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T4G 2010: John MacArthur

Another on-the-fly summary taken down on the run by Mrs. Thirsty Theologian.

Kelly’s Notes on John MacArthur’s Conference Session

imgMark 4: A Theology of Sleep

MacArthur notes he can enjoy rest wherever he is because he rests in the lord. We are here because we are motivated by Scripture. The crowds that followed Jesus were not committed, but shallow. The parable of sower only appears in John. The man who sows and does not know how the crop grows, but he harvests it. The Gospel is like this: you sow it, then go to sleep, and it grows. We cannot explain it. All the work and forces are apart from us as the farmer sows but God caused the increase. Spiritual birth and life is a divine miracle. Nicodemus comes to Jesus and asks, “How do I enter the kingdom of God.” It calls for something beyond us. We did not participate in our earthly birth we cannot participate in our spiritual birth. Jesus gives the example of the wind blowing: we do not know how it works or the power of it. This is like the Holy Spirit. One of the most unique conversions in the scripture is the thief on the cross. Of the two thieves, one of them was sarcastically thinking, “You, the Messiah! You are a victim, a joke.” But the other one rebukes him. Where did he get his theology? He understood the sinlessness of Christ and his kingdom. The only explanation is the power of God on his soul. Jesus looked so defeated, yet God brings salvation to a thief’s soul. This is in MacArthur’s mind the greatest conversions in the bible. In salvation we may be the means but we are not the power. We go to sleep and let God do the work. The simple principle is sow and sleep. However, there are essential elements at work.

How do we approach evangelism:

1- humility
The surprise in the first parable is that the seed produced 30, 60, 100 fold. The Lord is saying there will come a harvest that is massive. He then explained the parable. The sower sows the Word. No adjectives describe the sower; he is just one who throws the seed. We are not the issue in evangelism. The seed is the word. Salvation cannot occur apart from the word of God. Why did Christ do miracles and then say don’t tell? Luke 9:22- The son of man must suffer many things, and then be raised. The message is the cross and the resurrection; after that, then go tell everyone. This is our seed and our message. It is offensive, foolish, but it is our message. We preach Christ because to those who are called this is the power of God. We can sow the seed we cannot change the heart. In MacArthur’s preaching he does not appeal to the human will. All appeals are to the mind, to understand the truth. We do not want self-willed responses. No fleshly religiosity. These are a far cry from genuine salvation. It makes acceptance hard. The sinner needs to get past the self will. It is not enough to have good feelings about Jesus. True repentance is not necessarily joyful. We approach this sowing humbly. The lord is the one to take out stony hearts.

2- Parable of the Lamp
We are obedient because we know we posses the light. Our role is to be the lamp. How will they know without a preacher. Nothing is to be hidden. Scatter the seed, spread the light.

3- Evangelize diligently
Evangelism is in proportion to the seed sown. That leads to divine blessing and eternal reward. To those who sowed little, little was given; to those who sow much, much is given.

4- Evangelize confidently
How do we picture the kingdom of God? Like a mustard seed. God has determined an exponential outcome. The disciples went from being in a boat where they all could have drowned to turning the world upside down.

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#1 || 10·04·16··08:18 || Julius Bungcaras

Thanks a ton. This blog is a blessing.


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