Here is an email I sent to two of my friends in Christ – I have edited this slightly with some new Scriptural passages and insights that the Lord brought to mind:
Dear Ana & Prunes,
I wanted to witness the gospel to some of my unsaved neighbours, including King James Bibles with what I’ve written. Do you mind having a read of the following, to see if it is merciful enough and is doctrinally ok?
Here it is:
I have stopped going to my usual church as I need to be saved. At the moment the Lord Jesus is helping me to repent from the heart from my whoredoms, fornications and adulteries that dishonoured Him and my husband Luther. That is why I was afflicted with demons of lust, adultery and fornication, that I might realise I was spiritually unclean, a sinner who needs Jesus’ salvation.
I have met no-one on the internet or in real life who is able to cast out demons in Jesus’ name (as per Acts 16:18 in the Bible), which is what needs to happen when I am saved. Otherwise my spiritual house will be empty, swept and garnished but other evil spirits will take up residence in me (Matthew 12:43-45). Pastor Frank and Miria at Faith Baptist Church in Fawkner could not do this either (as we should be able to do, from Mark 16:17-20) so I believe they may not be saved either, or that there is a huge problem with their faith. They do not believe that followers of Jesus should be able to have the power of God like this so they have some kind of faith but I suspect it is not saving faith.
It’s not just me, the church I went to also doesn’t believe in healing the sick as per Mark 16:17-20 (which also talks about other signs the truly saved in Jesus should have). They pray instead for doctors to be given wisdom to heal so have a form of godliness but deny the power thereof: from such turn away (2 Timothy 3:5).
Very few people are genuinely born again as very few seem to genuinely fully repent of their sins and believe the gospel (see Mark 1:15, that few are saved is in Luke 13:23-28).
True repentance unto life is a work of God (in the person of Jesus of Nazareth) in you, where you trust His Words in the Bible in general but in the New Testament particularly. Of critical importance is our heart’s response to Matthew 5-7, Christ’s sermon on the mount, where a repentant heart that is being given grace unto salvation will attempt to live this out. Christ even says that those who attempt to live out His sayings are “wise” and have built their house of faith upon a rock (Matthew 7:24-25). I believe that as we approach salvation we will be living out His commandments more and more, as we repent under His grace until He gives us final saving faith in Him. We should be seeking with all our heart, as He gives us grace and strength to do so, to obey Him (Acts 11:18).
We are commanded to repent and believe the gospel so repentance and salvation must be things under the sovereign control of Christ. I believe that true repentance, in the end, involves seeking Him with ALL your heart and being 100% honest before Him (and to those made in His image) by confessing and forsaking your sins (Matthew 3:6). The Lord will bring those sins to mind via His Holy Spirit so this can be done and is under His guidance. When we sin against others who are made in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27), we are really showing that we would be prepared to sin against Him. And that in fact we HAVE sinned against Him.
Only the Lord Jesus can grant us a fully repentant heart from our sins and forgive us, as there is no other name given under heaven by which we may be saved (Acts 4:12).
It may help here to reflect that David was not called “a man after mine own heart” (Acts 13:22) in God’s eyes for nothing. He sinned and repented fully from his heart each time before He was restored with God. I know that David was under the Old Covenant which is no longer in force but I believe what he did sets a pattern for us today. Otherwise why would Christ command us to REPENT and believe the gospel (Mark 1:15), as so many other scripture passages I have read do too (Acts 2:38, Matthew 3:2, Matthew 3:8, Matthew 3:11, Matthew 4:17, Matthew 9:13, Matthew 11:20, Matthew 11:21, Matthew 12:41, Matthew 21:29, Matthew 21:32, Mark 1:4, Mark 1:15, Mark 2:17, Mark 6:12, Luke 3:3, Luke 3:8, Luke 5:32, Luke 10:13, Luke 11:32, Luke 13:3, Luke 15:7, Luke 15:10, Luke 16:30, etc)? There are seven repentance Psalms in the Bible, seven being a number of completeness for God, Psalms 6, 32, 38, 51, 102, 130, 143. The mid-point of these Psalms, not coincidentally I believe, is Psalm 51. It shows the heart state of David when he was seeking salvation and was made truly repentant by God and before God. This should be our model, realising that when we repent it is Christ who is doing the works in us and leading us on. This is not works-based righteousness at all. As it is written:
“For this God is our God for ever and ever: he will be our guide even unto death.”
Part of repentance is bringing forth fruits meet for repentance ie. Matthew 3:8, Luke 3:8, Luke 19:8. I agree that this is a very narrow path to tread, where one realises that even repentant faith is of the Lord (Acts 11:18) and He alone does the works in us. His will is sovereign so it must be that He guides us from repentant faith to a fully repentant, “honest and good heart” (Luke 8:15) that can receive His gospel safely. The Romans 10:9 conversion Pastor Frank spoke of is, in my view, easy believism which leads to shallow or rocky soil faith ie. to false converts.
Zaccheus in the Bible was moved by God to repent and He trusted God enough to obey. He was then given the grace to confess and forsake his sins by making up for them with right actions, before Christ saved Him (Luke 19:1-10). He started off with a mustard seed of faith (Matthew 17:20-21), which is all Jesus requires of us at the beginning of repentance. He then leads us through repentance safely to final saving faith in Him (where we believe the gospel, in the Chick tract I sent you, with all our heart).
I am currently building on the mustard seed of repentant faith I have been given by doing the following under His guidance:
- fasting (this draws you closer to God as per Psalm 35:13)
- praying the Psalms of repentance (Psalms 6, 32, 38, 51, 102, 130, 143)
- seeking to live out Christ’s commandments from the heart in Matthew 5-7 and Luke 24:46-47 (also Matthew 28:18-20, where Christ commands us to make disciples). I am aware as I do this that it is Christ who is doing the work in me to build my repentant faith, I can do no more than listen to His voice in His Word (the Bible) and trust and obey. To increase my awareness of this, and overcome the temptation to give up fasting due to weakness (or to stand in my own non-existent righteousness), I keep repeating, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” (Philippians 4:13). I am praying also for a soft, fully repentant heart to be developed in me ASAP (not knowing how long this will take as the Lord alone knows), that I may fully believe Jesus’ gospel and have repentant faith converted to saving faith.
Christ commands people in Revelation 3:19 to be “zealous” and repent. Being zealous means being willing to expend sincere, going-the-extra-mile effort when He moves your mind and conscience to act on His commandments. I believe you must strive to dedicate 100% of your heart to following Him as He leads (though He is merciful and makes us zealous in accordance with where we are at spiritually at the time He calls us), and He will encourage you greatly along the way. He does this because He loves you dearly and wants you to be in heaven with Him.
A word on fasting:
When you try a liquids-only fast (fruit/vegetable juice replacing meals, with as much water as you like in between) you will probably feel uncomfortable and hungry for the first 2-3 days. Interestingly, this passes as your body gets used to it and you will find you can fast indefinitely. Another sign of mercy from God, who had both Jesus and Moses fast supernaturally (no food or water for 40 days and 40 nights), sustaining them both by His power (see Exodus 34:28 and Matthew 4:1-2).
Fasting must be done with the right heart motive, to seek God with everything you have, including sacrificing your need for pleasant food to feed your flesh. If you feel lead to during the fast, you can convert a minor fast into a supernatural one.
I believe if someone is unsaved, as I am, fasting should be done until you know without a shadow of a doubt that you are saved (ie. you have the new heart and spirit promised in Ezekiel 11:19 and 36:26. You may never get another chance to repent and avoid hell. I believe with all my heart that if God commands us to seek Him with all our heart (100% of it, as per Jeremiah 29:13), He will protect and enable us while we fast for Him, for as long as is needed until we are saved.
More tips on Biblical fasting can be found here: http://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/fasting-in-the-bible-10-examples-to-learn-from/
A word on the truly born again or saved person:
I believe it is rare to meet a truly born again person with the true fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) and the signs promised in Mark 16:17-20. The Lord confirms His Word with His character (fruits of the Spirit) and His power (he gives grace to the humble or genuinely repentant as per James 4:6-8).
I am not born again either but will cooperate by His grace with the Lord Jesus leading me to repentance. Then I can pray from an honest heart that was made repentant by Christ (Matthew 17:20-21), which is all Jesus requires of us at the beginning of repentance, to lead us through this safely to final saving faith in Him (where we believe the gospel, in the tract I sent you, with all our heart, converting our souls (Psalm 19:7, Isaiah 44:20)). Jesus will then give me the new heart and spirit promised in Ezekiel 11:19 and 36:26. Then begins a life-long process of sanctification or walking with the Lord more intimately, where we aim to be as close as possible to loving God with everything we’ve got and our neighbours as ourselves (Matthew 22:37-40) as “perfect love casteth out fear.” (1 John 4:18).
Please look into your Bible with an open mind and heart to confirm the truth of what I’m saying. For example, John 3:16 means to go to chapter 3 in the Book of John, then look up verse 16. It reads:
“For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
A word on the full gospel (as given in the Chick tract I have included here):
Repent and believe that Jesus took your just condemnation for your sins on the cross, that He died in place of you willingly for your sins. He did this out of obedient love to the Father, and also had a great and abiding love for those made in His image who were fallen due to sin, us. It is written that “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13). Jesus follows this up by emphasizing we are to have complete trust in His Words (and therefore complete obedience to them), particularly in the New Testament: “Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.”
All of the Bible’s Words are the Word of God, which is Jesus Himself, so all can be trusted completely and followed (John 1:1). Jesus communicates to us by His Word, via the Holy Spirit of Truth (2 Peter 1:21). The Spirit of Truth brings Jesus’ words to life to our mind, heart and soul, allowing us to feed on Him spiritually and stay humble and trusting (John 15:7, John 6:50-64). We need to feed on Him daily, and zealously, living out His Word as much as possible in our lives.
Jesus saves us from the just penalty of our sins which is hell then eternity in the lake of fire (Revelation 20:11-15). If you are afraid at any time that you will die and go to hell, as I was recently, open up your Bible and go to the gospel of John 3:14-21. Read with an open mind and heart to Jesus’ Spirit of Truth, which works through His words. Ask Jesus of Nazareth to have mercy on you that you might confess and forsake your sins utterly before Him and others you have hurt (repent) and that He leads you to be born again as per John 3.
All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23-26) so all are under His just condemnation. No-one knows how long they have left to live, I want you to be delivered from hell and rest safely in Jesus.
I have been doing better lately, having received grace after grace while repenting. I must keep persevering in repentant faith until Jesus makes it saving faith, by His leading and grace alone.
Final word on having a repentant heart:
A fully repentant heart is the “good and honest” heart described in Luke 8:5-15. It is the ONLY good ground in which the “seed” (the Word of God, or Jesus’ gospel of salvation – see the Chick tract) may be sown. All other types of heart lead to false conversions (or no conversion at all), as I have had many times during my life. I want to save you the agony of going through a false conversion, where grace from the Lord gradually departs and you are left with the same hard, wicked old heart as described in Jeremiah 17:9. This heart will not get you Jesus and heaven but rather condemnation in hell and the lake of fire, as it is not a fully converted, born-again heart (Matthew 13:15, Isaiah 6:10, Acts 28:27).
I believe one of the most important passages in scripture is the following, as the heart is the gateway to the soul:
“Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.”
May the Lord Jesus bless you with salvation.