Revival

November 18, 2015

Allen Michael Rea | Pastor
Dunn Memorial Baptist Church, Baxley, GA

In 1977 Dr. Jerry Vines wrote: “The greatest need of churches today is a genuine, old-fashioned, heaven-sent, sin-killing, and Christ-exalting revival.” This statement was made only four years after premeditated murder was made legal in this country (abortion). Since then 50 million babies have been slaughtered on the altar of choice and convenience. Did you know that America practices child sacrifice? Dr. Vines’ statement was made 15 years after prayer was taken out of public schools. Since then millions have come through the public education system as a sacrifice to secular humanism. Dr. Vines’ statement was made 38 years before the Supreme Court decided to redefine marriage. I submit to you that what the Supreme Court did not define, it has NO right to redefine. If Dr. Vines’ statement was true in 1977, then how much truer is it today in 2015? 

I recently returned from the Georgia Baptist Convention and was overwhelmed to learn that Georgia is home not just to the worlds busiest center of sex trafficking (Atlanta) but also home to seven million lost people. That’s right: SEVEN MILLION people on their way to a Christ-less fire-filled eternity. As we flooded the altar praying for these souls, the premier question in my mind was: “Lord, are our carnal un-revived churches ready and willing to be the beacon of hope to seven million lost people?” At this point I must say “no”.

God recently blessed our church with revival. We saw souls gloriously saved! It was one of the best weeks I have ever experienced in ministry. However, as I drove down the streets of Baxley I noticed that liquor stores are still open. When I pumped gas I still heard the deafening sound of godless music. I still witness people every week treat church as a game to be played and a service to be performed. God has certainly blessed our church with revival. Dunn Memorial will never be the same; however, note that Vines said that revival was the greatest need of churches (plural) today. Dunn Memorial was not the only church in desperate need of revival.

My generation, and several of the ones preceding it, have not witnessed the type of revival Dr. Vines wrote about. God is doing some great and graceful things in the lives of many churches. I, however, am cautious about throwing around the word “revival” so that it becomes cheap. Revival is not that thing churches do once or twice a year as the calendar moves along. Revival cannot be scheduled; it must be Spirit-controlled. Has our country seen revival? Of course not! Babies are murdered and their precious parts sold for profit! Government mandated education does not allow God ordained prayer! What God has brought together our government has torn apart!

Dr. Vines was right, as he often is. However, I regret to inform you that the greatest need has yet to be met. Revival is rarely genuine because it has been scheduled. Revival is rarely old-fashioned because we consider ourselves superior to the previous generation. Revival is rarely heaven-sent because we have not asked for it. Revival is rarely sin-killing because we are scared of repentance. Revival is rarely Christ-exalting because we are busy exalting the preacher. 38 years and the greatest need has not been met. 38 years and seven million lost people populate the state of Georgia. If the greatest need of the church is not met, then these souls will soon populate hell.

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Nelson Banuchi

I’ve started a prayer meeting for the second Saturday of every month specifically for revival at my home. I mailed out invitations to about 20 local churches twice for each of the two meetings I’ve had so far. No one has come, yet. My wife and I prayed by ourselves. I am going to continue the meetings, continue inviting, and hope for Revival.

If you go to my blog, I have posted on the topic of revival in general terms. Your input, if you are able to read it at your convenience, would be appreciated. Thank you.

Pam Knight

So many times Churches will boast of a great Revival because so many lost souls were saved. God is always at work and as Christians we are always excited and thankful whenever lost souls are saved.
But Revivals aren’t for lost souls. Revivals are for carnal saved souls. Who in all the excitement are placed on the back burner. And then after the Evangelist and Singers have all returned home and the numbers have been sent into the State paper. The church then just returns to it’s regular Services with the Church pews full of unrepentant carnal Christians once again wondering why things seem so dead.
Churches need to start sitting aside a private time of meetings just for church members. Spending alot of time at first in small prayer groups seeking God and asking that He might soften their hard hearts, open their ears and mind to His correction and instruction in righteousness.
Then they need a man that has a proven walk of Life that is Spirit filled and controled, to begin to share with that church the very personal words the Lord wants to say to that particular group of Christians.
And be prepared to stay the course until God is thru speaking to them. True revivals rarely come quick and easy. Sin dies hard whenever it’s use to being coddled.
How many Christians down thru the years have heard about and longed for a moving of the Spirit such as was experienced in Wales ?
In Christ
Pam Knight

    MattB

    The problem is Churches, pastors, and Christians accepting the following idea, as you stated, “unrepentant carnal Christians.” There is no such thing, and these people need to be saved (cf. Gal. 5, Eph. 2:1-9; 1 John 2). What is worse many times they are treated as if they are treated as if they are saved. No one has the courage to ask as Paul did, “Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you– unless indeed you fail the test?” (NASB 2 Cor. 13:5).

      Pam Knight

      MattB, Most Christians agree that there are alot of people on Church rolls that have never truly been saved. And that shouldn’t be.
      But God has given us scriptural instruction of how to recognize and deal with people who the scripture refers to as Brethren and yet also refers to them as carnal.
      We have a couple of examples of that as Paul addresses the Brethren at Corinth and at Galatia. Clearly Paul is these passages refers to these people as Christians, as temples of God where they were IN HIM and He was IN THEM. And yet Paul was correcting them on their actions that were contrary to the Character of Christ.
      We know that the Bible says that to be carnal is to walk in the flesh and not the Spirit. That is what the Christians at Corinth and Galatia were doing. God was not the origin and source of all their activity. They were doing things on their own according to their own desires. Their actions lacked a God reference. But scripture is clearly showing that Paul refers to them as Christians.
      The point I was wanting to make in my comment was that Revivals aren’t meant to be for lost people but for Christians. A set aside time of praying and exhorting and reproof of Christians that have slipped into living a self life without a God reference. Reasoning and doing things in their own power that God is not the origin and source of. That’s carnal living. Things being done not in and by the indwelling Spirit of God in your Life. That is why churches sometimes need a time of refreshing, a time of revival of the Spirit’s control of their Life. A time of repenting from their lack of commitment and surrender to the Lord calling the shots in their lives.
      Crusades and witnessing are for the lost. But Revivals are for Christians. And dare say that all of our churches today need to set aside some meetings of just church members only. Don’t invite the lost until the Christians in the church has dealt with the sin in their own lives and in the church. It is then that the Lord will have free reign in and thru the lives of His people to reach out and speak with power and authority to the lost in their communities.
      In Christ
      Pam Knight

        MattB

        There needs to be a distinction made, and one that you are helping me make. First, I am by no means asserting sinless perfection. Christians can sin, and can sin grievously. In 1 John 2:1, the Apostle John uses the pronoun “we” and includes himself. Nevertheless, there is a distinction to be made. If a professing Christian is struggling in sin, yet, recognizes it as sin and seeks God, pursues holiness, and genuinely wants to be free I am not questioning their salvation. Pam Knights says the following:

        “But God has given us scriptural instruction of how to recognize and deal with people who the scripture refers to as Brethren and yet also refers to them as carnal.
        We have a couple of examples of that as Paul addresses the Brethren at Corinth and at Galatia. Clearly Paul is these passages refers to these people as Christians, as temples of God where they were IN HIM and He was IN THEM. And yet Paul was correcting them on their actions that were contrary to the Character of Christ.”

        Paul’s basic argument is if they are professing a Christian then act like a Christian. 1 Cor. 5:9-13 is where Paul is making the distinction. Again, any professing Christian who is struggling with the power of sin desires to be free, seeking to obey God and has an attitude against sin and for holiness is showing evidence of regeneration. We should come alongside them and help them.
        This is completely different then what I understood from Pam Knight’s statement of, “full of unrepentant carnal Christians once again wondering why things seem so dead.” I do not think anyone can sustain an argument which makes pursuing holiness an option. This second group has no desire for repentance, no desire to change, no desire to pursue holiness. This last group needs to be saved.

      volfan007

      Matt,

      I respectfully have to disagree with you, my Brother. There is such a thing as a backslidden Christian.
      1 Corinthians 3:12 Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. 14 If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.

      16 Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? 17 If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.
      I mean, my goodness, the Corinthian Church was full of backslidden Christians.
      Also, look at the Churches in the book of Revelation. Look at what was said to these Believers. And then, look at King David. How long was he in a backslidden condition before Nathan the Prophet pointed his finger at David, and said, “You are the man!” I wonder how many months David was in a backslidden condition.
      Also, I know from experience that Christians can be backslidden. I’ve seen it. I’ve seen some Believers also settle into a “Do this, and I don’t do that,” come to Church condition. You know, they’re not really living bad, sinful lives. They’ve just let their hearts grow cold.

      Brother, I’m going to have to agree with Pam. We’ve got a lot of Christians in our churches, today, who need a fresh fire from God. They need to return to their first love. While at the same time, I will agree with you, in that there are too many sitting in the pew, who don’t really know Christ.

      David

        Max

        “We’ve got a lot of Christians in our churches, today, who need a fresh fire from God. They need to return to their first love. While at the same time, I will agree with you, in that there are too many sitting in the pew, who don’t really know Christ.”

        Amen David! When the red-hot fires of genuine revival break out (which I hope America experiences again), they will (1) refine the saved, and (2) singe sinners to the point of repentance and salvation (whether they consider themselves church members or not). We might even need those prayer altars again, David … after we remove the entertainment platforms constructed over them in recent years.

        Bob Williford

        David, you have written, “There is such a thing as a backslidden Christian.” I must disagree with that statement because it cannot be validated in the NT. That word is not used in the NT so far as I know. Let us not overlook Paul’s statement which you use in your statement, 16 Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? 17 If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.” 1 Cor. 3:16-17. The NASB uses the word ‘destroys’ in place of ‘defiles’ in the translation that you cite. Paul writes that if anyone lives in sin that He will destroy that person. A Follower of the Christ will not and cannot live in sin. John writes in 1 John 2:3-6, ” By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments. 4 The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; 5 but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him: 6 the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.” NASB. And this is followed with this thought, “Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. 17 The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.” vv 15-17. The thought that one who is a habitual sinner is not a Follower of the Christ is a theme that runs through ! John.
        In vv 18-20 Paul seems to make reference to Job 5:13-14, ““He captures the wise by their own shrewdness, And the advice of the cunning is quickly thwarted. By day they meet with darkness, And grope at noon as in the night.” and Psalm
        94:11, “The Lord knows the thoughts of man, That they are a mere breath.” The best wisdom the natural man cannot be compared to the wisdom God has revealed in His Word. Those who decide not to Follow the Christ will receive God’s judgment in denial of Him. In 1 Corinthians 1:21, Paul
        writes, “For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.” No, backsliding has become a falable doctrine with no support in the NT.
        We Baptists strongly believe in ‘Perseverance of the Saints,” but, if the idea of ‘backsliding’ is thrown into the mix this doctrine stands of shaky ground. ‘Backsliding’ is a doctrine to some that cannot be substantiated in the NT. I have written about this many times over the years, but admit there is a strong argument for backsliding just as there against.
        The next question is, “Are you saying that Followers of the Christ do not sin or live in a state of sinless perfection?” No, for John speaks to that as well.
        Our churches are replete with professing ‘Christians’ who are not born-again who are lost and on their way to Hell. Followers of the Christ are much fewer in number for just as Christ said, “Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will [k]know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they? So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. So then, you will [m]know them by their fruits. Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many [n]miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’” Matthew 7:15-23.
        No, God is not going to visit our churches with fire from Heaven because of regularly scheduled events and people who consider themselves Christians must repent and be saved. We have entertainment centers meeting on Sundays in many places where the voices of prophets have been silenced. Are we ashamed of the power of the Gospel to which Paul refers in Romans 1?

          Andy

          Bob,

          David has already refered to 1 Cor. 3, but let’s break it down even further and see if you still think Paul is not describing True beleivers, who are none-the-less acting in a fleshly way? :

          BAD:
          -not spiritual
          -people of the flesh,
          -Infants…
          -not ready for solid food.
          -still of the flesh.
          -jealousy and strife among you,
          -behaving only in a human way?
          -he will suffer loss…
          -saved…but only as through fire

          GOOD:
          -In Christ.
          -God’s field,
          -God’s building.
          -he himself will be saved…
          -God’s temple
          -God’s Spirit dwells in you
          -Holy
          -You are Christ’s.

          Clearly, these are true believers…and clearly they are acting in a fleshly way and need to called to repentance. Doesn’t matter if you call it backsliding or not, but it is SOMETHING.

            Max

            Amen Andy. Great way to break down that passage!

            I was wondering what you think about Romans 8:1 (KJV) in context with the first half of Romans 8 re: living after the flesh vs. Spirit?

            “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit” (Rom. 8:1 KJV)

            Note; I realize other versions of the Bible may not include the last half of Romans 8:1 “who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”

              Andy

              1. I don’t worry too much about so-called “spurious” texts either way…simply because the same ideas, and often the same words are found elsewhere…in this case Romans 8:4. So There is a clear picture here, and elsewhere in scriptures of one who is “in Christ” being someone who no longer walks according to the flesh, to their old manner of life.

              2. SO…we have both pictures in scripture. (a) a true believer is one who’s life is changed. (b) true believers can still sin, and even have patterns of sin that they should have matured out of long ago.

              3. To reconcile them, it seems to me that if certain Corinthians had continued in their divisiveness, not heading the warnings, not caring about their spiritual immaturity…then Paul would have stepped up his warning to include the warning that they should consider whether they know Christ at all. He would have pointed to their lack of fruit, especially the absence of repentance when rebuked by a brother, as evidence that they likely are not really in Christ. In other words, the reality that it is POSSIBLE to be a sinning Christian does not negate the fact that one who continues in sin without repentance SHOULD question their salvation.

              4. When I look at scriptures, both prescriptive instructions, and descriptions of biblical people (Abraham, Moses, David, Peter, etc…). What I see is that those who know God are ever transforming their entire lives toward more and more holiness…but that it is not a straight ascending line….It’s more like a jagged up and down whose general trajectory is improving. Sanctification of practice is not immediate…even though God may grant freedom from certain sins at salvation for some people, he also may not. A drunken racist who gets saved may immediately have no desire for alcohol, but struggle for years to love and accept a black brother as his equal….OR he may immediately see the error of his racism and embrace his black brothers, but continue to struggle against the urge for the bottle.

              5. So, perhaps these Corinthians in chapter 3 were truly converted believers who had already abandoned idol worship and temple prostitution, but had somehow stalled in their growth in Christ…and Paul is calling them out. We don’t really know the details. But to have such clear juxtaposition (my favorite word EVER) in this chapter seems to dispel the idea that Christians don’t ever act in fleshly ways.

              Hope that helps you understand my thinking.
              -andy

            Bob Williford

            I would suggest the conversation begin with Paul’s statement, “Brothers, I was not able to speak to you as spiritual people but as people of the flesh, as babies in Christ.” He speaks here of ‘babies in Christ’ and continues in verse 2 with, ” I gave you milk to drink, not solid food, because you were not yet ready for it.” Babies have never matured. Babies are never able to mature beyond where they are able until certain physical, emotional and other factors also mature. I had an uncle who never matured beyond a 12 year old mentality and emotions, yet he was over 6 ft tall and weighed about 250 lbs. He could give you every statistic every year about the Texas Tech Red Raider football team, names of every coach and players of both offense, defense, etc. Uncle Melvin knew many more verses of Scripture by memory than I did, but he was in neutral emotionally. He died at the age of 83. My point is that he did not reach, say 30 years of maturity and digress or in our case, ‘backslide.’ This simply did not happen. He was an adult physically locked in a 12 year old emotional state. This is similar with what Paul is speaking of in 1 Corinthian chapter 3.
            In Hebrews 5:11-13, we find these words, “We have a great deal to say about this, and it’s difficult to explain, since you have become too lazy to understand. Although by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the basic principles of God’s revelation again. You need milk, not solid food. Now everyone who lives on milk is inexperienced with the message about righteousness, because he is an infant. But solid food is for the mature—for those whose senses have been trained to distinguish between good and evil.” Continuing on in Hebrews 6:1-6 we find these stunning words of the writer, “Therefore, leaving the elementary message about the Messiah, let us go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, faith in God, teaching about ritual washings,[a] laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. And we will do this if God permits. For it is impossible to renew to repentance those who were once enlightened, who tasted the heavenly gift, became companions with the Holy Spirit, tasted God’s good word and the powers of the coming age, and who have fallen away, because,[b] to their own harm, they are recrucifying the Son of God and holding Him up to contempt.” If backsliding is possible, there is no hope for repentance. There is immaturity, but no backsliding.

              Andy

              If backsliding is possible, there is no hope for repentance. There is immaturity, but no backsliding.

              1. First, I think we need to delineate between 2 types of backsliding. One would be abandoning the faith…another would be a Christian committing sin after showing some maturing. I think it is clear that Hebrews speaks of the former, but the latter is not absent biblically either.

              2. For the later, we have at least 2 easy examples: David, who showed a great many godly traits, but then committing adultery and conspiracy to murder. HOWEVER, if you don’t think David counts because he had the Holy Spirit, We have PETER, who at one point accepted the Lord’s vision that all foods and peoples were now clean, and went to Cornelius’s house…but also is rebuked by Paul for being unwilling to eat with Gentiles. Clearly Peter “Slid back” into a sin he should have been done with.

              3. Is it your contention that in every area of the Christian life, whether it be greed, anger, lust, honesty, fear of man, pride….that every true christian only and ever makes positive progress? That if a man who once was known for his deceit, but who professes faith in Christ, and grows and commits to honesty and displays it consistently for years, then finds himself in a pinch and starts to fudge the truth to get out of it….that this man is automatically not a Christian? because Christians don’t backslide?

                Bob Williford

                Christians will sin, but will not and cannot live in sin…this is a biblical fact. Folks in the OT cannot be compared to Nt discussion. Reason being is the Christ had not yet arrived on the scene….before the Crucifixion, we understand that everyone lived under the Law. In the OT backsliding is a common occurrence and we see God renewing relationship with Israel over and over again…..This changes in the NT because of the coming of the Holy Spirit upon Jesus’ promise of the coming of the Comforter upon HIs ascension. Followers of the Christ will not and cannot live in sin as they experience the ‘New Birth.’ Christians will sin, but cannot live in it. The NT speaks of this many times…..

              Jim P

              I’d like to contribute a little to this discussion especially in reference to Hebrews 6:16 being used in the discussion. I hope it adds. I this find in very revealing and may add more then settle. It seems (from studies) that the book of Hebrews was particularly aimed at Jewish Believers who resided in Rome. The phrase ‘dead word’ in particularly is applicable to Jews. Gentiles would have been ‘wicked works,” Col. 1:21.These Jewish Believers were very tempted to return to Judaism, a system ended (dead) with the resurrection. Why? Jews were under Rome’s protection, Christians were suffering persecution from mainly Gentiles but these Jewish believers were doubly aimed at from both Jews and Gentiles. But they, returning after being ‘awakened’ to who Christ is and what God is doing left no return. It seems (I’m not absolute about this point) that these Jewish believers had a fuller insight in the implication of turning there back on the truth. That last point is a problem but like Paul’s rebuke to Peter, Peter acted contrary to the of God’s work. This is a good lesson for the need to continue to ‘grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord,’ if one has been ‘enlightened.’ ‘Our citizenship is in Heaven.’

            volfan007

            Andy,

            I’m not sure if I’m following you, or not, here. I am the one, who agree with Pam about Christians can be backslidden, or worldly, or fleshly. I do believe that Christians can lose the fire of their faith….they can leave their first love….they can commit sin and even stay in sin for a while….of course, if someone is truly saved, then God will discipline those whom He loves….Hebrews 12. And, just like the man in Corinth, who was living with his mother, and was rebuked for such sinful living, those Christians can get right with God.
            Also, I totally agree that they need to be called to repentance….just as Jesus told the churches in Revelation to repent. I never said that backslidden Christians did NOT need to repent; did I?

            scratching my head,

            David

              Andy

              I’m not sure what you are referring to from my post. I was replying to Bob, who seems to say that a true christian will not fall in to sin, or at least never moves backwards. I am agreeing with you mostly (except I don’t use the word “backslidden”).

              As a side point, regarding 1 cor. 5….we dont’ know the end of that story, it says he “may be saved.” I would contend that if the man did not respond in repentance, then it is possible he was not saved, and that he went out from them, because he was not of them.

                Bob Williford

                Either a person is a Christian or one is not. The use of the term ‘true Christian’ is, well, bothersome at best. Yes, Christians will sin, but they will not do so habitually. ! John speaks directly to that issue. John tells us that if one lives in sin there is no relationship with the Christ. Either a person is in Christ or is not…there is no grey area. When a Follower of the Christ commits a sin the Holy Spirit convicts of sin immediately. The person who commits the sin will respond in like fashion and God will not allow him to go unnoticed until repentance takes place. To live in that sin for a period of time reveals the nature of the person committing the sin. Living in the sin, habitually practicing that sin demonstrates that there is no relationship with the Christ……

                  Andy

                  1. I agree there is no gray area. One is either saved or not. That’s not what I’m talking about. “True Christian” is used merely for this discussion to contrast with someone who might be a “false Christian” ie, not a Christian.

                  2. We likely agree on much here, that a true Christian will be immediately convicted of sin by the Holy Spirit, and will not find rest of soul until he/she repents.

                  3. What we disagree on is your un-defined “period of time.” before repentance. If a man fails to repent for 1 minute, is he an unbeliever? what about 10 minutes? an hour? a day? a week? etc.? There is no scripture delineating this time. I contend that scripture gives examples of Christians sinning, and even resisting the Holy Spirit’s conviction for a time, before repenting. If this were not the case, why Passages like Matt. 18 & Galatians 6? Notice it says to RESTORE him….not GET HIM SAVED BECAUSE HE’S OBVIOUSLY NOT A CHRISTIAN. Surely such passages cannot only apply to immediate sins and immediate rebuke and immediate repentance…if he doesn’t repent right away he’s obviously a pagan. If that were the case, Matt. 18 would read: “Go and tell him his fault, if he doesn’t listen the first time, Let him be as a tax collector and sinner!” (No need for 4 steps).

                  4. If you are unwilling to deal with the juxtapositions of fleshliness & holiness in 1 Cor. 3, and with the example of Peter’s failure to eat with gentiles, then we likely will not have a productive discussion.

                    Jim P

                    Andy,

                    May I enter this discussion a little and give some thoughts to you on your use of 1 Cor. 3 and Paul’s rebuke to Peter? This is a little technical to put Peter is the category of a backslidden believer.

                    Jim P

                  Andy

                  Jim. P…

                  1. You are certainly free to comment, and you don’t even need my permission!

                  2. I don’t really know what you are trying to say here.

                  3. I did not say Peter was a backslidden Christian, However, he DID “slide back” into a sin that he should have known to reject. If this is what is meant by a Christian “backsliding'” so be it.

                  Jim P

                  Thank you,

                  I think things such as what happened between Peter and Paul, the believers in Corinth and the Hebrew letter needs more specifics. The points you are making are in general correct but the reason they are written have specifics in them that should be brought in the discussion. Peter was going ‘back’ to the very thing God undid in Christ. That is the completion of His Work through Israel according to the flesh. Peter as an ‘authoritative’ representative of this revolutionary work was acting contrary to it. This main issue in this work was that God was accepting Gentiles on Equal footing with Jews. Paul knew, probably better than Peter, being on both sides of this fight more clearly what was at stake.This should carry force in present day believers to go continue to press forward with this work. Also, consider the verse,1Cor. 5:5 deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. This has to do with salvation to be Used in God’s work in the future. Another incentive for today believers to press forward and not fall ‘back.’ Again not to argue but to contribute. You point in general is valid, specifics of ‘why they are written,’ I think presses the relevancy for today. Hope this adds.

                    Bob Williford

                    Jim P….you are an interesting person…..would you mind dropping an email?

                  Jim P

                  Bob,

                  Many believers don’t know God’s objectives for their own lives personally let alone the over all plan of His work. If they did they’d be in a better position to either go forward in that plan or turn their back on it. Those who minister the word need to consistently make that plan known. It’s comfortable to ignore. I appreciate this site and need to dialog here with you or anyone who’s objective is to ‘know Christ.’ In Phil. 3:10, Paul shows the rewards to know Him but for most the demand to know Him is the line in the sand.
                  Thanks, Jim

      Bob Williford

      You have nailed it. Churches have become complacent in addressing sin within the membership. Personally, I know of folks who are living together….’shacking up’ as it is sometimes called…..and no one in the church is challenging the sin. There are other things going on which causes me to wonder if these are churches at all, but are only social organizations masquerading as churches…..

        Scott Shaver

        “Churches have become complacent in addressing sin within the membership”

        Realistically, what power or persuasion over sin does “church” membership really have over individuals? Seems that the solution is the power of the Holy Spirit woring over and above the power of collective rebuke in the heart of the “sinner”.

        Seems to me that some bitter Christians care for more about criticizing the human short-comings of the earthly church than expounding upon the power of God’s Holy Spirit as it comes to bear upon the hearts of those needing salvation.

        If you’re looking for church members to accomplish what only the Spirit can, I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for results.

          Bob Williford

          The Church is instructed several times to identify those who are in sin and help them to see their error and to correct it. Paul tells the church in Corinth to remove these folks from the congregation and that Believers are not to associate with them. Because we who are Followers of the Christ are to be like HIm do we not recall the moment that he told Judas Iscariot that Satan had entered him and that he should remove himself in order to take care of his business?
          Because the Holy Spirit lives within the Body of Followers of the Christ, He will use us to administer correction to those who are in sin.This is what is referred to as discipline and training in the Word of God……

            Scott Shaver

            And how is this working for you in the realm of the practical Bob?

            Have you personally been involved in removing anybody from church fellowship lately?

              Bob Williford

              I have yet to get anyone in any church to agree to doing so because people might leave….this is a spiritual reality. However, I have confronted two different couples who were living together outside of marriage. One left the church and another couple did agree to a wedding…..the bride made a profession of faith and was baptized after the ceremony. Both couples were in the same church. This was a good thing in the life of the church generally speaking, but some folks really did not understand…….

                Bob Williford

                Scott, I awakened with your question on my mind and I am bothered by it, “And how is this working for you in the realm of the practical Bob?” I am now asking, “Is Scott actually asking ‘Is the application of God’s word convenient for us?'” Or, “Is God’s Word relevant in our culture?”
                I would say, “NO” to the first question because the things that Christ teaches us and then the things that the remainder of the NT speaks to are most often not convenient for anyone.
                And the answer to the second question is, “Yes.” the Word of God is relevant.

                  Scott Shaver

                  Nice job Bob of re-framing my question to avoid it completely.

                  Glad you’re satisfied with your answers to your own questions. Don’t go pointing a finger a me, however, for asking “whether or not the Word of God is relevant”.

                    Bob Williford

                    Scott, I answered your question. I am not attempting to point a finger at you and nor am I being sarcastic. I am sorry that you take my response that way. I might add that the Word of God is not always practical or convenient for us, either. The Word of God is sharper than a two-edged sword and oftens offends us. Jesus is Lord.

              Andy

              Scott,

              Perhaps a better way to re-frame the question would be: How do YOU believe we should APPLY passages like Matthew 18 and 1 Cor. 5? When/if a brother in your church continues in blatant and un-repentant sin, what should your interaction with that person be…both personally, and if applicable to your answer, the church as a whole?

              In other words, if you think there is no biblical warrant for removing a person from a church, what is your alternative way to apply these scriptures?

Max

We no longer experience genuine revival in the American church, because we are satisfied to live without it. And if we are satisfied to live without it, we won’t pay the price to experience it. Humility, prayer, repentance, and seeking God’s face no longer characterize churchmen. Apathy is widespread in both pulpit and pew. We are living in the church age called apostasy … a great falling away from that which is right. Certainly, there are exceptions to this where a man of God and a people of God refuse to continue to do church without God and position themselves to receive His presence. But the multitudes no longer walk in His glory, nor seek it. I was young and now am old. During my long journey, I’ve had a glimpse of the genuine and am now growing weary with the counterfeit that has settled over Christendom. IF my people … THEN will I. But will we?

    Jim P

    Max,
    Jesus said this ,” He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.” Matt. 10:37,38

    Truman’s quote, ‘the buck stops here,” lays the responsibility on the leaders, those who are the examples. If those who are examples in churches don’t think Jesus is worthy more than anyone or anything, revival will end at their door (no where else), as it should.

      Max

      Amen Jim! The reason that we don’t have much holiness preaching in American churches these days, is that the pulpit is not holy enough to preach that message. I’m old enough to remember (even in SBC ranks) when the pulpit used to exhort the pew to pursue holiness. (Holiness is not something that is reserved only for Pentecostals, by the way). Revival was a natural result of such preaching (or should I say “supernatural”), when it was coupled with a visible example of leaders practicing what they preached and congregations bowing a knee to cry out to God to change them. We’ve got a lot of preacher boys in the mix today, but not too many men of God; thus, the pew follows suit.

        Jim P

        A thought Max,

        Paul’s letter to the Philippians had two emphasis he wanted the Philippians to bring together: holiness and unity. One without the other is easy for churches, but to bring these two goals together takes God and Believers working together. The world will give attention to nothing less. John 13:35

        norm

        Max and Jim P:

        I couldn’t agree more. As a life-long SBCer, and as a PK, and as one who is ordained and has been a pastor, I can say authoritatively that no church will ever rise above the spiritual level of its leader(s). I have heard much over the years about pastoral authority; but on balance, very little about pastoral holiness. He who condones, accepts, or practices any level of darkness is spiritually incapable of leading anyone else to the light. God will not, yea, God cannot bless sin. Yet for successive Sundays on end, some pulpits are filled by those who are most in need of the sermon preached.

        Here is one example. If I were to call the name of this former pastor, it would readily be recognized. For the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering, he placed a check in the offering plate so all could see and told the flock that he and his wife were “making a sacrificial gift to missions.” But the check was made out to his own evangelistic association. There is no attempt, here, to besmirch any one person, or group of folks. Rather, the truthful account demonstrates the problem of “unholiness” at the helm of who knows how many churches?

        I think the effectiveness of my witness is directly proportional to how closely I walk with (obey) God.

        Allen: I am not at all surprised that revival fell at Dunn Memorial. Why no surprise? Well, I have been hearing your heart by reading your comments, and even from a few personal conversations. Whereas I know you are not perfect — and will probably deflect what I am about to say — I do sense in you a commitment to personal holiness and a fervor for both the Word of God and its application to lost souls. Such is a righteous recipe God will bless every time. He must, because He is true to His Word. God is not slack according to His promises. Thank you for your post, and the reminder that I (we) must strive to be holy because our God is holy.

          Lydia

          . “I have heard much over the years about pastoral authority; but on balance, very little about pastoral holiness. ”

          Deserves to be repeated.

Nelson Banuchi

If anyone is interested, here’s a blog discussing revival:http://atdcross.blogspot.com/2014/04/revival.html

Allen Rea

I apologize for my late response. Thank you all for reading! I’ve enjoyed reading your responses.

Bob Williford

This is a great discussion and am enjoying the interaction. I am on Thanksgiving vacation and have been celebrating a grandson’s birthday today….tomorrow we go to south Louisiana for the remainder of the week and will not be around until Thursday…..have a blessed day tomorrow everyone….BW

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