Praise the Lord for Preaching for Decision!

Well, I was browsing my FB page and came across the following post by Dr. Jeff Iorg where he asked the question, “Do you preach for decision?” That most certainly caught my attention. I read the article and was overjoyed.

Dr. Iorg wrote, “Southern Baptists have never had more money, more trained leaders, more materials and programs, more technology, more of a national presence, and more of an international reach. Yet, despite all this, we are becoming less and less effective at communicating the gospel and baptizing people – the first public step of discipleship. In 2012, we baptized fewer people than any year since 1948. Why?”

I identify with and agree with his next statement: “Preaching has changed profoundly in my lifetime. My training emphasized preaching for results. Preaching, as I learned to do it, was a declarative act – communicating Truth in a compelling way designed to stir hearers to action based on the message. It was usually followed with an invitation to respond – to do something or commit to do something based on the message.”

Here is his conclusion: “What can be done? Preach the Word of God – expositionally and systematically. Learn to make specific, practical applications so the Word becomes accessible to everyday hearers. Application doesn’t make preaching relevant (the Bible is already relevant), but it does make it accessible. Learn to do it well. Hone your delivery skills so you are worth hearing. Boring preaching, poorly done, is anathema. Stop it!

Evangelistic churches preach the gospel and ask people to respond to it – on the spot, in the moment. Let’s rediscover the power of preaching the Point and be less concerned about a great PowerPoint.”

Amen and Amen.

For me this is not just a breath of fresh air, it is a whirlwind of fresh air that needs to sweep our churches!

You can read Dr. Iorg’s article in its entirety by clicking here.

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About sbcissues

Interested in bringing the issues facing The Southern Baptist Convention to light.
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36 Responses to Praise the Lord for Preaching for Decision!

  1. Matt says:

    And my Calvinist pastor would say, “Amen!” to this post.

  2. james jordan says:

    I’ve decided from now on when a Calvinist tells me he believes in justification by faith alone I will not let him get away with it. I think if we all refuse to believe this lie, and tell them “No, you believe in justification by predestination alone” then ultimately we will chase Calvinism back into hell where it came from.

    And, by the way, this is not off topic. Why do pastors not preach “for decision”? Because of mean-spirited Calvinists who will bite their heads off saying “You can’t make a decision.” They believe in justification by predestination alone — and we should never let them forget it. We should say it so much that they vomit from being sick of hearing “You don’t believe in justification by faith alone but by predestination alone.” Amen and amen. And everyone but the Calvinists said Amen.

    • Matt says:

      James Jordan, justification from eternity has never been part of mainstream Reformed doctrine, and Reformed confessions of faith have made that clear. Believers are justified in time, in history, through personal faith. For example, the Westminster Confession of Faith states, “God did, from all eternity, decree to justify all the elect, and Christ did, in the fullness of time, die for their sins, and rise again for their justification: nevertheless, they are not justified, until the Holy Spirit does, in due time, actually apply Christ unto them.” The decree is in eternity, but no one is justified until they believe in actual time, space, and history. Calvinists like John Gill, however, did make statements that tended toward eternal justification. Men like Andrew Fuller, the Calvinist who helped start the modern missions movement, didn’t. Please get your history correct and leave personal biases aside.

      Also, this might be off topic, but could you make a list of all the Calvinist preachers who say sinners shouldn’t believe in Jesus for salvation, that is, make a decision? Fuller? Spurgeon? Lloyd-Jones? Sproul? Piper? What in the world are you talking about?

      • james jordan says:

        None of that gobblygook you just said amounts to a hill of beans. So long as you say that nobody can have faith without being predestined capriciously to have faith, then you are in fact teaching justification by predestination alone.

      • james jordan says:

        Observe ye SBC traditionalists, how my tactic doth indeed work. The Calvinists are fuming at the mouth upon being exposed. Now if ye that believe in justification by faith alone do adopt this method of dealing with Satan’s sons, and refuse to accept their lie that they believe in justification by faith alone and say always unto them “Nay, but thou believest in justification by predestination alone” then verily thou shalt drive their demonic doctrine back into hell from whence it came.

  3. Matt says:

    SBC Issues, you should know what James Jordan said on his blog today. “I’m no friend of justification by faith alone myself.” He’s neither your friend nor mine.

    • james jordan says:

      At least quote the whole sentence: “I’m no friend of justification by faith alone myself, but if I absolutely had to choose between justification by predestination alone and justification by faith alone I’d choose faith alone.” I’m not ashamed of what I wrote. Its the truth. I think that justification by faith alone leads to immorality, and the fruit thereof is the homosexualization of the churches. But Calvinism is far worse.

    • sbcissues says:

      Matt,

      Actually I am not sure that JJ is not on to something; I wold probably say it differently that according to calvinism (note not necessarily calvinists) justification is by effectual calling alone.

      I have written extensively on the role of regeneration in the salvific process but have not actually worded this in this way but I believe that statement to be very accurate. I do not believe calvinist can support justification by faith alone because faith is not even possible apart from regeneration which I cannot see how that is even possible apart from the indwelling of the Holy Spirit; new life is the result of the indwelling. So, given that position, justification takes place at the indwelling and really everything else is sanctification anyway in the calvinist system. That is at least how I see it.

      Now to you JJ… you wrote… I’m not ashamed of what I wrote. Its the truth. I think that justification by faith alone leads to immorality, and the fruit thereof is the homosexualization of the churches. But Calvinism is far worse.

      I think I might be ashamed of that remark… unless you can explain just exactly what you mean… the homosexualization of the churches? HUH?

      I think I also have a problem with your statement ” I think that justification by faith alone leads to immorality,” because I believe that justification is by faith alone… faith in God defined as believing that God is everything He says He is in His Word and that HE will do everything He says in His Word He will do. When one repents and exercises saving or believing faith in the promises and provisions of God, I believe God forgives his sin and that person is born again into God’s forever family.

      So salvation or justification is indeed by faith alone based on the promises and provisions of God.

      You seem to be carrying justification too far in some of your other comments relating to sanctification of the new born believe, which is where I believe the “eternal security of the believer” is founded. I do not like OSAS and I most certainly do not like perseverance of the believer. I prefer perseverance of the Savior or Preservation of the saints.

  4. Matt says:

    You just reiterated in context your initial statement: you don’t believe in justification by faith. You are not Protestant like SBC Issues or myself.

  5. Matt says:

    James Jordan, you despise justification by faith alone, as your website makes clear on numerous posts. Both SBC “Traditionalists,” Calvinists, and everyone in between stand against you in that (let alone all of evangelicalism, Protestantism …) …

    • james jordan says:

      Its a matter of semantics. What I’m calling justification by faith alone there is the coupling with OSAS. If by justification by faith alone you don’t mean that its impossible to lose your justification by committing a big hairy sin like murder or rape then I’m ok with justification by faith alone. However, I think it could be worded better so it doesn’t give people the impression that you believe in OSAS. For example, Justification by faith apart from the works (ceremonies) of the Law. You know, the Biblical phrasing.

  6. Matt says:

    The SBC “Traditionalist” believes in once-saved-always-saved as do Calvinists, though Calvinists have historically called it perseverance of the saints.

    • james jordan says:

      You can believe whatever you want, but you certainly don’t believe in justification by faith alone; you believe in justification by predestination alone.

  7. Matt says:

    Ok. Whatever. Not that I believe what this article says, or anything: http://www.biblicalstudies.com/bstudy/soteriology/etjustif.htm

    • james jordan says:

      Whether the justification supposedly happens “in time” or not is irrelevant if it happens only because it was predestined to happen. If it happens only because it was predestined to happen, it essentially is “eternal justification” as you term it. The faith itself is nothing — it itself was predestined — so the faith doesn’t do anything — its nothing but a result from predestination. So, you believe in justification by predestination alone.

      • Matt says:

        Historically, Calvinists and Remonstrants believed in eternal decrees, and both believed in secondary causation.

      • james jordan says:

        In other words the atheistic world where everything is “caused” by prior causes in a long chain of causation. That’s not the world of the Bible where God says to the wicked “If you repent…” What do you mean “if” if you’re the one causing it?

  8. Well, while I was out getting my concealed carry license, looks like JJ exposed himself. I supose deep seated anger and bitterness at Calvinism and apparently justification by faith alone can lead one to publicly “hang himself.” JJ not good.

  9. On preaching the gospel, the subject of this post, I don’t think JJ can actually do that. Here is what JJ said on Romans 9 and the Apostle Paul:

    “Everyone who reads it assumes Paul is quoting Scripture in this nonsense about the potter making vessels for destruction and salvation from he same lump. They assume there is authority in the quotations. Of course there isn’t. Its just a lame-brained argument from a Gnostic.”

    JJ, rail on about us Calvinists. But I suspect Bob here is in your sights as well.

    • james jordan says:

      Years of arguing with Calvinists has demonstrated that Romans 9 is simply wrong. Paul misuses all those OT passages. Its unquestionable fact, and the churches will just be stuck in this quagmire until they just man up and admit that. Centuries of wasted time debating this nonsense when we could just admit “Romans 9 is horse crap” and move on.

      • sbcissues says:

        Excuse me? Paul misuses OT passages?

        Romans 9 is horse crap? Not sure what planet you are on but if that is the extent of your participation, then you need to find another place to vent.

    • Well JJ, you’re all out there now…calling God’s word “horse crap.” Keep on ranting against Calvinism. You’re good for our camp.

      • james jordan says:

        If your camp winds that’s no victory for Romans, since you guys will just drive people batty until they either become Atheists or leave Christianity to convert to Judaism.

        And if the Arminian camp “wins” its no victory unless they decanonize the chapter that causes the Satanic belief system to arise and over and over and over and over in the first place, because Calvinism will just rise again from the pit of hell that is Romans 9.

  10. lydiasellerofpurple says:

    If Justification is predetermined for an individual then it is not by faith alone because that implies man has the volition to have “faith alone”. You must mean that God predetermined the “faith alone”, too, so man is not in the equation at all.

    The same must be true with sanctification being predetermined by God controlling every molecule 24/7. This becomes complicated when long time professing Reformed Christians commit heinous sin. They are then exempted from evil deeds because the truth is outside of them and has nothing to do with them really. (Perhaps they can float the 1st Amendment as an excuse?)

    I keep trying to figure out where Satan and the Holy Spirit fit into Reformed deterministic theology.

    • “If Justification is predetermined for an individual then it is not by faith alone because that implies man has the volition to have “faith alone”. You must mean that God predetermined the “faith alone”, too, so man is not in the equation at all.”

      Let me ask you a question Lydia. I know you know what compatiblism is. Do you see in the bible in any way, shape or form? Now just so you know I’m not trying to define things (I know how much you think we Calvinists want to define everything and then make you others fit in our definitions), I’ll put out there a standard philosophical definition from The Standard Encyclopedia of Philosophy. You can look it up. Here is how rthey define it:

      “Compatibilism offers a solution to the free will problem. This philosophical problem concerns a disputed incompatibility between free will and determinism. Compatibilism is the thesis that free will is compatible with determinism. Because free will is typically taken to be a necessary condition of moral responsibility, compatibilism is sometimes expressed in terms of a compatibility between moral responsibility and determinism.”

      So, using this definition, which I didn’t make up…a fairly standard definition (or you define it), do you see that anywhere in the bible?

      Les

      • sbcissues says:

        Here is what I think about all this hullabaloo. Theologians have made theology so complicated that there is no way ANYONE can understand it! I would almost bet God Himself said an AMEN to that one.

        We all use the same words but there are so many different dictionaries it ain’t even funny!

        We all ought to be ashamed of ourselves.

        That’s about all I got to say about that.

      • Well Forrest, are you giving up on discussing theology? 🙂

    • james jordan says:

      “I keep trying to figure out where Satan and the Holy Spirit fit into Reformed deterministic theology.”

      They are also fully-determined beings with no free-will in Reformed theology.

  11. Lydia says:

    Les, I don’t think we need a “solution” to the free will problem because I don’t see a “problem” with it. And I especially do not see determinism with the indwelling Holy Spirit of believers.

    “Compatibilism is the thesis that free will is compatible with determinism.”

    Sheesh!

    I agree with Bob in that it is purposely overcomplicated. My theory is this comes from the ST guys throughout history because it makes people feel smart to have this “special understanding” that others don’t.. Calvinists tend to like overcomplicated theological explanations. I admit I like to debate as much as the next guy but you and I have gone down this road before and it ends up the same place: God determines free will for sinning but not for saving. So man is responsible for his sin even though he cannot help it because he is totally depraved. That is what it usually ends up being but only after 50 comments and lots of fancy words. :o)

    • Ok, I hear you. But there is stil a problem, at least I see one. Example: I think we all agree (at least I hope so!) that it was the predetermined plan for Jesus to be crucified after being handed over by the Jews. Acts 2.

      But yet that same passage says he was crucified and killed by lawless men.

      Now maybe you have something like this all figured out, but that appears to me to be two things that cannot be reconciled. Was it God’s predetermined plan or the men who planned the execution? Yes. But how can that be?

      That’s where I see a glaring example of determinism (God’s determinism to send Jesus to the cross just the way it was foretold in the OT and yet these lawless men were not robots. Peter doesn’t let them off beacuse of them being robots acting in some sort of trance. No, they acted lawlessly he says and yet according to God’s predetermined plan.

      God’s plan. Man’s will. Both intersect right there. That’s what compatibilism seeks to try to think through and explain. Sheesh it all you like. But we are talking about people trying as best as we can to understand what the scriptures say.

      Yeah, maybe this is a waste of time after all.

      Have a nice night.

  12. Lydia says:

    Les, I do not have everything figured out by a long shot. But lets face it, Messiah was prophesied in the OT. The second coming of Christ is also prophesied in the NT. That IS the plan because man as free moral agent…sinned. Yes, God chooses the time, place and people place for His plan of redemption. But God in the flesh also told people to “repent and believe” so they must have been able to do so of their own free will.

    Yet, God can do anything He so desires. But, I am also thinking of His attributes…ALL of them. I am not going to map His plan of redemption for the world to dualism in man or the predetermination of everything else that has happened or happens in the future. I don’t think my car breaking down was predetermined or that a child born with cancer is predetermined, etc, etc. I do not think our salvation is predetermined. That would negate a true love relationship between God and man. If it is all about love, which I think it is, there has to be relationship. There is no relationship in determination which is basically the definition for Sovereignty in the Calvin construct.. Abraham pleaded with God and God “heard” Him. Did God force Abraham to plead with Him or not? I use that as an example of how ridiculous this determinism gets. How does determinism work with the indwelling Holy Spirit in believers? One would think Christians would have better long term behavior. (wink)

    Btw: I have a hard time with believing God created us TO sin, predetermined the Fall so He could save us– just to show His Glory. (That is getting close to the definition of narcissism) So I do not think the Fall was predetermined which brings us to the problem with being “elected” for salvation before Adam sinned and we are born. .

    Blessings, off to bed

  13. ELECTION IS NOT PRESELECTION

    Calvinism teaches that a select few have been unconditionally elected for salvation, and that all others will spend eternity in hell.

    The elect of God are those who accept Jesus as Lord and Savior. The elect have not been individually preselected, by God, for salvation. All men have a choice to accept Jesus or reject Him.

    WHY INDIVIDUAL PRESELECTION IS NOT GOD’S PLAN!

    Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

    The gospel is the power for salvation to everyone. Preselection is not the gospel nor would preselection include salvation to everyone who believes.

    2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.

    If you believe in preselection, then you have to believe that God wants the unselected to perish.

    Titus 2:11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men.

    God’s grace is not a preselection process. Grace is the opportunity for all men to be saved.

    Hebrews 2:9 But we do see Him who was made for a little while lower than the angels, namely Jesus, because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, so that the by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone.

    Jesus died for everyone. God did not limit nor preselect the number for whom Jesus died.

    Romans 10:9-17…13 for “WHOEVER WILL CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED.”……17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.

    Faith comes from hearing the gospel preached. Faith does not come because it is imputed to a few preselected individuals.

    Acts 17:30-31 Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent, 31 because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead.”

    Why would God call “all” men to repent, if men do not have free will?
    Why will Jesus judge the world if only the preselected will be saved? Why would the preselected have to be concerned about judgment if they are unconditionally saved?

    Acts 2:40 ….”Be saved from this perverse generation!”

    Peter preached the gospel on the Day of Pentecost. Why would he tell them to be saved if they already had been individually preselected for salvation? They would have had no choice in the matter.

    GOD DOES NOT UNCONDITIONALLY PRESELECT INDIVIDUAL MEN FOR SALVATION AND UNCONDITIONALLY SEND ALL OTHERS TO HELL.

    God does not force preselected men to BELIEVE (John 3:16)
    God does not force preselected men to REPENT (Acts 2:38)
    God does not force preselected men to CONFESS (Rom. 10:9)
    God does not force preselected men to be BAPTIZED (Acts 2:38)

    ELECTION IS NOT PRESELECTION!

    YOU ARE INVITED TO FOLLOW MY CHRISTIAN BLOG> http://steve-finnell.blogspot.com

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