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THE CUTTING EDGE
How many times have preachers blatantly said words to the effect that "God has done all He can, now the rest is up to you!?” The inference being that He sent His only Son to die on the cross as the ultimate sacrifice to pay our sin debt--and we must accept Him as our Savior in order to be saved. How many sermons have been (and are still being) carefully crafted to appeal to the emotions in an effort to elicit a response from lost sinners? Only God knows for sure, but today it is the rule rather than the exception. And every bit of it is doctrinally wrong! The result is, as we pointed out in the previous article, that wrong doctrine causes wrong practice.
We preachers are human and subject to all of the frailties of the flesh. And before the ink is even dry on our ordination certificate, we start to visualize of all the thousands of precious souls God is going to give us as we preach His Word. Evangelization is the number one priority when we start out and with the passing of time it would climb even higher on the list if that were possible! But what happens with the average preacher is that reality quickly sets in and we find that the world is not going to beat the door down to listen to our preaching. The list of those awaiting baptism often dwindles to zero and eventually we become failures in the eyes of men. The Church can be growing spiritually as the Word is being taught, but my friend--if new converts and members are not steadily rolling in, those in the pews begin to fret and opine that the preacher is not doing his job! "Why, if the preacher was what he ought to be, God would bless his ministry and this Church would have to start a building fund!" Human nature automatically assumes that a humongous mega-church indicates that the preacher is a super saint and God is definitely blessing his ministry. So what happens is that the average preacher, to avoid the label of failure, seeks outside help in "building his Church." I keep mentioning the "average preacher" because the overwhelming majority of us are just average--not bubbling over with personality nor born orators. But many of those who are thus blessed, are perfectly willing to share their secrets for a price through self-help tapes, books, etc. And the fact of the matter is that their methods work! However, when we analyze them closely, we find that they are nothing less than psychological tools designed to elicit specific responses from people. I call them “Madison Avenue” techniques because the American advertising media is largely headquartered in that area of New York City and is world renown for their exploitation of the public psyche for profit. And most of the so-called evangelical preachers today whether they realize it or not, have become “ad agency clones” through their frenzied rush to reach the masses with the Gospel. Techniques have displaced the Holy Spirit for the sake of numbers and Churches are filled to overflowing with tares as a direct result.
Wrong doctrine always begets wrong practice and those with any spiritual discernment at all should be able to see it. Only God can save a soul and all the king’s horses and all the kings’ men cannot legitimately entice someone to “accept” Christ when the Holy Spirit is not drawing them (John 6:44). But psychological methods can and do prompt individuals to make false professions of faith and they are doing it by the thousands. Worldly music has been skillfully woven into the very fabric of “worship services” and given a veneer of respectability through lyrics containing a few recognizable Scriptural terms or names sprinkled here and there. And anyone who thinks that music is “neutral” and does not move people has his head screwed on crooked! Under ideal conditions, people can literally be moved to tears by the use of the right music at just the right time. Combine a carefully crafted sermon loaded with plenty of guilt and music designed to complement the mood and “evangelism” happens! Occasionally the town reprobate will get religion under such pressure, but this type of conversion experience seldom lasts very long—usually a day or two at most—and then it is back to business as usual for them. But for many people, the emotional experience serves as a superstitious talisman and they may spend the rest of their lives attending Church regularly—believing themselves to be sheep when in fact they are goats. And the blame is to be laid squarely at the feet of those who used methods contrary to the Word of God in order to achieve the numbers.
The empire building has gotten so bad that I confess to having a high degree of suspicion where the majority of large Churches are concerned. Ninety-nine times out of a hundred, they are built upon a combination of pastoral charisma and time-tested methods. And if the entertainment is not held at a consistent level, attendance drops off—so entertainment is the order of the day! If you doubt this assertion, just pay attention to the newspaper ads promoting the latest “revival” or other special meetings (and there has been precious little genuine heaven-sent Holy Ghost revival in well over a hundred years). Most of the time the announced meetings are spiced up with some sports celebrity or popular singing group, which is obviously a calculated and thinly veiled attempt to draw a crowd. Preachers want to be heard and want to spread the message, so a certain amount of this type of advertising is to be expected—but resorting to crass, worldly methods is wrong and should not be done. Then to augment the main event, all the stops are pulled out to provide classes for every conceivable sub-group in society. The over 40 crowd have a class, the divorced have another, the teens are doing their thing in the “family life center,” and left-handed invertebrates meet down the hall……sound familiar?
The reason for all of this is basically simple: when your theology is such that each and every man, woman, and child in the whole world has the potential to be a Christian and only need to be persuaded to “accept” Christ, the end justifies the means. Oh, preachers will be quick to add the caveat that the Holy Spirit must draw them, but surely He must be at work when people respond to the message. And of course the more who respond, the more positive the preacher (and almost everyone else) is that God is at work. This totally flawed human reasoning makes sense to the flesh, but it certainly is not Scriptural and the devil is having a blast. And to make it worse, once these people are enticed to “accept” Christ—keeping them satisfied and in regular attendance makes for sleepless nights at the pastor’s house as he walks the floor trying to think of something new to try. It is a vicious cycle and most Church growth is actually comprised of the disenfranchised debris of other pastors’ failure to keep pace with the times and schedule the right sports celebrities and singing groups.
What is wrong with this picture? Bad doctrine. Surely anyone possessing common sense should be able to understand that dead men cannot be persuaded to become Christians. And all but a very small percentage of the world around us is spiritually dead and thus incapable of understanding spiritual matters (Eph.2:1 and 1 Cor.2:14). Unless and until God “quickens” an individual and gives them spiritual life, they are totally incapable of basic understanding, let alone true belief. But many of these same people, when subjected to a powerful psychological stimulus of applied guilt greatly enhanced by music selected for effect, will make “decisions” for Christ. When they come forward at the “invitation” (another calculated psychological ploy), they are then met by personal workers eager to add a notch to the handle of their personal “soul-winner’s” pistol. I do not for a moment question the sincerity, but I definitely question the tactics. Every bit of it is carefully choreographed to elicit a response from someone under emotional pressure. And respond they do, but any honest preacher can tell you that only a relative few will ever exhibit any signs of being indwelled by the Holy Spirit and therefore genuine. The rest are tares planted by Satan (fleshly natures with no spiritual nature to offset them) and they cause untold headaches and heartaches for the local Church because they are unequally yoked up with sheep! (2 Cor.6:14). And the saddest part is that most of it should have been avoided.
Cancer is a disease of excess. For the normal adult, cell production keeps pace with those lost through the various bodily processes, but cancer cells multiply too rapidly and if left untreated usually wind up killing the individual. In a similar sense, evangelism as it is currently being promoted, is a cancer within Churches—eventually killing them spiritually through hordes of alien entities (tares) that wind up sucking the life and vitality from them. Under the best of circumstances, Satan is going to be successful in planting tares among God’s wheat, but we must not make his job simple by planting them ourselves! Churches are supposed to be comprised of regenerate believers meeting together for worship and service, but today they more closely resemble social clubs bent on increasing their membership by whatever means necessary. In the process, the doctrine of separation is being totally ignored and with disastrous results. Spiritually ignorant people look with awe at the gigantic cancerous masses called churches and admire them for the great job they are doing, when the situation is actually downright lamentable. The size of a Church—the membership total—certainly does not indicate high spiritual quality, but as with most things in our present society, it is generally perceived as such. And we can only wonder as to how many of God’s elect sheep now find themselves each Sunday in the midst of a quivering tumor of humanity swaying to the beat of the world’s music and listening to book reviews, environmental/social concerns, and psycho-babble geared to “make them feel good about themselves”? My heart-felt advice to you, if the shoe fits, is to “come out from among them and be ye separate” (2 Cor.6:17). And if you cannot find a Church in your area that is sound in both doctrine and practice—start your own! Churches in homes are becoming more and more prevalent as the apostasy widens. Nothing in the Bible says that you must have an ordained pastor for it to be an “ekklesia” (the Greek word translated “Church)—a group meeting to worship God and learn about Him. Two or three genuine saints meeting together in Christ’s Name are guaranteed of having Him in their midst (Matthew 18:20). And God has a way of seeing to it that sooner or later these people will have the benefit of a pastor to lead them. The “House Church” movement in China today is a perfect example of this.
Evangelism is necessary because Christ commanded us to do it. But we must do His work His way. The doctrinal misunderstanding of the majority today is that we must get people saved, when in actual point of fact God’s people—His elect—were saved (justified) prior to creation! (Romans 8:30 plainly tells us that the elect were “called…justified…glorified”—all in the past tense). Then 2 Timothy 1:9(a) gives us the proper order of things in this life: “[God] Who hath (1) saved us, and (2) called us with an holy calling…” (KJV, comments and inserts mine). Regeneration, or being born again, is not synonymous with salvation as so many today mistakenly teach. It is actually the time when God restores spiritual life to His elect sheep, enabling them to believe—which they do as a subsequent action (remember that they were “dead in trespasses and sins” like everyone else). The mechanism God has chosen to round up His sheep—the “holy calling” of 2 Timothy 1:9—is the extremely simple Gospel message that we as Christians are to proclaim (and is very clearly stated in 1 Corinthians 15:1-8). This simplicity, according to 1 Corinthians 1:18-31, is by design so that those tempted to boast about their part in salvation will be silenced. The Gospel message is a supernatural magnet for elect sheep and will, without fail, call each and every one of them to Christ and not one will be lost (John 6:37-39). (For a more in-depth look at the doctrine of salvation, see article entitled “The ABC’s and XYZ’s of Salvation” at www.cuttingedge.org/articles/p154.htm with follow-up articles at p158.htm and p159.htm).
So in summary we must understand that God has already saved His elect and all of this “building” frenzy going on among the majority of evangelical preachers is not Scriptural. It totally ignores the Sovereignty of God and tries to place the burden upon individual Christians by convincing them souls will go to hell if we do not reach them. When in reality, our failure to witness as we should has no bearing on the matter of salvation. If we fail to take advantage of opportunities to tell others about Christ, we will lose reward but not one soul will go to hell because of anything we do or fail to do. The evangelical program of the Church is designed to proclaim and spread the supernatural Gospel message to a specific group of people whose identities are unknown to us (and they are even unaware of it), yet each of them will without fail respond to it after being regenerated—given spiritual life. Because we do not know their identity, we must preach an indiscriminate “whosoever will” message and leave the rest to God. But attempting to help by applying pressure to dead people and coaxing them to “accept” Christ must not be done. Genuine saints do not accept Christ—they just believe after they are rendered capable through the new birth (Acts 13:48b).
Once this most fundamental Scriptural concept is clearly understood, all of the various schemes of “do this” or “do that” in order to be saved are shown to be false and the product of eisegesis (forcing doctrine on Scripture).
Lord willing, more to follow.
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Are you spiritually ready? Is your family? Are you adequately protecting your loved ones? This is the reason for this ministry, to enable you to first understand the peril facing you, and then help you develop strategies to warn and protect your loved ones. Once you have been thoroughly trained, you can also use your knowledge as a means to open the door of discussion with an unsaved person. I have been able to use it many times, and have seen people come to Jesus Christ as a result. These perilous times are also a time when we can reach many souls for Jesus Christ, making an eternal difference.
If you have accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, but have been very lukewarm in your spiritual walk with Him, you need to immediately ask Him for forgiveness and for renewal. He will instantly forgive you, and fill your heart with the joy of the Holy Spirit. Then, you need to begin a daily walk of prayer and personal Bible Study.
If you have never accepted Jesus Christ as Savior, but have come to realize His reality and the approaching End of the Age, and want to accept His FREE Gift of Eternal Life, you can also do so now, in the privacy of your home. Once you accept Him as Savior, you are spiritually Born Again, and are as assured of Heaven as if you were already there. Then, you can rest assured that the Kingdom of Antichrist will not touch you spiritually.
If you would like to become Born Again, turn to our Salvation Page now.
We hope you have been blessed by this ministry, which seeks to educate and warn people, so that they can see the coming New World Order -- Kingdom of Antichrist -- in their daily news.
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