Thursday, May 19, 2011

Beliefs that differ

Long story short…after sharing the grace gospel with my friend and getting no response, I finally asked her exactly what she did believe.  Her response was vague but later she sent me an email with her thoughts.  …what would your approach be to such an email?  

After reading what your friend wrote you, it is clear to me that she is not saved (or if she is, she is not communicating clearly that she is trusting the Lord Jesus Christ for her sins).

Her comments are very typical of many lost people when you begin to discuss spiritual things with them. Almost all of them substitute their human viewpoint in opposition of what God says in his word, the Holy Bible.

So how do you begin? First, deal with her about the things that she mentioned in her email. Ask her if she would sit down with you (or over the phone) with an open bible and go point-by-point of what she wrote.

Then hit every point—using the following verses, letting God's word to reason with/persuade her!  For example, the first thing that she mentions, is her "many different friends, with different beliefs...which I like."

You see right there, if I was dealing with her, this would be a red flag that "what she likes" means more to her than what God likes! God says that there is only "one faith" (body of doctrine), to be believed that matters, and that ought to be her belief as well, if she were a Christian.

Ephesians 4:5
One Lord, one faith, one baptism,

Next example is that she mentioned that "all I know for sure is if you believe" that that is what is most important.

I would ask her, "Believe what?" Because, scripture tells us that we must believe on the only begotten Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ!

John 9:35-37
Jesus heard that they had cast him [the blind man that Jesus had healed in v. 6] out; and when he had found him, he said unto him, Dost thou believe on the Son of God? He answered and said, Who is he, Lord, that I might believe on him? And Jesus said unto him, Thou hast both seen him, and it is he that talketh with thee. And he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshipped him.

1 Timothy 1:16
Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.

Show your friend that she/all must believe what Paul says about our Lord in order to be saved from hell!

1 Corinthians 15:3-4
For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

What if what some of these people she knows don't believe that? Well, they go to hell!

If all these people have different beliefs, and some of those different beliefs actually opposes one another (and, more importantly, oppose God's truth—that the Lord Jesus Christ is the only way to the Father), then how can just believing be good, if all beliefs are not the same.

What if I believe from my religion that it is okay with God, even commanded in my "holy book" to kill you if you are not a part of my religion—like Islam, the Muslim religion, does?  Does that give me a right to kill her just because she is not a Muslim? After all, if I was a Muslim, that would be what I believed because my Koran says it!  You see, her statements don't make sense in the real world! You need to show her and help her understand this.

Another example: she goes on to say about interpretation of the bible "where does it say that you can't eat meat on Friday?"  That’s a great question! You can tell (educate/enlighten) her that it does not say that in the bible. But that commandment of man is from the Roman Catholic religion and is not of God.

Romans 3:4a
God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar;

Show her that God says that you can eat all meats on all days of the week.

Romans 14:17
For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.

1 Timothy 4:3-5
...commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.

She goes onto to say, "I don't know how people come up with women being obedient to their husbands, etc."

Tell her it was not people who came up with was her Creator God.

Genesis 3:16
Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.

1 Corinthians 11:3
But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.

1 Corinthians 14:34-35
Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.

Ephesians 5:22-24
Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be [subject] to their own husbands in every thing.

Colossians 3:18
Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord.

So I would tell her that although God did make both man and woman...male and female is his own image...therefore they are equal, he did not however make them the same!  He made them to function in different capacities, with the woman in the support/complement role! Just as our Lord Jesus is equal with the Father, yet he is also subject and under the Father's authority!

Genesis 2:20-23
And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him. And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.

1 Timothy 2:11-15
Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression. Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.

Ok, lastly, your friend never even mentions the Lord Jesus Christ in her response! So, who is she praying to? Who is she giving thanks to? She speaks very generally about those things and never mentions the Saviour! That is a clear sign of the unbelievers that I deal with.  They talk about believing/praying/thanking, but never mention the Lord Jesus Christ!

So in my opinion, your friend is not saved! Her final authority is not the bible, it is, in fact, herself!

As you begin to deal with your friend, let me caution you. She has an unbelieving attitude towards the word of God right now, and might also while you go through it with her. So if it seems like you are getting nowhere with her, stop and don't force it.  God will deal with her after that!

Titus 3:10-11
A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject; Knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself.

2 Timothy 2:24-26
And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, n meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.

Hopefully this helps...Maranatha!

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