There are many seeker sensitive “churches” that are trying to manipulate people into their church. They treat church membership like a numbers game. The true church is looking for those who have truly experienced regeneration.
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I'll just tell you this, if you're visiting with us. I've almost got the feeling once in a while, somebody will visit the church, and it's like... "We want to become a member." And the very fact that I hesitate in the way that I answer them - sometimes I see, it's almost like I can read it on their face. What? I thought that if I wanted to be a member of your church, you'd be all happy about that. Isn't that the goal of churches? Isn't it to get as big as possible? Isn't that what makes pastors happy? Brethren, we've got all sorts of people around this country trying to coerce people into their church. Seeker-sensitive. Trying to attract people. Brethren, this isn't a numbers game. We're looking for people who have experienced this great spiritual operation known as regeneration - becoming new creations. That's what we're looking for. Real living stones that bear this image of holiness. That's it. That's it. The Spirit of God laying hold... This isn't about somebody trying to be religious and giving up smoking. We're talking about a dwelling place for God. God doesn't dwell with a bunch of unholy people trying to be Christians in their own strength who have given up smoking. This isn't it. I'll tell you what it is, and you know, Christian. You know this is what it is. He says He's going to cleanse us from our idols. You know what idols are? They're things you love. And He goes in at the deepest level, and He lays hold on those things, and He rips them out. And those roots, they go so deep. And as they come out, it hurts. He tears them out. And He looks at us and He said, I'm going to crush you. And Craig was talking about - what is it? v. 8? And all the you's. The self's. Self. Self, self, self. He says you're going to die to that. And I'm going to put that thing to death. I'm going to produce a person whose joy and confidence is in the Lord. Whose idols - when He tears those out, those roots come out, and it tears part of you out with it. And you know that's true. I'm going to cleanse them from their idols. That is a promise of the new covenant. And if you're a true child of God here, you know that. You know that feeling. You know Him tearing those things out. It's by the Spirit, and the Spirit's successful.