Post Number: 1081
|Posted on Sunday, October 25, 2009 - 2:07 pm: || |
"...Jesus has become the surety of a better covenant." Hebrews 7:22
But for Adventists, is it REALLY a better covenant? They don't have the assurance of salvation. They don't have any awareness of God's presence in their lives.
A Christian knows they are saved the moment they accept Christ. Adventists feel they have to "pass" the investigative judgment and feel they have to keep: "the ministry of death, written and engraved on stones;" instead of enjoying the: "ministry of the Spirit;" [2nd Corinthians 3:7,8]
Their thinking is typical though for anyone in a false religion - Roman Catholics and Mormons don't have the assurance of salvation either.
I like reading stories of people who've passed from death to life - stories where someone was in a false religion such as Islam, etc. I read a story in "Jews for Jesus" of a Jewish man who tried to find the God of his forefathers and connect with Him. He didn't believe in Jesus so he couldn't. He wasn't any worse off then SDAs who cannot completely accept Jesus' sacrifice for them because Ellen White said that no one should say they are saved.
Finally he accepted Jesus and DID connect with God! In his testimony he wrote: "For the first time, I felt God's presence as I had imagined my ancestors did long ago. That night I encountered God himself, Emmanu-El-- God who is with us." If you would like to read his testimony, you can find it here:
Here's another good testimony:
I've also read lots of good testimonies on former Mormon sites, former Jehovah's Witness sites, former Muslim sites, etc. and of course the stories section here. It's wonderful when God brings people to the real gospel!!!
Post Number: 492
|Posted on Sunday, October 25, 2009 - 5:49 pm: || |
The Gospel IS compelling!
Indeed, we have SO MUCH Good News to tell!
This is the reason I say focus on the Good News.
It is MUCH more compelling than the bad.
Paul doesn't go around bashing the Law. He says it's done its job (Gal. 3:19-25). In Jesus Christ you have died to the Law. You are now under Grace (Romans 6).
Paul doesn't say the OC was useless. He says it wasn't enough. He says it's time is past. He says, leave it behind and walk in the light. (2 Cor. 3)
Notice --> He doesn't say leave it behind without giving the Good News loud and clear. You are children of the promise. Walk in the light! (Gal. 4-5)
Likewise, the author of Hebrews doesn't dwell on the uselessness of the OC. He points up its deficiency by extolling superiority of Christ's ministry for us. (Hebrews - Read the whole book!)
Talking about what Jesus has done for me, what He means to me, brings on looks of astonishment. It's easy to see that the person I'm talking with wonders just what on earth has taken possession of my life. The reaction seems to be the same whether I'm talking to my unchurched neighbor or my SDA friend who is a stranger assurance. Both think I've gone over the edge. There's no big argument, no fight to get into. No harsh words get said in the heat of the moment. I get to testify to what Jesus Christ has done in my life and He gets to do the rest.
(Message edited by pegg on October 25, 2009)
Post Number: 684
|Posted on Sunday, October 25, 2009 - 6:19 pm: || |
I like the positive approach you are talking about. What do they say? Honey attracts more flies than vinegar? I would like to do that?
Could you give some examples of how to use it? Let's say I'm talking to a SDA and he says that the Law is still binding. How do I use your positive approach? Or the IJ, state of the dead, the sabbath, etc.
Could you help with this? Thanks.
Post Number: 494
|Posted on Sunday, October 25, 2009 - 7:38 pm: || |
My friends usually don't go there with me, I think because I go to Jesus first.
Sometimes they give me an opening or if I drop enough hints they will they'll ask, though.
So when my mom commented, "I'm just so glad I don't believe my deceased mother is walking around upstairs in my house like my other Christian friends do." I answered, "Mom, Christians don't believe that. That's not what my friends believe. Let me tell you what we believe..." I went on to tell her about how Adam's sin caused every human born since him to be born without a spirit that would turn to God, that this is why Jesus said we must be born again of the Spirit. It is a gift, the very gift Jesus was offering the woman at the well and that He said at the temple would become a spring of Living Water in our soul. I told her this spirit is immortal. That is why Adam was cast out of the garden and why Jesus could say that one that believes has passed from death into life. Because this spirit that we receive at new birth is immortal it goes to be with God when the Christian dies, while the body remains in the earth. Christians don't believe that the immortal spirit can come back and visit us, though. Remember the story of Lazarus and the Rich Man? Abraham said there is a great chasm. My Christian friends don't believe their dead loved ones come back to earth.
This is all one story. It is easy to tell very quickly.
Or when my friend comments that we'll all have to face the judgment. "That's not what Paul says, though, Joe. He says, 'There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.' Jesus says this, too. He says that when we believe in Him we have already passed from death into life. He says that no one can snatch us. He said no one! The devil is someone. I am someone! How can this be?" This is where I go on to talk about how Jesus has put His own clothes on right over my dirty ones so that now I am free to be with God, because in the end all He's going to say is, "See that little lady down there with the short hair? That's my Son's coat she's wearing. Bring her here to me."
When my mom said, "Well what about the Sabbath?" I told her, "God wants us to have Rest, Mom. He's promised it to us in Jesus Christ. Jesus Himself said, 'Come unto me all you who are weak and heavy laden...and you will find Rest for your soul.' In Hebrews 4 God tells us not to miss out on our Rest. He says that the COI missed out. Mom, they were the best Sabbathkeepers in the world. He says they never got to Rest. But there is a Rest still left for us, and the whole book or Hebrews tells us about Him. It is Jesus Christ. The author of Hebrews says that the New Covenant that Jesus brought us is better than the old one. You know why? He tells us that, to. It's because Jesus, not me, is the Guarantor of the New Covenant that He made with God on my behalf! This is why I can have Rest in Him."
It has been my experience that these are very short conversations. They almost always end with "Hummm..." Or what my mom said about the teaching of the receiving the immortal spirit of God at new birth, "Oh! That is very beautiful!"
Do these brief little lessons "Win the day"?
Not if the purpose is to convince another person to see things "my way".
But see, I don't think it's "my way" or that "convincing" is my prerogative. I believe that planting seeds is what He's given me to do and that He wants me to refrain from trampling up the seedbed before the seeds begin to sprout.
Later when the plants get stronger there will be time enough for dealing with the weeds.
Maybe He'll want me to do that, too. Maybe He'll give the job to someone else.
Either way's okay with me. I'll wait and see.
Post Number: 686
|Posted on Sunday, October 25, 2009 - 7:51 pm: || |
Fantastic. Thanks for the illustrations. No confrontation. Just the facts clear and simple.
Post Number: 495
|Posted on Sunday, October 25, 2009 - 8:28 pm: || |
Just bring the conversation back to Jesus Christ.
He is what they need.
No one can argue with Him.
The Sabbath? --> It's about Jesus Christ!
IJ? --> Jesus' got it handled!
What happens in death? --> Jesus says one who believes in Him will never die. Do you believe this?
Rapture? --> I don't think God's going to be standing at the gate asking if I'm pre or post trib. He'll want to know who's clothes I have on.
Predestination? --> Of course. It's in the Bible. Don't you believe it, too? Paul says we're destined to be conformed to His likeness. Who will dare to accuse God's elect? Will God do it? No! He's the one who sent Jesus to die for us? Will Jesus do it? Are you kidding?! So we know that nothing that is in heaven above or in earth below or demons or even our own sinful self can separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus.
Ellen? --> How about let's talk about Jesus?
Don't be surprised when they stop talking very quickly. People have to think these things over and process them. This stuff is just too good to be true, though....eventually they'll just have to come back for more.
In The Meantime, Pray To The Gardener To Protect The Tiny Seeds.
(Message edited by pegg on October 25, 2009)
Post Number: 181
|Posted on Sunday, October 25, 2009 - 10:21 pm: || |
Post Number: 458
|Posted on Monday, October 26, 2009 - 8:42 am: || |
Pegg, I really appreciate your posts. They give me ideas of different ways to share Jesus.
Post Number: 498
|Posted on Monday, October 26, 2009 - 4:56 pm: || |
Thank-you guys for the opportunity!
I am SO in awe of Living Water! It is far beyond my poor ability to share what people need to know about Him. Precious friends packed-in their own disappointment and frustrations to share this Good News with me....It's pay-back time.
Jesus Christ gave everything for me. He did it all - nothing left for me to mess up. When He handed salvation to me it was a Done-Deal. Living Water, welling up to Eternal Life! John 4:14
How Could I Ever Want To Talk About Anything Else?
(Message edited by pegg on October 26, 2009)
Post Number: 167
|Posted on Monday, October 26, 2009 - 9:26 pm: || |
I love that: "Pray to the Gardner"! The seeds will be sprinkled with Living Water and have the Son of Righteous shining on them to coax the tender shoots up out of the earth.