Post Info TOPIC: why are the members of the church not converted or transformed?
NB

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why are the members of the church not converted or transformed?
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Things could be so different if we were converted/transformed!  Why has not this happened?  what's wrong?  What is the missing link??



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Vigilantius

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One answer to the question is that many people refuse to yield their hearts, and this is intrinsic to human nature.  A Bible illustration of this is the interview between Christ and Nicodemus (John 3), where Christ pressed home the points about needing a new heart and the importance of "look and live".

Nicodemus took these points to heart, but many of his contemporaries did not, and when faced with the ultimate spiritual choice of Christ or Barabbas, they went for the latter (Matthew 27:15-22).

The trappings of Jewish spiritual culture led many to believe that they were on course with God, when in fact they were far away.  The SOP quote below indicates that nothing has changed in the last two thousand years -- participation in a variety of church activities does not necessarily mean a person is converted.

Men may turn from one doctrine to another, and yet know nothing of the meaning of the words, "A new heart also will I give you." Accepting new theories merely does not bring new life into the soul, even though the church that is entered may be established on the true foundation. A connection with the church does not take the place of conversion. To have one's name placed on the church roll is not of the least value unless the heart is truly changed.  {RH, March 29, 1906 par. 4}



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webmaster

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I think one reason is that we have lost a lot of what it means to be a follower of Jesus.

Most of us think that joining a church, doing like others around you, or even following your own studies irrespective of everyone else, is what it means to follow Jesus.  That is quite a large difference from the early Christians.

However, I would posit that with the absence of miracles and wonders that accompanied the early believers (the absence of the outward working of the Holy Ghost), we believers have slowly come to believe that what we see around us, is what Christianity is meant to be.  By comparing ourselves to those around us, we just don't get excited about being a follower of Jesus.

Today I saw a Pew research article on how Americans are losing faith in the virgin birth of Jesus.  The percentage is still around 65%, but has gone down around 7 points in just 3 years.  That translates into nearly 20 million Americans in just 3 years who have lost faith in this very important fact of Christianity!

Many people inside and outside of the churches are seeing that Christians aren't living any differently than they are, unconverted and untransformed, and are rejecting the whole basis of Christianity, as it looks like a fraud.



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Ed Sutton

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Baptized without requiring evidences of conversion, lack of teaching members that conversion is required for Heaven, lack of teaching what conversion is and is not, Bible Studies deal in too many generalities and do not in detail explain it and how to get it, and what conversion means. 



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nb

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How should we teach things differently?  

What is the 'key' to this transformation?



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Vigilantius

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NB asks what the "key" is to this transformation.

Over the years I've found certain core Bible passages to be quite helpful.

One of them is John 6:54-57, where Jesus said that He lived by total dependence on His Father, and we are to do likewise by depending totally on Jesus.  This implies an intimate association with Him, which is impossible without heart religion.

Another text I like is Galatians 5:6, where the idea is expressed that genuine faith is a working faith, and the motivation is love for God.  This likewise is impossible without heart religion.

If this text is combined with 1 Peter 1:22, we have the phrase "Faith that works by love and purifies the soul".  This is a phrase that occurs several hundred times in the Spirit of Prophecy, and one of my favorite examples is below.

When we speak of faith, there is a distinction that should be borne in mind. There is a kind of belief that is wholly distinct from faith. The existence and power of God, the truth of His word, are facts that even Satan and his hosts cannot at heart deny. The Bible says that "the devils also believe, and tremble;" but this is not faith. James 2:19. Where there is not only a belief in God's word, but a submission of the will to Him; where the heart is yielded to Him, the affections fixed upon Him, there is faith -- faith that works by love and purifies the soul. Through this faith the heart is renewed in the image of God. And the heart that in its unrenewed state is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be, now delights in its holy precepts, exclaiming with the psalmist, "O how love I Thy law! it is my meditation all the day." Psalm 119:97. And the righteousness of the law is fulfilled in us, "who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." Romans 8:1.  {SC 63.2}



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Ed Sutton

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A minister, after preaching a Bible discourse which brought deep conviction to one of his hearers, was accosted with the question, "Do you really believe what you have preached?"  {GW 33.2}  

 

     "Certainly," he answered.  {GW 33.3}  

 

     "But is it really so?" asked the anxious questioner.  {GW 33.4}  

 

     "Certainly," said the minister, as he reached for his Bible.  {GW 33.5}  

 

     Then the man broke out, "O, if this is the truth, what shall we do?"  {GW 33.6}  

 

     "What shall we do?" thought the minister-- "we"? What could the man mean? But the question forced its way to his soul. He went away to plead with God to tell him what to do. And as he prayed, there came to him with overwhelming force the thought that he had the solemn realities of eternity to present to a dying world. For three weeks his place in the desk was vacant. He was seeking an answer to the question, "What shall we do?"  {GW 33.7}  

 

The minister ( in this case Personal Ministries leader )  returned to his charge with an unction from the Holy One. He realized that his past preaching had made little impression on his hearers. Now he felt upon him the terrible weight of souls. As he came to his desk, he was not alone. There was a great work to be done, but he knew that God would not fail him. Before his hearers he exalted the Saviour and His matchless love. There was a revelation of the Son of God, and a revival began that spread through the churches of the surrounding districts.  {GW 33.8} 

 

 

The book of Revelation opens with an injunction to us to understand the instruction that it contains. "Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy," God declares, "and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand." When we as a people understand what this book means to us, there will be seen among us a great revival. We do not understand fully the lessons that it teaches, notwithstanding the injunction given us to search and study it.  {TM 113.2}  

 

Falling away:  Cause >   NO UNCTION FROM GOD, No personal understanding of Revelation and no engrafting it into ourselves.  ='s NO REVIVALS among us. 



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