Dan Blythe has found Jesus….He is one of the youth Pastors at Hillsong London.
Is it just me, but does he have a similar look to Joel Houston? Never mind….
Dan gives his testimony, where he share’s in the video how he hung out with some Hillsongers some years before, who seem to have joy, whereas he was just living for the moment. He did a couple of years of bible college, but seemingly gave that up so that he could be at Hillsong London, where he’s been for the last nine years.
He says that If he was to sum up what church is in a nutshell….”It’s the house where people can come as they are, be accepted,…meet new people, make new friends, …..but for me it’s where you discover yourself, because you discover who Christ is.”
I’m sorry, but the gospel is not about making friends, having a great time, or making sense of our lives and the world (although it does that), but its the sinfulness of man, our sin, and rebellion, and the enormity of the problem meant that God’s very son had to come, live and die as a man to bring this reconciliation.
“Tens of thousands, perhaps millions, have come into some kind of religious experience by accepting Christ and they have not been saved.”
Dan has no consciousness of this. His Gospel is promoted to the 5 year old. This is Dan Blythe’s gooey gospel that gives you goose bumps, and a feeling that Jesus will always be for you and love unconditionally. But God’s love is regal love. He is a sovereign. His claims on us are sweeping. Its not this ‘simple exchange’ that Hillsong try to pander, that God will forgives us and that’s it.
“Unfortunately, the ten-cent-store Jesus being preached now by many men is not the Jesus that will come to judge the world. This plastic, painted Christ who has no spine and no justice, but is a soft and pliant friend to everybody, if He is the only Christ, then we might as well close our books, bar our doors and make a bakery or garage out of our church buildings. The popular Christ being preached now is not the Christ of God nor the Christ of the Bible nor the Christ we must deal with finally. For the Christ that we deal with has eyes as a flame of fire. And His feet are like burnished brass; and out of His mouth comes a sharp two-edged sword (see Rev. 1:14-16). – A W Tozer
Wow…. snap, crackle pop!! In just over two minutes Dan suggests I can meet Jesus without the first inkling of what that means, and yet because I prayed the prayer, I am a Christian.
“Have you made a decision for Christ?” One often hears this question from preachers, or even from our friends and family. “Have you invited Jesus into your heart? Have you received Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior? Have you dedicated your life to Christ?”
But is this what the Bible teaches? Can the unbeliever make a decision for Christ?
What Can We Do?
Paul speaks of our conversion as a move from death to life. “And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins.” [Ephesians 2:1, see also 2:5 and Colossians 2:13] Dead in trespasses and sins.
Not sick, not crippled, or struggling with the challenges of life, but dead. We are, says Paul, dead in our sins, completely unable to chose or decide anything regarding Jesus.
Again, He says, “But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” [1 Corinthians 2:14]
How, then, could we invite the unbeliever to make a decision for that which is foolish? It cannot.
Again, Paul says, “For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.” [Galatians 5:17] Far from accepting the good news of Jesus, our sinful flesh fights against it.
As Stephen, the first martyr after Jesus’ Ascension, preaches to the Jews in Jerusalem, “You stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears, you always resist the Holy Spirit. As your fathers did, so do you.” [Acts 7:51]
So you can make a decision for Christ, but…
The six signs of a false conversion. These are all taken from the “Parable of the Sower”.
Sign #1 – Immediate Joy That Doesn’t Last
Jesus says that a sign of a false convert is a person who is immediately filled with joy upon hearing the gospel message, but followed by a quick fading away. There are two problems inherit with immediate joy that doesn’t last. First, the joy is immediate. Second, the joy doesn’t last. Let’s examine these two things more closely.
Sign #2 – No Roots
False converts have no “roots,” that is, no foundations in faith and Christian learning, so they “dry up” like a plant with no roots. The Parable of the Sower, as recorded in Luke, states that these plants wither because they have no moisture. Roots are designed to gather in water and nutrients. Without these, the plant cannot live. Similarly, we as Christians must also have “roots” that seek out what we need to make us thrive as Christians – things like prayer, Bible reading, Biblical teaching, and fellowship.
Sign #3 – Unwillingness to Face Persecution
Notice in the Parable of the Sower that it is the intense heat of the sun which causes the plant to wither (verse 6). Jesus tells us that this intense heat in our lives is the heat of troubles, persecution, and times of testing. These things drive a true believer closer to Jesus, but they cause the false convert to wither and fall away.
In either case, the worst thing that can happen in a person’s life is never having to face the intense heat of troubles and persecution.
Sign #4 – Preoccupation with Worry
The Parable of the Sower tells us that there are people who hear the gospel message and initially respond to it, but then fall away because they are more preoccupied with the worries of this world than with pursuing the kingdom of God. When our attention is fixed on the worries of this life, the gospel gets choked out of our life like thorns choke out good plants.
Matthew 6:31-34 “So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (NIV)
Sign #5 – Preoccupation with the World
The Parable of the Sower tells us that there are other people who hear and respond to the gospel message, but then fall away because they are preoccupied with the pleasures this world has to offer. They are deceived by the glitter of wealth, possessions, and fame. And these things, which seem pleasurable for a season, choke out the gospel message.
Matthew 6:19-21 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (NIV)
Sign #6 – No Fruit
The true believer must bear fruit in his or her life. What exactly is this fruit that we should expect to see? The Bible answers this question for us quite well.
First, there is the fruit of repentance.
Matthew 3:7-8 “But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to where he was baptizing, he said to them: “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Produce fruit in keeping with repentance.” (NIV)
Second, there is fruit of good works.
Colossians 1:10 “And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work” (NIV)
Third, there is the fruit of praise and thanksgiving to God.
Hebrews 13:15 “Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise — the fruit of lips that confess his name.” (NIV)
Fourth, there is the fruit of the Spirit.
Galatians 5:22-23 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” (NIV)
Fifth, there is the fruit of righteousness.
Philippians 1:9-11 “And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ — to the glory and praise of God.” (NIV)
What does the Bible say about the so-called “Christian” who bears no fruit? The Bible says that they will be cut down and cast away into the fire.
Matthew 3:10 “The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.” (NIV)
John 15:1-2 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.”(NIV)
Real repentance is a changed life.
Repentance is being convicted by the Holy Spirit of the sinfulness of our sin—not the badness of our deeds but the treachery of our hearts toward God.
Repentance means hating what we formerly loved and served—our idols—and turning away from them.
Repentance means turning to love God, whom we formerly hated, and serving him instead. It’s the new deepest loyalty of our hearts.
If repentance really is a change of worship, then our churches must not pressure people to make hasty, ill-considered “decisions” for Jesus, and then offer them quick assurance. Instead, we must call people to repent. When we separate repentance from conversion, either because we think it can come later or we fear scaring people off, we reduce conversion to bad feelings or moral resolve. Worse, we risk assuring a “convert” that he’s right with God when in fact he isn’t. It’s almost like giving someone a vaccine against the gospel.
You know how a vaccine works. It uses a defective agent to fool the body into thinking it’s been infected so that it will produce antibodies. Then, when the real infection shows up, the body is prepared to fight it off. Likewise, calling people to “make a decision” without calling them to repent not only risks creating a false convert, it also risks vaccinating a person against the real gospel. They think they already have Christianity! Then we double down by saying, “Once saved, always saved.”
What does a false convert look like? Often, it’s someone who
- is excited about heaven, but bored by Christians and the local church;
- thinks heaven will be great, whether God is there or not;
- likes Jesus, but didn’t sign up for the rest—obedience, holiness, discipleship, suffering;
- can’t tell the difference between obedience motivated by love and legalism;
- is bothered by other people’s sins more than his or her own;
- holds grace cheap and his own comfort costly.
But how does the New Testament describe a genuine Christian? According to 1 John, the genuine Christian is someone who
- loves fellow Christians and the local church because he or she loves God (1 John 5:1);
- desires fellowship with God, and not just ease in heaven (1 John 1:6–7; 5:1);
- understands that following Jesus means discipleship (1 John 1:6);
- obeys God out of love for God (1 John 5:2–3);
- is eager to confess and turn away from his or her sin (1 John 1:9);
- holds grace costly and his own desires cheap (1 John 1:7, 10).
To become a Christian is to take up a life of repentance. Jesus described it as taking up our cross and following him. It begins at a point in time, but it continues in a life of service and love to God.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer put it well when he said, “When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die.”