Showing posts with label GROWING UP SPIRITUALLY. Show all posts
Showing posts with label GROWING UP SPIRITUALLY. Show all posts

Monday, October 24, 2016

GROWING UP SPIRITUALLY

"It didn't?"
"No."
I asked him, "Did you get cards on any of the folks who came to the altar?"
"Oh yes," he said, "they gave me some cards. But none of them ever showed up."
I was talking to another pastor in the same town about the same meeting and he said, "We got twenty-nine new members out of that meeting. I wish he would come back."
"How did you get them?" I asked. "How did they happen to come to your church?"
He said, "Oh they didn't know anything about our church. I got the cards on some of them and visited them. I didn't just encourage them to come to our church, but I insisted they get in some good Full Gospel church and go on with God. And some of them came to ours."
We are responsible for babies. Babies don't know. Babies can't do for themselves. A newborn baby in the natural can't do much. He doesn't walk yet. He doesn't dress himself. In fact, he doesn't do anything for himself. About all he does is eat. And about all he eats is milk. Spiritually there are newborn babes. And if they get the sincere milk of the Word, they will grow thereby.Innocence
The first thing that attracts you to a baby is its innocence. People say, "You sweet little innocent thing." No one thinks of a baby as having a past. It doesn't have one.
Do you know something? If you are a newborn babe in Christ, you don't have any past. You may have been as mean as the devil. You may have been the worst wretch that ever walked. But no matter how you may have lived, when you were born-again you became a new man in Christ Jesus and you don't have any past. God looks at you as an innocent babe.
II CORINTHIANS 5:17 17
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature (creation): old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
Even though innocence belongs to the babyhood stage of Christianity, it is one characteristic we should never outgrow. We should maintain this state of innocence for the simple reason that if we don't, we will fall under the condemnation of the devil and be defeated in spiritual life.
A new convert is simple, full of faith, ready and willing to learn. We should always maintain that teachable spirit. Yet sometimes when we grow older we sort of come to the place where we have a "know-

GROWING UP SPIRITUALLY

BABYHOOD
"As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:"
—I Peter 2:2
Here in Peter the Bible speaks about Christians being "newborn babes." No one is born a full grown human naturally and physically. They are born babies, and then they grow up. Similarly no one is born a full grown Christian. You are born a spiritual babe, and then you grow up.
There's a whole sermon in just that fact. We are going to be held accountable for the spiritual babies born into the family of God around our altars and in our churches.
I pastured nearly twelve years and really you don't expect too much out of babies because they can't do too much for themselves. Someone else though can do something for them.Too many times someone is saved on Sunday night and if they make a mistake before Wednesday night everyone in the church knows it, and is already fussing about it. They expect him to be living, by Wednesday night or the next Sunday, just as good a Christian life as they do when it took them years to get where they are.
A number of years ago I held a two-week meeting for a particular minister. We were scheduled to go longer but I cut it off.
Crowds were coming. The auditorium would seat 800 and it was comfortably full every night. People were responding. We weren't really having evangelistic services—I was doing a lot of teaching and praying for the sick—yet on Saturday night when I gave the invitation first for people to be saved, thirty-three adults came for salvation.
They stood across the front as I prayed with them and led them in a prayer. Then I sent them back to the prayer room where others would pray with them while I went on ministering to the sick.
The thing that so impressed me about this service was that of the thirty-three who came for salvation so many were young married couples who looked to be between the ages of twenty-five to thirty-two. I learned later not one or the group had ever been a Christian; not one was a member of any church. I asked thepastor after the service about these young people.
He said, "None of the thirty-three were backsliders. They were all sinners who came to be saved."
That was unusual. I asked him if he knew any of them.
He said, "I don't know a one of them. They've never been to my church before."
I asked him, "Did you get their names and addresses?"
He said, "Oh brother, I just figure if they got anything they'll be back. You don't have to worry about them."
I said, "I'm closing the meeting tomorrow night."
People are born babies. They need to be seen about. They had never been to that church before. They had never heard any Full Gospel preaching before. They needed to be followed up and prayed with, talked to, and dealt with. They were newborn babies.
After a leading healing evangelist held a meeting in a certain city a pastor who had cooperated with it said to me, "I'm never going to cooperate with another one of those city-wide meetings. Never another one."
"Why?" I asked.
"I didn't get a person out of it," he said. "Not a one. Not a member. It didn't do me a bit of good in the world."