I have had my fair share of altar calls. I have walked down many an aisle to the tune of an emotional appeal. These days preachers get converts after appealing for almost anything. Do you want a better house? A happy marriage? Do you think life is hard and your kids don’t finish their porridge? Here is what you can do they say: Just say this prayer and let Jesus into your heart. He will come in and make things alright. He is seriously knocking at that door and he really wants to come in. Wait a minute you say. There is no preaching about sin, no preaching about righteousness no repentance? Yup, sadly that is the state of evangelicalism. We have mega churches and therefore can accommodate more converts but … to what?
A while ago, William Franklin “Billy” Graham (one of the most recognisable Evangelical faces of the 20th Century) was said as of 1993 to have made more than 2.5 million people “step forward at his crusades to accept Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour“. No, I do not doubt the genuineness of some evangelists (and neither do I doubt that there have resulted some genuine conversions in some of these crusades) but I would like to take a moment and look at the methods and the means.
You see, “accepting Christ” and “making a decision” for Christ are clichés sprinkled all over church notice boards , marketing statistics spread sheets and missions reports. These ambiguous yet glossy sounding expressions should always be run and tested by the Word of God to see if they align with what the bible teaches. Our modern day gospel has moulted and produced yet astronomically illustrious results highlighting numerous “decisions made for Christ”. But how many of our converts are really genuine?
Jesus told Nicodemus about the most vital ingredient of a genuine conversion. Actually it’s the only ingredient that matters in the salvation of a sinner. He spoke of a work that only God can do by His Spirit during that tête-à-tête. Only God (the Holy Spirit) can regenerate a sinner:
“Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” John 3:7-8
How then can we number new converts at the end of a mere sermon? How can a mere decision to say a sinner’s prayer do the impossible? Who can know the heart of man and declare him converted?
Well, looking back through early church history we do not see people saying “sinners prayers” but instead we read that “the Lord added to their numbers day by day those who were saved.” (Acts 2:47)
Listen to this:
A very large, or a major denomination of the United States which has 11,500 churches throughout the US – in 1991, their first year of what they called “the decade of harvest,” they got 294,000 decisions for Christ. They found that only 14,000 remained in fellowship. That is, they couldn’t account for 279,000 of their decisions for Jesus. And this is normal modern evangelical statistics when it comes to crusades and local churches. -True and false Conversion, Ray Comfort
So what went wrong? Where did things go astray? Where did we get our current methods and means from. Hold onto your seats as I introduce you to the topic of “decisional regeneration”. Where man takes charge of his own conversion and literally pulls himself by his own boot straps. It’s a sad story of the sovereignty of man and the dis regard for God.
Meet Mr Charles G. Finney (1792-1875). He was a preacher like no other. Modern day evangelism has been shaped by a great portion of his influence. Talk about decisions he knew how to help people make decisions. He introduced the most glorious of crutches to help see results-“The altar call”. The practice of urging men and women to make a physical movement at the conclusion of a meeting was introduced by Mr. Finney in the second decade of the nineteenth century. And hence the old adage “decision to walk” or “not to walk”.
This is not an attack on “the altar call.” No, not at all. For I am humble enough know that God is not limited and can even use a talking donkey or a brazen serpent to get a message a cross.
Dr. Albert B. Dod, a professor of theology at Princeton Seminary at the time of Mr. Finney’s ministry, pointed out the newness of the practice and showed that this method was without historical precedent. In his review of Finney’s Lectures on Revival, Professor Dod stated that one will search the volumes of church history in vain for a single example of this practice before the 1820′s. Instead, history tells us that whenever the gospel was preached men were invited to Christ – not to decide at the end of a sermon whether or not to perform some physical action.
James E. Adams said that the apostles taught that God saves His elect through the foolishness of preaching. All new methods devised by man can only fall far short of this ordained means of converting the sinner. The Church must forsake its carnal inventions and once again be guided by the teaching of Scripture if it is to expect God to bless its efforts and multiply its harvest. The Scriptural means of evangelizing is to “preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling block, and unto the Greeks foolishness; but unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God” (I Cor. 1:23-24).
It is hard for us to understand why someone can hear the Gospel and not feel the least bit effected by it one time, and when it is presented at another time, it strikes conviction and is either accepted or knowingly rejected. At the times when there was no effect at all, we should realize that it is because it is not God’s will and timing for this person.To pressure for a “decision” at this point is nothing less than man’s manipulation and is not to be confused with God’s conviction. We run the risk of destroying the respondents hopes if they are declared “saved” when all they do is respond by just mechanically reciting a “sinners prayer.” -Jeff Paton
The whole ‘Accept Christ’ attitude is likely to be wrong, it makes Him stand hat-in-hand awaiting our verdict on Him, instead of our kneeling with troubled hearts awaiting His verdict on us. It may even permit us to accept Christ by an impulse of mind or emotions, painlessly, at no loss to our ego and no inconvenience to our usual way of life.” – A.W Tozer
It is said that A.W. Tozer, while on his way home from work at a tire company overheard a street preacher say: “If you don’t know how to be saved… just call on God.” Upon returning home, he climbed into the attic and heeded the preacher’s advice and did just that. Five years after his conversion, and without formal theological training, Tozer accepted an offer to pastor his first church. This began 44 years of ministry, associated with the Christian and Missionary Alliance.
A couple of years ago, when I was in Primary school we had a lovely God fearing head teacher. And every Tuesday morning, we faithfully said communal prayers. The assembly meetings always ended with invitations to accept Christ into your heart as a young person so that your name would be written in heaven. And sure every week we “accepted baby Jesus into our hearts.” We sincerely repeated the words asking Him to come into our hearts week in and week out but lived like the devil for the rest of the week. There was no fruits of the Holy Spirit in our lives, no sign of regeneration and we blissfully carried on with our lives…in our sins. The lovely head mistress I guess never got tired of hearing us announce every week,“I got saved today…again!”
It was later in life that I realised what salvation is all about. Its not about acknowledging that your are a sinner. Its not even about accepting Christ in your heart. It’s not even about saying a “sinners prayer” or filling a Decisions card. An acknowledgement of our sinful state is important, but it is different from Repentance. You dont hear much about Repentance these days or even the cross and why Jesus died. On him God placed your sin as he faced the Cup of God’s wrath; in exchange God imputes on you Jesus’ righteousness or goodness. The good news in all this is by grace your fine was then paid. One cannot come to Christ in hopes of His precious gift of life with the intent of remaining an enemy of God while refusing to let go of their sin. Only the Spirit of God can create a new man in Christ. God in His grace gives men new hearts. Who can rightfully declare that a person is saved? A preacher or some man? Or the Holy Spirit? When a person is born-again they will know it! The Holy Spirit will dwell within them and be a witness to their hearts that they are a child of God. Salvation is by Repentance and Faith in Jesus Christ.
While we can give people hope that they can be saved by faith, it is an error to declare them saved apart from the witness of the Spirit, and the evidence of a changed life. When God regenerates a soul, the person is changed. If one continues on unchanged while declaring that they are “saved,” they are deluded and deceived. -Jeff Paton
Charles Finney, the grandfather of “the altar call” and “decisional evangelism” sadly noted at the end of his days of ministry:
I was often instrumental in bringing Christians under great conviction, and into a state of temporary repentance and faith . . . . [But] falling short of urging them up to a point, where they would become so acquainted with Christ as to abide in Him, they would of course soon relapse into their former state.
B.B Warfield one of Finney’s contemporaries confirmed the catastrophic and embarrassing impasse when he lamented:
During ten years, hundreds, and perhaps thousands, were annually reported to be converted on all hands; but now it is admitted, that real converts are comparatively few. It is declared, even by [Finney] himself, that “the great body of them are a disgrace to religion.”
Great post. I became a born again Christian in April of 1996. Since that time, God has brought me through a few different churches. After experiencing much, I am leary of the Christian who claims Christ yet resembles the nonChristian absent fruit. It seems that there are many. This is the saddest truth in church. If many thousands are truly born again, where are the fruit? If all that claimed Christ were truly living allowing God to continue to transform their heart, our country would be a different place. Churches can feel good counting the number that check the box or walk up to be baptized, but the real test is the years following. Are they still claiming Christ, still following, still being transformed, even when life brings the hardest of moments such as cancer, divorce, illness, financial crisis, is the box still checked then remaining faithful? That is the real heart check which only God can see in each of us. Unfortunately, I think many get caught up in an emotion lacking lasting substance.
Great Post. There is the notion in many circles that there are two kinds of Christians. One, of course is the “Disciple”. He is easily recognized. He attends church services,is eager to study the Bible, serves and helps others and, to a Measureable extent, produces spiritual fruit (Galatians 5). He slips and falls, but is resilient and continues to trust in Christ for forgiveness.
The other is the believer, aka the “Carnal Christian.” The believer has alledgedly, at some point “believed” the Gospel and afterwards lapsed back into carnality, and though he displays no interest in the things of God, he is said to be saved because he “believed” before going back into the world to resume a life of sin.
This two tier system must continue to exist in order to cover up the shoddy evangelistic methods the church tolerates.
Thank You for exposing this concept to the Light of God’s Word.
Hey thanks for sharing this post- I have left a link above as I think you could appreciate this video. Your post has so much truth to it and it is time for people to wake up…
Praying for the sleepers to awaken,
Beautiful & True. I love reading about this stuff. Where did the AW Tozer quote come from?
What would you say a more Biblical approach to leading someone to Christ would be in light of your understanding?
please visit http://www.wayofthemaster.com for more information on how to biblically share the Gospel.
Excellent post. Thanks for linking it at my blog.
You might want to check out another 19th century theologian’s take on Finney: John Williamson Nevin’s _The Anxious Bench_. I picked up a copy in a used bookstore a few months ago and it is quite good.
Back when I wrote in a different style on my blog, I did an article on the sinners’ prayer. It pretty much agrees with you. You can read my opinion in the comments:
Thanks Acidri for the post. Its mind tickling for us who have been in the buisness of soul winning.
Much as there are issues, we cannot deny the fact that many of us got to know the lord in this way and have since been there for now 20 years.
We may be blaming the method of evangelism as faulty…. but cant it be that its the humans who have a problem with the gospel?, is ther another tested method that has brought many to christ? and by the way do we realise that its not our buisness to save and keep saved but our part is to preach the gospel while the rest is the lord’s buisness.
Dear Ben, thank you very much for your comment. I agree with you that it is our job to preach the gospel. Yes indeed, woe to me if I do not preach the gospel. We can only preach and bring souls to the foot of the cross. It is the Holy Spirit that convicts and does the converting. Listen to this or read this. Let me know Ben what you think. Lets get back to the Bible and examine ourselves to see that we are still in the faith.
Further listen to this and this.
If you are hungry for more watch this. or listen here.
Great post and great comments. Some thirty or so years ago now, I quit being the ODF (Out Dere Flappin) prodigal and returned to the Christ I had genuinely received and believed in first in my early teen years. to make a long story short, God in His mercy and grace, let me think the decision was mine alone for about 3 months and then hit me with John 6:44. It was God who saved me, and God who brought the prodigal home!
That started me really reading and digesting the written word – so much so, that I have long been completely convinced by scripture that the doctrines of sovereign grace are God’s truth, and He saves men, from beginning to end!
Just as teachers may have the students take notes then not allow the notes to be used during test is the physical motions to being saved. It imprints into your mind what you must know and or do. To believe one thing and to do another, so we use alter calls and baptism and prayers not because that makes one saved but rather keeps our hands where our hearts are. Jesus understood the human need to see the unseen therefore he taught in parables the concepts of God’s will. Taught us how to pray and how to be saved but actions are nothing without the will of God.
Excellent Blog. I agree with your comments and the quotes given. I can’t help to think though that the efforts of all the evangelist over the years was in vain. I wonder though of all those who accepted Christ on the Day of Pentecost, how many still followed him when the tough times came upon them. Paul in his epistles was constantly warning the church about sin and the writer(s) of Hebrews talks about the “sin that so easily entanges.”
I rejoice in the ministry of people such as Billy Graham and others. Irregardless of the statistics, I believe God called him to do the work. May we all be so faithful to our calling!
I am new to the internet, but if there is a way for me to share this with my contacts, and facebook friends, I will find it! Very powerful, and a very important message! Thank God, and Praise him, that we are equipped with such spirit filled writers.
Wonderful message, brother! In the church I attend, we are far more interested in making disciples than in “new converts,” for the person who is truly born again will DESIRE to take up their cross and follow Him. When we disciple people, we help guide them into a cross-bearing life – as opposed to a cross-wearing life. Thank you for the message.
Why would you be ‘more’ interested in discipleship v. ‘just as’ interested? I realize the church is primarily for those who are already born again, but shouldn’t we be also on fire in matters of biblical evangelism?
A resounding AMEN is all I can add. Well said.
What about the thief on the cross he just believed and was saved. We have people that accept Chirst who are mentally chanllenged, mentally ill bi-polar etc. I have seen these people be touched by the Lord in church and I believed God saved them right where they were at.
I read the entire article Michael. Let me tell you, I “Got Saved” at an Evangelical Crusade, which takes place every year at Anaheim Stadium, in Anaheim California. The Crusade is held by Pastor Greg Laurie of Harvest Ministries. He is a wonderful Pastor and Evangelist who is NOT afraid to tell you to your face that you WILL go to hell if you do not abide in God’s word and live your life according to the Spirit rather than the flesh.
My wife, brother and I all heard the message from Pastor Laurie and my current Pastor Chuck Smith. At the end of the service thousands went down to the field, willfuly, and said the sinners prayer and asked our Lord to come into our hearts and lives. This was a genuine act on our part. We, wife, brother and I, have all been walking with our Lord now for 7 years and everyday our walk becomes stronger and stronger. I thank God that He uses these great teachers and evangelists to bring forth the Gospel of Jesus Christ and offer the opportunity to hear the good news and bring Jesus into their lives and hearts. Paul and Peter, the Apostles, went around preaching and teaching and God added to his church as was according to his will.
Say what you will about Billy Graham and other Evangelists, if it wasn’t for them many would have not heard the Gospel and come to Christ when they did. I can assure you that, just like myself, many have been saved and are continuing their walk with Christ and daily picking up their cross thanks to Billy Graham and others.
Granted, not everyone who says the “sinners prayer” or responds to the “alter call” is or will be saved. Some just do it out of pressure or because of the “heat of the moment”. That is not to say that the preacher is of non-effect or that God lacked the power to save them. We cannot lay blame on the one bringing forth the message. At the end of the day we shall all stand before our Lord without excuse. Those who decided NOT to continue their walk with Christ after accepting Him will be personally held responsible.
Let me tell you something that took place at the same crusade I attended, only a year earlier. My brother in law attended the crusade with a family he knows, actually relatives. The mother of that family had brain cancer. We went to visit her several times. Anyway, my brother in law went down to the field in response to the invitation to accept Christ. From his own words, he stated, “When I went down I was tripped out. It did not look normal to me. People seemed to be glowing and it freaked me out”. These are his words and testimony of what he experienced. He went ahead and recited the sinners prayer and asked God into his life, but it was not genuine. Why do I say this? His life has taken a turn for the worse. Nothing seems to go his way. He is a drug addict, a gambler, drinker, party goer, irresponsible in every way imaginable, just a mess. Now, what happened to the family he went with? As God is my witness, the lady with cancer has been CANCER FREE since she accepted Christ at the Crusade. The family are all walking with the Lord. The father of that family has been giving bible lessons. A true transformation and manifestation of God through the Holy Spirit. And it all happened as a result of a crusade beginning with the hearing of the message and ending with the altar call and reciting, genuinley, the sinners prayer.
We, personally, have a responsibility to follow through with our response to the Gospel. We have the responsibility to study and learn the Bible and have the Spirit of our Lord feed us with His wisdom, knowledge and understanding of His word. We have the responsibility to find a church where sound bible doctrins is being taught, where the Bible is the Final Authority. We have the responsibility to take down notes during church service and compare them to scripture to see if these things are true. We need to fully give in to the Holy Spirit to help us discern what is from God and what is from man. At the end of the day, Michael, we cannot lay blame on anyone but ourselves. That is the problem with mankind these days. We are always fast to lay the blame on others and never willing to accept that which we are responsible for. It might work here on earth but it will never hold up before the Judgement seat of Christ.
It is true of the fact that there are false teachers preaching according to the flesh and not the Spirit. But let us not forget that God gave us all a brain. USE IT!….We shall stand before God without excuse and his judgement shall be righteous and fair.
Michael. You are scratching the surface, but the right surface…I now pastor a church… I don’t make altar calls! We were called to make disciples (students) of Jesus, not converts. As I teach week in week out about this lovely Jesus and the righteousness He gave us freely, I witness repentance in the lives of the hearers. Some choose to get baptized. There is even a conversion of Muslim followers of Christ! Keep scratching…
Hi Acidri. This is a most important topic as I fear that multitudes are believing that they are saved because they went through a “sinners prayer” routine, but have never been truly converted. This post should cause all of us to pause for a moment and examine how we are approaching this. Perhaps even remember back to the hour when we first believed and the change that transpired in ourlives. I visit this moment in my past often because the hour that I first believed on the Lord Jesus was the single moment of my life where everything changed. I was no longer the same person as beforetime.
And therein lies the difference between those who are truly born again and those who are trusting in something that they said or did. If we love Jesus, we will keep his commandments. A truly saved person will bear fruit that testifies of the conversion. Not a mechanical religious routine but real fruit that comes from loving the Lord Jesus in spirit and in truth while loving those around us as though they were us. Our actions and speech will always testify as to where our affections lie.
Thanks for a post that fosters much pondering on this important subject. May we all give diligence to make our calling and election sure. Blessings always in Jesus name.
Great thoughts and much truth, but there are those that the decision to walk the aisle “sticks”. Maybe not most, but there are a significant few. My bride walked Billy’s aisle almost 40 years, ago. She is still passionately in love with God and bearing wonderful fruits of the Spirit.
Visit God Spots: http://37stories.wordpress.com
Of course some who go forward and profess Christ are saved and remain so – that’s not the point. Desisions = salvations is a fallacy. It is God who saves His elect, decisions don’t.
Regardless of the evangelistic approach, God WILL save His elect, even in spite of bad preaching and in many cases today, only half the gospel being preached. Sadly it is the ‘God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life’ half that is most ofetn preached – the half that contains absolutely NO power to save! Paul specifically defined the gospel as “Christ died for OUR SINS…” (emphasis mine), and the answer to “what must we do?” is “repent and believe the Gospel’, not come to Jesus for a better life.
wow! now it makes all sense to me. I was called for an altar call in one of the meetings in Dubai for acceptance and repentance. I did as the preacher asked me too, said the sinners prayer but nothing significant happened, I still had a doubt in my heart. They asked me to fill up a card…but I continued living in sin not a change. Years later I was caught drinking and driving and was thrown in Jail, the only thing I rememberd was the repentance during that shock…I knelt down and said a prayer with my own words….God came into my life, I felt the peace at that right moment, I gave myself to God. Since then I am with God, I sometimes fall but I always get back with him…Yes It is true, you may lead the horse to the well but it is the horse’s decision whether to drink the water or not..
Hi Tomy Praise God! Its by faith that you were saved and not of works lest any man should boast. Just came accross a very interesting testimony just like yours. Click here.
“How then can we number new converts at the end of a mere sermon?”
Although I have thought of this many times and wondered how many notches one person can be responsible for – how many times they are counted as converts – I can’t say I am ready to through the baby out with the bath water. There is a right and wrong way to do everything.
I am not as much against people coming forward to the altar as I am the eagerness of those doing the calling to add a notch. I think notches should only be added after years of evidence.
The point of my article, ‘We Must Be Born Again’ which you commented on, was that if we are not, we are not truly converted. We can make a decision at an altar and not be born again. It will not last. Conversely, the opposite can also occur.
Enough on that. To end a little lighter, I wanted to comment on the picture you chose at ehe end of your article – the sillouette of a man sitting. I came very close to using that as the main image on my book cover. That picture speaks volumes.
Nice meeting you. I’m sure we’ll meet again.
Good points, I think I will definitely subscribe!🙂. I’ll go and read some more!
what a wonderful article, i thank God for the way he is using you in this ministry, pls keep it up and lets expand in othr to reach the unreach.
Yes, we do need to examine ourselves to prove if we are in the faith ~ we are wise to look for fruit from His Holy Spirit in our lives as confirmation we are His.
We’re taught over and over in Scripture that saving faith produces fruit to the glory of God.
The greatest evidence that we belong to God is His love flowing from within our hearts and lives; Love for God and His Love for others.
This is explained simply and most profoundly in 1 John 4: 7-10 “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God, and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”
The work of God in our lives is perfected through His Holy Spirit in cooperation with our surrendered lives in obedience to His Word ~ 2 Timothy 2:15
In 2 Corinthians 13:5 we’re challenged to: “Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you? – unless you are disqualified.”
In 1 Thessalonians 5:21 we’re counseled: “Test all things; hold fast what is good.”
In Psalms 139:1,23-24 we learn the right attitude to have in respond to God’s call upon our lives: “O LORD, You have searched me and known me … Search me, O God, and know my heart. Try me, and know my anxieties; And see if there is any wicked way in me. And lead me in the way everlasting.”
In Jeremiah 29:13 we see how God fans the flame in the hearts of those who are searching for Him: “you will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.”
In 2 Chronicles 28:9b we understand that life and death are completely in God’s hands and that He respects our choices: “the LORD searches all hearts and understands all the intent of the thoughts. If you seek Him, He will be found by you; but if you forsake Him, He will cast you off forever.”
We are warned in 1 John 4:1 “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.”
God is so good! He knows everyone’s heart – we must learn to hear His voice and follow Him closely – God knows what He has for each person’s life and we can not discount what He’s doing in others by mere appearances –
God is faithful and He is true – we can trust Him to guide us and to keep us ~ Jude 24 comforts us: “Now unto Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy. To God our Savior, Who alone is wise, Be glory and Majesty, Dominion and power, Both now and forever, Amen.”
Blessings to you, dear brothers and sisters in Christ!
Thanks for this blog post. I just started a facebook group that talks exactly about what you do in this post. I posted a link to your blog on my site. The quotes were awesome! Praise the Lord that He revealed Himself to me, a sinner, and that through Him only I have assurance of my salvation. Salvation is of the Lord!
Hi there! amazing post. Someone pointed me to this article and funnily enough you go into detail into alot of things on my mind. Ive got a little request if possible, could I have some references from your quotes? especailly the ones from Finney and B.B Warfield. Thanks a bunch.
Hi Tom thanks for the kind comments. Please check the following links Decisional Regeneration By James E Adams and Decisonal regeneration by Jeff Paton. Plus Wolf in Sheeps skin by Phillip R Johnson. More so search the scriptures and see if its all true and then examine yourself. Hope i have been of some help.
It’s surprising how we find ourselves falling into superstition even if we’ve been Christians for many years. A superstition defined as some act or procedure, not commanded in God’s word, which we imagine will “influence” Him to grant us His favor. It’s easy for us Protestants to reject making the sign of the cross, or praying the rosary as superstitious – yet we have “Protestant superstitions” of our own. The altar call seems to be one of them.
I wrote my own li’l rant about altars calls which I hope someone finds helpful and constructive:
Very well spoken! We went to a number of churches who did the “altar call” and really saw no results other than one more person thinking they were saved when there was no apparent fruit in their lives. In fact, my husband pastored for years and we never did “altar calls” because of what we saw in so many churches. We did feel it more important to disciple the people in church instead of trying to get them saved over and over again! Thanks for posting this! Also, thanks for your comment from Charles Spurgeon. I think I may just re-post that pretty soon on my own blog!
I started taking ecstasy Friday night around 3pm. I chewed 4 between 3pm friday night and 4 am saturday morning. a friend and I left to get more Saturday morning around 5am. I bought 2 more , I went to consume my 5th pill and it must of been more potent than the rest because it was a diffrent color , but who cared….I chewed it anyway while sitting in a chair listining to music…I started to feel my heart race , so i got up and walked to the bathroom , then my head started to spin uncontrolablly , i felt as if i could not catch my breath and i was smothering….I started to talk to God(as I was a lover of God in the past) I said God this cant be it , I saw my 3 childrens faces as clear as day in front of me…I felt my spirit start to leave my body….I pleaded and begged , threw my hands in the air and said No God No , I love you , Please dont take my away from my 4 and 6 year old daughter and 12 year old son , please dont let them wake up in the morning and find me dead on the kitchen floor….I saw my children crying because I was dead , I told God I love him and I will live for him me and the kids will go back to church and we will live our lives for God…I asked Jesus please forgive me of my sins to accept me into His life , I admit Im a sinner …..I then felt Gods Holy Spirit over me , my heart instantly calmed down and my fears of dying went away and they was replaced with a overwhelming peace and comfort , I felt Gods spirit enter into me , I lifted my arms and worshipped Him…Yes I did roll the entire night , but my entire 8 hours of rolling was to save my 2 friends who also was on X…..I called one into the bathroom with me and began to tell her of my experience….she said I was tripping trying to lay hands on her….I felt at that exact moment if I touched her she would instantly pass out with the spirit….she got on her cell phone called the other friend who was still in the living room to come to the bathroom that Im tripping….I told them the entire story of how I almost died in the kitchen , the 1st friend left she did not want to hear of God because her father was a preacher and he physically abused her with his fist and she says if there is a God why did that happen to her……but the 2nd friend she seemed to listen more to me , yet she had a reason for everything I told her , but we did sit down on the sofa and talk about God the entire 8 hours….I really believe some of that sinked into her heart, but she also was scared…and not to mention I was rolling , throwing my hands all over , kept touching my face saying ” I was about to diiiiiiiiiiiiie on the floor of the kitchen but God saveeeeeeed me” I was really expressing my worlds…..needless to say its now Sunday Morning 9am April 4th 2010……I am in no shape to go to church this morning but wensd night me and my kids will be there….I have gave up all drugs and partying….I am rededicating my life to God…..Thank You Lord For Giving Me Another Chance At Loving You……
Well thanks Tia for the post. I urge you though not to base your salvation on an experience of visions of angels or unearthly beings. I beseech you to realise that before God we are all sinners and if we die in our sins we deserve Gods wrath and the punishment for our sins. But I pray that God will be merciful and grant you repentance. Jesus died as a propitiation for your sins. He paid the price in full on the cross; Gods wrath was appeased so he resurrected him. You can only have peace with God by faith in Jesus who, when you were yet in your sins died for you that you may become the righteousness of God. If God saves you you will become a new creature…the former things will pass away and all things will become new. Salvation is thru Repentance alone(ask God to forgive you and turn from your sins) and faith in the work that Jesus did for you alone.We will be praying for you…dont wait for Wednesday.
Micheal, thank you for all that you wrote. You seem to be blaming people of being lukewarm in their attitude towards Christ. Take note of James 5:19-20. Its our duty to assist each other, instead of blaming. Remember, none of us is perfect, hence James 5:16 should help us. Those who consider themselves spiritually strong should assist those who are spiritually weak. Jesus teaches us that not every one who claims to be His disciple will enter His Kingdom, except those who accept and obey His will.
Now, Micheal, I believe you have children, and you pay fees for them. For them to succeed you have to meet their needs(paying their fees is one of them), and for them they have not only to be obedient to you, but also to study hard and persevere in this world. Hence, therefore, you contribute to their success, as much as they contribute to their own success. Its a two-way process. Both of you, the parents and the children, will reap the profits of your contributions(the parents and children’s contributions are consolidated). Its the same thing with God’s salvation. The sacrificial death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is God’s contribution to our salvation. Our part is to accept it, and obey it(MARK 16:15-16)
This is what Jesus means by teaching us to carry our individual crosses and following Him. The way to Heaven(Jesus’ Kingdom) is narrow and hard, and very few take this route, while the way to Hell is wide and easy, and may follow this route. Following Christ requires commitment. Percecutions are bound to happen to ever disciple of Christ since He Himself was persecuted. Because we want an easy life, we sometimes give up the cross and follow the ways of the world, while at the sametime profess being Christ’s disciples. Remember, Micheal, sin will never leave this world because its the domain of the Satan and his angels. That is why a disciple of Christ has to persevere(John 17:14-26). Like Peter(MATTHEW 26:69-75), we sometimes, through our thoughts, words, and deeds, deny Jesus Christ. Its only through God’s mercy and grace that when we sincerely repent and seek His forgiveness that we are saved. This is a clear indication that grace and mercy does not come automatically, but needs our contribution.
Thank you Godfrey for that post. I would just like to say that God chooses his own(the elect), saves them, justifies them, sanctifies them and will glorify them. Not one of them will be lost. What contribution can i make to my righteousness or salvation…nothing. Lest any man should boast.Its by grace you are saved and that is not of yourselves.God imputes Christ’s righteousness on you and calls you his own. By fulfilling all the commandments we are not justified…no.Instead you become self righteous. The ten commmandmets were given so that we may see how sinful we are and how high God,s moral standard of perfection is.I have stolen, lied, had sexual thoughts and been an adulterer at heart, i have not always loved God and put him first…these are just afew of the commandments and clearly i see my self guilty of them all and rightly deserving the punishment for sin…death and God’s wrath….and seperation from aHoly and Just God for eternity. But God in his mercy….while we were yet sinners…sent Christ who lived a sinless and perfect life but died on the cross. On him God put my lies, adulterousness, thieving and in exchange transfered Christs righteousness on me.That by repentance and faith in Jesus alone can we be saved… If i am to boast of any thing, i will boast in the cross.When i come across any one preaching that i must do something more or make a contribution..then that is another gospel…my faith is built on nothing less than christs righteousness.
Just updated the video to this post. Its easier to see now.
Pingback: Hijab Wearing Lady Hears About Grace of God « Acidri's Blog®
Pingback: Hijab Wearing Lady Hears About Grace of God « Twisted Crown of Thorns ®
Great post! Sadly, this is exactly right. Many ministers have successfully manipulated the emotions of men and ushered them into a social clique instead of giving them the whole word of God & watching God transforn them. I see that hand…
I see that hand too!
Pingback: The broken man and the OLD TRUTH about stunt men. « A Twisted Crown of Thorns ®
Pingback: Hijab Wearing Lady Hears About Grace of God « A Twisted Crown of Thorns ®
Pingback: Hijab Wearing Lady Hears About Grace of God « A Twisted Crown of Thorns ®