Archive for the ‘How do I preach the gospel?’ Category

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Truth Leads To Anger And Anger Leads To Apathy (Why Christians Don’t Evangelize)

May 26, 2010

I want to talk about Christians who perhaps think they know Christianity 101, and think they understand the gospel message of Scripture, yet do not want to share any of its offensive parts. They only want to share its “happy” parts. It’s easy to tell someone “Jesus loves you”. Whoo hoo! He does?! It’s about time someone does!

Take any point of the good news of the gospel. In other words, take any good of the good news whether it be love, grace, mercy, forgiveness, eternity, heaven, etc. It’s very easy to tell people about these things. However, it raises the blood pressure to think about the alternatives to these things. If God does not love you he hates you. If there’s no grace there is no salvation from sin, if no forgiveness there is judgment, if no mercy there is wrath, if no heaven there is hell, etc. The reason the gospel is good news is because it offers hope out of a bad situation. Because we’re all in a bad situation, the good news shows us how we can enter into a better situation. What is the bad situation we’re in? It’s simple. The bad situation is that we’re bad!

John 3:16 “for God so loved the world that those believing will not perish but have eternal life”.

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Is The Apostle’s Gospel “The Gospel”?

August 14, 2009

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What is the gospel? How should we refer to it? Is it the entire Biblical story or a specific part of it? What does it begin with? What does it end with? Should we explain the gospel message primarily to be God making all which is broken fixed, that God’s purpose for you is to better the world, or a mere proclamation that the Messiah is the risen Lord? Is it that Jesus helps depressed people become happy, poor become rich, losers become winners, and bad people become good people, like many today are advocating to be the “good” of the “good news”?

While I at times refer to the gospel as everything accomplished or purposed by God in Christ, I am increasingly becoming hesitant with this language. The more I look at how the Apostles use the term “gospel” the more I see it as a specific message, NOT an all encompassing story. I see this message being a narrative (specific truths) to a meta-narrative (all of God’s truths). In other words, it is a message by which all other parts of the story get to be carried out and equally cherished.

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Deborah 13: Servant of God

May 15, 2009

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Here are my thoughts on ‘Deborah 13’, a BBC documentary about a young girl named Deborah Drapper who has lived secluded from the outside world and pop-culture her entire life. Deborah is a devout Christian, along with her parents. She temporarily leaves her country side home and gets to experience what life is like on the outside with her older brother Matthew who is in college. Here are my thoughts, for what they’re worth. Keep in mind, I don’t know the big picture with Deborah or this documentary. Please take my assumptions about the documentary with a grain of salt as I lay out my thoughts.

(part 1)

(summary) Deborah and her siblings have no knowledge whatsoever of pop-culture or the “outside” world.

(my thoughts) Many Christians raise their children with no knowledge of pop-culture and wear this fact like a badge on their shoulder. There are some wonderful things which can come about from withdrawing from sinful scenes and situations. However, many of these types of people who are raised culturally unaware become socially awkward. They have little or nothing to add to people’s everyday conversations and are only most comfortable around their families – those who know their quarks and personalities best.

Jesus and the apostles shared the gospel in ways which found common ground with unbelievers. Many times Christians equate holiness to withdrawal from the “world”. Just like the movie ‘The Village’ demonstrates, sin is inside of us, not “out there”. Being able to find commonalities and interests with unbelievers is an extremely biblical and effective way to share one’s faith. For example, if she knew who David Beckham was, she would already have something to talk about with virtually every girl in Britain! Then she could tie it into a spiritual discussion and ask, “do you think famous people are really happy? What do you think makes us most happy? I think it is Christ for this reason…”

Sometimes Christians have the tendency to be people who have all the answers, yet have no questions. We can only converse about what we think is best for people and not offer much else. This is what I call “in-and-out” Christianity where there is little relationship building, that is until an “icky” unbeliever crosses over to looking like us.

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Why Is Christ Everything?

May 11, 2009

You may often think about your problems, your needs, and your desires. You’re a human being. Of course you and I will spend much time thinking about all this. But what about Christ and His needs and desires? What about His love for Himself, His justice, and His glory? All this ties into the real story that God is the author of, namely, the gospel. The gospel is an eternal story. Here is where it begins:

1. Have you loved God and others perfectly every day of your life? (Mat 22)

2. If not, then you deserve to be eternally separated from a holy and righteous God. (James 2:10, Gal 3:10)

3. You are not a good person in trouble with a bad God, but a very bad person in trouble with a very good God. (Isaiah 6:5)

4. The wages of sin is death (Rom 6:23)

5. Cling to Jesus Christ and receive Him as Savior and Lord (Boss).

6. He lived the life you couldn’t live, died the death you deserved, and rose to prove it all satisfactory.

7. He is returning to judge everyone that has ever lived and sinned, including you.

8. Are you ready to meet Him in the next world?

9. Know you are ready.

10. Change your life and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ.

11. We were created to know, see, and experience Jesus Christ… forever! He is the eternal solution to our hearts eternal longing.

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God’s Sovereignty Brings Forth the Real Gospel

October 13, 2008

The words “personal Savior” are never mentioned in Scripture. In the greatest evangelistic book ever, Acts, how is it that the Apostles call sinners to Christ? That’s a good question because it should tell us how we might need to call sinners to Christ. The answer is they call sinners to receive Christ, not into their hearts as a Depeche Mode style “personal Jesus”, but as ‘Kurios’, or Lord. Lord means ‘master’ or ‘boss-man’.

As Ernest Reisinger said in his book ‘Today’s Evangelism: It’s Message and Methods’ pg. 49-50, “what sinners need is for Christ to do something for them, instead of them needing to do something with Christ!” See the vast difference?

Secondly, we are called to repent. The future of our lives should look different then our past. We must have sorrow for sin, but also sorrow unto enthusiastic change only because of grace.

Those who do these two things can rest assure that Christ lived the perfect life they couldn’t, and was crushed for their sin instead of them. Those who do these two things, and do so continually until they die are those who can call themselves Christians because they know they are right with Christ (our Judge), get to become like Him, get to commune with Him and His people, and will get to know and experience Him forever! Amen!

These are James R. White’s closing comments in a Calvinist/Arminian debate. These words speak well on the current state of the gospel (a self-help gospel) and modern evangelism.

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Practical Evangelism

October 13, 2008

This is very cool:

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The Four Spiritual Flaws (A Biblical and Cultural Critique of The Four Spiritual Laws)

December 6, 2007

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What’s wrong with The Four Spiritual Laws (TFSL’s)? Simply put: Law 1 and Law 2 need to have their order switched. Knowledge of sin must precede knowledge of love. Law 2 needs to be explained in much greater detail. Understanding sin is extremely important in evangelism. Law 3 will always remain vague until these corrections happen. Law 3 also doesn’t explain all that Christ has done for us as sinners. Lastly, Law 4 does a good job of explaining that our response to Christ must be sincere, but why not tell sinners that because of Christ’s work we can then have the best thing, namely, Christ Himself forever. Why not? He is the one to be marveled at forever. Also, God’s “plan” for us may entail persecution and death. Many who live on this planet (who aren’t in the U.S.) experience this every day! But the true Christian doesn’t mind once they know they still get Christ after death. Is the idea of a “plan” supposed to appeal to the un-repentant sinner, or is their need for Christ as a real Savior supposed to appeal to them the most? In addition, Law 4 should not be in the form of “do something with Christ”, but rather “believe and repent so you will know what Christ will do with you.”

In other words, I don’t find it to be the most Biblical to have a gospel which says 1. God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life 2. you’re separated from Him because of going your own way 3. Christ died for you to bridge the separation 4. go across the bridge by receiving Him, be sincere in your response, and then you’ll experience His plan for you. Rather, don’t we see this as being the Biblical order which FORCES the unbeliever to be sincere in their response (not leaving it as an option) 1. God is holy, holy, holy 2. You are sinful, sinful, sinful. You haven’t loved God and others perfectly from day one 3. Christ lived the life you couldn’t, died the death you deserved, and rose to prove it satisfactory 4. Believe in Christ and His work for you and repent to know you are right with God, otherwise you are not right with Him and never will be. Then you will have the joy of knowing Him and His redeemed people forever.

Some may read all of my points and get offended because I have challenged their beliefs about what witnessing should and should not entail. One common objection I’ve heard is “well God can still use TFSL’s to save people.” I have no doubt that God could use TFSL’s or anything else to save people. People have even been saved through semi-heretical prosperity preachers because they even share at least tiny bits of truth now and again. But once people mature in their walk and begin comparing all things with Scripture (or vice-versa), they will thank the semi-heretical prosperity preacher for the tiny degree of truth that touched them and move on to those who are more faithful to the truth, or at least seek to present it comprehensively. The real matter at hand is this: “how can we Biblically and effectively witness in any given culture? In North America, how do we do so within our post-modern atmosphere that is drenched in relativism, atheism, and self worship?”

Out of the 40’s and 50’s the cultural climate said that some things were actually wrong. Imagine that, a little more then a few decades ago people commonly thought that things were really right and really wrong. Yet, on top of this, there existed many, many, many fire and brimstone preachers who seemed only to be interested in revealing God’s mean side, His wrath.

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