Isn’t it wonderful that God can save someone when they have no intention of being saved. He is the Lord who moves in Sovereign grace! Hallelujah!
Heard a testimony of an older man in Struthers Church, Greenock, on Easter Sunday evening at a baptismal service. He came to the church thinking he was coming to an illness management lecture for M.E. sufferers! Instead he found himself sitting in the back row of a packed church experiencing something he had never experienced before: “the beautiful presence of God.” In time he found Christ as Saviour and Lord and was baptised in the Holy Spirit. Almost as a throw away line, he added in at the end that he had also been healed of M.E.!
Heard a testimony of a young tennage boy as well. He went to an outreach meeting just so that folk would stop pestering him and he could tick the box and say he had “tried that” and it hadn’t worked for him. Well, to quote his own words to us all, “As you can see it didn’t work out that way!” He too found himself in the presence of God. The inner change in him through being in that meeting and encountering a living Christ was that having lived entirely for his own happiness, as though that was all that mattered, he found himself wanting to live for Christ for the rest of his days; again, converted completely apart from his own intention. It was evident, in a wonderful understated way, that he deeply regretted the life he had lived when he lived entirely for himself; regretted what he had done and the effects of that philosophy on other people. By the way he was from a loving but not a Christian home, which he was careful to intentionally honour as he spoke.
Pentecostals, it seems to me, are wonderful Calvinists in essence. They are just a bit more biblical about the ministry of the Holy Spirit, including the gifts of the Spirit, than many of us Scottish Presbyterian Calvinists! (Red rag being waved there! Please, Pentecostals and Calvinists, don’t lose your sense of humour and take me on…!)
By the way in case you think Pentecostals are too heavenly minded to be any earthly use, the C.A.P money course came up a couple of times in the testimonies I heard, including the testimonies from a man and a woman and their son who had all found salvation. Anyway, you know what? I don’t think I have ever come across a Christian who is so heavenly minded that they are no earthy use. I think the overwhelming danger facing the church is that of being so earthly minded that we are no heavenly use on the earth…