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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

ATTN: Evangelist-types

Matt Chandler writes this in The Explicit Gospel. It is incredibly important...Too many "invitations" (regardless of motivation) are manipulative, falsely based, and result in far too many false converts who discover horribly the reality of Matthew 7.21ff.

Here is Chandler's quote:

"Knowledge of and belief in hell - as important as they are - are unable to create worshipers. Yet misunderstanding this reality is historically how the doctrine of hell has been abused and misused by so many men in the name of God.

You cannot scare anyone into heaven. Heaven is not a place for those who are afraid of hell; it's a place for those who love God. You can scare people into coming to your church, you can scare people into trying to be good, you can scare people into giving money, you can even scare them into walking down an aisle and praying a certain prayer, but you cannot scare people into loving god. You just can't do it. You can scare them into moral acts of goodness. But that's not salvation. It's not even Christian." (emphasis added)

Again, I question not anyone's motives. Only God knows those...I do call them out on methods. The invitation "method" has not been around that long in the history of the church. I have a difficult time imagining Jesus, Paul, or Peter saying, "Now bow your heads and close your eyes..." Again, there are times when such an "invitation" is valid, primarily when so led by Spirit of God...and if there are adequate counselors available, and other variables...

Jesus always made it far easier to say "no" than to say "yes" to His demands. I remind you that no where in Scripture are we told to "pray to receive Christ." We are told to believe. (not just some belief like Santa Claus; but a "clinging to, relying on" belief)

"Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven" - regardless of how many
 decision forms have been filled out, how many church membership certificates have been printed, etc.

Chandler's book is rich on so many topics - all centered on not the wishy-washy, poor God needs you, "gospel" so popular today, but on the explicit gospel explicitly described in the Word of God.

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