In response to Dale M I can speak from each side of the great divide. I was once a 'nominal' Christian - christened and married in the C of S - I had a 'conditioned' belief that Jesus Christ was God - and I was content with that........I even prayed occasionally. And then, without going into too much detail, the bottom fell out of my life....and through that hellish experience God, providentially, made connection with me and gave my previously dead faith the kiss of His Life. Yes, I know there are two types of 'believer' - for I have experienced both and, only those who have been taken from the broad road to the narrow road, can be aware that the broad road is not the right road............
I believe what Dale M has said above agrees with the Westminster Confession of Faith on this matter-WCF 25.1-5? Many believers find it to be so from personal experience as Jack has also confirmed. We live in an age where people believe they are 'saved' because they raise their hands at an evangelistic altar call meeting. Although, this COULD be the mechanism that God works through? So I wouldn't look down upon it too much. Having a look on this site, I don't believe the editor to be a Calvinist, though he may correct us on this? So, I believe the Lord leads His disciples by His written word, and if His people are daily in it, they will be prompted by their spirit, to be led in the direction that the Spirit convicts them, 1 John 5.7-9.
I think this is going slightly off-topic, in that it has started to discuss nominal vs. born-again Christians, without reference to the question of how God leads His people and how to exercise discernment and tell the difference between a true leading, prophecy or whatever, and a false one.
Jack, if you don’t mind my saying so, your view is a little simplistic when you say:
“The first and only legitimate way produces true Christians who, having died with Christ to the mantle of self-determination will, thereafter, think and believe in complete submission to the Lordship of Christ (God’s word)”
Anyone who thinks they are living in complete submission to the Lordship of Christ, 24 hours a day, is deluding themselves, and probably wouldn’t be on this earth, having been taken up to Heaven like Enoch!
The late Charles Williams said, something like, that in Christendom there are three types of Christians:
1. The old man on the old way 2. The old man on the new way 3. The new man on the new way
He reckoned most come under item 2.
Many people interpret the phrase “walk in the spirit” as meaning we should somehow “walk” in the Holy Spirit. I believe the Greek in the NT does not put capital letters so one has to guess from the context? I believe St Paul was actually saying: “Walk in your new spirit” and not “Walk in the Holy Spirit”. And it is not automatic, but a daily walking in obedience to Jesus instead of obeying our flesh. (The flesh being not only our bodies but our souls, for both were born biologically and naturally). As we walk in our spirits, they get stronger, and more able to hear what the Holy Spirit is saying.
There are many genuine, not nominal, Christians who come out with false prophecies. That is not proof that they are not born again. Nor is it proof that everything they say must therefore be false. There are one or two well known Christians who I have serious doubts about whether they are born again, I admit. But it is not down to us.
The bible has this picture of Jesus as “having His fan in His hand”. He alone winnows the grains and separates the wheat grains from the chaff. And the important thing about the parable of the wheat and the tares, is that the workers wanted to pull the tares up, but the Master said, No, because you will pull some of the wheat up as well.
When Jesus is still working on us, we often look more like tares than wheat! But having a lot of false prophecies going around does give us good practice in discernment. So don’t waste over much time complaining about false prophecies coming from Christians. If they are genuine brothers or sisters they will be terribly embarrassed and discouraged when they realise what they said did not come from God! Think how they feel.
JL (Jesus Lives) (Guest)
Good to see that you are back-I wrongly thought that Editor had stopped you from contributing here!
if there are, as you very plainly assert "many genuine, not nominal, Christians who come out with false prophecies. That is not proof that they are not born again. .."
I ask you, WHY, O WHY would they seek to DECIEVE God's elect? Why would they say in the affirmative "Thus saith the Lord.." when they 'KNOW' the Lord has NOT spoken through them? What ever spirit is in them to tell such wicked lies? Read Ezekiel 22.28-29 for just ONE example. Clearly such people have VERY, VERY, VERY low regard to the written word?
I have NEVER ever once felt like speaking presumptuously as God's mouthpiece, and I shudder at the very thought of ever doing so (it sends absolute shivers down my spine); what would such SEVERE wickedness do to my eternal destiny?
What is the destiny of false prophets? I suggest you read Revelation 19.20 & 20.10.
I would only say to these false prophets that you seem to support-REPENT!!!
JL (Jesus Lives) (Guest)
A few more thoughts-though I absolutely hate Methodism/Methodist/Arminian theology with every bent of my body- I must confess that I absolutely LOVE Wesley's (father of Methodism) zeal for the lost! What true Christian can say otherwise?
I believe that God raised Wesley/Methodism to show us hard nosed Calvinists that we are not saved by theology alone, but by God's FREE sovereign electing grace alone!
God bless you.
Jack Thomson (Guest)
Thank you Mini for your constructive admonishment - I appreciate it. Yes - perhaps my comment was a little simplistic - perhaps if I had qualified it a little more you wouldn't have taken the wrong meaning out of my words. I did say 'think and believe' - I didn't say 'talk and behave'. Wnen we are 'born again' it is our spirits which are given new life in Christ - our natural man - or woman, does not change. Our flesh remains very resistant to God's Spirit within us. The apostle Paul gives us good account of his conflict between Spirit and flesh in Romans 7/13-25.
Regarding your comment that thread is moving off topic - that depends on your point of view - you see Mini, I believe God spoke to me through you admonishing me to be more careful in the way in which I express myself. I'm sure that there is a scripture encouraging us to (kindly) admonish each other.........
Jack Thomson (Guest)
JL, Re your comments on Wesley Are you sure that you are not confusing 'Christian zeal' with 'natural obsession'? True Christian zeal will be coupled with a true Gospel while natural obsession needn't necessarily be coupled with any sort of truth.
JL (Jesus Lives) (Guest)
Well. if we accept that we are all sinners, then the best of us (whoever they/we are?) will naturally have "Christian zeal" mixed with "natural obsession"? We could lay the same charge against Moses, David, Elijah, Peter and so on!