Sunday, June 26, 2016

You Can Only Raise Up People the Father Draws to You

blogs.thegospelcoalition.org
You can grab as many people as you want to become members of your church. But those you can actually raise up to be fruitful disciples of Jesus Christ depends on how many people the Father draws to you.

No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day. [John 6.44]
The principle applies to Jesus and all his true followers---no on can come to you to be raised up by you unless the Father draws them to you. If say, the Father draws only 10 people to you and you have a thousand church members, the 990 others will just play church. They may be very active members and "supporters" in the eyes of men, but they will never bear good fruit, fruit that God looks for in a believer.

Aside from the fruit of the Spirit [Galatians 5], the fruit God looks for is this:

If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing...This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples...You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit---fruit that will last---and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. [John 15]
The fruit is remaining in Christ as branches remain with the vine. A lot of church people just remain being faithful and active members of their church denomination. Nothing more.

Most times they just end up being church attenders. Their idea of the Lord's day is going to church each Sunday to attend a 2- to 3-hour worship service.

For them to really grow spiritually mature in Christ, they need to be released to the church God wants them to be part of. But you grabbed them out of that and kept them in your church out of greed for greatness, popularity or money. This was the sin of Jeroboam. [1 Kings 12.25-33]. God had already given him the 10 tribes of Israel but he wanted more, worried that his "church members," so to say, might leave him for another church. And this sin lasted and passed on to generations.

Many dream of having a mega church someday and be popular so they think of ways how to lure more people into their church buildings. And they justify this by pretending their real concern is for lost souls. 

Few ministers genuinely think of lost souls and building God's Kingdom on earth when they share the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They always think of leading converted souls to the glorious church of Jesus Christ which is without spot or wrinkle or any blemish but holy and pure. If you are genuinely God's flesh on earth, your one desire is to disciple people to be members of the one true, glorious church of Jesus Christ. not a church denomination.

Majority of pastors share a watered-down gospel to win the contest of who has the most number of members or who has the most number of churches. And you'd see how people in their churches do not know a thing about God's Kingdom on earth and how to be part of it. They can't operate in its supernatural ways. All they know are their man-made church traditions, denominational policies and manuals.

The name of the game is church marketing---who can sell the products (church and its programs and activities and features) to more people. Who's the pastor that can grab the most number of people and keep them in his church building longer. 

Even in Paul's time, there were greedy ministers who just wanted to "draw away disciples after them" [Acts 20.30] and do this by distorting the truth. Today, they distort the truth by presenting a gospel where people do not have to give up anything. They can have both God and the world. They can retain their rotten characters and still be considered born-again.

A faithful minister of Christ will be sensitive to the leading of the Spirit and be honest with himself about how many he can really feed spiritually and raise them up mature in Christ, making them familiar with his supernatural ways.

It's not just to gather as many people. More importantly, it's raising them up to be mature or "perfect" in Christ.

We proclaim Him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ. [Colossians 1.28]
Here's how God does it---"They will all be taught by God.' Everyone who has heard the Father and learned from him comes to me," [John 6.45]. Thus. you share the Word to them. As they listen, God talks to them. Anyone who listens and learns will be drawn to you by the Father. So you don't have to manipulate or force people or visit them or follow them up everyday. 

Just wait for God's move on their lives. Pray for them. 

If no one is drawn to you (and this is what most pastors fear, so they try to preempt what God is doing), then simply look for other people to share the Word with. It is better to have no one but flow along God's plan than to get a lot using your own efforts but contradict God's will.

If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet. [Matthew 10]

So what if you have only a few people (or no people yet) in church? The main thing is to faithfully share the Word of God to people.

There should be no fleshly or dead human effort.


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