Thursday, March 16, 2006
Schuller's Ticket To Heaven: Get Yours Today
Some here at MMI are quick to judge others about preaching a message of 'easy believism'. Well, I'm guessing here's one that we all might agree on. From "The Hour of Power's" website... Get your free "Ticket to Heaven":
Jesus offers us this incredible gift of eternal life — that He'll fulfill our desires and our needs and our hopes. He'll give us that eternal "ticket to heaven."
Above is your personal "Ticket to Heaven." Once you make a decision to accept Jesus Christ as your Savior, just sign you name and it's guaranteed that when you come before Christ, in that day in which there is no sunset and no dawning, He will open His arms and He will receive you with a loving embrace that only comes from Jesus Christ.
You can't earn it. You can't buy it. All you can do is accept it, and say, thank You Jesus for saving me, for giving me eternal satisfaction because today I hunger and thirst for righteousness.
Everything appears to be true; and it's nice that they acknowledge the need to accept Jesus Christ as your Savior; but as Paul Harvey would say, there should be a 'rest... ... ... of the story'.
Many of you who know me know that I really ask for balance in this area, as in most areas. When accepting Christ, the forgiveness of sins and repentence is important. In this case it's not even mentioned. Others feel that one has to first feel like a piece of dung in order to receive Christ (it seems to me that there is, with some, more emphasis on the us being scum than Christ saving us from our scuminess). Isn't a balanced approach to the gospel best? We're sinners; we're not perfect; and we can't even begin to compare with a perfect and holy God who requires perfection; we must turn from our sin and from our, yes, wicked ways; and accept the forgiveness of sins and God's gift of salvation and eternal life in order to be saved. Then we can let the Holy Spirit work and change individuals (just as he drew them close to make their decision).
Balance seems key; and the "Ticket to Heaven" falls far short.
ToddAdd Your Comments and Ideas now...
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What if you sign on the dotted line, and the pen doesn't leave a heavy enough mark?
What if the ink is disappearing ink?
What if you are left handed?
What if someone steals your wallet? Do they get in instead of you?
Posted by: Jeff | Mar 16, 2006 1:10:33 PM
Yeah, really... 'must be present to win'.
Posted by: Todd Rhoades | Mar 16, 2006 1:11:24 PM
Some here at MMI are quick to judge others about preaching a message of 'easy believism'
hmmmm, not quite sure if everyone would say "are quick", maybe "are willing" to would be a little better.
Posted by: Kent | Mar 16, 2006 1:19:00 PM
How about 'quick and willing'?
Posted by: Todd Rhoades | Mar 16, 2006 1:20:56 PM
In case your interested check out "The Rest of the Gospel" (When the partial gospel has worn you out),by Dan Stone and Greg Smith. It seems a bit Calvanistic at times, but after reading the book you'll realize they're not pushing any agenda.
I think it's a well balanced teaching.
Posted by: Ed Mooneyhan | Mar 16, 2006 1:30:55 PM
Several weeks back we talked about "fundamentalism". How about "evangelicalism"? I've grown up in the evangelicalism and over the past few years, I think I've noticed that we - like those in most theological persuasions - have emphasized certain aspects of the faith to the neglect of others. I think we have put an excessive emphasis on "conversion", particularly as a point-in-time experience...pray the sinner's prayer, ask Jesus into your heart, punch your ticket to heaven, get saved, be born again. We have neglected to teach the cost of following Christ; we've squeezed discipleship into programs and books and manuals.
Please know that I'm not lambasting anyone or any methodology (and I hope no one will followup my post by condemning Bill Bright, Billy Graham, Bill Hybels, Bill Warren - oops, Rick Warren...saw a "Bill" trend there!). Rather, I am lamenting this partial gospel and honestly wondering what we - what I - can do to balance out this teaching.
(By the way, I see similar emphases in different parts of The Church regarding the Godhead: generalizing here, Catholics tend to focus on God the Father, evangelicals on God the Son, and pentecostals on God the Holy Spirit. Again, we need balance.)
Posted by: Randy Ehle | Mar 16, 2006 1:52:46 PM
Absolutely, Randy. I like your points about evangelicalism. I think your dead on. Thanks!
Posted by: Todd Rhoades | Mar 16, 2006 2:46:52 PM
That is a great book. I stumbled across it last summer on a bookshelf in a house we stayed at for a week... One of my favorite ideas from that book is thas: Who we really are and what we really believe always follows the "but," !
Great truth and transformational thinking in that book.
Posted by: Jeff | Mar 16, 2006 3:05:13 PM
I'll have to pick that one up... haven't read it. Sounds great.
Posted by: Todd Rhoades | Mar 16, 2006 3:06:14 PM
Wait a minute!
I thought the song was "I've got two tickets to paradise?"
Could this be a case of “copyright” infringement!
Posted by: Pastor Al | Mar 16, 2006 3:31:43 PM
I am some what uneasy about the idea of simply asking Christ in your heart as the quick and easy transaction. What makes me uneasy is not that I can only recieve, but rather it is not just a transaction, it is an entry into a life of disciplship. I believe people ought to know what they are coming into. I do not believe that works will save you. But I also have seen too many who think that when they accept Christ the whole deal is done. There is no thought that we are called to follow, to surrender, to grow. It ain't just a ticket, it is a life.
Posted by: Kent | Mar 16, 2006 3:36:46 PM
Kent, I couldn't agree more.
The other Kent
Posted by: Kent | Mar 16, 2006 5:38:44 PM
How many Kents are there here!?!? Look, guys, figure out who's the oldest, then the others can be K2, K3, et cetera. You can't keep confusing my tiny brain.
But anyway... You might not get much fighting on this one, Todd, it's so obvious. First off... Repentence is necessary for salvation... so mention it! Second, conversion is not an end, it's a beginning... a beginning of the process of becoming an apprentice of Jesus, learning to be like Him!
Amen! Let's go and do it team! Win on 3!
1 2 3 WIN!
Posted by: Peter Hamm | Mar 16, 2006 9:26:22 PM
It is kind of fun having a post that everyone (cept maybe Pastor Schuller)agrees on. Don't see that often here.
Posted by: Robert | Mar 16, 2006 10:31:22 PM
Oh no, I'm left handed!
Randy I think your comments are right on about discipleship. We had a pastor who, for 10 years, was ALL evangelism and NO discipleship and we are now reaping what he sowed (i.e. major spiritual immaturity).
And one of the Kents, I also agree with the whole aspect you mentioned of salvations being not just a transaction but an entry into a new life. It took me about 2 years after I got saved to fully put away what I had bought into - the attitudes and morality of the world, and I occasionally struggle still. Point being, it's been a journey in a BIG way for me and not a quick fix at all.
I can rejoice in having lived a life of 'scumminess' only because I am saved from that former life.
Posted by: Abbey | Mar 19, 2006 6:40:51 PM
The tricky part of the Gospel is the audience. I know in some circles with an emphasis on discipleship people still will only hear "half" the Gospel and then slip away. I know in some circles where the emphasis is on "getin' 'em baptized" some leave but what is amazing is the ones that stay.
I am critical of an approach that offers a simplistic offer of salvation without mention of sin. I would pray that the counselors at this event would take the ticke and ask a few more questions and followup with Bible study.
I have met many people over the years where all they needed was a chance to respond to a very simple request - "will you accept Jesus" - and would admit that they knew they were sinners...they would rather be silent like the woman with the blood flow problem seeking to touch the edge of Jesus' robe for a quick healing. Jesus turned and confronted the crowd and asked who touched Him. All Jesus said to the woman was "Your faith has made you whole" (Matt. 9:20; 8:48). No mention of sin here...but I would imagine she felt unclean and a sinner. Did she need to be reminded? Or did God know her thoughts and responded in a way that would bring her to Him?
Just my two mites worth.
Posted by: Dan Moore | Mar 20, 2006 9:09:15 AM
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