Profile of an Unseasoned Evangelical Believer
Taking on the profile of an unseasoned evangelical Believer is one which should be avoided at all costs.
The Fountain of Youth and Immaturity
The fountain of youth is something many have heard of. It is (said anyway) a mythical pool of liquid containing water that possesses power to make someone forever young.
The healing properties dissolve humankind’s greatest threat: growing old and dying.
This, of course, is mythical and not grounded in provable reality. What is seen as good from a worldly perspective, is bad from a Kingdom perspective.
Youthful looks, and the antics accompanying it, are a result of impulsiveness. Some of the less harmless stuff, nevertheless, makes many smile when viewed from the lens of age.
Maturity, on the other hand, is a lifetime process. Do not believe the lie Preachers tell: "you haven't arrived yet." This can be true for most, but not for real Disciples of Jesus Christ.
This lie has two purposes: first, is a weak attempt to keep you humble and next, keeps the Saints overly dependent upon the Preacher.
Mature Evangelical Are Spiritual Adults
Being of ‘full age’ in God’s Word never means being ‘fully complete’ with respect to spiritual growth.
It simply means arriving at a point where we are mature enough to assist newer Believers into spiritual adulthood.
The writer of Hebrews thought one could be a spiritual adult (Hebrews 5:13-14):
Spiritual Adulthood is first evidenced, as Christ said: “By our love for one another.” This love is evidenced through fervent and effectual prayers, meditation on God’s Word, and lifestyle example.
Just as with physical growth, our spiritual growth is process. It is one that requires eating, drinking, breathing, and taking care of our spiritual health. Without doing so, we remain “forever young” and on “milk” as scripture teaches.
We can no longer teach people they have never “arrived.” Few haven’t heard the non-sensical statement: “I won’t be full grown in God’s Word until I get to GLORY!”
This is deception that is keeps Believers in bondage and subjugated to the realm of “spiritual babes.”
Let me be clear: I would never suggest that “spiritual adulthood” equals “sinlessness.” This example may better explain.
Your parents, and then you, did most things right when raising children. Yet, we aren't perfect and did some things wrong. Yet even in making mistakes, they/we were still “mature” enough to lead our heritage.
Being a parent does not equal perfection. It only means being “mature” enough to reasonably guide immature children to “safety.” Although it occurs a shockingly large amount of time, an adult should make the same immature decisions as children.
There is good news for mature Believers.
Even when we come up short as spiritual adults, God makes up for the difference! The same is true in your relationships with children.
Signs of Unseasoned Believers
An unseasoned and immature Believer will show lack of good decision making. First, there is nothing wrong with being an immature believer if you are new in the faith.
However, if a Believer for some years, and yet stuck in a spiritual rut, repentance is required.
Without exception, people remain “forever young” in Jesus through refusal to either “judge” themselves or be righteously “judged” by others.
Let’s, again, destroy the hell-bound argument: “we aren’t supposed to judge other people.” The foundation of this nonsensical doctrine resides in Matthew Chapter seven (7) and beginning at verse 1.
In Matthew chapter 7, Jesus was not telling us to not judge other people! He was holding up the standard by which we should and being willingly to accept such accountability from others.
He was that well-known text:
Examining this, only an immature, unseasoned Believer, could reasonably accept “no judging ever.” There is a rather large number of neophyte Pastors who claim maturity yet teach no judging!
They are being deceptive and by doing so, fall into the category of ‘false teacher’ as well.
A seasoned Christian understands Jesus is instructing us to not be hypocrites in what we judge, and how we do so. Also review Romans Chapter 2, beginning at verse 1, to further identify those Jesus was speaking to.
I say this with such conviction because I was once desperately undiscipled 20+ years ago. At that time, I was in a Bible Study and the Pastor was encouraging us in the LORD.
He quoted (1st Corinthians 2:9):
We shouted “Amen” when Pastor told us this. In my hunger to better understand scripture, I said: “I want to know what that is.” He said: “It says right here eyes have not seen, nor ears have not heard.”
I accepted this and about four (4) years later, I happened upon that portion of scripture. This is what it says: “but as it is written, eyes hath not seen nor ears heard, neither has I entered into the heart of man, the things hath prepared for them that love HIM. But God hath revealed them unto us by HIS Spirit, for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.”
This is why we need to search scripture for ourselves!
Mature Believers, who have been in church for decades, do not know the second part of that text, just as I didn’t.
Teachers lead people into SIN by not reading and rightfully dividing the Word. My Pastor was a good man, and he didn’t mean to deceive me. The fact is, however, by not telling the whole truth, he did.
Pastor quoted this text believing he had captured the entire thought but only misdirected. Contextually, part #1 of that scripture would lead one to believe one cannot know something.
Thus, my Pastor’s pushback against my question: “what is it we cannot know?”
However, when part #2 is combined with part #1, we understand eyes have not seen (yet) but with the Spirit of God, we will at some point in this life! As I always tell the People of God: “read down a little bit further.”
Perfection and Being Perfected Explained
Do not confuse ‘Becoming full grown in God’s Word’ with ‘Being Perfect’ in every area of your spiritual lives. David was much younger than his other brothers when God selected him to be King over Israel.
However, when Samuel anointed him, he was far from being the great King we read about. This hardly mattered because even in his faults, God was with him
It is no different than the theory behind the raising of children. If perfection governed our ability to physically procreate, humans wouldn’t have survived beyond the Genesis 3.
You remember that Eden conversation which began like this:
In a perfect marital situation anyway, couples have children when they are able to provide for basic needs. The same principle is at work with the mature Believer assisting immature Believers to grow.
If any of us want to understand why those in our fellowships stay ‘Babes’ for so long, there is enough blame to go around.
Before becoming a Pastor, I believed 100% of the fault was with who refuse to grow. Now that I am a church leader, the reality is refusal to grow depends on the church.
For instance, there is a fellowship I personally know which only cares about how entertaining the preacher is.
They could not be growing because they have been stuck in place for at least the last eight (8) years. How could I know this not being a part of the fellowship?
If your leader is stuck, and you are following, you are stuck.
Is it possible to be in a car, where the driver has gotten lost, and you not be lost with them? How are you supposing to arrive at the right destination when the driver is taking you in the wrong direction?
On the other side, I know another fellowship that is growing. The former Pastor set the foundation and the current leader is building upon that foundation.
In one church, the fault lies with the entire group while in the other, the entire group experiences the blessing. No, neither of these are the church that I lead. Jesus will have the final say on what kind of leader I am (or not).
How to Handle Intentional Babes in Christ
A ‘Forever Young’ Believer simply hasn’t committed to knowing Jesus beyond their salvation experience.
Why, then, would they put on the full armor of God if their chief desire is to simply come to church?
Even teachers of God’s Word must understand our part in this sin of creating “handicapped Believers.” Ineffective churches are led by ineffective people. Ineffective leaders produce “after their own kind.”
As it is true in the physical world, so is it in the spirit often. Because of my ethnicity, and assuming my wife is the same ethnicity, we will not produce an Asian child. In the kingdom of God, disciples cannot produce the un-discipled, assuming they are “walking together.”
It is only un-discipled that can produce other un-discipled. Handling those who remain intentional babes in Christ must be examined, then, from a place of personal responsibility.
It is true that Godly church leaders can be in a situation where they are banging their heads against the wall. No matter what they do, people simply won’t “grow.”
However, in my vast ministry experience, these are the exceptions and not the rule.
Time after time, in the Old Testament, wicked kings led God’s people away from Him. Those sold out for God, like King Hezekiah, brought people back to Him. Once you have examined your part in the lack of growth, and if guilty, repent brethren.
No depression, doubt, or deceit going forward. Put it behind you in the Name of Jesus Christ.
Getting bold, where once you were not, will cost something, however. It is best to start out bold and deal with the consequences. This is where once affected ministries go off the rails. I have seen two (2) great Pastor’s fired from backslidden churches.
Although a church schism occurred, their chief crime was challenging God’s people to be better! These men were not afraid to stand for Jesus even though it cost them that which they were born to do.
Again, and being an experienced (and current) Pastor, more than 95% of the time the opposite is true.
It pains me to say but the chief characteristic of a Pastor who survives, for extended lengths of time, is cowardice. Now, “founding Pastors” are different. It is more difficult for these churches to imagine themselves without their leader.
But if a church has had previous leaders, well, surviving will be an act of cowardice most often. There is something you’ve remained quiet about, should have addressed, but didn’t want to “fight.”
That, Brother Pastor, is the very definition of a COWARD! How do you continue to preach: “faith without works is dead” having so often “prayed” and not acted?
Moving Unseasoned Believers to Seasoned
Another sign of an unseasoned Believer is lack of rationality. Church leaders try to rationalize with irrational people instead of taking part in individual confrontational preaching.
Individual confrontational preaching is rare. Pastors and preachers will often preach sermons of “generalities.” These messages contain language such as: “some people”, “you may know someone”, and other cowardly speech which never convicts the hearer.
This is not to say that we, personally, convict Believers. God forbid! That is the job of the Holy Spirit.
However, there are often seven (7) or eight (8) troublemakers in any given congregation. It is they, under demonic influence, that tear down the work of the ministry. My Brother Pastors, being afraid of being thrown out, allow these spiritual demons to run wild.
My definition of individual confrontational preaching is: “isolating the individual, opening the Bible, preaching from Scripture, and not allowing them to get a word in.”
Beloved, people under demonic influence are irrational and cannot be reasoned with. Further, it is much easier to argue with you, the Preacher, than the Word of God.
Personally, I would have another church leader, not involved in the mayhem, somewhere near as a witness.
This protects your integrity in trying to move unseasoned church members to seasoned Believers. Keep your speech seasoned with salt, and do not allow your anger to drive your preaching.
If it is in another church leader or minister, prophetically savage them with the Word of God! Having claimed to be sent by God to preach, their “fault in ignoring” is much higher, and should be treated as such.
Jeremiah, and other prophets, directly confronted wayward leaders. When you read the Scripture, you find a common aggression that is uncommon today.
God’s definition of love is often “chastisement.” This false doctrine that is always going to be somebody else God sends to deal with an issue, and not you, should be rejected.
There are too many pulpit cowards and not enough bold warriors.
Let us not neglect so great a calling as discipleship. Do not grow weary just because the results (fruit) isn’t immediate.
I often hear about Pastors being worn out and burned out. Burn out occurs They are so having taken too much on themselves.
I have been Pastoring for some years and have not been burned out once. The reason is both biblical and simple: I don’t take on the responsibility of “building the church.” Yes, I do my part but “drawing people” isn’t in the job description!
Many of us believe we are doing the work of Matthew 25 by doing as much as we “can.” In the Kingdom of God, what I “can” do is rarely what I “should” do.
I don’t care how great a Preacher you are, you are not God and you are not people’s Savior. If you are not teaching them to go to God themselves, you are, in fact, creating unseasoned church members.
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