Handmaiden of the Lord, Post #2

A Handmaiden of the Lord is...

...a good witness.

Whew! What a weekend!

On Saturday, my family, as well as some others from our church, traveled to Charleston, West Virginia, to attend a Way of the Master conference.

Therefore, since this topic is very much on my mind, I decided to choose "a witness" as the next quality for discussion in this series. (To see earlier posts, click here.)

Again, please pause and pray before you continue reading.

Here are references for the verses I found, that deal with this quality. (I know there are many more!) Be sure you get your Bible and look these up! Don't just read the references. :)

~ II Tim. 3:15-17
~ I Peter 3:1-2
~ III John 22-23
~ Prov. 11:30

Now, to tell you about Saturday...

...For those of you unfamiliar with "The Way of the Master," it is a teaching found in the Bible and has been brought to much limelight through a ministry called Living Waters.

In a nutshell, Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron - co-hosts of a radio show, authors of books, and the two main speakers at these conferences - are just urging the church of America to get back to Biblical evangelism.

Modern evangelism tells the sinner "come to Christ just as you are; say this prayer, and you'll be saved." It's like a fire insurance policy. Modern evangelism is afraid to use words like "law," "judgment," and "wrath." It is very consumed and focused on getting the sinner to accept Christ's payment for sin.

There's only one problem: this gospel message assumes the sinner knows he's a sinner. It parades a cure without first bewailing the disease. It ignores the magnitude of the sinner's offense against a holy and righteous God.

Biblical gospel says very clearly that mankind is dead without Christ. We have no hope. Jesus used the Ten Commandments over, and over, and over again, to show people how flawed and sinful they were. Only when they were completely broken and contrite would He share the good news of mercy and forgiveness for sins. Check it out for yourself! Study Jesus' method. (John 4:1-30, Mark 10:17-22, 46-52, John 7:36-50, Luke15:17-24, Matthew 23:11-15) To the humble sinner, he offered "grace." To the proud sinner, it was always "law."

Here are a few highlights from the conference:

Eleven Phrases that Lead to False Conversion
(Oh yes, there is such a thing. Did you ever notice how many people want to label everyone as a "backslider," instead of applying the biblical principle of "no fruit=not saved"?)

1. “Hell fire preaching” ~
See Romans 2:4. While we must warn the sinner of his danger from eternal judgment, FEAR is not the right motivation for salvation. Fear of God, yes...and to some extent, a fear of hell is in order. But this motivation alone is not enough. Be careful when using this phrase.

2. “Just believe” ~
What is this supposed to mean; "JUST believe"? Even the demons believe - and tremble! Belief is not enough. It must be accompanied by repentance.

3. “Accept Jesus” ~
We don’t accept Jesus, Jesus accepts us. No, this is not about Calvinism or being an Armenian. That's not the issue for the moment. The issue is "who is in charge, us or Jesus?" Is He a beggar, standing outside our "heart's door"? WE fall down at HIS feet asking for acceptance, not the other way around.

4. “God shaped hole” ~
Jeremiah 17:9. Modern evangelism says "you have a hole in your heart that only Jesus can fill."


Maybe not. Maybe the sinner is happy the way he is. Maybe he likes his sin. Maybe he isn't sad and longing for "a better life."

It really doesn't matter if he has a hole in his heart or not. The point is, he has sin in his heart, and only Jesus can cure that.

5. “Jesus plus!” …..prosperity.

If we tell the unsaved "Come to Jesus and all will be well - you'll always be happy & fulfilled and at peace - the abundant life!" we are setting them up for problems.


What we have told them is simply not true.

Try preaching that gospel in China or in Middle Eastern countries where Christians are regularly thrown in prison. Can you picture the apostle Paul telling that to someone, as blood dripped down his back from a whipping he had just received?

Yes, we are promised an abundant life. Abundant doesn't automatically = perfect. Abundant means FULL. ...I don't think Paul was ever bored - do you? We must be careful not to promise anything the Bible doesn't promise. In the Bible, Christians are assured they will receive temptations, tribulations, and trials - but the end makes everything else worth it!

6. “Come to Jesus and get joy & goodies”
Faith! Love! Peace! Come to Christ, and have all this! ...Um, yes. But fruits of the Spirit should not be used as a draw card.

7. “Decisional Regeneration” ~
Are we saved because of a decision? Again, who is King here, anyway? A decision does not save you - Jesus saves you.

Now, yes, He does promise to save ALL who come to Him. It's not as if you can humble yourself before Him, ask for salvation, and be refused...But just because He is so merciful doesn't mean we should act so flippant about His acceptance of us! The attitude of "I decided to follow Jesus, and was saved because of that," magnifies the sinner, instead of the Saviour.

8. “Make Jesus your Lord & Saviour” ~

...Um....right... So, Jesus is up in Heaven looking down at us, saying "Oh goody! Now someone has made Me Lord and Saviour! I get to be Lord today!"

Come on, folks! He IS Lord & Saviour!

9. “Commit to Jesus”~

Imagine this: a mighty, powerful enemy has ten huge cannons pointed at you, loaded and ready to fire. At any moment you will be engulfed in flames from their barrage.

Suddenly, the Commander in Chief of the opposing forces rides out in front of the cannons, and says He will unload the cannons if you will join His side. Not because you have a single pistol to add to his force, but because He has had pity on you, and cares about you.

Do you commit to Him, or do you surrender? I should hope you'd surrender. THEN you can swear you allegiance to Him, and commit your loyalty to Him.

10. “It’s easy to believe”~

Beg your pardon? Easy? No it’s not! Well, okay, maybe it's easy to believe in your head - like the demons, "believing and trembling." Belief that leads to salvation is another matter. Did any of you come to Christ without the Devil putting at least a dozen excuses in your mind and hindrances in your path?

11. "Ask Jesus into your Heart"

-is not found anywhere in the Bible
-leaves out repentance
-leaves out "believe"
-Again, it presents Jesus as a beggar, waiting at our heart's door. (By the way, "heart's door" isn't mentioned in scripture, either.)

These are eleven phrases that were discussed at the conference, with my own comments summarizing what was said. My own family and church have talked about these or similar phrases before, and agreed that they didn't align very well with the Biblical gospel, but to some of you reading this, the idea might be quite new. Please, don't become defensive or offended by what I've written, but take a moment to think about it.

Another topic under discussion was fruit in a believer's life. I couldn't help but smile when I heard the word "fruit," thinking of the name of my blog. I don't have time to delve into this very deeply, but here are the major points:

The 5 Signs Of A True Convert (Believer)

Fruits of Repentance - Matt.3:8

2. The Fruit of Good Works - Col. 1:103.

3.The Fruit of Thanksgiving - Heb. 13:15

4. The Fruit of the Spirit - Gal. 5:22

5. Fruit of Righteousness - Phil. 1:11

I hope some of you take the time to look up those verses. Of course, these fruits save no one, but a true believer will have these fruits, to some degree, displayed in his life. Self examination is healthy - and commanded in Scripture. It is also good to know these so that we may gently ask others to examine themselves, when we know they are not saved, and we are trying to get them to listen to our witness.

There are many people in the western world who have been spoken to about Christianity, and "prayed a prayer," but have no idea what it is to be a true Christian.

This is terrible.

It is worse than terrible - it is a catastrophe. And it is mostly our fault. We must be careful to examine what gospel we are preaching!

As handmaidens of the Lord, let us commit to witness for Him with all our hearts - the right way.

I wish I had time to write more about this, but I've already been working on this post for two days, and I really ought to publish it. I must depend on you who are participating in this series to help me out by adding further discussion.

Rules for Participation:

Each of you ladies - old and young - who read this blog have insight that you can contribute for the edification of the rest of us. Particularly those of you who are older in the faith...but even younger sisters can have words of wisdom. I would like to humbly request your active involvement in this series.

In the comment section of each post, I would like each of you to do one of two things;

~ 1: If you do not have a blog, please leave your thoughts directly in the comment section.

~ 2: If you have a blog, please go there and write a small post containing your thoughts on
whatever quality is under discussion here. Make it Biblical; share verses the Lord has used in your heart. The world is full of opinions - we don't need more of that. We need more of the Lord.

Then come back here and leave a link to your post in the comment section. (To make it easier for us to find the right post, please link directly to the post, not your front page.) If you would like to, please direct your blog readers here so that they can find more discussion, from other readers.

This is only a small corner of Blog Land, and I know that I don't reach many ladies - at least not as many as I would like. But this topic - becoming a better Handmaiden of the Lord - is so important that I wish we could talk to thousands. If we start linking to one another, perhaps the word will get out, and we can reach more and more women who care about the Lord.


Leah said...

Amber, you have mentioned some very good points! I am writing something on the topic but it is taking some time... and I am in a major time crunch because of a trip we are taking, leaving tomorrow.
Hopefully I will be able to post it "soon". :)

Love in Christ,

Leah said...

Our trip was canceled at the last minute. So I was finally able to post today!

Here it is:

By the way, III John 22-23 ??? Was that on purpose to see if we are looking the verses up? :)

Amber said...

Lol. Oh dear! Thank you for catching my mistake, Leah. :)

III John 22-23. What was I thinking? :) I can't even figure out what verse I meant. Any ideas? :)

...I suppose this IS a good way to tell who was looking up the verses. Let's see how many more folks notice. :) :)