would like to share something God did yesterday at church by showing a sequence
of events that only God could arrange to complete what He had planned.
Two weeks ago, I spoke with Alan about a message he felt God put on
his heart. I asked if he was ready to preach that Sunday (a week from
yesterday) if the other elders agreed. Alan felt it best to wait since
that Sunday was the dedication of his daughter.
So last Tuesday, the elders met with Alan who shared what God put on his heart.
After sensing God was indeed moving, the elders shelved the existing preaching
schedule to have Alan share God's message yesterday.
After the service was over, I saw Alan speaking with a man I'd never seen
before. The man was obviously broken and crying as he was speaking with
Alan. His name is Dave.
So when I went over to see if I could help, I saw that Dave was struggling and
crying and telling Alan that the message Alan gave spoke directly to his
heart. Dave continued to struggle terribly so we asked Dave if he wanted
to go into a side room to talk more privately.
In the side room, Dave said he was on his way back from a serious
disappointment in Franklin and extremely upset. He got a phone call and
pulled over to take the call - directly in front of our church. He told
us, "I've been by your church a hundred times and never noticed it
This time God told him to come into the church. So Dave came up the
stairs and went to the doors that were locked, rather than the unlocked
doors, and he was going to turn around and leave. But there was a
man in the lobby who opened the doors and simply said,
"Welcome". Dave said hearing that helped him feel it
was "gonna be OK".
As he continued to struggle terribly, Dave shared that he was saved and
baptized years ago, but he had fallen away. And that God had spoken to
his heart through the message. Dave shared that he knew he needed a
change but he didn't know how.
So Alan and I spent some time sharing what God gave us to say to Dave - and
after a while we asked him if he wanted to recommit to God. He said
through his tears he did but he didn't know what to do. So we brought him
to 1 John 1:9 - about confessing, repenting, and being cleansed by God who
still loved him.
Then we led Dave in a prayer of re-commitment. Praise God!!
I trust you are seeing how God's hand was all over Dave's recommitment:
The timing of Alan sharing the message God gave him.
God putting it on the hearts of the elders to step aside and let
God speak through Alan yesterday, and not some future date.
Dave getting a phone call and pulling over directly in front of
God moving in Dave's heart to come into the church.
A man happened to be in the lobby after the service
had started to welcome Dave when the door was locked.
God speaking through Alan's message directly into Dave's heart -
drawing Dave to Himself.
God giving Dave a vulnerable heart to sit with two total
strangers in a quiet room.
God giving us the words to say to Dave to help him see his
need to get right with God.
Please pray for Dave who said he wanted to come back to Life Church
next week. Pray that God will continue to draw Dave back to Himself.
And most of all - give praise to our loving, merciful, gracious God
who will orchestrate anything and everything to save the lost
and to redeem His wayward children.
"Oh give thanks to
the Lord, call upon His name; make known His deeds among the peoples. Sing
to Him, sing praises to Him; speak of all His wonders. Glory in His holy name; let the heart of those who seek
the Lord be glad. Seek the Lord and His strength; seek His face continually. Remember His wonderful deeds which He
has done ..." (1 Chronicles 16:8-12)
Now it may be difficult for contemporary Christians to understand what I am about to
say, but the Christians living in the first few centuries of the Christian faith were marked
and persecuted as Atheists and you will be, too. If a revival doesn’t break out in this
country, this is one of the reasons you are going to go to jail.
Now, the culture surrounding the Christian was immersed in Theism. The world was
filled with images of deities and religion was a booming business. Men not only tolerated
one another’s deities, but they swapped them and shared them like baseball cards. The
entire religious world was going on just fine until the Christians showed up and declared
that he gods made with hands are no gods at all. They denied the Caesars the homage
they demanded, refused to bend their knee to all other so-called gods and the confessed
Jesus alone to be Lord of all. And, therefore, they were labeled Atheists.
The entire world looked on such draw dropping arrogance and reacted with fury against
the Christian’s intolerable intolerance to tolerance.
Now I want you to look at something. Look at these words. Jaw dropping arrogance. The
same scenario abounds in our world today. Against all logic we are told that all views
regarding religion and morality are true no matter how radically different they are or
contradictory they may be.
The most overwhelming aspect of all of this is that through the tireless efforts of the
media and the academic world, this has quickly become the majority view. However,
pluralism does not address the issue or cure the malady. It only anesthetizes the patient so
that he no longer feels or thinks.
Now the gospel is a scandal because it awakens man from his slumber and refuses to let
him rest on such an illogical footing. It forces him to come to some conclusion. How
long will you hesitate between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him and if Baal,
follow him. The true gospel is radically exclusive.
I never thought I would have to say this in front of a bunch of evangelicals. I never
thought there would come a day when I would have to say such a thing to evangelicals
that the gospel is radically exclusive. I never thought that we would begin to lose Christ
as the only way.
Now listen. The true gospel is radically exclusive. Jesus is not a way, but the way and all
other ways are no way at all. Now listen to this very carefully, because this is what is
happening today. If Christianity would only move one small step toward a more tolerant
ecumenicalism and change the definite article “the” in “the Savior” for the indefinite
article “a” or “a Savior” the scandal would be removed and the world and Christianity
could become friends. Do you realize that? If we would simply say that Yahweh is a god
we would have no persecution on our hands. If we would simply say that Jesus is a
savior, I would be on the Oprah Winfrey show. Do you realize that? All the scandal
would remove if we just said he is our savior. You have yours, we will have ours. We are
not going to impose anything upon you. We are not going to wrangle in dialog. Nothing.
If that is your way, you go with that way and I will go with mine.
If we would only do that, we would never be persecuted. But if we do that, Christianity
ceases to be Christianity, we cease to be Christian, Christ is denied and the world is
without a Savior.
Watch, listen, read or download the full message: "Regeneration vs Decisionism" by Paul Washer here.
Sola Scriptura (Scripture Alone)
The Bible is the only inspired, inerrant authority for Christian Faith, and it contains all knowledge necessary for salvation and holiness.
Sola Fide (Faith Alone)
Justification is by faith alone. The full righteousness of Christ imputed to us by faith (comprised of His active and passive obedience) is the sole ground of our acceptance by God, by which our sins are remitted.
Solus Christus (Christ Alone)
Christ is Prophet, Priest and King; the only mediator through whose work we are redeemed.
Sola Gratia (Grace Alone)
Salvation comes by God's grace or "unmerited favor" alone — not as something merited by the sinner. This means that salvation is an unearned gift from God.
Soli Deo Gloria (Glory to God Alone)
All glory is to be due to God alone, since salvation is accomplished solely through His will and action — not only the gift of the all-sufficient atonement of Jesus on the cross but also the gift of faith in that atonement, created in the heart of the believer by the Holy Spirit.
Based on SCRIPTURE alone, we can affirm that justification is by GRACE alone, through FAITH alone, because of CHRIST alone, for the GLORY OF GOD alone.