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Care to Convert | James 5: 19-20 part 2

Care to Convert | James 5: 19-20 part 2

Care to Convert - James 5: 19-20 -  Outline

I) A Statement that Presupposes Someone Needing Converting, vs. 19

A) A Statement concerning the carnal Christian, vs. 19a

B) A Statement concerning the caring Christian, vs. 19b

II) A Statement that Promises Something to the Converted. vs. 20

A) The promise of the caring Christian saving a soul from future death, vs. 20a

B) The promise of the caring Christian saving a soul from future deeds, vs. 20b

Care to Convert | James 5: 19-20 part 2

This is the second and final part from my message entitled "Care to Convert." We'll pick up right where we left off last time.

James introduces his thought concerning the carnal Christian. And he then mentions the caring Christian. Look at verse 19 nineteen again. “Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back...” (emphasis mine). That someone is a believer who cared to convert. “someone should bring that person back” (NIV). “someone turns him back” (HCSB).[1] Or “Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him... (KJV). The caring Christian is the one who will take the time, love and effort to convert the carnal Christian and turn him back or bring her back into the fold. Caring to convert.

Turn back or convert: epistréphō, ep-ee-stref'-o: the verb means to turn around, to turn back one who no longer cares. The verb is very intense in the significance of the caring Christian imposing upon the carnal believer to convert, to come back to his love, . . .  to her obedience to God. Care to convert. Care to Convert | James 5: 19-20 part 2

Be a caring Christian who is willing to spend the time in prayer to God and pleading to help rescue a fallen soldier who either has not learned who he is in Christ or who has let the cares of this world and the campaigns of satan bring her down. Remember the words of our Lord in describing for us not only who the devil is, but what his modus operandi is as well in John chapter ten. “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (vs. 10).

Our adversary is called a thief. What does a career thief do, what is he capable of? Thieves steal, lie, deceive and use any means necessary to take from others what they do not own. Satan is also called a liar by our Lord and not only a liar but he is the father, the creator, the originator of every lie. Everything he does, falls under one of the three categories of his mission for the believer. His deceiving plans are to steal, kill, and destroy.

In the context of what Jesus was talking about in John chapter ten, the thief’s plans are against “the sheep” the believer, the child of God. The Apostle Peter warned believers “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1st Peter 5: 8, emphasis mine). Seeking whom he may devour! Seeking men of God whom he may devour! Seeking precious saintly women whom he may devour!

The Devil - The Snake - Beelzebub - Satan - The Liar - The Father of Lies

He schemes, he plans, he attacks in order to devour you, to devour me and God’s children everywhere. Be sober, be on the lookout, be alert, be aware because our adversary the devil seeks to devour us! Many carnal, immature and or backslidden believers who are in desperate need of revival are those whom satan has sought, fought and stagnated in their Christian walk.

Their faith has become shipwrecked on the beaches of the used and abandoned by the stormy seas of satan’s destruction and have become stuck on the island of the discouraged and the defeated. They are of most men, they are of most women most miserable and the angels of God have their “SOS” burning high and bright for caring Christians to come and rescue them.

Will you be one of the rescuers? Will you be a caring Christian who cares to convert? James makes a statement that presupposes someone needing converting by mentioning the carnal Christian who needs to be turned back and then the caring Christian who can turn him; who can convert her back to a loving and obedient relationship with our God.

James follows up that statement with another in the last verse of the last chapter of his book. In verse 20 twenty, he makes a statement that promises something to the converted. “Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, 20 let him know...let her know... that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins” (added mine).

The first promise of the caring Christian is the saving a soul from death. When a caring Christian converts a carnal Christian, he or she saves that person from experiencing a pre-mature death. God is a patient God but His holiness will eventually out way His patience and long-suffering for one of His children to repent of their wicked ways and He will take them to the wood-shed. The writer of Hebrews tells us this in chapter twelve where he reminds us of what the Proverbs states about the discipline or the chastisement of Almighty God for His wayward children.

“For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls. You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin. And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: “My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; For whom the Lord loves He chastens, And scourges every son whom He receives” (vs. 3-6).

In chapter five of his first letter, the Apostle John talks about a sin of a believer “which leads to death” and that we are not to pray concerning it. “If anyone sees his brother sinning a sin which does not lead to death, he will ask, and He will give him life for those who commit sin not leading to death. There is sin leading to death. I do not say that he should pray about that. 17 All unrighteousness is sin, and there is sin not leading to death” (vs. 16-17, emphasis mine). The concept here is that a sinning brother, aka a carnal Christian is living in and or committing unmitigated and unrepentant sin. Care to Convert | James 5: 19-20 part 2

This unrepentant sin will lead to the Lord taking Him to the woodshed. Most rational people realize when God is chastening them and they repent. However, there are those who don’t and they won’t. If their life is causing damage to the cause and testimony of Christ, God will take them home. This is the sin that leads to death that the Apostle John is talking about. This is the death that James is referring to here in chapter five.

SIN

He laid out the lifespan of sin back in chapter one where he stated: “Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. 14 But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. 15 Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.16 Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren” (vs. 13-16).

So, when a caring Christian cares enough to convert a carnal Christian, he or she saves that soul from future death. Then James makes a second promise where he states that they will also save the soul from future deeds. Look at verse 19 nineteen again, “Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, 20 let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins” (emphasis mine).

Cover a multitude of sins. “hide a multitude of sins” (KJV). What does that mean? We read from Psalm 32 thirty-two, that “Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, Whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity, And in whose spirit there is no deceit” (vs. 1-2). This indicates forgiveness.

And we learn this truth from Proverbs chapter 10 ten, “Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all sins” (vs. 12). I believe this is what James had in mind in light of the context of which he is addressing these comments.

Peter later had this passage in mind as well where he wrote, “And above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins” (1st Peter 4: 8). When you cover something up, you hide it as the KJV translates. When a caring Christian converts a carnal Christian, he or she restores that believer in the good graces of the others in the fellowship.

In helping the believer to grow and overcome self, satan and sin, he or she will also be involved with preventing a multitude of sin in that person’s life, relationships and walk with God and His children. The caring Christian will have had a great deal in hiding, preventing and covering a multitude of sin.

Paul admonished the Galatian believers to care enough to convert when he told them: “Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted” (Gal. 6: 1).

Jesus Helping Another Up

Jesus Helping Another Person Get Up

And the same ideal is found in the book of Jude, the half-brother of our Lord Jesus Christ where he stated: “But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.22 And on some have compassion, making a distinction; 23 but others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh” (vs. 20-23).

“Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, 20 let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins.” Care to convert. The fastest growing religion in the world is Islam. They have the highest conversion rate amongst world religions. They also have the greatest success of retaining their converts once they are introduced to the Islamic faith.

They will move heaven and earth to convert someone to Islam. And once that person is converted, the Muslims around them will proceed with every effort to ensure that the person or family remains faithful to the Muslim community and attendance to the times of prayer and worship services of their Mosque.

Mahatma Gandhi studied Christianity before committing to Hinduism. He observed Christians, Christian missionaries and Christian worship services. He did so for over a year and then rejected the Christian faith and converted to Hinduism. He was sadly discouraged at how Christians exorcized their faith. Care to Convert | James 5: 19-20 part 2

Mahatma Gandhi is perhaps the best example of someone who was discerning enough to reject Christianity not Christ. He was deeply hurt by his experiences with apartheid and “Christians” during his time in South Africa, and it obviously stymied his relationship with Christ. Like Gandhi millions have been unable to see the Christ obscured by the carnality of Christians. Gandhi was shrewd enough to tell missionaries, “I like your Christ; I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”[2]

Care enough to convert carnal and or backslidden believers. Have enough love for Christ and His kingdom to pray for your fellow believer, regardless of their maturity level in their walk with Christ. James states: ““Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, 20 let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins.”

“and someone turns him back”, “someone should bring that person back” NIV, “and one turns him back” NAS[3], “Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him” KJV. The verb epistréphō is in the subjunctive mood, which is the mood of possibility and potentiality. The action described may or may not occur, depending upon circumstances. The action here is whether we will care enough to convert a backslidden, carnal or deceived fellow believer. The action will depend on our willing to love enough, to care enough in order to pursue, to protect and to persuade a fallen brother or a wayward sister.

What about this subjunctive mood concerning if one will care enough to convert? What is your answer to the call of this verb? What is my answer to the calling of the carnal? How will we respond to the beliefs of the babes in Christ? Are we willing to care enough to convert? That’s the question that God’s word is asking us today. My closing question is what will your response be? Will you, the believers of Harbor Baptist church be willing to care to convert?

Care to Convert | James 5: 19-20 part 2

This has been part two of a two part series of studies from James 5: 19-20 from my message entitled "Care to Convert." Please check out my new book entitled, “Letters of Divine Revelation from an Old Man in Prison”. The book is available from Amazon in paperback and in an E-Book form from Amazon Kindle. It is a commentary on the seven churches from chapters two and three from the book of Revelation. I hope you find it inspiring and helpful with your walk with Jesus.

Revelation Book Cover Image

Revelation Book Cover Image

Let’s go to church this Sunday. These are certainly troubling and uncertain times that we live in. From the ever growing national debt, to corrupt, lying, greedy politicians, extremist’s terrorists, fake news, slipping moralities to God only knows what will be next.

This great nation of ours is on a speeding train of moral declination. The train is on a track to degradation and she is picking up steam: fast! Ole Uncle Sam needs a revival. From the president and his administration in the White house right down to the kid behind the counter at Walmart. Our country needs a fresh awakening from the Holy Spirit of God. America needs an outpouring of the Holy Ghost as was experienced by the first century Church.

Come join our pastor, our church and me in praying for revival. Won’t you join me today and start by carrying ourselves and our loved ones to church. I need church, you need church, your family needs the church. All God’s people need the Church! If you are in the Clay county area of North Florida come worship with us at Harbor Baptist church located on the corner of Clay Street (1120) & US Hwy 17, Fleming Island, FL. We are located just to the right of Corky Bell’s Seafood restaurant. Morning worship is at 10:30 and we meet Sunday evening at 6:00 p.m.

Better yet, come join our group for Bible study with the adults. I lead the adult class entitled: “Harbor Haven, for pairs and spares”. (For couples and singles) We meet @ 9:14 in the main room of the education building. This is the building located right next to the church. We would love for you to come and fellowship with us around the Word of God. And feel free to bring a guest. Whether you attend the worship service or choose not to, we hope to see you for Bible study!

We pride ourselves with being a smaller church with the big difference. I don’t believe you will find another fellowship of believers who have a greater love for God and as a result of His love for us, we have love for one another. You’ll find me and my family there, come visit, both you and our church will be glad that you did!

I am happy to speak on behalf of our Lord Jesus Christ in the North Florida area. I am a conservative and evangelical teacher whose doctrinal beliefs align with those of the Southern Baptist Convention. My doctrinal views are listed in the menu section of this site. If your pastor is sick, has a sudden emergency or needs a vacation, I am happy to fill in for him. You can contact me by email at: michaelrosenbarker@gmail.com

Care to Convert | James 5: 19-20 part 2

[1] Scriptures marked HCSB are taken from the HOLMAN CHRISTIAN STANDARD BIBLE (HCSB): Scripture taken from the HOLMAN CHRISTIAN STANDARD BIBLE, copyright© 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003 by Holman Bible Publishers, Nashville Tennessee. All rights reserved.

 

[2] Raj, Frank. "Gandhi glimpsed Christ, rejecting Christianity as a false religion." The Washington Times. The Washington Times, 31 Dec. 2014. Web. 04 June 2017.

 

[3] Scriptures marked NAS are taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD (NAS): Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, copyright© 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

 

 

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