Take Time To Allow People In

From church’s standpoint there is wisdom for taking time to get to know individuals before permitting them to join the church. As experiences tell us it is much easier to allow people to join the church than removing people (though the latter part is hardly seen in churches today). Hence, get to know potential applicants. It was one of ministry practices for the Puritan pastors to get to know the applicants through catechism classes (which lasted sometimes two years!) before allowing them to partake in the membership. This means even if he/she professes to be a Christian or show supposed affections for Christ and the local church. On this regard Charles Spurgeon offers following words:

If the professed convert distinctly and deliberately declares that he knows his Lord’s will but does not mean to attend to it, you are not to pamper his presumption, but it is your duty to assure him that he is not saved. Has not the Lord said, “He that taketh not up his cross, and cometh after Me, cannot be My disciple?” Mistakes as to what the Lord’s will may be are to be tenderly corrected, but anything like willful disobedience is fatal; to tolerate it would be treason to Him that sent us. Jesus must be received as King as well as Priest; and where there is any hesitancy about this, the foundation of godliness is not yet laid… Do not be in a hurry to count these supposed converts; do not take them into the church too soon; do not be too proud of their enthusiasm if it is not accompanied with some degree of softening and tenderness to show that the Holy Spirit has really been at work within them… Do not number your fishes before they are broiled; nor count your converts before you have tested and tried them [The Soul Winner (Ross-shire: Christian Focus Publications, 1992), 24-25, 26, 28].

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