Monday, February 9, 2009

JIM ELLIFF: RESTORING THOSE WHO FALL (Encore Presentation)

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MP3 Available Here

JIM ELLIFF, founder and president of Christian Communicators Worldwide, will address the theme: "RESTORING THOSE WHO FALL."

In the words of our guest:"Let me tell you why church discipline is important to me....

A number of years ago my minister father left my mother after an adulterous affair with his secretary. I’m telling this story with his permission...

...This turn of events jarred us. We’ve not seen divorce often in our extended family. All of us are believers, and most of us are in the ministry, for four generations. While my father was working as a denominational executive, he began to counsel his secretary about her marriage. She found in him what she could not find in her husband. Soon, compromises entered in and adultery followed. My father did what he had often told us never to do—counsel someone of the opposite sex in a closed room. What seemed impossible to him and to us actually happened. And it happened within months of his retirement...

...The four children gathered, from long distances, at my parent’s home to beg for dad’s repentance. He appeared to repent at that time, but soon backed away from it. Like Lot’s wife, his heart was gone, even though, by his own admission, there was nothing on my mother’s part to cause his sin. He did not turn around. Rather, he divorced my mother, married his secretary, and moved to another city. His retirement years, which at one time were going to be filled with ministerial activity and travel, were now an impossible dream...

...Then came my mother’s death, just two years later. She died of Alzheimer’s disease, the effects of which were not noticeable until after the divorce. She had remained godly, fervent in her prayers for her former husband, and amazingly forgiving. But, to put it mildly, she was devastated, never before imagining that this could possibly happen to her...

...Before she died, father truly repented. With tears of anguish over his actions, he asked the family’s forgiveness. He even came to the bedside of my mother to speak with her prior to her death. But the damage was done. He had lost his job, his reputation, his confidence, his family’s respect, his future ministry, his joy, and even the assurance of his own salvation. He had been a fool...

...We are now twenty-two years beyond that awful period of time. Thankfully, Dad has been restored to Christian vitality, though with scars. His repentance was real and lasting. He has attempted to help others avoid the sinful actions of his past. Recently, as an old man, he stood before the Baptist pastors of one of our states and said that “he was a testimony of failure in the ministry.” But he also spoke of God’s remarkable grace. He spoke on this subject as well at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Ft. Worth, Texas, where he had been a student...

... I asked my father this question: 'Dad, we tried to get your church to discipline you when you committed adultery. They would not do it. Do you think it would have stopped you from leaving mother if they had?'...

...Dad, who always takes the blame for his sin himself and would not let anyone else share in it, nonetheless, very humbly admitted, 'I think it would have.'..."
Read Jim Elliff's entire article here.

Since the beginning of Christian Communicators Worldwide (CCW) in 1985, Jim Elliff has addressed organizations, groups in educational settings, churches, and pastor's fraternals of various denominations in almost every state of the United States and in numerous foreign countries.

Jim has been privileged to address groups in all kinds of settings—everything from a witch doctor's hut to a Communist meeting hall!Jim has a passion to communicate. He is the author of four books that have been published in the US and overseas, Led by the Spirit, Pursuing God—A Seeker's Guide, Going Under: Discussions on Baptism and Wasted Faith. He has written or edited many booklets which have been published by CCW. Jim’s articles also appear in a variety of periodicals and his messages are frequently heard on radio. He was featured in a seven-part interview called How Children Come to Faith in Christ with FamilyLife Today hosted by Dennis Rainey, and in a five-part series on Revive Our Hearts with Nancy DeMoss. Jim has contributed chapters in several other books, as well as writing extensively for the web. Many of his articles may be found at
http://www.CCWToday.org/.

In addition to his writing and travel, Jim began
Christ Fellowship of Kansas City, MO. This unique church is made up of home congregations in the Kansas City metro area."Restoring Those Who Fall", a church discipline statement, may be ordered from CCW for inexpensive bulk rates. An electronic copy of "Restoring Those Who Fall" may be found online at http://www.ccwtoday.org/ or http://www.christfellowshipkc.org/.

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