Here is an excerpt from Winkie Pratney's
(1) sermon, "The Carnal
Christian" that speaks strongly to my heart:
"All true men
of God have forsaken all KNOWN sin, and are not knowingly living in
sin. A Christian "grows" by responding to moral light given
and disciplining new areas as God reveals."
Wow! He said it far better than I could, and I wanted to add a few
thoughts because the refusal of Christians to respond to God in
repentance and change as more light is given to them is the norm today rather
than the exception to the rule.
Why is this the case? The answer is simple. The false, unbiblical
definition of grace is giving Christians a false confidence that all is
well with God even though they will not walk in the Spirit and even
though they continue to fulfill their own wants and desires (walking
in the flesh). Believers are swallowing Satan's lie that grace means they will
what they sow. The Bible is plain: "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for
whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap."-Gal. 6:7 What
does the believer reap if he continues to sow to his flesh?
Corruption! (See Gal. 6:7-9)
I am astounded at how many women I have attempted to minister to
that have hardened themselves to the ministry of the Holy Ghost in
their lives. The Holy Spirit is GOD and these ladies will just push
the conviction aside rather than run to the Bible and get on their
knees and seek God about things I've been commanded to bring up.
What are some examples of sins the Lord has commanded me to meekly
bring to some sisters' attention? One is the use of the
Bible as the
brunt of jokes. God, Bible characters, events, and biblical principles
are now considered to be jesting material in most Christian circles,
and this is a serious sin in God's sight. I did bring this up quite
humbly to one woman who has an email list and she responded graciously
and said she prayed about it, but she did not see that it is sin in
One sister was allowing her son to play with Pokemon cards and also
play occult video games, and the Lord led me to bring it up if she provided an
opening in the conversation. I went to her home with some
information printed off the internet about it and waited for her to
bring up something relating to this and she did. When I tried to
present the material and discuss the spiritual principles involved
(and this was a sister that I had been praying with for years) she
rejected them (and me) outright and said, They are just toys and are
harmless!" I assure you I said this with kindness and love, but
this sister has never spoken to me again.
Another sister (a friend for years) needed a job badly (she is
single) and I offered to fast and pray with her on a certain day. She
was so glad and agreed to fast with me concerning this need. Much to
my surprise, the Lord impressed strongly that I was to tell her of two
things that needed to be repented of in her life: one was the
"rock music" in the church she was a member of, and the
other matter was the NIV "Bible" she was using. I did not
want to because I had brought it up before, and she was not open to
either of these subjects so I had not touched the subject again.
Nevertheless, I "tested" what the Lord had impressed upon me
with my husband, and he also knew it was the Lord's ministry to this
sister. This sister did not receive what I told her, and went to her
church and asked her pastor about these issues: the church's
"rock music" and the Bible "versions" issue. Her
pastor assured her that these things were not wrong. This sister
dismissed me and refuses to relate to me any longer. What is most
important of course is this: Did she dismiss or quench the Holy
Spirit? Will He try to speak to her again? Will she have "ears to
The narrow way
spoken of in the Bible is much narrower than our hearts can imagine. The
Holy Spirit narrows our way as we grow in grace and in the knowledge
of Jesus Christ our Lord. Are you allowing Him to narrow your way? Or
are you hardening your heart and believing that grace covers your
continued rebellion? These are serious questions I pose to you (and
myself). May grace continue to "reign through righteousness unto
eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord."-Romans 5:21
I could give you other incidents, but I think that is enough to
help you see that the Lord just might be using a "foolish thing
of the world" to show you something that needs correction in your
life. God uses base things of this world to bring you light to
something you might be blind to. He rebukes me in this manner too.
Please pray when a brother or sister brings up an area in your life
that they believe is not in conformity with the will of God. Test the
spirits and see if they are of God. Ask God to confirm it to you if
this person's words are His way of trying to reach you.
Being obedient to the Lord costs something, and the ministry of
correcting a sister (or brother) who is in sin is NOT being observed
in the church at large today. And why not? Partly because it is so
unpleasant to do. (The one admonishing should always speak the truth
in love.) Romans 15:14 says, "And I myself also am persuaded of
you, my brethren, that ye also are full of goodness, filled with all
knowledge, able also to admonish one another." The Bible teaches
that believers are to submit to one another in the fear of God. All
admonishment must be given and received in the fear of God! Ephesians
5:21 teaches us: "Submitting yourselves one to another in the
fear of God." This submission has a qualifier: the fear of God.
God will often give one believer an admonition for another believer.
All admonitions should be tested to see if they are "in the fear
Another reason the ministry of admonishing is not often practiced
among believers is the word of God is not "dwelling richly"
in the lives of many believers, (Col. 3:16) and because of this they are not able
to be wise and on the lookout for the souls of their brethren. Most of the church has strayed so far from scriptural teachings
concerning salvation that they don't think it matters if believers are
practicing sin, and are not alarmed if their faith is being held with
a BAD conscience. 1 Timothy 1:19 warns: "Holding faith, and a
good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made
Please be meek when a brother (or sister) admonishes you in love.
He is concerned that you hold your faith with a good conscience, and
avoid having it shipwrecked.
A true Christian has forsaken all known
sin and is not knowingly practicing sin. A true Christian will also respond to the Lord in
meekness when He gives more light to reveal areas that need to be
placed under his authority.
(1) The Carnal Christian
True Gospel Vs False Gospel