‘Holding fast the faithful word...’
‘Holding forth the word of life...’
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GOD HONOURING EVANGELISM (PART 2)
The 160th anniversary of OAM is a very appropriate time to focus on the importance of honouring the Lord in our evangelism. One of the ways we will do that is by ensuring that we identify the true spiritual condition people are in, so that we then offer them the correct remedy and challenge them to make the correct response to that remedy.
Sadly, at times, well-
So what is it that people need to hear? They need to know who God is, that He is holy, righteous and just, as well as being merciful and loving. They need to know that they began life cut off from God. They need to know that there is sin and rebellion in their hearts, which prevents them from doing anything to rectify the situation between them and God. They need to know that unless their sin is dealt with, they risk the prospect of facing the wrath of God, which will be poured out upon them eternally.
It is through preaching the holiness of God and the sinfulness of sin that God will cause the conscience to begin to be stirred. A sense of sin and the desire to be made clean, along with a sense of shame and the desire to be forgiven, are surely evidences that a person may well be close to being saved. But of course, people then need to hear of God’s redeeming grace in Jesus Christ. They need to be told the amazing truth that the One who was so offended by their sin, was willing to become a human being, with the express purpose of taking the awful punishment of that sin upon Himself. Then finally, in order for people to come to the point of being forgiven, they need to know what God requires of them. The Apostle Peter sums that up very succinctly in Acts 3:19, “Repent therefore and be converted that your sins may be blotted out”. People must turn away from their sin, in repentance, and then turn to and embrace Jesus Christ by faith, if they are going to be saved. And that involves calling to the Lord, whether in their hearts or out loud and just asking Him to show them mercy.
We must never forget in our gospel communication that conversion, as the Bible calls becoming a Christian, is a momentous event. We must not downgrade it by asking the seeker just to ‘make a decision’. After all, the Lord doesn’t want a person’s vote, He wants their whole lives. Again and again in God’s Word, people are commanded to “repent and be converted”, or “repent and believe”. We must not be guilty of presenting a faulty gospel. If we are, we will be more likely see faulty conversions. What a huge responsibility we have in this work. May the Lord help us to be equal to it!
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