True Conversion To Know You Are Truly Saved: Examining The Sinner’s Prayer

True Conversion To Know You Are Truly Saved: Examining The Sinner’s Prayer

        A Christian’s salvation is secure forever. To know he is truly saved he must simply believe that what Scripture says about salvation is true, and accept it and live by it. There is no magic formula one has to do to be saved. It is simply to have the correct mindset and spiritual transformation by God. Even if there is no magic formula, sometimes a formula has aided someone’s understanding of true biblical salvation such as the formula presented in the sinner’s prayer. I do not use the sinner’s prayer personally and I will explain later, but first I will examine the sinner’s prayer with you.

        Although current popular, reformed, evangelical leaders such as David Platt, who was mentioned in an earlier post about his hate for the sinner’s prayer, will say it is evil and that it leads people to false conversion, that is not always the case. I personally do not use the sinner’s prayer or lead anyone through it when I witness the Gospel. I do not think it is necessary but when writing a Gospel tract or explaining it through typing I have on occasion went through the basic ideas found in a typical sinner’s prayer writing. This is because, although the sinner’s prayer is a formula and could be impersonally recited, it still contains the basic ideas or knowledge of what brings someone to salvation.

        The sinner’s prayer contains basic belief statements written in so many words, and there are many versions, but they all should state these general concepts in a form such as this:

Dear God, I am a sinner and I know I deserve to be punished. But I believe that your Son Jesus Christ came down to die for my sins and has taken my punishment for me. I am sorry for my sins and want to be forgiven. Please enter my heart and live in me and become my Lord and Savior. Help me to live for you. I put my faith and trust in you. Thank you. Amen.

 This in itself is not bad. It states correct doctrine of understanding about what God has done and how to pray to God and repent. It promotes, repentance, faith, trust, beliefs in God. It expresses that Christ took the punishment for us and that we must make God our Lord and Savior, etc. A Christian can find all of these concepts in the Bible in verses that express these things.

        Some people who hold to reformed theology or Calvinism assume the sinner’s prayer is Arminian and is a manipulative trick to get someone to recite a prayer like some kind of incantation that supernaturally seals a person’s soul for salvation. I am a Calvinist but I do not believe such things. I do not believe the sinner’s prayer is necessarily an Arminian trick. John Bunyan who wrote Pilgrim’s Progress promoted in that story reformed beliefs about salvation. That God comes to you first and chooses you and you repent. He also expresses that some people are hardened and unable now to repent, such as the “man in the iron cage” in the story. Even Bunyan expresses his own version of the sinners prayer in his book. This is not anti-reformed theology. Ben Roger’s in Founder’s Journal states, “For John Bunyan, Christ’s whole obedience, both active and passive, was performed for the elect and the elect alone.”

        The sinner’s prayer has history in Christianity. Maybe it’s not found in the Bible but it has often been to used as a way to express the points one must understand for salvation. The idea of confessing with the mouth the Lord Jesus as found in Romans 10:9 is what prompted it in the first place. Even so, one must make sure they do not use the sinner’s prayer as a magic incantation or magic spell one must recite in order to magically seal themselves into salvation. Words mean nothing, but the heart’s intention mean everything. The words expressed from the heart are what matters. A true Christian will understand who Christ is, what He did on the cross, that what Christ did was take the punishment the Christian deserved himself  but Christ suffered in his place, that Christ rose from the dead and is alive, that the Holy Spirit now lives in him, that he is now the slave and and servant of God as he has made God through Christ his Lord and Master, and that he is now forgiven and should expect to see God in glory in heaven with the other saints. This Christian will live a holy life with intention to love God and obey Him. When this Christian sins he will understand no matter what God has saved him and he will fall on his knees in a heart of repentance as he looks at the cross and not his own will to be secure (1 John 1:9). He will always desire what is good even if he sins because he will get back on track. John MacArthur in his book Twelve Unlikely Heroes states,

[God’s] saving grace extends to all who repent and believe in Him…When sinner’s recognize the Lord as Sovereign Creator and Judge of the Universe, and cry out to Him for mercy, He graciously saves them from divine wrath, giving them eternal life instead…Sinner’s are creatures who have broken God’s law. They await His wrath, yet He offers them forgiveness and salvation through the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ…those who repent from their sin and believe in Him, whether Jew of Gentile, will be saved (Romans 10:9-10).” (pp. 125-126)

The above quote is all of the doctrine found in a typical sinner’s prayer. The key to making it valid is if the wrods come from the heart of the sinner. That the sinner cries out to God out of sincerity and fear and awe.

        Some reformed types who are more hyper would have problems with such statements about the sinner’s prayer. But in reality Christians sin, but they do not have a continual willful rebellion against God and unconcerned feelings towards their personal sins and offenses against the Lord. This is not antinomianism. The idea of eternal security is often portrayed by false teachers as a person who says the Lord’s prayer and confesses Christ at some point in his life and no matter what will be saved just because he recited it. Now, no matter how this person lives or what he cares about does not matter because he is saved and nothing can take his salvation away. Not only do false teachers teach such heresy, there are many genuine Christians who misunderstand what eternal security means. The truth is eternal security is what Calvinists term as Election, but still many Calvinists also misunderstand Eternal Security and think it means what the false teaching stated above is. Eternal Security is not Arminian, it actually is the same idea that high brow Calvinists term as predestination or election. Not that the terms predestination or election are wrong terms. They are the correct terms and found in the Bible, but the idea that you must only use such terms when describing eternal salvation that cannot be taken away. Such high brow egghead types will claim the term Eternal Security is unbiblical, yet it is really just another way to describe these biblical teachings. Nothing can be taken out of Christ’s hands and what the Father has given Him no one can ever take away (John 20:28).

        Here is a good video that explains certain phrases and how they are unbiblical with how typically evangelicals present the sinner’s prayer.

Todd Freel does not completely bash the sinner’s prayer, or claim people who say such phrases did something completely evil, he just believes one should present the Gospel as biblically as possible. I agree.

        I personally do not use the sinner’s prayer when doing evangelism simply because I do not want someone to mistakenly assume that reciting it alone will save them. A heart change is necessary and one cannot tell a person’s fruits right away, one must be sanctified through discipleship and biblical understanding. The proof of their salvation will be shown through the way they live much as how the second chapter of James explains. Yet, this does not invalidate some Christians who came to know the Lord because of the sinner’ prayer or even an altar call. God has used such things in the past to save his elect. It is not inherently evil nor is it damnable. But I do not think it is the best way to promote the Gospel. Even though I do not use the sinner’s prayer, I explain everything that is found within it from the Bible and my own words to describe what one must do to be saved. There is a serious overreaction against the sinner’s prayer by popular evangelical leaders today that I find ridiculous. It is a huge trend to bash on traditional church or evangelical behaviors. I do understand the problem of emotional manipulation and other nonsense, but the sinner’s prayer in itself is not completely wrong. I do thin though, there are more effective and sure ways to promote salvation than the sinner’s prayer. But it certainly is not damnable more than someone who confesses reformed theology but is truly a heretic who many people today are following (another topic for another time).

“Noah: The Movie” Released Today On YouTube

“Noah: The Movie” Released Today On YouTube

        Living Waters uploaded Noah: The Movie on YouTube today. It is about 30 minutes long and talks about what the Bible says about Noah and the Flood and gives some reasons to consider it as a fact, and explores some Bible prophecy for today, as well as a Gospel presentation. Hope all my readers will check it out.

Feel free to comment about this movie below!

Reformed Calvinist Gospel Presentation

Reformed Calvinist Gospel Presentation

        I was very impressed with this gospel presentation. Steve Lawson explained the gospel very matter of factually at the Strange Fire Conference last month, and it was personal. So often in Reformed churches the pastor seems to be almost too careful not to make it sound personal because they think that somehow if they speak in a personal and persuasive manner it would get in the way of God’s choice for election and becomes emotional manipulation.  But I say that is nonsense. This could not be further from the truth. We are God’s instruments to present salvation to sinners. Calvinists should still present the Gospel in a personal way that burns at the heart of individuals. Emotions are not the enemy if the message is clear and correct. The way Steve Lawson presents the gospel does not get in the way of God’s election and does not emotionally manipulate; yet it is personal and still impacts the heart. More Reformed churches need to tie the Gospel into their sermons. Watch below:

It Is Popular To Yell Out The “That Is Unloving Fallacy”

 It Is Popular To Yell Out The “That Is Unloving Fallacy”

*Make sure to look up each Scripture listed in this article yourself!

        Recently, I was called unloving and “more like Richard Dawkins,” as well as told that I only argue about petty things when I refered to the Bible and what it teaches to a certain blogger. This was because I was further expounding on more of what the Bible communicates to a girl on the internet who writes a blog with a few articles that leave out much of the Bible when she expresses her opinions. She cannot stand to be corrected because she feels she knows everything. She will not listen to anyone who has something else to say because she bases her entire faith on experiences rather than the Word of God. Such people as this girl use what I call the “Unloving Fallacy.” This is nothing more than an ad hominem attack that labels any idea the attacker does not agree with as “unloving” or “unchristlike” without giving any biblical evidence to support their claim. These people only want to hear themselves talk and force everyone to agree with their views, or else they will write a person off and walk away and ignore them. The girl who runs a blog that I am talking about told me that I can make my own blog post since she only deletes any comment I make on her articles that encourage more biblical thought on a subject. She does not like that. So I thought I would do what she suggested, but she said she does not like that type of energy. The reason she does not like “that type of energy” is because it proves her wrong and hurts her pride. This is a sinful attitude that she needs to repent of. She is disregarding a brother in Christ because of her ego. Proverbs 18:2 claims, “A fool does not delight in understanding, but only wants to show off his opinions.”

        It has been popular for sometime for people to jump on the “Jesus loves everyone and accepts everyone and would never tell people they are wrong or that they believe wicked things!” bandwagon. In reality, Jesus showed His love by proclaiming the serious message of salvation from sins and eternal damnation to all people. Even today, His disciples are commanded to preach into all the world this message (Matthew 28:19-20). With the current liberal trend that society has only been heading deeper down into, Christians who promote the full gospel of sin, hell, wrath, redemption, atonement, love, grace, and salvation are constantly attacked by worldy and biblically ignorant people professing to be Christians. Usually, these types are actually heretics involved in a heretical view of the Bible in a heretical, liberal church group; but on lesser occasions these people are baby Christians who had some deep emotional experience when hearing about Jesus Christ; who now think they are enlightened and transcend the average Christian. They believe they know it all and must express their opinions to everyone. There is no room for correction for such immature believers at this point in their life, but hopefully later God will show them their ignorance and help them grow into mature believers as Colossians 1:28 expresses. This is a real problem with new Christians who lived a life of terrible sin who now think they know more than the average church people— who are real Christians that may not have participated in such sins and might have always went to church their whole lives since childhood. There is now a seperation of Christians where some think they are on a higher plane than other more mature, theologically wise, and experienced Christians. This is a problem that more people in the Church need to address and attack so people will be set in place and able to grow as mature believers. The enthusiasm that pushes such new believers—in some cases who have artistic talent—to express their ignorant views of how they feel about church or what salvation is is only hurting the Church as a whole. The latest popular expression of such ignorance can be seen on the “Why I Hate Religion, But I Love Jesus” spoken word video that has gone viral on youtube. There is a very aggressive attack against Christianity and church from within evangelicalism itself. This agenda is obviously spawned by Satan and pushed by liberalism and encouraged towards very immature people who are claiming to be Christians who have not even read the entire Bible yet. This demonically energized outlook expresses that it is wrong to tell people they are wrong (while hypocritically telling biblical Christians they are wrong), and wrong to debate or argue for the faith because it is “divisive,” “unloving,” and “unchristlike.” It is “judgmental” and might hurt someone’s feelings and make them reject God. They completely miss the point that such sinners ARE ALREADY REJECTING GOD! They completely misrepresent the message of the Apostles in the New Testament as well as ignore much of what Jesus Christ actually said and did while He lived on earth.

        The following are verses and passages from the Bible that explain the need to debate, use apologetics, and flat out tell people they are wrong; and that they believe in false things which only lead them to hell. The Bible teaches we must express the truth of the full gospel of God’s grace and not allow people to remain in false religions or counterfeit gospel teachings of heresy. Of course this MUST be done with love. The typical biblical Christian loves people and only expresses boldly, the truth, out of love for them and love with honor for God Almighty. This is not self-righteousness, but an expression of what is fact in order that men will be saved from the coming wrath and that the God who created all things is honored in correct worship. This benefits the Church body greatly and edifies everyone.

All other religions are demonic

        1 Corinthians 10:20-22 “No, but I do say that what they sacrifice, they sacrifice to demons and not to God. I do not want you to be partners with demons! You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot share in the Lord’s table and the table of demons. Or are we provoking the Lord to jelousy? Are we stronger than He?”

This passage speaks for itself and the conclusion is: are we stronger than He? Paganism always teaches works based righteousness, but in reality no one can get to heaven by their own works. Only God can do it, are humans stronger than God’s power to save and give out grace and atone for our sins? No! A human cannot rely on his own merit and expect to make it to heaven.

Acts 4:12 further expresses, “There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to people by which we must be saved.”

Leviticus 17:7 “They must no longer offer their sacrifices to the goat-demons that they have prostituted themselves with. This will be a permanent statute for them throughout their generations.”

Deuteronomy 32:17 “They sacrificed to demons, not God, to gods they had not known, new gods that have just arrived, which your fathers did not fear.”

Even in the Old Testament in Ancient times it was obvious to the followers of God that other religions are demonically and satanically inspired. And how many new demonic doctrines and gods have appeared throughout later history even up until today! Even the very “Unloving Fallacy” user is believing something spawned by the Devil and his demons, and they may or may not be ignorant about it.

Argue for the faith!

        Acts 15:1-2 is an example of an argument against the idea that circumcision is necessary for salvation which occured between Paul and Barnabas, and some men from Judea. In verse 2 it is said that Paul and Barnabas engaged in serious argument and debate against the men who were teaching circumcision is essential. People who use the “Unloving Fallacy” would oppose what Paul and Barnabas did if they were alive during their time.

1 Peter 3:15 commands the use of apologetics: “…but set apart the Messiah as Lord in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you.”

Titus 1:15 claims that unbelievers are defiled and so are their consciences. Also, Titus 1:16 says, “They profess to know God, but they deny Him by their works, they are detestable, disobedient, and disqualified for any good work.” This could be said of many who use the “Unloving Fallacy” who are heretics in disguise as real Christians. The baby-christians on the other hand behave similarly because of ignorance though they have the ability to be corrected through the conviction of the Holy Spirit. Titus 2:8 says, “Your message is to be sound beyond reproach, so that the opponent will be ashamed, having nothing bad to say about us.” This is a command to shame opponents of the TRUE GOSPEL that the “Unloving Fallacy” users do not follow. They misunderstand this attitude from the Bible as unloving when in reality it actually is loving to protect the souls of “hearers of ideas” who could be misled, and also to hope that shaming the opponent turns them around to a correct view of God in repentence.

2 Timothy 3:16 says, “All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” A true believer will use the Scriptures not only for teaching but to rebuke and correct people.

2 Timothy 4:2 charges Christians to “…proclaim the message; persist in it whether convenient or not; rebuke, correct, and encourage with great patienceand teaching.” Christians should persist in explaining the full gospel truth to people and not waver, and keep saying it even if it is inconvenient. Many people are offended by the gospel because it exposes their sin and tells them that they are wrong. So what! We should persist in telling it to them anyway out of love for God, and that they will be convicted and repent.

1 Timothy 5: 20 “Publicly rebuke those who sin, so that the rest will also be afraid.” The meaning of this is self-evident to true Christians. Too many times Christians get involved in weak accountability groups where sin is made comfortable and and accepted. People need to be rebuked and feel shame so they will fall in line in obedience to God and slay sin in their lives.

Colossians 1:28 explains, “We proclaim Him, warning and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone mature in Christ.”  Hopefully the “Unloving Fallacy” user will listen to the warning that they are promoting false ideas of what is Christian and will grow up and not stay on milk, but will eat solid food.

Romans 10:17 “So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the message about Christ.” Obviously, no one will get saved if they do not hear the Word of God preached. A Christian does not only do nice deeds and help the poor, or be nice to pagans and assume they will be saved by those acts alone. No, all pagans will be saved when they are convicted by the Holy Spirit Who is revealed from God’s Word. They must hear it!

Acts 28:23-24 is a passage that tells about how Paul persuaded people concerning Jesus from the Law of Moses and the Prophets (what we call Scripture) and some were persuaded, and some were not. In Acts 28:31 it tells us that Paul kept proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching things about Jesus Christ with “full boldness abnd without hindrance.” Paul was not afraid to be bold and tell the full truth, his emotions did not hinder him. This is the problem with the baby-Christian, “Unloving Fallacy” user. They let their emotions get in their way and confuse boldness with being unloving.

Acts 20:27 “For I did not shrink back from declaring to you the whole plan of God.” Christans must declare not only grace, love, and mercy; but also wrath, damnation, and sin.

Acts 17:2 tells us that Paul reasoned with Jews using the Scriptures to prove them wrong.

Acts 4:29 is a prayer for boldness when sharing the gospel. Not a timid, overly cautious-careful not to offend-type of witnessing. Boldness does not mean to purposefully offend people yet that baby-Christian, “Unloving Fallacy” user thinks so.

Acts 2:37 explains that as a result of men hearing the gospel straight up without hindrance that these men were “pierced to the heart” and desperately wanted to know how to recieve salvation. This is what evangelism is about!

1 Corinthians 16:22 explains the serious condition that people are in if they do not love the Lord. Since all false religions are demonic and obviously do not love the true existing Lord God they are under a curse. The verse says, “If anyone does not love the Lord, a curse be on him. Maranatha!” This is the very verse from the Bible that this blog is named after. Sinners are under God’s curse and the bible says so. Is the very Scripture written by the Apostle Paul now unloving? No! It is just bluntly truthful!

Examples of Jesus

        Jesus Christ Himself in Matthew 23:33 told opponents of the gospel that they were “Snakes!” and a “Brood of vipers!” and asked them bluntly how they are going to escape hell. The “Unloving Fallacy” user would be shocked at Christ’s very words when dealing with heretics and false religions. Yet they seem to not realize such a passage actually exists in the Bible.

Mark 11:15-19 is the famous story of Jesus getting extremely angry, making his own whip out of chords, and then using that whip to attack greedy charlatans who were using religion as a means for personal wealth instead of honor for God. He cleared out the entire temple complex overturning tables and spilled out money changers. He would not allow anyone to carry goods through the temple. He flat out blocked them from entering and scared them away! He then began to teach people not to profane the temple of God with their greed. This is mighty zeal for the Lord and the same fire in the Christians heart should burn against such evil corruption. Yet the “Unloving Fallacy” user has a hard time explaning Christ’s behavior.

Mark 16:14 claims that Jesus Christ rebuked people’s unbelief for not believing the witness of people who saw Jesus. Likewise in our time, many in a lot of cases, need to be rebuked for denying the reality of Jesus Christ rising from the dead.

Luke 10:13-16 is the story of Jesus Christ condeming unrepentant towns while He shook the dust off of His feet toward them in an insulting manner because they rejected His message.

John 6:60-65 explains the reaction of people being offended by His gospel and Christ’s rebuke of them for being offended.

John 7:24 commands people to stop judging by simple outward appearances, but to “judge according to righteous judgment.” The users of the “Unloving Fallacy” love to ignore this passage and only state the first part of the verse that says “do not judge according to outward appearances.” They love to call people “judgmental” and “judgers.” They say, “Don’t judge me!” And “Are you judging? Who are you to judge? Only GOD CAN JUDGE ME!” Exactly like Tu Pac. Yet they fail to realize the point of Christ’s teaching that we should still “judge according to righteousness.” How else can anyone discern what is correct or true if they do not judge? This is exactly in accordince with 1 Corinthians 5:12 that implies we should judge people claiming to be Christians who are immoral.

John 8:24 is a serious warning and is said matter of factly: “Therefore I told you that you will die in your sins. For if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.” This is the point of the gospel message! To warn people that they are in danger of dying in sin under God’s wrath! A loving Christian will warn people of the danger so they can repent and be saved! The “Unloving Fallacy” user is actually the unloving, uncaring person in this situation who has no concern to save a person walking into death.

John 11:33 and 11:28 both explain that Jesus got angry. Yes, the loving Lord and Savior of mankind actually got angry. Why else did he clear out an entire temple complex with a whip and call people names like Snakes and Brood of Vipers and flat out warn people they are going to hell!

The “Unloving Fallacy” user is a fool

        I already mentioned that Proverbs 18:2 explains that such people who label anyone who argues or debates for Jesus Christ unloving are foolish and only interested in hearing themselves talk. More verses explain the danger of this behavior. Proverbs 24:24-25 states,

“Whoever says to the guilty, “You are innocent”—
people will curse him,
and tribes will denounce him;
but it will go well with those who convict the guilty,
and a generous blessing will come to them.”

Such people who are guilty of the “Unloving Fallacy” are only communicating to people in danger of hell that they are innocent. Christians must convict the guilty by proclaiming the gospel so that they will repent.

        People like the girl who runs the blog I was reading who call me unloving and much like “Richard Dawkins” in spirit, as well as claiming that I only am arguing about “petty things,” these people who reject comentary that disagrees with them as well as reject friendship from biblical believers are never going to become sharpened people who will grow in the faith. Something has to happen in their life that only God can show them to change their behavior. They are lacking “iron sharpening iron” as Proverbs 27:17 states. They are becoming detestable as it says in Proverbs 28:9 that “Anyone who turns his ear away from hearing the law— even his prayer is detestable.”

        It is not a suprise that many unbelievers who hear the gospel want to walk away from an evangelist once he starts talking about the law. Many churches and baby-Christians need to learn the fact that the gospel comes with the law and without understanding the law men are never going to understand what Christ did on the cross. Turning an ear away from hearing the law is detestable and many of these liberal church milk-drinkers are in danger of praying detestable prayers.

        It should be self-evident to any biblical Christian that sharing the gospel or promoting the faith is going to come with arguments from opponents that one must counter-attack to shed light on the Word of God. Christians should not live to impress unbelievers. No we should not! And they should stop trying hard to avoid offending sinners. 1 Corinthians claims that we will be slandered by god-haters, yet we will entreat them and show God’s love anyway, and even so, while we are spreading the FULL gospel message, we are going to be considered as “…the world’s garbage, like the filth of all things.” This is because darkness hates the light as John 3:19-20 mentions. The light exposes their evil deeds. It says in 2 Corinthians 2:16 that “To some we are a scent of death leading to death, but to others, a scent of life leading to life.” Our job as evangelists is to sincerely speak the gospel in Christ, and God will sort them out: either into eternal judgment or eternal salvation.

        I doubt this girl who runs her blog and calls me unloving, and implies that I am unchristian and hateful, will ever read this. Or, if she sees this article I doubt she will even get past the first paragraph, but I wrote this article because this is a common occurence in the evangelical world that real Christians have to suffer through. The know-it-all-new-milk-drinking-baby-christians who think they lived it hard and are somehow on a higher spiritual plane than the average long time battle-worn Christians— who go to church and believe in biblically conservative values and possibly have grown up going to church— need to get a reality check! They cannot boast in themselves or claim their past somehow makes them superior and more evangelistically knowledgable! They need to sit down, stop preaching, stop yelling out the “Unloving Fallacy,” and listen to other Christians who know more and want to help them grow. Hopefully, more new converts to Christ will be spiritually empowered with wisdom and a passion with boldness for the truth without fear. This will bring about proper evangelism as well as edification for the entire Church.

Evangelists, Missionaries, And The Church Cannot Please Everyone

Evangelists, Missionaries, And The Church Cannot Please Everyone

        God calls all kinds of people to witness to “other all kinds” of people. Jesus Christ loved His elect from all walks of life whether it was differing social classes or even races. Jesus had the goal of witnessing to the Jews, but never rejected the foreigner or mixed race that he encountered on his evangelism journeys in Israel. He witnessed to pharisees, sadducees, beggars, both men and women, prostitutes, tax collectors, children, Italian Roman soldiers, Samaritan half-breeds, rich people, as well as obedient followers of God, and other types of sinful people. Jesus defied social and cultural expectations to promote the true gospel of God’s grace while never compromising the truth.

        In Luke 8:40-48 there is a story about Jesus walking through a crowd and a sick woman who had menstrual bleeding for twelve years touched the hem of his robe and she was instantly healed. Jesus noticed someone touched Him because power went out of Him and He asked who it was. Everyone else denied they did it and at the same time the crowd was mobbing Him. The disciples were trying to push Jesus through the crowd and help Him through. The woman trembled and fell before Jesus and told Him why she did it and Jesus then said to her that her faith has made her well. The passage shows that the people’s reactions were negative towards her touching Him. This was because Jesus Christ was a very important person and many people had a lot of respect for Him. The disciples were upset with her action of touching Jesus and were upset that a woman touched Him, and believed she was not worthy enough to touch Him. Christ seemed to have defied the general idea of everyone else and welcomed her. This would have let everyone know that their way of thinking was wrong and it must have baffled them. In some cases it must have caused certain people, like the Pharisees to reject Him and claim He is not a true prophet. While in other cases it would show other people that Christ even cares about women, and even the lowliest kind of person which would cause Him to be more attractive to them.

        In Luke 7:36-50 there is the story about Christ reclining at the table in a Pharisee’s home and an immoral woman came in and poured fragrant oil on his feet and washed them with her tears and wiped them with her hair. This caused the people with Him to be shocked. Especially the Pharisee whose home Christ was in. The Pharisee said that Jesus could not be a prophet, because if He was then He would have to have known what kind of woman this was. Christ answered him and said that one who is forgiven more loves more than one who is forgiven less. With this action of accepting this woman to wash His feet, the Pharisee rejected Christ as a prophet because he was too involved with the social norms and pride of being in an authoritative position and not allowing lower people to touch him. On the other hand the fact Jesus was inside and eating at the table of a Pharisee’s household would have shown the unreligious and common people that Jesus might think He is too important to care for them. So both issues are present in this story that Jesus did not care about what people thought of Him and only did the will of God without fear of offending unbelievers.

        In Luke 19 there is the story of Zacchaeus who, when Jesus came to his town, ran up a sycamore tree to see Jesus over the crowd because he was a short man. Everyone knew of this man as a very sinful person; he was the chief tax collector. Jesus looked up and saw him and told him to come down, and said that He was to stay at his house that night. Everyone around was shocked and baffled because of this. They could not understand why Christ would want to stay at the house of such a great sinner. There was a “holier then thou” attitude in that crowd.

        When examining all 3 of these stories one can see that all of Jesus’s actions caused other people to be shocked and angry, and some most likely even rejected Him because of it. Jesus accepted and forgave people who were the most terrible of sinners in the eyes of others. What is significant about these encounters is that He defied the cultural norms of that time. People who were considered holy and righteous men were thought of as better then others. The Pharisees assumed the Messiah would be like one of them and would follow their legalism. They believed that prophets are too good to be wasting time with low class and sinful people and that God is only out to reward perfect people.

        On the other hand, the common people believed that the Messiah would probably reign as king to destroy the enemies of Israel, such as the political force of the time: the Roman Empire; as well as reject overly pious and arrogantly self-righteous men such as the Pharisees. Either way, Jesus Christ did not seem to be too interested in how the majority felt on either side. He had a certain type of people He was focused on: the sinful people who would believe in Him and were willing to accept Him and His forgiveness. This is despite social class, or the types of sins people were committing.

        This attitude is the same attitude that any evangelist, missionary, or church must have today. All Christians are set out to love and witness to a certain kind of people, or tribe; and no matter what people group the Christian is called to evangelize, the people groups all conform to one tribe which is called the elect! For a missionary, the people they should be concerned about are the people God has laid on their heart to go on a mission to, but it should not only be limited to these people. Their goal is to proclaim the gospel to these people and show them God’s love. This will build trust (which happens only through God’s sovereign will in salvation) in the same way Jesus built trust with different people such as a prostitute, or a Samaritan. They must lower themselves just as Jesus lowered Himself to embrace sinners with God’s love. They have to learn the culture of the people they are living with and play by their culture’s customs, and not bring their own cultural bias into the relationship. Most importantly though, the cultural attitude a missionary should display is that of the culture of Heaven— not as an individual person or people group’s culture. When the missionary goes to the people God has called them to go to they should be concerned with that specific group’s spritual issues. When outsiders of that social class, culture, or tribe, criticize the gospel because of it’s message of love to people some others hate or view as less than them, it does not matter. The missionary should keep preaching and teaching with love to this group. When the gospel is expressed, all walks of life will be convicted of sin and will repent through God’s sovereignty. Just as the beggars as well as Roman Centurians in Christ’s day both believed and confessed their sins and followed God.

        With this in mind, the missionaries that are called to a specific people group should not limit their ministry to only that one kind of person. The example of Jesus Christ is that He came for the Jews, yet did not avoid, or ignore gentiles. Likewise, missionaries should witness to their called people group, yet never avoid any outsiders from that group. In our globalized world all kinds of people live in cities or regions. For example, there are many Pakistani’s all over the world, so if a missionary was to witness to Japanese in Tokyo they should not neglect sharing the gospel to any Pakistani’s in the area of the mission. Likewise, if a missionary group is set out to witness to an outsider group within a larger culture such as Chinese immigrants in Germany, they should not neglect the German nationals present in the area and only cater to Chinese people in their church. Pushing one culture away from another only causes the missionaries to push the gospel away from another culture who is being given the gospel. This is sinful.

        This same attitude should be used by evangelists of all kinds, whether it be speaking engagements or street/open air preaching. This goes to every day encounters with people in a Christian’s life that need to hear the gospel. One should not only care about homeless, or rich people, but all walks of life including sub-cultures. The Church of Christ is full of every kind of repentant sinner.

        A major problem in the church today is that a big majority of churches only cater to a certain kind of people. There are Black churches, White churches, Korean churches, Hispanic churches, Filipino churches and more. There are even race quota churches that pride themselves in being culturally diverse and will stop bringing in a certain race because they have enough of them and the quota of other races must be met. There are young generation churches as well as older generation churches. There are rich churches as well as street churches for the homeless. The church overall should stop only caring about one type of person, but have an intent to make a church full of all types of people. This is not a politically correct plea for diversity in a church. There is the obvious reality that a church is only in one area of town, or a certain community. There will be a majority of one culture in some churches, just as the missionary is called to a certain people group; but this does not mean that Christians should reject the idea of evangelizing other types of people, or stop inviting them to their churches. When different people come to a church they shold be embraced with God’s love and be given an interest.

        Another problem is that many churches are busy trying to please unbelievers and their self-righteous judgments against the Christian faith by trying to appeal to their interests, desires, and emotions. One church may have a small group of true believers, but the pastor is busy trying to please a majority of sinners who are unrepentant. This is a sinful attitude. The church was made for the elect: the Christians! It was not made for unbelievers to edify their lusts. Too many churches are weakening the gospel to cater to the sinful flesh of unbelievers instead of nurturing the flock of God’s sheep. This is a terrible thing. Churches die out, or become a heretical liberal social club because of neglect to God’s children. When Jesus Christ was preaching in the stories mentioned above He did not care about offending unrepentant sinners, and only cared about nurting and calling the flock of His Father. There was no compromise!  

        Jesus preached the bold truth and showed divine love to the people that came to Him. It changed their lives and showed them that He really does care about them and that they are forgiven. Jesus Christ understood the culture of the sinful people and the way they thought. He did not care about social norms, or cultural practices, He simply loved the people and never withheld the news of the brutal wrath of God’s judgment, as well as the ultimate, intense love that God has for His elect.

        When a bond of love is developed between two people, it does not guarantee that a third party will benefit from it. An example of this is when Jesus extended grace towards the immoral woman in Luke 7:36-50 and forgave her for her sins. The Pharisee being the third party did not understand this or want to believe Jesus was doing what was righteous. So this bond of divine love with the woman did not benefit the Pharisee’s fleshly, self-righteous desires. In the same way when a missionary makes a bond of trust with a certain people group, he must expect that outsiders probably will not understand it or relate to it. When a church invites different people into its fold some church members will scoff and be upset. When the evangelist witnesses to the outcasts and downtrodden of society, the upper-social class and differing subcultures may view it negatively just as the Jews did in Jesus’s time on earth. Such negative attitudes within a church must be corrected.

        The 3 stories mentioned are good examples of how Christians should respond to people God has placed in their lives to witness to, and how they can help change their lives by showing them the grace and love of God. This life-change is eternal and not based on the limited time on earth people live. It is about forgiveness of sins of all categories and intensities. It is that God loves His elect and is full of grace and truth, as well as justice to punish evil and destroy the wicked on the day of judgment. The attitude of the Pharisees is strong still even today, yet it is camoflauged in false humility, class prejudism, and even racism; as well the laziness that comfort within one’s culture brings which keeps people from evangelizing all walks of life. This will always be the case until the return of Jesus Christ in His Second Coming to defeat the Antichrist and reclaim the world as His footstool in Jerusalem. The time is near.