31 January 2010

The Use of the Law in Evangelism

Incorporating the Law into the gospel presentation does many things. It primarily shows the sinner that he is a criminal, and that God is his judge. The Law (in the hand of the Holy Spirit) stops his mouth and leaves him guilty before God (see Romans 3:19-20). It reveals that he deserves nothing but judgement for his crimes. Like a faithful prosecutor, it points its accusing finger, and so the sinner's stirred conscience bears witness and also points its finger at the criminal (see Romans 2:15). The verdict is 'guilty,' and the condemnation is just.

This is the scenario that I try and paint for the sinner. I do my best to put him in the courtroom on the Day of Judgement, with the hope that he will understand the mercy that God offers him in Christ.

For years when I have done this, I have then said, 'You broke God's Law, and Jesus paid your fine in his life's blood.' But, early in 2008, I added the words, 'It was a legal transaction. You broke God's Law (the Ten Commandments), and Jesus paid your fine. That means that God can legally dismiss your case. You can leave the courtroom on the Day of Judgement because another paid your fine. Does that make sense?'

From the first time I said those words, I noticed again and again, light go on in the eyes of my hearers. While this is certainly not a magic formula, many suddenly understood what I was trying to say when I explained the gospel that way. I can't point to a Bible verse that uses this exact language, but I can say that legality is the essence of the cross. It was God's love for justice and for guilty sinners, that drove him to Calvary.

Man is unique among God's creation. He is forensic by nature. He intuitively understands the principles of law, retribution and mercy, because he is made in the image of God. That's why every civilization sets up court systems. That's why there is a resonance with a sinner (see Romans 2:12-16). So when Paul then uses the Law to bring the knowledge of sin, he knows that he will find reverberation in their hearts (see Romans 2:21-24).

God is the 'habitation of Justice' (see Jeremiah 21:33). We are guilty criminals. The fine has been paid, and we can leave the courtroom. So carefully explaining the gospel message, using legal vernacular to those whose understanding is 'darkened,' gives new light on what they before perceived to be just an old and irrelevant story. It's as though they suddenly say, 'So that's what the cross was about!' And that's what we want them to know.

Ray Comfort

Courtesy of Banner of Truth

30 January 2010

Street Evangelism in the Modern World

From Banner of Truth

For the word of the Lord has sounded forth from you. (1 Thessalonians 1:8).

Many church leaders tell us that open air evangelism in the form of preaching or door-to-door evangelism is outdated, that it no longer works because people are post-modern, because people no longer care about heaven and hell, and that promising or warning them of such things means nothing to them. We are told, therefore, that we must engage in lengthy 'friendship' evangelism so that lost friends will feel comfortable with us. We will also need to use apologetics to convince people of the validity of Christ and his gospel. It seems, therefore, that many of our churches see very few professions of faith and true conversion.

I wonder if the real reasons for our failure to engage in one-on-one, door-to-door, street evangelism are our laziness, cowardice, and pride. I am speaking from my own personal experience here. I suspect the root cause is our pride. When I seek to engage people in a questionnaire in hopes of sharing the gospel with them, and when I am rejected or mocked I find it especially humiliating. This blow to my pride fuels my innate laziness and cowardice, and I simply find other things to do.

I tend to avoid the pain of rejection at all costs. I have come to believe that this humiliating rejection and mockery is very good for my personal sanctification. It helps me, though admittedly only minutely, to experience the sufferings of Jesus when he was despised and rejected by men, when he was like one from whom men hide their face. In fact, due to Christ’s command to make disciples of all the nations (noting that this begins with evangelism and moves forward to teaching) failure to evangelize and disciple is sin. We are failing to obey and honour Christ when we fail to evangelize and disciple people.

Have you ever heard your preacher say that it is sin if you fail to tell others about Jesus?

Not all Christians are evangelists, but all, especially ministers of the gospel, are to do the work of an evangelist (2 Tim. 4:5). Every church needs people gifted in evangelism, and others who do the work of evangelists so that the church may have new life breathed into it. A church merely built on strong preaching and teaching is dying even as it lives.

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27 January 2010

Spurgeon on Hell

In some professed Christians their pity for the criminal has overcome their horror at the crime. Eternal punishment is denied, not because the scriptures are not plain enough on that point, but because man has become the god of man, and everything must be toned down to suit the tender feelings of an age which excuses sin but denounces its penalties, which has no condemnation for the offence, but spends its denunciations upon the Judge and his righteous sentence. By all means have sympathies manward, but at the same time show some tenderness towards the dishonoured law and the insulted Lord.

Charles Spurgeon

24 January 2010

Calling People to Repent and Believe the True Gospel

From Proclaiming the Gospel -

My heart is burdened for the many professing Christians who have never experienced the second birth (1 Pet. 1:23). They are all tragic victims of a subtle yet potentially fatal deception. Unless they are confronted with the truth, they will one day hear the most terrifying words anyone could ever hear when Jesus says: "I never knew you; depart from Me" (Mat. 7:23). These precious souls have either been led astray by a false gospel or manipulated to make a decision with unbiblical methods of evangelism. The blame must fall on church leaders who have discarded God's blueprint for building His church and have created their own. These men have discovered they can gain a larger following by making the Gospel more appealing and more inclusive. By broadening the narrow road, they have found out they can build bigger churches for themselves. Little do they know, they are helping Satan plant his tares among the wheat (Mat. 13:38-40). The devil loves to see false converts deceiving and being deceived in the name of Christ.

The strategy of Satan has been consistent for 2000 years. He continues to raise up false apostles, who influence false teachers to teach false gospels about false Christs for the purpose of producing false Christians with a false hope. The apostle Paul saw this happening and warned us. The same serpent who deceived Eve by his craftiness also sends deceivers to preach another Jesus and a different gospel (2 Cor. 11:3-4). Satan hates the Gospel of grace and has been using men filled with religious pride to pervert the message ever since it was first announced. That is why Paul informed us that the Gospel he preached was not according to man's traditions or philosophy. He received it directly from God through a pure revelation of Jesus Christ (Gal. 1:11-12).

Some church leaders feel that the best way to win more people to Christ is to exchange God's Gospel for an "easy to believe" gospel. This watered-down version of the Gospel is hardly worth living for and certainly not worth dying for. Yet, it is gaining popularity within evangelical circles and must be exposed and confronted. The three major areas of compromise include: 1) the Christ of the Gospel; 2) the promises of the Gospel and 3) the response to the Gospel.

The Christ of the Gospel
There are some Christian leaders who have found the Gospel is easier to believe if they present a generic god without holiness and a partial Christ without authority. They say you don't have to make Jesus your Lord as long as you believe He is your Savior. Such a teaching is foreign to the Word of God. Paul said, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you shall be saved" (Acts 16:31). Jesus Christ is repeatedly and resolutely revealed in Scripture as our Master, our Creator, our King, our Ruler and our sovereign Lord. Paul addressed Jesus as Lord over 200 times in his 13 epistles.

Still others deny that Jesus really is who He said He is. This is a fatal mistake because Jesus declared, "Unless you believe that I am He, you shall die in your sins" (John 8:24).

Jesus made it clear that He is the only way to the Father when He announced, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me" (John 14:6). The very words of Christ declare that He is the only valid object of saving faith. Yet there are some popular pastors and evangelists who foolishly teach that sinners can be saved apart from Jesus Christ. Why would anyone deny, discredit and dishonor the Lord Jesus this way? Might it be so that they can loved and admired by a greater number of people?

The cults deny the Christ of the Gospel by teaching that Jesus is not the eternal God of the Trinity. Mormons, for example, teach that Jesus is a created being (conceived by a physical sex act between God the Father and Mary) and is the elder brother of Lucifer, who became one of many gods.

There are other false religions who uphold the name of Jesus Christ but deny He is able to save sinners totally and completely. The Roman Catholic Church is the greatest offender by requiring sacraments (1129), indulgences (1498) and good works (2016) for the forgiveness and remission of sin. Catholicism also blatantly denies that the blood of Jesus purifies all sin (1 John 1:7). A safety net called Purgatory is provided for Catholics. This fictitious place is said to purge away the sins that Christ failed to purge (1030). The numbers in parenthesis represent paragraphs in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

Mike Gendron
Those who believe the Jesus of the Gospel will trust His righteousness, not their own; His finished work on the cross, not the Catholic Mass; His power to keep them, not the sacraments; His blood to purify sin, not purgatory; His Word to guide them, not the traditions of men and His grace to save them, not their merit. Those who do not trust Jesus need another gospel to tell them what they must do to be saved. Whenever Jesus is dethroned, denied or diminished, the promises of the Gospel can never be realized.

The Promise of the Gospel
Everlasting, never-ending, eternal life with the Savior is the glorious promise of the Gospel, yet the majority of professing Christians believe they can lose their salvation. This is because they do not know or trust the glorious Christ of the Gospel. Paul knew Him well, which prompted him to write: "I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day" (2 Tim. 1:2).

The eternal Gospel of our eternal God promises every believer eternal life and eternal glory in God's eternal kingdom (Rev. 14:6; Rom. 16:26; 1 John 5:13; 1 Pet. 5:10; 2 Pet.1:11). The Lord Jesus promises to lose not one that the Father gives Him (John 6:39). His promise to every believer is this: "I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you" (Heb. 13:5). Neither sin nor anything else will separate a believer from God’s love (Rom. 8:38-39). This glorious truth is guaranteed because God’s forgiveness is given freely and completely at the moment of faith and is secured forever for all past and future sins (Col. 2:13-14). Everyone who believes the promises of the Gospel possess eternal redemption through the eternal Spirit who guarantees an eternal inheritance (Heb. 9:12-15; Eph. 1:14). God's promises to every believer are backed up by His eternal power (1 Peter 3:5). This is why Paul declared: "Your faith should not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God" (1 Cor. 2:5). The world, through its wisdom, does not come to know God. Tragically many professing Christians choose to trust the wisdom of man rather than the promises and power of God revealed in His Gospel. Anyone who rejects the divine promise of eternal life has believed another gospel or trusted another Christ (1 Cor. 15:2).

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 invented its own traditions. Rather than calling 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 Kingdom. 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 darkness 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 sinners 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. In the Book of Acts the word "love" is never even mentioned. Clearly without a true and balanced knowledge of God, sinners will not know Whom they have offended. 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 knowledge of God's glorious attributes.

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).

19 January 2010

Please share the gospel

If you feed a lost person; if you give him something cool to drink; if you put a roof over his head and give him the shirt off your back, but you fail to share the gospel with him; know this. If he dies after you’ve lovingly served him, having never heard the gospel from your lips, he will be warmed and filled as he faces God’s judgment and eternity in hell. Serve people? Yes. But please share the gospel.

Tony Miano

18 January 2010

Who takes the blame for Haiti? - By Todd Friel

Rick Warren is wrong when he tweets that God does not judge the world through catastrophes (Romans 1:18).

Pat Robertson is wrong when he claims to know why the Haitian earthquake happened (Deut.29:29).

Perhaps these principles will help us figure out why tragedies happen and who is responsible.


God controls everything directly or indirectly by restraining His grace or allowing the devil a little more leash. Either way, God is sovereign over everything and happily accepts responsibility for both good and bad (but not sin).

The devil

The devil does not control the weather or rule the nations.


There are only two groups of people on the earth: pagans and Christians.


When God sends/allows disaster to the pagans, He does so for two reasons: as judgment or as a call to repentance. A disaster is not enough wrath for the pagans as it is merely a taste of God’s eternal punishment if they do not repent and trust the Savior.

When God sends/allows disaster to Christians, He does so for two reasons: to prune us or kill us and take us home. A disaster is never too much or too little for the Christian, the Pruner causes/allows just the right amount for our good and His glory.

While God may be sending judgment to an entire nation, each individual (pagan and Christian) should seek to determine why God caused/allowed himself to be hurt.
Christians are not victims of collateral damage. While there may be a primary reason God sends/allows a catastrophe, God orchestrates every detail in every situation.

Catastrophes happen to heathens as an act of God’s judgment, but they happen to Christians as an act of severe mercy.

God sends/causes a disaster for the onlookers to respond with apathy or kindness.

Biblical Support

Jesus gave us the definitive statement on catastrophes in Luke 13:1-5. Please take a moment to read that text and you will never make the mistake of Rick Warren or Pat Robertson.

Trick Question

God is not to blame for the earthquake as it was the exact right thing to do. While God gets the credit for the earthquake, He is never to blame for anything. Charles Wesley wrote a number of hymns thanking God for two earthquakes that rocked England in 1751; we should do the same.

The Bottom Line

While each individual should endeavor to learn the lesson that God has in the storm, there is an ultimate purpose (forty days or otherwise): God is endeavoring to glorify His Son. God sends a taste of His wrath to the heathens that they might look to the cross and be saved. God prunes Christians that we will live in greater gratitude for what Jesus has done to rescue us from eternal destruction.

Catastrophes, like everything, are about the cross.

Todd Friel

15 January 2010

Mardi Gras 2010 -

His Feet on the Street ministry team (well, me and my partner to be exact) is going to New Orleans to take the gospel of Jesus Christ to the streets during Mardi Gras!

More details to follow very soon -

13 January 2010

Is Jesus Really the Only Way?

From John Hendryx at Monergism.com

Is Jesus really the only way? In an environment of such plurality and diversity this really seems an implausible or even arrogant claim of Christians. When confronted with the exclusive claims of Christianity, the question on many people's minds is how can Christians be so narrow as to believe that all non-Christians will be excluded from heaven? There are plenty of good people who are not Christians. Do Christians think they are better than others? So the question often put to Christians is what about a person, a good person who has been good all their life ... will they go to heaven?

Actually, Jesus himself answered this question. When asked by a rich young ruler what must he do to gain eternal life, Jesus answered: "If you want to enter life, obey the commandments" (Matt 19:17). So Jesus himself makes it clear that a good person who obeys all of God's commands would merit or qualify for eternal life. This includes all good people of all time from all nations, peoples, races and languages. The point is that if anyone could obey all God's commandments, they will live (also see Rom 2:6-8). So in answer to the question, yes a good person who has done good all their life would merit eternal life.

The Scripture declares, however, that there is no one on earth who fits that description (Rom 3:9-18). There is no one who does not sin when measured against the holiness and majesty of God. That means you ... and that means me ... yes, all of us have utterly failed to follow the law God has given us.

Only Jesus Christ alone has obeyed all of God's commands and earned a place at the right hand of God (Hebrews 4:15).

You see, it is always important to look at context, for after Jesus tells the rich young ruler, "If you want to enter life, obey the commandments", He then goes on to explain but "With man this is impossible..." (Matt 19:26) So it is very important to note that Jesus teaches that the first prerequisite of eternal life in God, is when by God's grace, we recognize our utter impotence to save ourselves by human effort due to our moral corruption. This slavery we have to our rebellion renders it impossible to obey God's commands. In fact Jesus saved his greatest criticism of people on earth for the Pharisees because they believed and trusted in their own righteousness and moral ability to please God.

So what is Jesus saying here because this is really important?

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