Sun. Mar 7th, 2021

RETAIN YOUR GAIN
Article 1
By: James L. Kilgore

Text: Matthew 28:19-20 “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have
commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”

Great strides have been made in the United Pentecostal Church during the past several years to reach new converts and to keep them in the church. In years gone by, the mortality rate among Pentecostals has been staggering to say the least. We are thankful, though, that we have been able to keep a greater percentage; however, this is one of the greatest emotional concerns of a pastor and the church.

We need to remember that when we have gone into all the world with the whole Gospel, we have only fulfilled one half of the Great Commission. The second part of the commission is to make disciples of those we have reached.

The world has its various foundations: the Heart Foundation, the Cancer Society, etc. to research ways to extend the lifespan of individuals. They have succeeded because of the dedication, training, research and millions of dollars poured into their efforts. How much more should the Church spend and expend
themselves in an all-out effort to conserve its gains: The soul of man is of far more worth than the body, and it will live forever somewhere.

I. CONSERVATION OF NEW CONVERTS

A. It has been said many times that no one backslides overnight, nor goes back abruptly. There must be a reason for this going back, and it is up to you and me to research these reasons and arrive at solutions
to the problem.

1. Did the thing that once attracted them lose its appeal? Fire-packed Revival.

2. Did their former lives catch up with them? Former demons? Habits?

A. Four ways to loose people

1. Backsliding.
2. Transferring to neighboring church.
3. Moving away.
4. Death.

B. Let them know that loss of feeling isn’t loss of Faith.

C. Things new converts can loose.

1. Loss of joy.
2. Loss of fellowship.
3. Loss of peace.
4. Loss of eyes on God getting eyes on people.
5. Loss of influence–friends.
6. Loss of faith–live by faith & not by feelings.
7. Loss of self control.
8. Loss of interest–worship is mechanical–Gal. 4:9.
9. Loss of power.
10. Loss of first love.
11. Loss of favor with God.

3. Was there an increased awareness of the present? Prov. 14:14.

4. Was the way too hard? “My yoke is lite” (not yoked w/ox, but with Jesus).

5. Could they not pay the price? Study–Luke 9:57-62 — 3 classes: 1-Too fast class; 2-Too slow class; 3-Too soft (Not tough enough).

B. Let us realize:

1. New converts are not born into the church full grown.

a. I Corinthians 3:1-3 — Babes in Christ

b. I Peter 2:2

c. Ephesians 4:12-13

2. Time and patience and understanding is required in this conservation program. Newborn babies, naturally speaking, cannot be left alone to grow by themselves.

a. I Thessalonians 2:7

II. THE BIBLICAL PLAN OF CONSERVATION

A. The foundation must be correct if the building is to stand.

1. Luke 6:46-49

2. Ephesians 2:20-22

3. Acts 2:4-7

4. Romans 6:17

5. Hebrews 6:1-3

B. The building is built by a Master Plan (I Corinthians 3:10)

1. “Search For Truth” classes

2. Home Bible study

3. In My Father’s House

These programs are Word-centered. Only those founded upon the Word of God will be able to survive. Notice the cycle of growth in Acts 2:41-47.

1st – They received the Word.

2nd – They were baptized.

3rd – They were added to the Church.

4th – They were instructed by the Church.

5th – They continued in fellowship with the Church.

6th – They reached out to others. 7th – They grew in number daily.

C. The Choice of Materials (I Corinthians 3:10-15)

What are you building? A tower? A mansion? A shack? A personality? A person?

1. Wood-Hay-Stubble

2. Gold-Silver-Precious Stones

D. Fitly Framed Together (Ephesians 2:21)

1. Ephesians 4:25

2. Romans 14:7

3. When a person is born into the family of God he is not likely to survive in isolation.

4. All members need to feel they are loved and are a part of the body of Christ. We are our brother’s keeper.

5. Jude 22-23

6. Romans 15:1

Body ministry is very important:

E. The Lasting Results

1. John 15:6 The Lord not only expects that we bear fruit, but He also expects us to see to it that the fruit remains.

2. John 17:12-We see this in His personal example.

3. I Peter 5:10 – We must develop a “keeping attitude” as well as a “winning attitude.”

4. I Peter 5:2 – If people are led, they must be fed.

5. Acts 6:7 – We see once again how growth and conservation are tied to the Word of God.

III. INVOLVEMENT: A TOP PRIORITY

A. Matthew 13 – The parable of the sower and the seed and the four soils

1. What percent of the seed sown produced a plant?

2. What percent of the seed sown actually produce fruit?

3. According to this parable, how much of our preaching and teaching can we actually claim for positive results? Twenty-five percent? Fifty percent? Seventy-five percent? Or one hundred percent?

B. Our Involvement

1. Keep sowing the good seed.

2. Water the plant.

3. Go through the pruning stages.

4. Labor with a heart of love.

C. Involve the New Converts

1. Teach them that we are saved for service (Acts 1:8).

2. They stay saved as they reproduce (John 15).

3. They need involvement with their family and friends. They do not have to reject their family, nor do they need to feel they themselves will be rejected.

4. Fulfilling Matthew 6:33 does not mean forsaking loved ones.

a. Mark 5:18-19 — Jesus told the man who was delivered from demon possession to go home to his family and friends and let them see him.

b. Luke 9:57-62 – Once they learn the secret of putting God first, all the other necessary ingredients such as these will automatically become a part of their lives:

1. Tithing and Giving

2. Sacrificing for the Work of God

3. Obedience and Faithfulness

4. Regular Church Attendance

5. Fasting and Prayer

6. Soul Winning

Let us realize how very important it is to keep our gains, and how this very thing was one of the greatest emotional burdens our Savior carried during His earthly ministry. We can keep them if we try hard enough:

(The above material was published by the Home Missions department.)

“PRESERVING YOUR GROWTH”

Article 2

By: John W. Grant

A few years ago the Wisconsin District brethren thought it would be wise to evaluate our camp grounds. Since several brethren thought that the amount of money put into the camp exceeded what we actually gained from it, a committee was appointed to evaluate the situation. All of our brethren thought that the camp was profitable; however, several thought if we rented a facility, perhaps we could accomplish just as far less money.

I happened to serve on the committee and for me it was a very profitable experience. We began by defining the purpose of the church and decided that it was two fold. The purpose is as follows:

1. Getting People Saved

2. Keeping People Saved

In this brief Bible study I would like to talk about this subject, spending most of my time on point number 2, “Keeping People Saved.” However, just for review let’s consider the Great Commission as
recorded by Matthew.

I. Getting People Saved

A. Matthew 28:19-20, “Go ye there, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.” (Generally considered a commandment to evangelize).

B. Now Let’s Consider The Follow-up of the Commandment

1. Mark 16:20, “And they went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.”

2. If we fail to tell, then there is nothing to confirm!

C. The Jesus Method

1. Matthew 28:19, “Go ye therefore, and TEACH all nations…”

2. Matthew 28:20, “TEACHING them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you…”

3. Paul to Timothy -“And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also” (II Timothy 2:2).

4. If there had been a better way, Jesus would have used it!

II. KEEPING PEOPLE SAVED

A. The Dedication of Spiritual Parents

1. Help the person find salvation

2. Help the new believer develop a consistent devotional life

3. Help the new believer understand the basics of abundant Christian living

4. Help the new believer become integrated into the life of the local church

5. Help the new believer share his experience with others

B. All New Babes Have Vital Needs

1. Love

2. Protection

3. Food

4. Training

It is the responsibility of the church to structure religion for him. Just a series of Bible studies will not be enough!

C. The Training Of A new Child

The new convert must be trained so that he can positively identify himself with the purpose of Christ.

1. Key words in organizing your life

a. Priorities

b. Goals

c. Planning

2. The priorities of a Christian

a. God

b. Family of God

c. Work of God

3. The method of conversion

a. Knowledge – John 8:24, Hebrew 11:6

b. Attitude – Luke 13:3

c. Behavior – Acts 2:38

Note: In each of our priorities we should apply the above.

Example: God

1. Have the correct knowledge (Know who He is!)

2. Possess the right attitude (Submit to His authority)

3. Express the correct behavior (Worship Him as God-Communicate with Him through prayer-Honor Him with tithing)

Family of God

1. Have the correct knowledge

2. Possess the right attitude

3. Express the correct behavior

Work of God

1. Have the correct knowledge

2. Possess the right attitude

3. Express the correct behavior

4. The Goal of Training

Proverbs 22:6, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”

a. He must become all that Jesus was/is

b. Create an appetite for God’s Word

c. Christianity is not an escape from reality

1. Bathe the babe in prayer

2. Drill him thoroughly on how to perform his duties

3. Give him complete instructions on every step he is to take

4. Tell him how to escape the devil’s snares and approaching danger

5. Let him know how to appropriate a blessing

6. Stamp these lessons deep in his soul and lead him to practice them until they become a part of his life and nature

7. Instill the fear of God into him

III. SUMMARY OF LESSON

Keeping our new babes in the Family of God is a paramount concern of each Pastor and Church Body. We are not just interested in getting people saved, but our real goal is the multiplication of teachers!

(The above material was published by the Home Missions department.)

“PRESERVING GROWTH”

Article 3

By: Jesse F. Williams

John 15:1-17:

“I AM the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now
ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the
vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered;
and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you:
continue ye in my love. If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might
remain commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you. Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you. These things I command you, that ye love one another.”

We have a firm scriptural precedent for our desire to grow and to preserve our growth. The burden of a God-given preacher is to win souls. To lose one, once they have been won, is even more keenly felt than to fail in the effort to win. We can surely identify with the shepherd’s heart that pulls him from the
ninety and nine, out into the wilderness, to find and restore one lost sheep.

I am sure you long, as I do, for some secret to apply that would preserve our gains. Having felt the pain so often I can only hope that we may relate with one another, and heart speak to heart. Thus may we be encouraged together, to keep working at it until Jesus comes.

The problem is spiritual; therefore, the answer is spiritual.There is no modus operandi in itself that will solve the problem. Help? Yes, but nothing will accomplish more than the burden. We can never afford to adjust ourselves to it. We can never take a lackadaisical attitude. We must never accept it as inevitable. Each soul is precious; none are expendable.

An attitude of, “If they want to live for God, they will, and if they don’t, they won’t,” can never be allowed to excuse us. There is an element of truth in such a statement, but we also know there are many saved from falling because someone cared. The body is designed to feed and sustain it’s members. In effect, Jesus told the people of Capernaum, Sodom would have been spared if they had received the attention the people of Capernaum received.

Matthew 11:23:

“And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.”

Branches bear fruit, but only when they abide in the vine. That fruit lives because the branches continue in the vine. No amount of sunshine, warm temperature, rain, and fertile soil will allow the branch to provide life for he fruit unless the life in the vine is in the branch. All of these are important elements of growth and life, but all life comes through the vine. Even so all methods programs, etc. we use are only
effective when the Spirit Christ flows in us. That Spirit loved and gave to death. Jesus did not lose any but the son of perdition; that Scripture might be fulfilled.

John 17:12:

“While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.”

Realizing that love is the active ingredient, we can examine some of the vehicles that will express our love.

First let us ask some questions about how growth (increase) came about. It is soon evident this has a lot to do with preserving that growth.

1. What (or who) did you win them to? Did we really win them to Jesus Christ? Or to ourselves only, or to the church and it’s programs, or to a place of involvement?

None of these things are bad, in fact they are all good; supplemental areas where we work together with God. But, notice the words of the Apostle Paul in I Corinthians 2:1-5, “And I, brethren, when I came to
you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.”

2. How did we win them? Through fear? Let me hasten to say the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. Proverbs 9:10, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is
understanding.”

Fear is a valid evangelistic method.

Jude 23 instructs us to save others with fear, “And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.” Noah was moved with fear. However, no one can live
constantly in fear. Somewhere love has to take over.

3. Did they come in an evangelistic campaign? Was there no previous teaching, or church background?

These will need immediate attention. You may take a little more time with a home Bible study convert, but you need to camp on the doorstep of a person who is won “cold turkey.”

4. Did they come in because of great problems in their lives? Many times problems drive people to their knees, but when the acuteness of the problems is gone, they may be gone. Israel was a good example of
this. (Deuteronomy 6:10-12, “And it shall be, when the Lord thy God shall have brought thee into the land which sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give thee great and goodly cities, which thou buildedest not, And houses full of all good things, which thou filledest not, and wells digged, which thou diggedst not, vineyards and olive trees, which thou plantedst not; when thou shalt have eaten and be full; Then beware lest thou forget the Lord, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.

People who come to God under such circumstances may need a special nurturing that they would become rooted.

5. Unrealistic promises, or expectations, for themselves or the church and its people.

Jesus did promise rest from labors, abundant life, and eternal life, but He also said those who would be His disciples must deny themselves and take their cross. A proper balance must be projected. It may be we do not project an unscriptural impression of what real “born again” Christianity is, but people will come to us with ideas already formed from other groups or individuals (Charismatics).

6. In balance with the above we must also not kill new born babies with legalistic requirements.

Usually new Christians are very pliable and it is an excellent time to mold them right from the beginning. However, a wise and discerning pastor will sense how much they can “take” and bear with them.

7. Care must be exercised that new converts make close associations with people who will bless them spiritually. Notice how friendly any negative or gossipy people in the church are? They make friends easily and often are the first to show attention to new converts.

The remedy to this is to get your spiritual people busy. Teach them to be sensitive to new converts and enfold them in a spiritual group.

8. Never take anyone for granted. Even “long time” saints sometimes fall. We often have the tendency to think if someone never causes any problem, attends regularly, and pays their tithes they are all right.

The answer to this is to be oriented toward maturing saints and not just maintaining them. Growth and productivity should be normal for all saints.

(The above material was published by the Home Missions department.)

CLOSING THE BACK DOOR

Article 4

By: Wayne R. Trout

Only too often the question is asked, “Where is Brother John? I haven’t seen him in church in quite a while.” No one seems to know. Then we realize if we are going to recover him, we must pursue after him quickly.

TEXT: Joshua 2:5– “And it came to pass about the time of the shutting of the gate, when it was dark, that the men went out: whither the men went I will not: pursue after them quickly; for ye shall over take them.”

This message is not to speak of why people are leaving our churches, but to address the possible solutions to the problem–closing the back door. We make new converts by the message we preach, but why are we losing them in their infancy, or is it in childhood?

1. Does the pearl need to be put back into salt water to regain its luster?

2. Is there too little invested, therefore, there is too little involvement?

3. Do we teach that the Holy Ghost is the “goal” and not the “gateway?”

4. Are we letting men build shacks that are easily deserted when God intended them to build a skyscraper on that plot of ground?

I. WHAT IS THE BACK DOOR?

A. Practical examples

1. The back door is used for action that is preferably hidden from the public eye (i.e. taking out the garbage, entering with old work clothes, every day activities).

2. When using the proper entrance, the front door, one is usually careful to close the door properly. However, the back door does not ordinarily get as much careful attention as the front door. It is
sometimes left standing open or left to close on its own. A mother’s voice can often be heard saying, “We are not heating the outside too! CLOSE THAT DOOR!”

B. Hazards the back door presents:

1. As mentioned previously, precious things (heat) can escape through an open back door.

2. A great deal of the time, when a thief is attempting to enter a home, where would he try to enter first? The back door. It is usually 1 less protected and secure than the front door. It is less lighted and more accessible without being noticed.

3. Consider a stable. How frustrating would it be to herd several head of cattle and then when following the last one in, see that only a few were in the stable? The back door was left open! One thing that helped
to minimize this problem was to put feed in the stalls! Leaving the back door open, whether accidentally or absentmindedly, always created twice as much work!

C. Example of the use of the back door:

In ancient days, Pergamos was considered a center or great medical and psychiatric learning.

II. SPIRITUAL IMPLICATIONS OF THE BACK DOOR

A. Statistics:

What happens in a pastor’s heart when he sits down to survey his congregation and he faces some very cold facts? In the past year 173 were baptized and 161 received the Holy Ghost, but the membership is
up only 22 to 24 from last year. Some have moved away and some have gone elsewhere in the work of God. But where are the rest? They have slipped out the back door.

B. Some Biblical Examples

1. Luke 15:11-32 The prodigal son–returned broke and in rags

2. Ruth 1:20, 21 Naomi–went out full and returned empty

3. II Samuel 13:3-4 Jonadab asked Amnon, “Why art thou, being the King’s son, lean from day to day?”

BROKE EMPTY LEAN

* The child of God should never be the one that is in rags, lean and empty while the world seems to have an abundance.

* There is an element present today that is comparable to Ecclesiastes 10:7…”servants upon horses and princes walking as servants upon the earth.” Are the saints living up to their potential? Could this be a
cause of so many escaping through the back door?

III. HOW DO WE CLOSE THE BACK DOOR?

A. Challenge your new converts

1. Acts 1:8–help them realize their potential power

2. Job 39:1-19–teach them to lean upon the Lord

B. Establish their position in the Kingdom

1. II Kings 18:23–they, as new converts, are able to work in God’s Kingdom

a. They should “mount their horse” in:

worship

praise

testimony

fasting

Bible reading

b. I Corinthians 12:4…they have the same Spirit as aged saints.

How can the United Pentecostal Church close its “back door” and prevent precious individuals from leaving our fellowships unnoticed? We must CARE. We must give ourselves not only to the revival and evangelism that we have so long preached about and prayed for, but also we must be wise enough to handle the souls carefully that we have been given and realize that it is as much our responsibility to shepherd as it is to gather sheep.

In closing: Matthew 18:12, “How think ye? If a man have a hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains and seeketh that which is gone astray?”

(The above material was published by the Home Missions department.)

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