Dorcas wrote: Brother Helps, I want to thank you for your encouraging post of a few days ago. Just read your comment and I had to speak out concerning this sin. My dear husband is a different nationality than myself, and we too have experienced the sting of racism with those who profess to be Christians. Once again dear brother thank you for your kind words, and may God bless you richly. Dorcas
So glad to see you still posting dear sister. Thank you for chiming in. It is shameful to think that there are walls erected by some which the gospel demolished and that those who perpetrate such things are often office bearers. Also those who perpetuate such attitudes are not just tolerated but even encouraged. I will say no more in case some should think that I am biased. May the Lord bless you and yours.
May I recommend a reading of a part of Thomas Jefferson's inaugural speech after he won the presidential election defeating John Adams? The extract is very short and happens to be in McGuffey's sixth reader that you will find HERE . It is entitled "Political toleration", and has a bearing on our own times. Enjoy!
Unprofitable Servant wrote: 2nd a command still requires a choice
It is late here in the UK, and maybe the reason I am having problems following the thread where parties seem to talk past each other. If so, please forgive me. Brother UPS, has Ladybug denied a choice? Did she not write, "Those whom God elects WILL respond, those not elected will continue in unbelief." Is unbelief not a choice: in fact the choice of everyone apart from the grace of God?
Michael Hranek wrote: Ladybug Here is where we differ, in my words, you are looking at "urging a man to come to Christ" as a work the man does I look at pleading with a man to "Come to Christ" as something a lost fallen man can do and will only do by the grace of God Which is something a child of God can pray and seek God that lost people will do
Michael, sorry I disagree. You are trying to create a difference where none exists. Ladybug has already stated:
"The Bible simply does not teach man has the ability/free will to come to Christ apart from divine intervention"
"He would not, he could not on his own. The advice given to him was incorrect and unbiblical; insisting upon any work and not proclaiming grace and mercy will have no affect."
Frank wrote: Helps UK. Perhaps Cornelius was also one of God's elect, from before the foundation of the world.
Frank, thank you for your post.
You may be correct in what you say, though that was not the point I was aiming at. My contention with Moniker Man is his insistence that the Holy Spirit must indwell someone to effect any change, as though God's power is localised and he cannot do anything without this localised presence. We've been here before with him and then he was not able to produce any proof of the Holy Spirit residing in the unregenerate to regenerate them. But, we've come to expect unscriptural dogmatism from him.
Charthouse wrote: "So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God." ONLY the indwelling Holy Spirit can cause man to seek God and His Son.
Care to explain Cornelius, a man who was not a Christian, but who was a devout man who feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people and prayed to God alway of whom we read, "Thy prayers and thine alms are come up for a memorial before God"? He did not receive the Spirit until he believed. And again how was it that Saul felt the pricks which he could not kick against in his unconverted state? Or do you think he had the Spirit before his conversion? In short what proof positive can you offer that someone has to have the Spirit of God "indwelling" in order to move spiritually from darkness to light. Let me be clear, no one denies the need of the work of the Spirit. What you insist on viz. the necessity of the "indwelling" is what I question. What Scriptural proof, if any, can you offer?
May I please implore you to continue posting here and ignore any self-pity posts? We need a good balance on this board, and you are important to the mix! I for one have often been blessed by your posts. Please reconsider!
John UK wrote: I've no doubt Helps UK will like to chip in with a couple of cents worth..
Not really bro. I don't believe that I have anything new to add to what has been said previously on this subject. The key for me (and I can't remember who put it like this before) is whether the determining factor in our salvation is grace or something else. We all say we are saved by grace through faith, but for some, apparently, grace only plays a part but does not determine the outcome. If grace does not determine the outcome that whatever lip service we pay to being saved by grace, we have something else that saves other than grace, and that to my mind is not right Christian doctrine. And therefore the Arminian idea of prevenient grace, as the same grace extended to all, appears to me to be erroneous. I'll leave it at that, not wishing to be controversial.
In tears wrote: Our experience in the American churches.....we have no spiritual fellowship....gets very quiet when we want to talk of the things of the Lord. Very heartbroken in this matter. Please pray for us!
Ladybug, thank you for the YouTube link. Very sad that such an inditement should ever be levelled at the Lord's people who are supposed to be marked out for their genuine love towards each other.
I shall pray for you.
Brother Frank, thank you for your comment. Loved with an everlasting love. Who can fathom such depths?
Praying for you.
If it helps, please do not hesitate to contact me. I've included my email address in this post. Whatever is within my power to do to help, is yours for the asking. Be assured that there are people who do care for your souls.
I often think on the apostle Paul and our Lord's words to him on the Damascus road, "it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks". What "pricks" was the Lord referring to?
I believe we get a small glimpse in Romans 16v7 where the apostle writes: "Salute Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen, and my fellow-prisoners, who are of note among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me".
Is it inconceivable that these relatives who are brave enough to be in prison were also bold enough to witness to an unconverted Pharisee named Saul? Could it explain his fury in wanting to imprison and kill these Christians who made gains in his own family? And how long did he bear with them before becoming angry at this new religion which sought, in his mind, to subvert the Jewish faith?
We don't read an awful lot about the Lord's dealings with Paul prior to his conversion, but glimpses such as these are precious.
In any event the Lord was dealing with him prior to his Damascus road experience and this much cannot be denied.
As for moniker man, he has no scripture proof and that is enough to tell me that he speaks from ignorance.
Ladybug, thank you for your kind words regarding a hastily drafted and poor testimony.
Lurker wrote: Thank you brother for sharing your life giving experience...
I did a rather poor job of it I'm afraid because I was so short on time and also space limitations on posts here. In essence what I wanted to do was support your post about a preparatory work of the Spirit in the lives of those whom the Lord calls. I remember even before my first ever answer to prayer crying out to God to show himself to me. The answered prayer was an indicator what direction I should travel. Reading the NT created a hunger and thirst for knowing the Lord, followed by periods of seeking of Christ, sometimes halfheartedly and other times more earnestly until finally the Lord heard my cries and dealt closely with me leading to my conversion. Presumably the delay was either because I was not sincere enough or in order to test my sincerity.
I have heard it said by some that the Lord does not answer the prayers of the wicked. I have always found it difficult to believe this since the Lord heard and answered me on numerous occasions when I was still unconverted. Dear old Spurgeon used to ask if the Lord hears the cry of the young ravens to feed them (Ps. 147:9) why should he not hear the cries of those who are yet unconverted?
I had heard of what others who had abandoned their family faith had suffered and had no idea what I would face. My family recognised the change in me, but tried to write it off as some aberration. I tried to join a local church and this brought matters to a head, the upshot of which was that I was asked to leave home. I had nowhere to turn and so went to see the pastor of the church who made enquiries and put me in touch with a deacon who let me have a flat for a nominal rent because I earned very little. The Lord has continued to deal with this sinner very graciously and even though I have let him down again and again, often grievously, he has proved faithful to me. I stand in awe of his holiness and majesty, I am humbled that he should ever deal this worm with such mercy, grace and kindness. All praise to his dear name.
I apologise for such lengthy posts, but I trust you will join with me in thanking God for the riches of his love and condescension in Christ our Saviour.
Thank you brother Lurker for the welcome back. Appreciated.
When I saw the boy, my heart started to race and I braced myself for another beating. He crossed the room and when near enough he held out his hand and apologised to me. Naturally, I was delighted with this, but this was literally the first ever answer to prayer I had experienced. I decided never to pray to any other deity. Of course I was not a Christian and with the encouragement of some friends who professed Christ I started reading the Bible. I read the NT through at least twice, I attended some rallies, went forward when the alter call was made etc. but no change in me yet. I saw myself as a Hindu and Christian. I then went to university, joined with other Christians in the CU and continued to read the Bible. This time the experience was very different. Every word that I read pierced my heart. The love of Christ melted my heart, I saw and felt my own wickedness and need of the Saviour as never before, I repented in tears, came to believe firmly in the one only saviour of mankind. I saw the exclusive claims of Christ and determined to follow him no matter what. I had a wonderful sense of God's presence with me which stayed with me for several months.
I was born and raised up in a Hindu family in East Africa. I was always interested in art from a young age. Aged about 9 I was walking home from school and happened to see a booklet on the ground with great comic drawing. I picked it up and read it. It was a summary presentation of Christ's life and death which made a real impact on me, but not to convert. We had to move to England. Being the eldest it was my responsibility to pray to the deities morning and evening at our home shrine. But this changed for me after an experience. I was set upon by the school bully aged 15 because of the colour of my skin. We'd been involved in a car accident a few weeks before and my father was in intensive car fighting for his life. I was trying to hurry to the hospital to meet my mum. I didn't say anything to my parents, but I recalled the words of Christ to pray for enemies, and so during my devotions I prayed to none other deity, but to Christ to forgive this boy and help me to forgive him. A few days later I was called into the head's office who told me she was made aware of what had happened. I refused to implicate the boy. A couple of days later I went to school and was in the locker room to hang up my coat when this boy walked in.
Lurker wrote: Sorry Frank, I was near tears when I wrote that comment, having read the toxic abuse and personal attacks amongst Christian brothers which happened during the day. My comment wasn't meant to include your posts. But now that sadness has turned to anger over the nonchalant attitudes about what has happened which tells me something is seriously amiss. I need to consider whether there is a place for me here any longer.
With great sadness I have to agree with you. I too need to consider whether there is a place for me here any longer.