Convinced But Not Converted: The Type Of Ministry That Results In Faith That Is Doomed To Fail

Paul Luckett | Brainflurry.com - Convinced But Not Converted: The Type Of Ministry That Results In Faith That Is Doomed To Fail

I remember one day my mentor and pastor, Dr. Gregory Jones was confronted with a young man looking to argue how God and religion were fantasy.

Pastor Jones answered him not one word.

I was perplexed by this. I was like isn’t this an opportunity to “convert” him? I wanted the smoke. I wanted to flex our apologetics muscle and intellectually spar with him.

I was so naive and misguided.

Even though I was preaching and studying under Pastor Jones at the time, even I wasn’t yet converted.

Because had I been, I would have known that faith comes from a life-altering moment of hearing God and believing Him. Period.

“So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”
— Romans 10:17

An elder brother once told me, “some lessons are taught and some others can only be caught.”

After having been converted, and having preached, and having argued for twenty plus years now

I better understand that if you can be convinced, you can be unconvinced.

The reason so many young people leave our churches, go to college and lose their religion is not because of education as so many claim, but is often because their faith was cultural or they were convinced but not converted.

No one comes to God by intellectual ascent or cultural association.

“But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”
— John 1:12-13

There is only one Way: God expresses Himself, we hear Him, we believe Him and then we are saved from separation from Him.

“For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus”
— 1 Timothy 2:5

“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.'”
— John 14:6

So then, my concentration, is having His heart, using His voice and speaking His Word.

“But you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep, as I said to you.

My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.”
— John 10:26-27

Since having “caught” this, I’ve never tried to convince anyone again.

I just aim to preach and live Christ.

I am now blown away by what I didn’t see before like how Jesus drops this bomb in Luke 16:19-31.

Here, Jesus casually reveals earth-shattering truths that are key to unlocking saving faith and ministry

1. everything that is necessary to birth faith and bridge the great gulf of separation between us and God is in the Word

2. if after having shared the full counsel of God that is expressed and made clear in Jesus Christ, someone does not believe, they would have never believed and their is nothing: no argument, no miracle, no sign, not even if “one rise from the dead” that would convince them.

“But he said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.’ ”
— Luke 16:31

“God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son,

whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds;

who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high”
— Hebrews 1:1-3

Just focus on living and preaching Christ who reconciles us to God.

That is the one and only ministry.

Thank you Pastor Jones. I love you and I miss you.

Preach The Foolish Gospel

Paul Luckett | Brainflurry.com - Preach The Foolish Gospel

I have a tendency to intellectualize things and want to make a compelling argument.

But far be it from me when God has chosen foolishness for me to make it reasonable and render it of no effect!

“For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.”
—1 Corinthians 1:21

I was not called to win debates.

I was called to preach the gospel.

“And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.”
—1 Corinthians 2:4-5

Jesus said His sheep know His voice and they follow Him.

“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.”
—John 10:27

So, my aim is simply to speak with His voice by His Spirit to gather His Sheep to Him that He leads to good pasture in God.

If the preaching of His Anointed Word does not cause them to hear, nothing will.

If the foolishness of the gospel does not save them, nothing will.

“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”
—1 Corinthians 1:18

The foolishness of the gospel is the God ordained means by which He chooses. It is His dividing rod. I must be careful not to modify it or corrupt it to make it suitable lest it is no longer the gospel.

I must trust God.

I must do it His way.

If I don’t, those who are “saved” by my “ministry” are not saved at all, rather they are deceived again by the deceitfully wicked heart of man.

Preach the foolish gospel.

Here it is:

God alone is good.

We sinned and thereby died, becoming instruments of death, killing and being killed, languishing in darkness, hopelessly separated from God and condemned to the same destruction of every evil thing by a good and Holy God.

But, God demonstrating His exceeding goodness and love provided a Way, while we were His enemies, that we can be with Him. Jesus is the Way.

God came Himself, to do what only He could do, taking the form of man by sending His Son to live a sinless life so that He might be the perfect sacrifice -a sacrifice infinitely greater than sheep, goats and bulls, a sacrifice sufficient for the sins of the whole world for all time. Because, without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin.

But, God through Jesus, who having the riches of God, paid the debt and took the penalty we owe -death. God made Him who knew no sin become sin that we might become the righteousness of God.

God through Jesus provides a way of salvation from the death we are dying now and the death to come.

But, God not only had Jesus to die for us. Jesus being God laid down His life and took it up again. He was raised from the dead as the firstborn of a new creation which we become part of as a new creature when we believe.

And, this is the good news: we can be with God.

Our sin is great but God’s love is greater and God has provided a Way to be with Him for all who will accept it. Jesus is the Way.

We accept it by believing God, that Jesus is God who came in the flesh, that He is the Word, that He alone makes the truth of who God is known to us, that He died for our sin and that He was raised from the dead.

Acceptance is indicated by repenting of our sin: denouncing the world -the kingdom of darkness, forsaking it with joy in exchange for the kingdom of light, seeking the kingdom of God and His righteousness above all, confessing Jesus as King and Master and giving our lives to Him who in turn reconciles us to God.

When we believe God, not only does He account Jesus’ payment on the cross to our account so that our current, past and future debt is forever paid, He gives us new life, making us righteous and acceptable in the Beloved, making us instruments of life rather than death through the same Power that raised Jesus from the dead -the Holy Spirit, and by Him makes available to us all of the riches of God, including a bodily resurrection on the Last Day so we can be with God forever.

God has done this and it is marvelous in our eyes.

God has done this, not we ourselves, so it will not fail.

God did it for Himself, not for us, so His reason will never change.

God didn’t do it because we earned it, deserve it, or because of anything desirable in us, quite the contrary.

God did it because He’s just that good.

And, the good news is that we can be with God.

Repent.

Accept what God’s done.

Believe in Him who God sent: Jesus.

And, be saved.

#gospel #preaching #perfectourlove