Paul Washer On “Repeat After Me” Christianity
Are you sure you have indeed met the Lord Jesus Christ or is your faith based on the assurance given to you by your pastor that you are a Christian? You raised your hand in service one day and went forward to ‘give your life to Christ’ and the pastor assured you of your relationship with God after you repeated a few words of prayer?
Are you sure your sins are indeed forgiven by God in heaven? Has God told you so or is it your church people that told you that? Do you know God has enough capability and compassion to tell people He has forgiven them when He does? When you sin, do you have alarms ringing in your chest or there is no difference between how you feel now when you sin and how you felt before now? As before, do you get aware of sins in your life after you listen to a sermon or when someone tells you what you said or did is a sin or is there an unseen Person that alerts you to the presence of sin in your life?
Are you sure God is indeed pleased with you? Has He told you that Himself? Most people raise their hands and repeat after the preacher a few words and they walk away thinking their sins are forgiven because the pastor told them so. Most of them do not know the pastor has no right to tell anyone his sins are forgiven. Do you know only God can forgive sins and He reserves the prerogative of forgiving anyone and announcing it to Himself? In stead of a preacher jumping into announcing forgiveness of sins to sinners whose hearts may not even be right with God, do you know God’s line is, “And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart” Jer 29:13 ?
Whatever happened in the church service has not affected the disposition of some people to sin one bit – they still lie, cheat, steal, fornicate – but they console themselves all the same they are Christian because a misguided pastor told them they need not to worry. It does not occur to them they are minimizing the horrors of sins and taking God for a fool.
It is only the injured party in a dispute that can forgive the offender: most of us forget that when it comes to sin, God is the Injured Party. We somehow think God is dumb and He can not get His mind to us if He has forgiven us. That is the very opposite of what we have in the Bible. Romans 8:16 has “The Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God”. It is God’s Spirit that bears witness in the heart of a man that he is a child of God, never a pastor or an evangelist. Has God’s Spirit ever witnessed to you you are God’s child? Has He truly ever done that? You are absolutely sure of that?
You can be sure it is God’s Spirit if He changed your heart and He eventually led you to spiritual and moral issues that you later found out are in full agreement with the Bible even though you were never taught such things before by any man. The prophets and the Lord Jesus Christ were clear on that. According to Isaiah: “the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err” in the Way (Isaiah 35:8). He also wrote, “And all thy children shall be taught of the LORD…” (Isaiah 54:13). Jeremiah preached: “And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD’: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more” (Jeremiah 31:34). The Lord Jesus Christ confirmed this in John 6:45 “It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall be all taught of God‘. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, comes unto me”.
This is one of the inimitable signs of God’s Spirit – He will guide you to truths written in the Bible no man has ever taught you before. God’s Spirit, when He comes, will change your heart in such a way that you begin to love what you previously hated and hate those things you loved. That was what happened to Paul, James, Peter, Lydia, Philip, Luke, John, the Ethiopian Treasurer, the army officer, all, you read about in the Book of the Acts of the Apostles.
The Bible has several names for what I have been describing in this short piece: at times it calls it being born again; at other times it calls it baptism of the Holy Spirit; at times it calls it exchanging the heart of stone for a heart of flesh; at times it calls it receiving mercy of the Lord: no matter what name or description it is called, it is one and the same thing.
The changes it brings on you happen with such force it is impossible to say you do not know when it occurred. These experiences CANNOT be learned and they certainly cannot be taught by a human being. It is actually the Presence of the Lord God Himself and it comes only upon the forgiveness of a man’s sins.
Few men know the blessedness of being forgiven and having their sins covered as David (Psalm 32) and Isaiah (Isaiah 6:5-7). Jesus said it is so grave a man should be prepared to gouge out his own right eye or cut off his own right hand if any of these would prevent him from being in the Presence of God!
When preachers miss this through the hardness of their own hearts and their secret love for sins, they formulate strange, incoherent ideas to describe it, confusing both themselves and their hearers.
Have you really had such experience as that?
Or, you can not really remember when you became a Christian? I hope it is clear no one is ever born a Christian from his mother’s womb? Everyone comes to God when he becomes conscious of the consequences of his sins and pleads for mercy through the Shed Blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. That is when he becomes a Christian. That is when these facts being described here become reality in his life.
As Paul Washer would say, the lack of the memory of these experiences in a ‘Christian’ is similar to saying you had a head-on collision with a 30-tonne truck in full flight and you can’t just remember the episode and there are no scratches on you to show for it! The Lord Jesus Christ is more powerful than a million moving trucks. Can you remember when He came into your heart? If you can’t remember, it is safe to say you have never had an encounter with Him.
“Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His”,Romans 8:9b.