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

Paul Luckett | - 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.

52 Weeks of Gratefulness #6 – Alex Romanov

Paul Luckett | - 52 Weeks of Gratefulness #6 – Alex Romanov
Paul Luckett | - 52 Weeks of Gratefulness #6 – Alex Romanov
Paul Luckett | - 52 Weeks of Gratefulness #6 – Alex Romanov

In week 6 of 52 Weeks of Gratefulness, I give thanks for Alex Romanov.

This guy loves me.

How do I know?

I just know.

There’s something about his spirit and approach to me that conveys it.

The first time I met Alex was at the gym. I’m trying not to die on the bench press and he walks up, handing out these little strips of paper with Scripture on it.

That’s right. Our first encounter was him “Bible thumping” as some might call it.

But Brother Alex could and should teach a class on witnessing.

His spirit and approach was that he was sharing someone dear to him with someone dear versus giving something to someone that he thought they lacked.

His example is how we should all witness:

Love God.
Love people how God loves you.
Then witness (share Him with them), because it’s not witnessing until I’ve done the first two.

I am grateful for his witness. So much so, that I now I seek him out asking, “What’s the Word, Alex?” (VeggieTales insider joke)

I am delighted to share the dear gift of Christ with such a dear brother. Thank you Brother Alex for the rare and precious gift that gets better the more you give it away. I love you too.

I’m thankful.


Originally posted by Paul Luckett to Facebook here.

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A Common Problem With Christian “Witnessing”

Often the problem with our witness as Christians is that we don’t love the people we’re witnessing to.

My wife shared with me how as she and our son were leaving Walmart they were approached by two people saying, “What church do you attend?” And, after saying a bit more they handed her a flyer and invited them to their church.

She called me immediately after and said, “I guess they were well meaning, but why does it bother me so bad?”

I submit because there was no love.

Part of love is honor. And, honor is an acknowledgement of worth.

The spirit of this particular approach my wife experienced was, “You lack something that you need me to give to you.” It’s presumptuous, accusatory and dishonoring.

Now what would this encounter look like if it were someone I actually honored? What if it were Warren Buffett or Jeff Bezos I were talking to?

Now if this were Warren Buffett of Jeff Bezos, my approach would be one of honor and accommodation. I’d go to them rather than expect them to come to me. I’d clear my calendar and would make room for them whenever they could grace me with their presence in hope of just being in their company and getting some small shred of insight into how I might attain the wealth that they have.

For believers Jesus is our treasure. Ephesians 4:8 says “When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive, and gave gifts to men”. He distributed this heavenly wealth as precious expressions of His person to the redeemed, giving to some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors, some teachers… (Ephesians 4:11-12)

The point being that there’s a potential of some insight into the unsearchable riches of Christ available through every person you meet that you won’t get any other way! Oh, what tremendous value and worth that person represents!

It would transform our ministry if we approached people in excited anticipation of what glimpse of Christ we may glean through them.

But first, we have to address that our values are misplaced and repent. A lack of honor is a dead give-away that we perceive a person lacks worth.

Jesus said our treasure should not be on earth but that when we value what He value and honor those He loves with even a cup of cold water, we’ll have treasure in heaven. Jesus thought that person you are talking to at any given moment was worth the cross.

Engage accordingly.

Honor all people. (1 Peter 2:17)

And for the record, I’m also preaching to me.