The Response to the Gospel

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Johann

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The Response to the Gospel

Many Christians have substituted God's blueprint for evangelism with methods of their own in order to fabricate a greater number of decisions. Instead of following the biblical model for evangelism, demonstrated by the early disciples who were trained by the Lord Jesus, the modern church has in- vented its own traditions. Rather than call- ing sinners to repentance and faith in Jesus Christ, evangelicals are asking unbelievers to repeat a prayer, sign a card, raise their hand, come forward or "accept" (rather than trust) Jesus as their Savior. None of these modern traditions have any biblical foundation. Not only do they dishonor the Savior, but they often mislead souls into a false hope of salvation. No one has the right to lower God's entrance requirements into His King- dom. Unless we evangelize God's way, we run the serious risk of deceiving people about their eternal destiny. True saving faith always involves repentance (Acts 20:21).

Biblical evangelism requires making disciples not decisions.
This involves teaching people to observe all that Christ commanded (Mat. 28:18-20). His first command was to “Repent and believe the Gospel" (Mark 1:15). Repentance is a change in mind that is granted by God and leads to a knowledge of the truth. (2 Tim. 2:25). It results in turning from idols to God, from dead works to faith, from sin to righteousness and from the traditions of men to Christ and His Word (Acts 26:20; 2 Cor. 12:21; Col. 2:8; 1 Thes. 1:9; Heb. 6:1). The importance of calling sinners to repentance is also confirmed in the last command Jesus gave: "Repentance for forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in His name to all the nations" (Luke 24:47). Remember, Jesus did not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance (Luke 5:32). Those who respond to the Gospel with repentance and faith will depart from the kingdom of dark- ness and follow the Light of the world (John 8:12). They will gladly get off the broad road to destruction and enter the narrow way that leads to life everlasting (Mat. 7:13-14).

Biblical evangelism also requires teaching people the attributes of God. The God who created us is also the One who will judge us. He is majestic in holiness (Exo. 15:11). Righteousness and justice are the foundation of His throne and He will not let sin go unpunished (Psalm 97:2; Rom. 6:23). He is sovereign, and everyone is accountable to Him (Dan. 4:35; Heb. 4:13). The Father demonstrates His love by sending His Son to die for His people (Rom. 5:8). God opposes the proud but extends His grace to the humble (Luke 18:14; Jas. 4:6). By His mercy He saves believers from the eternal lake of fire (Titus 3:5). Modern evangelism puts too much emphasis on God's love and too little on His holiness and righteous justice. This is a stark contrast to first century evangelism where, in the Book of Acts, the word "love" is never even mentioned. Clearly, without a true and balanced knowledge of all God's attributes, sinners will not know Whom they have of- fended. Nor will they know Who condemns them with eternal punishment or Whom they must call on to be saved. The world is perishing for a lack of the knowledge of God.

May we all examine our faith and practice to ensure that it conforms to God's Word. Have we trusted the Christ of the Gospel and believed the glorious and infallible promises of the Gospel? Are we calling people to respond to the Gospel God's way? Let us all obey from the heart the doctrine to which we were delivered (Rom. 6:17).

Thanks
J.
 

Arthur81

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The Response to the Gospel

Many Christians have substituted God's blueprint for evangelism with methods of their own in order to fabricate a greater number of decisions. Instead of following the biblical model for evangelism, demonstrated by the early disciples who were trained by the Lord Jesus, the modern church has in- vented its own traditions. Rather than call- ing sinners to repentance and faith in Jesus Christ, evangelicals are asking unbelievers to repeat a prayer, sign a card, raise their hand, come forward or "accept" (rather than trust) Jesus as their Savior. None of these modern traditions have any biblical foundation. Not only do they dishonor the Savior, but they often mislead souls into a false hope of salvation. No one has the right to lower God's entrance requirements into His King- dom. Unless we evangelize God's way, we run the serious risk of deceiving people about their eternal destiny. True saving faith always involves repentance (Acts 20:21).

Biblical evangelism requires making disciples not decisions.
This involves teaching people to observe all that Christ commanded (Mat. 28:18-20). His first command was to “Repent and believe the Gospel" (Mark 1:15). Repentance is a change in mind that is granted by God and leads to a knowledge of the truth. (2 Tim. 2:25). It results in turning from idols to God, from dead works to faith, from sin to righteousness and from the traditions of men to Christ and His Word (Acts 26:20; 2 Cor. 12:21; Col. 2:8; 1 Thes. 1:9; Heb. 6:1). The importance of calling sinners to repentance is also confirmed in the last command Jesus gave: "Repentance for forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in His name to all the nations" (Luke 24:47). Remember, Jesus did not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance (Luke 5:32). Those who respond to the Gospel with repentance and faith will depart from the kingdom of dark- ness and follow the Light of the world (John 8:12). They will gladly get off the broad road to destruction and enter the narrow way that leads to life everlasting (Mat. 7:13-14).

Biblical evangelism also requires teaching people the attributes of God. The God who created us is also the One who will judge us. He is majestic in holiness (Exo. 15:11). Righteousness and justice are the foundation of His throne and He will not let sin go unpunished (Psalm 97:2; Rom. 6:23). He is sovereign, and everyone is accountable to Him (Dan. 4:35; Heb. 4:13). The Father demonstrates His love by sending His Son to die for His people (Rom. 5:8). God opposes the proud but extends His grace to the humble (Luke 18:14; Jas. 4:6). By His mercy He saves believers from the eternal lake of fire (Titus 3:5). Modern evangelism puts too much emphasis on God's love and too little on His holiness and righteous justice. This is a stark contrast to first century evangelism where, in the Book of Acts, the word "love" is never even mentioned. Clearly, without a true and balanced knowledge of all God's attributes, sinners will not know Whom they have of- fended. Nor will they know Who condemns them with eternal punishment or Whom they must call on to be saved. The world is perishing for a lack of the knowledge of God.

May we all examine our faith and practice to ensure that it conforms to God's Word. Have we trusted the Christ of the Gospel and believed the glorious and infallible promises of the Gospel? Are we calling people to respond to the Gospel God's way? Let us all obey from the heart the doctrine to which we were delivered (Rom. 6:17).

Thanks
J.
Hi J! Your post gave me a chance to share something with the forum. This past week I've had the opportunity to connect by email with a young man who is now interested in my Christian faith, and life. His background was superficially Roman Catholic, but he has discarded it, and now seems to be seeking. Many may think I am going to get into Particular Redemption and Irresistible grace with him, or the decree of God. Not at all, I approach it by pointing out, God is indeed sovereign, and has predestined each and every thing in the creation, down to the tiniest detail; BUT, we do not know at all what that decree means for our today and tomorrow. We can only see what was predestined by knowing history covering some area of life, what has transpired in the past. We have total responsibility for what choices we make today, and I surely do not know what is predestined for tomorrow. I am responsible for my choices today. I have NO need or reason to get into Total Depravity with him, that is a topic for a Christian to discuss as he comes to realize just how much our salvation in each detail was all due to God's grace; nothing in us did it or helped. I believe once God is calling a person, they do not need to be convinced of their sinfulness, as with all of us, they/we know our dark heart.

To me, sharing the faith is not going up to some stranger asking 'Have you been born again'? For me, as I understand the NT, it is my life that is seen or known to some degree by another, that causes them to ask me a question, or comes from an opening happening that is clearly providentially providing a purpose to respond with scripture. This young man has not shared with me what exactly the physical or emotional trauma it is that he is now dealing with, I just pray to God he gives me the proper words and sensitivity to help him with the good news of life in Jesus Christ, and this salvation for us.

I agree fully with your assessment of modern ideas about evangelism. Sometimes churches and preachers sound too much like used car salesmen trying to talk someone into a "decision for Christ", or they use intense appeals of emotionalism that may miss hitting at the real problem in the heart of us all our sins. For me, verbally sharing the gospel happens after something in my life has prompted the opportunity to share. Thanks for the post which gave me an opportunity to share this, and also, those inclined to pray for this young man and this opportunity I've been given; please do remember us.
 
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Johann

Well-Known Member
Apr 2, 2022
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Durban South Africa
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Hi J! Your post gave me a chance to share something with the forum. This past week I've had the opportunity to connect by email with a young man who is now interested in my Christian faith, and life. His background was superficially Roman Catholic, but he has discarded it, and now seems to be seeking. Many may think I am going to get into Particular Redemption and Irresistible grace with him, or the decree of God. Not at all, I approach it by pointing out, God is indeed sovereign, and has predestined each and every thing in the creation, down to the tiniest detail; BUT, we do not know at all what that decree means for our today and tomorrow. We can only see what was predestined by knowing history covering some area of life, what has transpired in the past. We have total responsibility for what choices we make today, and I surely do not know what is predestined for tomorrow. I am responsible for my choices today. I have NO need or reason to get into Total Depravity with him, that is a topic for a Christian to discuss as he comes to realize just how much our salvation in each detail was all due to God's grace; nothing in us did it or helped. I believe once God is calling a person, they do not need to be convinced of their sinfulness, as with all of us, they/we know our dark heart.

To me, sharing the faith is not going up to some stranger asking 'Have you been born again'? For me, as I understand the NT, it is my life that is seen or known to some degree by another, that causes them to ask me a question, or comes from an opening happening that is clearly providentially providing a purpose to respond with scripture. This young man has not shared with me what exactly the physical or emotional trauma it is that he is now dealing with, I just pray to God he gives me the proper words and sensitivity to help him with the good news of life in Jesus Christ, and this salvation for us.

I agree fully with your assessment of modern ideas about evangelism. Sometimes churches and preachers sound too much like used car salesmen trying to talk someone into a "decision for Christ", or they use intense appeals of emotionalism that may miss hitting at the real problem in the heart of us all our sins. For me, verbally sharing the gospel happens after something in my life has prompted the opportunity to share. Thanks for the post which gave me an opportunity to share this, and also, those inclined to pray for this young man and this opportunity I've been given; please do remember us.
Will do my brother.
I can emphasize with this young man since I am still scarred-emotionally and spiritually with what is promulgated online-I am very selective in whom I'm dealing with.
Should you wish-PM me and we can e mail each other.
Johann.