Come back to Jesus

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Remember & Return: Rekindling Your Love for the Savior
By John MacArthur
Baker Books, 2016, 208 pages

“Remember (so-and-so)? They used to be at church every time the doors were opened. Whatever happened to them?”

That’s a conversation that occurs much too often among believers. Many people accept Jesus Christ as their Savior and are initially on fire for the Lord but then something happens to cause their love for the Lord to grow cold and they drop away. Or maybe they still go through the motions but they’ve lost their zeal for the Lord. There are also some who professed Christ but never genuinely accepted Him as Savior.

In this 31-day devotional, pastor John MacArthur encourages those who have turned away from the Lord to return to Him. MacArthur provides relevant Biblical reminders of who Jesus is and all that He has done (and is doing) for the believer. Whatever caused us to turn away from Jesus can’t be blamed on Him. He never let us down.

I especially enjoyed the last three chapters which take their cue from Philippians 3:12-14 where Paul admonishes fellow Christians to “press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Every Sunday morning, as my wife and I drive to church ten miles away, we pass a large number of joggers and a couple of gyms with full parking lots. Those people devote themselves to hours and hours of physical training every week and a careful eating regimen in the hopes of becoming temporarily fitter and healthier and perhaps even winning a competition. But that’s all dust. We believers have a far, far greater calling! How can we be complacent? See also 1 Corinthians 9:24-27.

Friends, I walked away from the Lord for twenty-three years for no good reason. If you no longer have a passion for the Savior, pray to Him to restore you. Ask Him to rekindle your love for Him. If you know someone whose love for the Lord has gone cold, this short devotional could be a blessing to them.

“And rend your heart and not your garments ” Now return to the LORD your God, For He is gracious and compassionate, Slow to anger, abounding in lovingkindness And relenting of evil.” – Joel 2:13

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13 thoughts on “Come back to Jesus

  1. Good mornin Tom. 😃

    No doubt buddy, we should not allow our walk to go errant.
    Like you, I too abandoned God and church for decades.
    But had I been aware of, and under teaching that taught “resting” in the finished work of Christ…things may not have happened the way they did.

    I used to be a fanatical follower of this preacher you speak of.
    I had his study bibles, epistle commentaries, assorted other books, audio cassettes, etc.
    …enough to fill two full size trash cans. (I know the amount, because that’s what I hauled to the curb for trash pick-up).

    He’s smart, and appealing. But he preaches a false gospel of faith + repent of sins for salvation.
    Be careful my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Lee. I’m definitely not a newbie to John MacArthur. I don’t agree with everything he teaches but I could say that about every preacher.

      MacArthur is a strong Calvinist while I’m somewhere in the middle of the Arminius-Calvin debate. Not a problem for me. They’ve been debating the issue for 1600 years and they’re not going to resolve it any time soon. I read stuff by Calvinists all the time and take the predestination/election material in stride. Scripture points to both free will and election. The Lord will fill me in as to exactly how it all works the other side of eternity.

      I’m also well aware of the “Lordship salvation” controversy of several decades ago. Yes, I believe a person is saved by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone. But I also believe a person who genuinely accepts Christ will want to follow Him in obedience, albeit imperfectly. If a person professes to have accepted Christ but lives a life totally without fruit, many would wonder if that person had genuinely accepted Christ. But it’s the Lord’s job to judge a person in that respect, not ours. Many would have said I had not genuinely accepted Christ because I walked away from Him for such a long period but I know differently. I’ve heard many a preacher preach “No fruit, no genuine conversion” and even the New Testament says this. We need to examine ourselves and pastors should remind us to examine ourselves but only the Lord can judge.

      So, I would agree that MacArthur has some leanings similar to the IFB movement I left. But my beliefs are aligned much closer with MacArthur’s overall than with any of the preachers in the TBN-prosperity gospel camp. Personally, I’m a cessationist like MacArthur although I don’t make it a point of bitter contention with my Charismatic brothers and sisters. MacArthur is also one of the few nationally known preachers who still takes a public position against Rome’s false gospel of sacramental grace and merit. Just about the only criticism of Rome these days comes from conservative Reformed circles.

      I don’t align with many of the contributors here at WordPress that write about Christian or (c)hristian topics. I imagine many consign me to the “fringe” because I often post about Rome’s false gospel and TBN’s prosperity gospel. Those aren’t popular positions these days. But the Lord uses each of us for His own purposes.

      So thanks for the comment but I definitely don’t view MacArthur in the same way you do. I guess our bottom line is to never be a fanatical follower of any man. I did that with our IFB pastor and boy did he let me down.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The pastor of the IFB church we attended back in the 80s got the Gospel right but presented the Christian walk as an exercise in guilt and obedience with no mention of grace. It was embittering and led to my walking away from the Lord for that long stretch. When I returned to Him the pastor of the SBC church we attended for a year taught a good balance of grace and obedience in Christ. I have real joy serving the Lord now. Any good that I do is through Him and in Him. I desire to serve and obey the Lord now not out of obligation or guilt but out of love and joy!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Hi Tom.
        I just want to clarify something that you may have been thinking regarding me. I was charismatic back in the 80’s, but I’m not charismatic now, and to my knowledge, the speaker in that video I forwarded to you the other day isn’t either. But I definitely believe that God miraculously, and instantaneously healed her kidneys. As He does all sorts of miracles for people.
        So my take on MacArthur has nothing to do with a pro charismatic stance.

        I just experienced the crippling effect his teaching had in my own walk. I became prideful and judgemental of others, as I hearkened to his Lordship salvation teachings.
        And my joy became proportionally diminished.

        I hope that helps my friend.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Hi Lee, Thanks for the comment. I see from several of your posts that we’re going to disagree on many issues. That’s fine because the Lord uses each of us for His purposes. But I limit the people I follow to just a few (because I actually do read their posts instead of just rubber stamping them as many do) and pretty much to those I can harmonize with doctrinally. I don’t mean any personal offense to you by not following your blog but I forsee that we’ll just end up aggravating each other and both of us can do without that. Lord bless you.

        Like

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