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      No One Can Come to Jesus Christ, Unless...

      Saturday, January 5, 2008



      No man can come to me, except the Father who has sent me draw him:

      - Jesus Christ
      (Joh 6:44a)


      8 comments:

      Anonymous said...

      Hi there, thankyou for your site, the information is truly overwhelming, I was wondering if you had any advice to a person (me) who just doesnt seem able to 'see' Jesus, is it possible that one can be 'blinded' by sin? I say this because I continue to learn more and more about the Gospel yet I have no hatred for sin or fear of God, I truly feel that I understand the precipice of the Gospel, which is that my sins were laid on Christ and by believing that, I am saved, however, I dont feel 'saved' at all, in fact, every time I cry over sin, I (almost srangely) go out the next day and sin twice as much as I thought it was possible to sin previously. I keep thinking i've finally got there, but then the walls come tumbling down and I spend long periods of time with no regard for sin or God.

      Recently I read two books by Charles Spurgeon, namely, "All of Grace" and "Around the Wicket Gate", and after reading them (I read them together in one sitting), I was overjoyed at the prospect that I could simply "look to HIM and live", and I continued to try to "look" yet whilst my intellect was saying,"you've done it!" my heart told me that I most certainly had not.

      The most horrible thing is, I've now read tons and tons of material on the Gospel and feel more confused than ever before, am I seeking God by reading his Word and various authors or does that not count as seeking God because even while I'm seeking I'm sinning?

      I watched a Paul Washer sermon where he talked of a man he preached to who was going to die in a matter of weeks and because of this he stayed with him and they sought God until the man found God and repented, can I do this too ? I've stayed awake for nights reading books and your site all the while asking God to somehow change me so that I will sin no more, but, and perhaps most frightening, its the days following when I seem to sin more.

      I've gone from thinking Im a sinning Christian, to beleiving I'm just carnal (with paul washer then abruptly putting an end to that), to almost knowing Im not saved by grace, even though all the while I know God can save, does save and will save, but where does that leave me? Do I have to do something now ? From what I've read i can do nothing, because God must first awaken me, or open my eyes or quicken my spirit, or give me a new heart, but if I am to wait for this, how do I know I won't die tomorrow and have nothing ?

      Could I ask that you pray for me? As it seems the only thing I CAN do at the moment is hope that God answers someone else's prayer and saves an arrogant fool like me.


      Very sorry for this long post.
      Your site IS amazing though, so thankyou for that.

      James

      Lane Chaplin said...

      James,

      First I want to tell you something that might sound strange to you at first. Your comment is one of the most encouraging I've ever received either here, Youtube, or anywhere. To hear that you are searching and struggling so much, and to know that I'm posting things that helps a brother who is seeking the Lord makes all the more thankful to God for doing a work in me.


      As far as your sin issue, this is at the base of your dilemma:
      by the law is the knowledge of sin. (Rom 3:20b)

      From your comment, it sounds like you want to do good, but you do evil instead. It sounds like what you want to do, you don't do, but instead the evil that you don't want to do is what you do. The good news about this is that if you are not doing what you want to do, it is not really you who are doing it, but rather, the sin within you that is doing it. First of all, do you agree that the Apostle Paul was a Christian? If the answer to that is "yes", then have you read Romans 7? If not, you need to read that and realize that here is a man who is a Christian talking about the sin that is in him still. It will give you so much encouragement because, basically, you may think it is your biography when you are done reading it.

      The White Horse Inn once said in an episode that some of the most Christian people they know don't even think they are Christians. In other words, they're very concerned because they know that they still sin and struggle against it. Logically, think about this: Does an unregenerate man struggle against sin? Do unbelievers worry for a second that they are sinning against the most High much less believe in Him? Of course not. For you to be struggling so much with sin isn't a sign of a person who is not saved. It is proof of a person who is being saved from their sin. If you weren't, would you even have this conflict?


      As far as your intellect telling you one thing and your heart telling you another, I'd stay listening to logic because, as Jeremiah says, "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?" (Jer 17:9) I wouldn't look to something that is "desperately wicked and deceitful above all things" to verify a matter. I advise you not to, either.

      Since you're reading Spurgeon and listening to Washer often, it is safe to assume that you are probably having much conviction of sin. This is wonderful. It produces godly sorrow that works repentance in a person. (2Cor 7:10) It is necessary that the law is pressed upon your heart because as Paul states, "the law entered, that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: (Rom 5:20) Grace abounds when God is working in a soul, but the conviction of sin happens also. Again, since you are struggling against this evil, it is a great sign for encouragement. It is the Lord pressing you on to trust solely in Him for your salvation. Eventually, you should be able to say with Paul, "For we do not want you to be ignorant, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead." (2Co 1:8-9) There's a reason that God is making you to be in despair of any type of self-righteousness. It is so you "not rely on yourself in any measure but on God who raises the dead."


      You're in my prayers. Please don't hesitate to contact me further.

      Anonymous said...

      Thankyou for answering me, I was actually quite surprised that what you wrote didn't condemn me yet more, but instead (in poetic terms) felt like a nice cool breeze in the hottest desert.

      I've just read Romans 7 as you said to do, and indeed it did feel like a biography, I was especially amazed at verse 21, which says,

      "So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me."

      I have so far in life had moments where I desired so much that I would be with God that I was ready to give up EVERYTHING, parents, friends, 'the good life', and seek solitude as I could not stand the fact that I was continually urged to "chill out!" and "stop taking it so seriously". Amazingly as I started to TRY (yes try, because I don't think I ever actually got round to doing any) and follow the commands of God, I was amazed that friends would dissapear, even my mother (single parent) threatened rather strange things if i was to continue in "that cult", which lead me to question whether I was doing the right thing, and almost always led to an eventual decline in my effort to seek God and most of the time resulted in me hitting the nearest nightlub with old friends in a dashing effort to try to redeem myself to the world and its pleasures.

      Most certainly though, is the fact that I was never satisfied, and perhaps am still not, because though I would 'enjoy' the sin at the time, heck I would even 'love' the sin at times, it was certain to me that days later I would be sorrowful and in at least mild regret, and it has been them times when I've managed somehow to pluck up the courage to read your blog and listen to some Paul Washer or Leonard Ravenhill sermons. And the conviction usually followed, yet i'm unsure whether it lead to repentance?

      In 1 John 3 vs.4-10 it says,

      "Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness. But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin. No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him.

      Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. He who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil's work. No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God's seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God. This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God; nor is anyone who does not love his brother."

      What I don't understand is how to reconcile these above versus to those written in Romans 7?

      Are there certain sins that I can commit without it meaning that I'm unsaved, yet others that certainly point to me being unsaved? And if this is the case, and I'm not saved, then how would I go about 're-learning' the Gospel so that I might receive 'real' conviction and 'really' repent?

      Thankyou so much for your help.
      And if God will hear me, let him bless you for your patience with me.

      James

      Lane Chaplin said...

      James,

      Again, if we look to what I mentioned earlier that the White Horse Inn said, you have to take into account the difference between an unbeliever without the Spirit and a believer with the Spirit. An unbeliever continues to sin because they are not born of the Spirit. A believer, though he still sins as Paul talks about in Romans 7, will not continue to sin meaning that he will eventually cease from sin. The unbeliever will never come to a point where he stops sinning. Even in hell, why will he be there? Is it not for the sin of unbelief? (John 3:18) This is why Paul said, "Oh wretched man that I am. Who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God it's Jesus Christ my Lord." This is also why John says, "No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God's seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God. This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God; nor is anyone who does not love his brother." Does an unbeliever care anything about doing right? Who does? It's only one that is born of God's Spirit.

      I'm not sure if you are, but are you familiar with the doctrine of sanctification?


      Also, I can completely relate with what you've gone through. The more I learned of the Scriptures, though, the more I realized that all these assertions that people made (or make) against me spring forth from ignorance of what the Bible actually says, not a thorough understanding of it. The people who most often chide me somehow suppose that the Christian life is little more than loving their own life and having the "American Dream." (ie. living their "best life now.") When I first started delving into the Word, they really annoyed me, but the more I searched the more I realized that their ignorance and not their understanding was to blame so don't be discouraged.

      Anonymous said...

      Thanks again for your encouragement.

      I am vaguely familier with the Doctrine of sanctification, that is, I think it relates to the 'improvement' of the believer and is something solely worked in a believer by him reading the Word and by the Holy Spirit inducing trials into the believers life. Strangely I find myself wanting more trials in order that I might have some assurance as to whether God is with me. The biblical basis for my minimal understanding of sanctification comes from the verse in john 17:17 which reads,

      "Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth."

      Is there any more scripure or perhaps literature that you might recommend that I read in order to gain a better understanding of it?

      Thankyou for reassuring me that I am not alone in my situation with the scare tactics and mockery's. I've long desired that I could just live a life studying God's Word and in constant prayer, though in today's world this seems extremely hard to pull off, for one, I still live at home with my mother.

      I attended a church local to me before I began to read Spurgeon and various blogs on the internet. After reading the blogs I became aware that every church I had been too was teaching a Gospel somewhat different from what was being talked about in said books and on the net. This led me to abandon church altogether, with many of my friends now thinking that I am living in the past believing in things such as the total depravity of man (something which, after looking at myself, I most certainly could not deny). I am considering relocating to quite literally ANY area in the WORLD where I might find fellowship and even just to find people that want to do more for God than (as you put it) have their 'best life now'.

      First and foremost I know I must settle the issue with my own soul, yet already I wish I could be with people who could teach me daily more about this Great God which I hear so little of except in books mainly written in past centuries. Hence my gladness when I found sites such as this one, and various others. If only I could quit 'the world' and quit sin, then I might find peace, but as yet it eludes me.

      If anything bothers me most (excluding the issue of salvation), it is a verse in Hebrews 10:25 which states,

      "Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching."

      When I first read that the living Church in its first days used to spend entire days in upper rooms talking of the wonders of God, and praising him into the night, I was amazed. Yet when I look around me today, I see only people worked half to death who have no time at all for meetings or bible studys or even general fellowship.
      What am I to do ?

      It is irksome to me that the only times recorded where Paul asks someone to pray for him are when he wants help spreading the Gospel, delivance from evil men, or that he may return to have fellowship with his brothers,(Colossians 4:3, 2 Thessalonians 3:1-2, Philemon 1:22) yet today people want prayers to get rich, prayers to get their computers back on, and prayers for a better social life! (Perhaps this is a case of 'take the plank out of your own eye first' but it still bothers me).

      May God help me, and all of us!

      I thankyou once more for your help and hope that you will not think I am bothersome by replying quickly on your blog.

      James

      Anonymous said...

      Hi James. I wanted to comment on the needed harmony of 1John and Romans 7. I hope it helps.

      1John3 does sound onerous, but should be read in light of 1John2. It starts with one of the epistle's purposes: "My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the father, Jesus Christ the righteous." (v.1) So it is to teach us not to sin, while acknowledging that even his little children may sin. (The "if" may have been in the sense of "when" you sin, but John didn't want to encourage it. Read it as pastoral, and see if that makes sense.) So John says in chapter 3 that if you continue in sin you've not known God, but in ch. 2 makes allowances for a Christian sinning. He's not contradicting himself, but showing the severity of the sin to make sin exceedingly ugly.

      Now when Paul says that it isn't he who sins (mind of Christ), but the sin of the old man (the flesh), one should be doubly assured that sin happens in the Christian life, that Christians must battle it all their days on earth (Rom. 7, 1Jn2), and that Christ is the righteousness that covers all of our sin.

      The issue of continuing in sin is the tough one that every Christian sees throughout life. Did John mean by continuing sin two days in a row? Seven? 365? It's hard to say, but I believe his letter was pastoral in nature, prodding us to sanctification, telling us that if you're a Christian, get serious about sin. But he's not damning us if we sin, only assuring us by the blood of Christ that we can get up and fight again. (2:1 again)

      On a personal note, I've been, and sometimes now am, where you are. I always will be, because, as Lane says, conviction always precedes the killing of sin. You may find that you don't sin as much as you used to, objectively, but it seems like it because it's twice as horrible to you now. And don't go by our "microwave timeline", where sanctification should take 1 day. If we're still not perfect at the end of our life, how far do you expect to get in a few months or years? You will be surprised to see what the Lord has been working in you. In the meantime, trust in His righteousness alone, and keep hating and fighting sin. You're in my prayers, Brother.

      Lou

      Anonymous said...

      James, I just wanted you to know that I will pray for you.

      Here is a link that will help you understand the doctrine of sanctification.

      http://www.bible.org/page.php?page_id=3167

      This site will also help you along your path to learn more about God. www.bible.org

      It's very encouraging to hear about your struggles with God. This is how you should know that God is doing a good work in you. I remember going through the same War a few years back. The war will never end but it will get easier as God continues to mold us more like his son Jesus.

      It's God's Word that is going to prepare you to have victory over your battles with sin. It seems like God is leading you to a lot of scriptures already to get your attention.

      The scripture you mentioned in Hebrews is one of great importance. Not only are we called to a relationship with God but also with other believers. I know it's easy to find fault with every Church and Christian, but the fact is that we need each other. And as we both know, we all sin and will never be perfect.

      This fellowship ("meeting together") is what's going to help you be held accountable so you won't slide back into your old lifestyle. That's also why God has brought you across other believers like Lane to encourage you and help you through this part of your walk with Christ.

      Keep seeking God and his Word. May God continue to bless you my friend!

      Susan said...

      Hey James, I also wanted to encourage you, brother. First of all I wanted to say that it was very encouraging for me to see what you had written. Your earnestness and sincere cry for truth was very refreshing to see, and glory to God alone for giving you this desire. I second everything that has been said so far, and hopefully it won’t get too redundant.

      The realization of your struggle with sin is a blessing, my friend, even though it may not feel like it sometimes. As Lane has already mentioned, Romans 7 is the Christian’s go to passage when it comes to battling the struggle between the desire to live a life pleasing to God and our fleshly desires. The great part is that Paul doesn’t leave us in despair, rather he leaves us with the statement of hope that Jesus Christ our Lord can deliver us from the bondage of this struggle! That certainly applies to when we finally leave this earth and join our Lord for eternity, but it can also apply to our lives here on earth. That certainly doesn’t mean perfection, but through the sanctification process the Lord promises His elect that He will conform us to the image of His Son. It is a process so it doesn’t happen all at once, but it is a promise nonetheless:

      Rom 8:29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

      There is a reason why God reveals to us the sin in our lives and brings us to the realization of our continual sin against Him. Through this agonizing realization, the Lord is humbling us before Him. And the more He draws you in, the more and more sensitive to sin you will become, and therefore the more grievous you will be over the struggle to put away the old man. Because of this, your ability to see the need for a holy and righteous Savior such as ours will be increased! This is a blessed thing because it makes you realize that you need the substitutional death of Jesus Christ on the Cross to pay for your sins, because there is nothing in and of yourself that can save you. This godly sorrow over sin is what leads to repentance, and then to salvation:

      2Corinthians 7:10 For godly sorrow works repentance to salvation not to be regretted: but the sorrow of the world works death.

      I can definitely relate to your experience with people who have told you to ‘chill out’ or ‘stop taking it so serious.’ The same thing happened to me when the Lord really started to draw me in. People thought I was crazy once I started desiring to truly dedicate my life to the Truths of the Bible instead of just professing the statement. Remember that people will not be happy with you if you are tearing down idols in your life that they are serving too. The true Gospel was an offense to people 2000 years ago and it still is to this day for those who do not believe it. I remember going back to my ‘old ways’ in order to prove to the world that I wasn’t insane (and I still find myself doing this sometimes). But the Lord will not let me, and by His grace He revealed to me the foolishness of serving man and the world over the truths that He was revealing to me at the time. And even though I still struggle with that very thing, through Faith the Lord has been providing me with strength to fight against that temptation.

      Also, remember that God is the author of salvation. He saves His elect on His timing. This agonizing time for you may be what the Lord is using to teach you that He is the one in control, not you. It is a hard lesson to learn because everything in the human nature says that we are in control. So a drastic change often requires drastic measures, which is what I have come to learn. Seeing your sin and struggling to have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ to overcome it is a very drastic measure that God blesses (yes, blesses) us with. Praise God that He has brought you to the point where you are at. In Lamentations 3:26 it says “It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord.”

      I will be praying for you, brother. I leave you with this last passage of Scripture from Hebrews 12:1-7

      “Therefore seeing we also are surrounded with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which does so easily ensnare us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and perfecter of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such hostility of sinners against himself, lest you be wearied and faint in your minds. You have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin. And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks unto you as unto children, My son, despise not the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when you are rebuked of him: For whom the Lord loves he chastens, and scourges every son whom he receives. If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chastens not?”

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