Monday, November 17, 2008

Matt Chandler on preaching to the 'saved'

Justin Taylor has highlighted an excellent preach from Matt Chandler on 'preaching the Gospel from the centre of the evangelical world.' I listened to it originally a few days before i moved to the USA (on the way home from taking Bish to Together on a Mission, if you're interested in that sort of thing) and was very much struck by it.

The centre of the evangelical world is, in this context, Texas. But i'd love to see what it's like there compared to North Carolina. In Washington, a small rural town, there are about 9000 people and fifty churches. It's incredible, for the first few weeks i was here i'd spot a new one every time i was out, even now i still drive past a couple that have escaped my attention. 

Of course, its more or less impossible for us to judge who is and isn't saved. Wolves don't come wearing jackets that say 'i am a wolf'. It's also not our job. But it's a huge problem and headache for churches in an area where Jesus is as much a part of every day life as apple pie and blaming all your ills on the yankees. It produces some churches where people really believe that Psalm 33:12 is about them. Thats why what Matt Chandler has said is so helpful and important. Thats why we must always preach, never assume the Gospel.

8 comments:

dave bish said...

I'm interested in what you did that day even if no one else is.

Anonymous said...

Hi

Please could you explain why you think Jesus died for the 'elect' and not for all humanity. I don't want a hostile debate I really don't, I'm just a confused Christian (in this area) who is trying to get to grips with the concept of God choosing people to go to Hell before they were even born. Why would we limit Jesus' death to the elect? And why don't Calvinists usee the word 'damned' as often, or explain the doctrine of Predestination to potential believers?

I'd be grategul if you could elaborate.

FloydTheBarber said...

Hello.

Your best bet might be to check this out:
http://edsfalliblethoughts.blogspot.com/2006/05/why-i-love-doctrine-of-election.html

You may also need to disabuse yourself of the notion that the scandal is that people go to Hell. The scandal is that people go to Heaven at all.

Anonymous said...

Thank for your reply. I will check out your post.

I see your point that it is a scandal people can be saved at all, since we are so full of sin. God's grace is outrageous!

But then why make this universe at all? For glory?

Anonymous said...

Your post mentioned Romans 9, from which its very hard not to deduce election and predestination. I cannot ignore this verse:

'What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience(AE) vessels of wrath(AF) prepared for destruction, 23in order to make known(AG) the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he(AH) has prepared beforehand for glory'

Who am I to answer back to God right?


When I think that God chose me for glory, despite my sin, through grace offered by the atonement, indeed I cry out amazing grace that saved a wretch like me!

But then I think about my dad who hasb't given his life to Jesus - what if he never does? What if he is one of the 'vessels of wrath prepared for destruction'? And what if God actively hardens his heart, as He did from birth and will do continually, so he never accepts Him. Are any of your family members atheists/agnostics? I'm asking really how do we cope with that?

Forgive me for personalising this, of course its none of my business if your family are Christian or not, its just that my heart breaks for my Dad, and sister and brother-in-law.

FloydTheBarber said...

Yeh, my dads not saved either. But it's election that gives me hope. Calvinism isn't supposed to make us withdraw from the missions effort and worry whether people will get saved or whether God has already not chosen them. Calvinism, when understood properly, is fuel to the missions flame.

If God elects, if it's not down to mans effort then anyone can be saved...anyone at all. regardless of how hard hearted or stubborn they seem, God's irristable grace is enough to break though all that and save them. Thats huge! It fuels our prayers because God is sovereign, it gives hope to our evangelism, because it doesn't depend on us...

Anonymous said...

Thanks for that. It's encouraging to know that God can save anyone, no matter how hard-hearted people can seem. And thank God that it's not up to us and our efforts. I intend to go on mission when my husband finishes Bible college. Calvinism poses no problems for the missionary simply because we don't know who the elect are!

I guess there are some things that my finite mind will never truly understand i.e. the relationship between free will and God's sovereignty. But I get what you've said and thats helped.

Thanks again

Anonymous said...

I suppose that the doctrine of election properly understood would have to understand human responsibility very carefully - it would be all too easy to use the 'well maybe they're one of the damned (sounds horrifically callous but that's what we're not shying away from saying here)' get-out clause. That may be the case but we still have to think about what effort in evangelism means. Because while it is true that conversion is entirely in the hands of God not us, we need to be as Christ-like as possible in our efforts if you see what I mean - i.e. being sensitive and tactful in our evangelising, demonstrating the Holy Spirit's power in our lives through actions as well as words etc. Of course I'm not saying you're like this, this was just an afterthought!