Page 1 of 5 12345 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 74

Thread: Using the Law in Evangelism

  1. #1

    Using the Law in Evangelism

    I know this message is long, but I think it is crucial. It is a very important message to evangelists and something that has gone away. The Law(10 commandments) must be used to bring a sinner to Christ. Without preaching the Law, the sinner has no knowledge of sin, therefore the Gospel message does not make sense to the sinner. If a sinner doesn't see that he is a sinner and has broken the Law of God, he won't want the Savior because he doesn't see that he needs one. The 10 commandments show him/her that a Savior is needed. The 10 Commandments are a schoolmaster that leads us to Christ. This is just a reminder to those who share the gospel and those who will share the gospel to use the law in evangelism. The below article is by the author Ray Comfort www.christiananswers.net/evangelism/methods/law.html


    Evangelical success is at an all-time low. Modern evangelism, from large campaigns to small gospel meetings, boasts only a 20 percent holding rate.
    How effective are our present-day evangelical methods when they create eighty backsliders for every one hundred "decisions for Jesus"? Some are even less effective than that - one recent campaign reported having a 92 percent backsliding rate!
    The September 1977 issue of "Eternity Magazine" reported the results of an evangelistic crusade that involved 178 churches. Out of 4,106 decisions only 3 percent joined a local church. That series of meetings created 3,981 backsliders! (More up-to-date statistics are hard to come by. Understandably, they are not published with much enthusiasm.)
    I did read that in 1987, however, a Luis Palau crusade reported 6,000 decisions. Yet, despite intense follow-up and counsel, within the first three months, 947 already had backslidden.
    To those who have a burden for the lost, like Luis Palau, Billy Graham, and many gifted evangelists around the world, these statistics are not just bad news - they are heart rending! While evangelicals run around in ever-decreasing circles, 140,000 souls die every day.
    Why No Brokenness?
    As a young evangelist I would plead with sinners, begging them to accept Christ. When one would respond, I was overjoyed. But in the back of my mind I knew there was an 80 percent chance that he would backslide.
    To test the sincerity of a potential convert who came to the altar, I began to approach each sinner in a gestapo-like manner. When I felt he was sincere, I would lead him in the most genuine prayer I could muster, "Dear God, I am a sinner. Cleanse me, wash me."
    As we prayed, I would keep one eye open. Although obviously sincere, sinners repeated it flippantly. Then I would slow my voice and almost tearfully affirm, "I believe that Jesus died on the cross in my place." Still there was no sign of sorrow for sin, no contrition, and no brokenness!
    What was the problem? The sinner was one hundred percent sincere - he sincerely wanted the love, joy, peace, happiness, and fulfillment that supposedly comes from being a Christian. His response was merely a test to see if the claims were true.
    Sinners were not fleeing from the wrath to come. Why? Because I hadn't mentioned there was any wrath to come. Potential converts showed no genuine repentance because I hadn't given them a reason to repent.
    The way we present the gospel determines the kind of response the sinner makes. Let me illustrate.
    Two men are seated in a plane. A stewardess gives the first man a parachute and instructs him to put it on because it will "improve his flight."
    Not understanding how a parachute could possibly improve his flight, the first passenger is a little skeptical. Finally he decides to see if the claim is true. After strapping on the parachute, he notices its burdensome weight, and he has difficulty sitting upright. Consoling himself with the promise of a better flight, our first passenger decides to give it a little time.
    Because he's the only one wearing a parachute, some of the other passengers begin smirking at him, which only adds to his humiliation. Unable to stand it any longer, our friend slumps in his seat, unstraps the parachute, and throws it to the floor. Disillusionment and bitterness fill his heart because as far as he is concerned, he was told a lie.
    Another stewardess gives the second man a parachute, but listen to her instructions. She tells him to put it on because at any moment he will be jumping out of the plane at 25,000 feet.
    Our second passenger gratefully straps the parachute on. He doesn't notice its weight upon his shoulders nor that he can't sit up upright. His mind is consumed with the thought of what would happen to him if he jumped without it. When other passengers laugh at him, he thinks, "You won't be laughing when you're falling to the ground!"
    Inoculated Backsliders
    Let's now analyze the motive and the result of each passenger's experience.
    The first man's motive for putting on the parachute was solely to improve his flight. As a result, he was humiliated by the passengers, disillusioned by an unkept promise, and embittered against the stewardess who gave it to him. As far as he is concerned, he will never put one of those things on his back again.
    The second man put the parachute on to escape the danger of the coming jump. Because he knew what would happen to him without it, he had a deep-rooted joy and peace in his heart. Knowing he was saved from certain death gave him the ability to withstand the mockery of the other passengers. His attitude toward the stewardess who gave him the parachute was one of heartfelt gratitude.
    Now listen to what the contemporary gospel says: "Put on the Lord Jesus Christ; He will give you love, joy, peace, and fulfillment." In other words, He will improve your flight. In an experimental fashion, the sinner puts the Savior to see if these claims are so.
    What does he get? Temptation, tribulation, and persecution. The other passengers mock his decision. So what does he do? He takes off the Lord Jesus Christ; he is offended for the Word's sake; he is disillusioned and embittered, and quite rightly so.
    He was promised peace, joy, fulfillment, and all he got were trials and humiliation. His bitterness is directed at those who gave him the "good news." His latter end is worse than the first - another inoculated, bitter backslider!
    The apostle Peter acted in misguided zeal when he tried to dismember the Roman servant in the garden of Gethsemane. Many misguided Christians are also cutting off ears - the ears of potential hearers. Once sinners think they have given it a try, they no longer have an ear for the gospel.
    Why are sinners turned off and tuned out? Because we no longer preach the full message of the gospel. We have omitted the key to genuine repentance - the Law of God. The apostle Paul said, "I would not have known sin except through the law" (Romans 7:7, italics added).
    Listen to these words from Spurgeon:

    • Lower the Law, and you dim the light by which man perceives his guilt. This is a very serious loss to the sinner, rather than a gain; for it lessens the likelihood of his conviction and conversion ...I say you have deprived the gospel of its ablest auxiliary [most powerful weapon] when you have set aside the Law. You have taken away from it the schoolmaster that is to bring men to Christ...they will never accept grace till they tremble before a just and holy Law. Therefore the Law serves a most necessary and blessed purpose and it must not be removed from its place. When the sinner sees the awful consequences of breaking the Law of God - that he cannot escape the certainty of judgment - he will see his need to put on the Lord Jesus Christ. When we preach future punishment by the Law, the sinner comes to Christ solely to flee from "the wrath to come."
    Instead of preaching that Jesus "improves the flight," we must warn men about the inevitable jump. Everyone must pass through the door of death.
    • It is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment - Hebrews 9:27.
    But doesn't Christianity offer the abundant life? You bet it does! Peace and joy are legitimate fruits of the Spirit. But we do sinners an injustice by enticing them with only the benefits of salvation. Our misguided efforts only result in sinners coming to Christ with an impure motive void of repentance.
    Remember why the second passenger had joy and peace? Because he knew what that parachute was going to save him from. In the same way, the true convert has joy and peace in believing because he knows that the righteousness of Christ will deliver him from the wrath that is to come. "The kingdom of God is ...righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit" (Romans 14:17). Why is righteousness coupled with peace and joy? Because "Riches do not profit in the day of wrath, but righteousness delivers from death" (Proverbs 11:4).
    Man-Centered Preaching
    Now let's take a look at an unfortunate incident on board the plane. During some unexpected turbulence, the stewardess accidentally drops a cup of hot coffee onto the lap of our second passenger.
    What is his reaction? Does he cry out in pain, then rip the parachute off his back in anger? No! He didn't strap it on for any other reason than the jump. In fact, he doesn't even relate the incident to his parachute. Instead, it only makes him cling more tightly to his hope of salvation and even look forward to the jump!
    If we put on Christ to flee the wrath to come, when tribulation strikes we wont get angry at God. Why should we? We didn't come for a better lifestyle. Trials drive us closer to the Lord, and we cling more tightly to Him. Like the apostle Paul, we only stay around to encourage other passengers to put on the parachute. "For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain" (Philippians 1:21).
    Sadly, multitudes of professing Christians lose their joy when the flight gets bumpy. They are the product of "man-centered" preaching.
    Because the Law is rarely used in modern-day evangelism, many pastors are frustrated and make the gospel "man-centered" in an effort to attract converts. They don't see men and women embracing the good news, so they turn to man-made methods.
    Instead of driving the fish to the nets using the Law, they try to attract them by holding up only the benefits of salvation. Let me give an example of a typical altar call:

    • "Come to Jesus. Wont you give your heart to Him? He loves you and died on the cross for you. He wants to give you love, joy, and peace. He will make your life happy and give you what you've been looking for."
    Ministers gently woo sinners to the altar with the "every eye closed and every head bowed" approach. Then, as the music gently plays, the preacher asks, "Why not ask the person next to you to come with you so Jesus can make him happy?"
    An Invitation or a Command?
    Instead of desperate sinners knocking on the door of heaven, we incorrectly paint a picture of Jesus pleading at the heart of the sinner. This type of "invitation" gives the impression that the sinner will be doing God a favor if he responds. The gospel is not an invitation because invitations can be politely turned down without fear of reprisal. Scripture says that "God ...commands all men everywhere to repent" (Acts 17:30, italics added).
    We would never dare quote some of the following verses to encourage someone to come to Christ:

    • All who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution - 2 Timothy 3:12.
      We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God - Acts 14:22.
      Many are the afflictions of the righteous - Psalm 34:19.
      In the world you will have tribulation - John 16:33.
    Neither would we mention the sufferings of the apostle Paul - the stonings, perils, and shipwrecks he endured. Why, it's hard enough to get converts when we hold up the good things of the gospel!
    We try, in our evangelical zeal, to argue sinners into the kingdom by appealing to their intellect. We attempt to scare them into heaven by "666 Campaigns." We try to seduce them into the kingdom by telling them that Jesus will make them happy. In fact, we use every method to bring people to Christ except the method God has ordained - the Law!
    How to Fill a Church
    Let's turn the spotlight inward for a moment. Do we preach a man-centered, "easy" gospel because we want to see more people saved or because we know the consequences? Are we like the mother who won't discipline a naughty child because she doesn't like the feeling she gets when she does it? She places her immediate concern over the long-term welfare of her child.
    Better the sinner be offended in order to repent, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season and be cast into everlasting fire. Where does the heart of our concern lie-with the fate of the sinner or with our own comfort?
    The sinner hides behind the bush of sin. But we beat around the bush rather than beat the bush for fear of disturbing him. Yet, the day will come when every sinner is flushed out.
    Some Christians innocently ask, "Why not preach a 'man-centered' gospel if it gets people 'saved'?" We can preach a man-centered gospel and get results; we may even fill our churches. But adding a soul to a church does not necessarily mean that a soul has been added to the church. A decision for Christ doesn't necessarily mean a soul for Christ.
    I attended one service where a challenge was made to accept Christ, but the Law of God was not mentioned. A young man stood up and briskly walked to the altar. He stepped to the platform, turned around, and smiled at the congregation. As I looked at him I didn't see any outward sign of brokenness, guilt, or contrition. He wasn't fleeing to Christ for mercy. A short time later, he backslid.
    Unlike this young man, some don't slide back into the world. Instead, church becomes no different than a social club. These new converts make plenty of friends; there are regular activities and no fees. Unfortunately, they also have no burden for souls, no real hunger for the Word, no zeal for God, and no lasting fruit. A "man-centered" gospel can fill your church with this type of "conversion."
    P. T. Forsyth has accurately observed:

    • Our churches are full of the nicest, kindest people who have never known the despair of guilt or the breathless wonder of forgiveness.
    I am not against altar calls. Nothing is wrong with response to an altar call, but what sinners are responding to determines its effectiveness.
    Hot or Cold?
    There are only two kinds of Christian - "cold" and refreshing or "hot" and stimulating. All the rest will be spewed out of the mouth of Christ on judgment day.
    I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of My mouth - Revelation 3:15,16.
    Soft-selling the gospel is the tragedy of modern evangelism. Its massive casualty rate leaves multitudes in the "lukewarm" bracket and sours the untaught to the truths of true commitment. How can we turn the tide and restore credibility to our conversion rates? Let's stop soft-selling the gospel and tell sinners like it is!

  2. #2
    Thanks for posting, however, there are a number of things you need to think about:

    1. How do you define evangelical success?
    2. How were the studies you cited at the beginning of your study conducted? Do you have a copy or a link to he copy of those results?
    3. What does it mean to you in the first place to be a Christian? It means much more than understanding the law and asking Jesus to take away the law's requirements.

    If you can answer these three, I have many more from your posts. Thanks.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    In the land of monkeys
    Posts
    37
    Kirk Cameron's The Way of the Master program does something similar to this. He suggests using the Ten Commandments and the Law to get at the person's heart and not their mind. By showing the person that they are a sinner, growth can be achieved.
    Lord bless and keep you,
    Courtney

    Christ says, "Give me your all. I don't want so much of your time and so much of your money and so much of your work; I want you. I have not come to torment your natural self, but to kill it." - C.S. Lewis

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    northeast
    Posts
    1,031
    Blog Entries
    3
    Our churches are full of the nicest, kindest people who have never known the despair of guilt or the breathless wonder of forgiveness.
    That is a broad statement. Not all churches are like this. I, myself, have known the guilt and despair, and the wonder of forgiveness.

    I agree with some of what the aricle said, but not all of it. People are different, and how one comes to Chrsit may be far different than how another comes to Christ. I came because I knew I was an awful person, who had no hope for this life, but what brought me was someone telling me although I am a sinner, God loved me ebough to send Jesus to die for me. Balance is needed, you can't preach the Law without preaching grace, love and forgiveness.
    My Blog at Wordpress-https://whengodsaysmove.wordpress.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Kent, England
    Posts
    5,325
    I believe one of the biggest problems with modern evangelism is forgetting the Old Testament - by which I mean folk only get half of the message. . .they are told God loves them and Jesus came to Save them, but because the Garden of Eden is left out they don't have a full understanding of what Jesus has Saved them from. Until I realised the majority of folk I meet have no Christian background, therefore no understanding of the seriousness of Sin, I didn't realise it must be spelled out if they are to be truly Saved. (and they are almost bound to fall away if they are not).

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    68
    too many people just focus on the love of God and not on his justice. cause it makes people uncomfortable, but its the only way for them to come to true repentance.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Born on the knees of my Father
    Posts
    1,160
    I believe one of the biggest problems with modern evangelism is forgetting the Old Testament - by which I mean folk only get half of the message. . .they are told God loves them and Jesus came to Save them, but because the Garden of Eden is left out they don't have a full understanding of what Jesus has Saved them from.
    Agreed!!!

    Something else to consider, once you tell them about the Law, and they turn to Christ, are they then suddenly to forget about it, as many teach the Law was nailed to the cross, and i disagree with that.

    Just because the Law is a schoolmaster, doesn't mean it's later dropped as irrevelant.
    This IMO is why we have suc corruptness in the church these days, people can't take God serious when they say the Law is abolished, when Yeshua Himself said he didn't come to abolish it, and fulfillment doesn't mean abolishment either.
    No wonder as frances said:
    (and they are almost bound to fall away if they are not(taught about the law)).
    Shalom,
    Tanja
    Jer 6:16 Thus says the Lord: Stand at the crossroads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way lies; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls.
    2Jn 1:9 Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son.
    If it's not done out of unselfish love, then it's hardly righteous.
    http://disciple2yeshua.wordpress.com/




  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Lyndie View Post
    Not all churches are like this.
    I agree that not all churches are like this as well, modern day evangelism is so much about focusing on God's love and leave out such an important part and that is the knowledge of sin. Are people seeking Christ for the wrong reasons? Are they seeking Christ for happiness in this life and what they can get out of it in this world? In this world today, I would say more ridicule & persecution comes from being a follower of Jesus. Happiness is found in Christ, but it shouldn't be what can we get out of it in this world. It does not necessarily bring joy in this world in the sense of things and give the Christian an easy life. It can very well make ones life more difficult.
    It is a joy within the heart knowing that we are free in Christ and a joy of knowing and understanding why Christ died for us and the amazing grace of God through Christ on the cross. I think so many people go to Jesus for the wrong reasons and those are the folks who end up backsliding because they don't know the real nature of sin, therefore they have no reason or understanding of why they should trust in Jesus and surrender to Jesus. I know this because I was this until I finally understood the serious nature of my sin.

    you can't preach the Law without preaching grace, love and forgiveness.
    100% agreed. Without the knowledge of sin, there is no understanding for the need for Jesus in ones life and there is no need or understanding for the need to repent.
    Without preaching the grace, love, and forgiveness, the law would not benefit.

    We wouldn't give a someone the cure for a disease they didn't know they had. No, we must first help them understand they have the disease and the seriousness of the disease before giving them the cure.
    Last edited by shnfx; Dec 8th 2007 at 06:20 PM.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by coldfire136 View Post
    1. How do you define evangelical success?
    Good question. I don't think it is something that we should define, but leave that to God. Rejoice in heaven is done when a sinner repents not when a decision is made for Christ in hopes that it makes the sinners life better and easier or that someone's church will get bigger.
    It is our job to help a sinner understand the serious nature of sin and share the good news of the gospel like Jesus did. We should seek to lead someone to repentence instead of a decision for Christ. Without the knowledge of sin, there is no understanding for the need of repentence and no understanding of why Jesus died for us. If we preach just joy, happiness, etc. the need for Jesus may only be temporary and could lead to backliding.
    Romans 7:7 "I would not have known what sin was except through the law". That is why it is so importance to preach law and grace both. I mentioned this above as well, but don't you agree that we shouldn't give a someone the cure for a disease they didn't know they had. This would be foolish to the person we are giving the cure to. We must first help them understand they have the disease and the seriousness of the disease before giving them the cure.

    2. How were the studies you cited at the beginning of your study conducted? Do you have a copy or a link to he copy of those results?

    This was an article and I didn't conduct any studies myself, but I think it's fair to say that the message today seeks to tell people what they want to hear to seek a decision rather than repentance.
    I am an example myself and want to help others from my experience. I prayed to God and new Jesus died for our sins for years, but never really understood or knew why. I knew God loved me a ton, but I wasn't truly saved and that led to me backsliding. It wasn't until I understood the nature of sin and when I learned that I wanted to know what needed to be done to make me clean, therefore I pointed to the Savior and repentance and finally understood why Jesus died for me. Thanks to God that I had the message shared to me. For the first time I saw my true self in the mirror of the Ten Commandments and finally understood the message of the gospel. A truly saved person doesn't truly backslide or fall away permanently. Although a saved person does fall away at times, We always are guided back to the Savior becuase of our understanding and need for righteousness through the blood shed for us through Jesus Christ.
    3. What does it mean to you in the first place to be a Christian?
    It means much more than understanding the law and asking Jesus to take away the law's requirements.
    To answer your question. You are correct Yes, being a Christian means more than understanding the law and asking Jesus to take away the Laws requirements. Understanding the importance of the Law and the need for Jesus to make us clean is only the first step. Being a Chrisian means to live as God asks us to live. We are to live to please God and that is by following the commands of Jesus. We are to be a witness for God and a light to others so God may touch their lives through us. It is our job to share the good news of the gospel as well as the serious nature of sin in order for the good news to make sense to a sinner. We are to walk with Jesus in every aspect of life and follow his path with the help of the holy spirit. A Christian is someone who humbles him/herself and opens his/her heart to the Lord and allows the Lord to use him/her for God's glory.
    A Christian willfully allows God to work through their life to help others see God's glory and bring others to Christ. Also, it is a Christians duty to help others understand the nature of sin and need for the Savior. Let's not forget also to express God's love for mankind.
    Thanks for your post and allowing me to explain my views. God Bless

  10. As a script, I think the Law/Gospel approach is one useful script.

    What bothers me is when one argues that it is the ONLY valid form of evangelism presentation.

    By that reckoning, my own conversion 20 years ago misfired because I didn't respond to the right presentation of the gospel. I believed first, then I understood.

    If the problem is people not connecting to a church after an evangelistic message, it doesn't mean the message is wrong -- there could be lots of other possibilities
    • evangelism done without partnership in the local church
    • no plan for any kind of followup
    • sloppy followup
    Just to name a few.

    I think there are lots of useful gospel scripts, including the WOTM materials. But to say theirs is the only valid script I think is incorrect.

    I don't see a single presentation of the Law and Gospel in any of the narrative passages of the gospels or Acts.

    Another consequence I see of WOTM is that the evangelist is put in the place of judging another person's conversion experience -- trying to diagnose a person's spiritual state. For example, are they a false convert, are they a true convert? Did they get the right gospel message? Did they get it wrong and thus are still hell bound?

    I see my job as helping people find faith in Christ. There are variety of means that are unique to each story that God is writing in a person's life.

    Just my .02

    Chris
    Pastor Chris
    EvangelismCoach.org

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by pastor_chris View Post
    As a script, I think the Law/Gospel approach is one useful script. What bothers me is when one argues that it is the ONLY valid form of evangelism presentation.
    I agree with your statement. There are many great ways to share the message and I am by no means saying that using the law is the ony way to bring someone to Christ. I just think using the Law is an important aspect though and too many evangelist forget about it all together. So many people preach love & forgiveness only without understanding of why they need forgiveness. I said this above, but it would not make sense to give a person the cure for the disease if they did not know they had a disease. We would notify them of their disease first before giving them the cure.
    It depends on who we are sharing the message with. A lot of the Jews in the new testament knew the law so there was no need to preach the law. Grace was needed for those individuals because they knew they fell short of God's requirements. There were also righteous individuals who needed the law preached to them to stop them from boasting so Grace could be preached.
    If we preach Grace to someone who doesn't know the nature of his/her sin, how will that help him/her? If we preach the Law to someone without understanding that they need Jesus to save them, what good will that do?
    It think we have to take a time sensitive approach when sharing our faith. If we only focus on one area or aspect of evangelism (ex. Grace only without the law), it may be too late. Although it may lead them to understanding in the future, no one is guaranteed another day on this earth. That is why I feel it is very important that people understand the serious nature of sin and how they can be wiped clean through Jesus.

    I don't see a single presentation of the Law and Gospel in any of the narrative passages of the gospels or Acts.
    Jesus used the law in evangelism often. One example is in Mark 10:12-17, The rich young ruler.
    Instead of Christ getting him to make a decision, the rich young ruler actually was was chased off. Jesus would have failed personal evangelism class in most Bible colleges and seminaries.
    Jesus used the law, repentence, & told the ruler to follow Him. Jesus used the Law to help the young man clearly see his own sinfulness.

    Normal Evangelical practice is to run straight to the cross of Christ. But the cross is meaningless apart from the law. On the cross Jesus was satisfying the just demands of God's holy law against sinners. If there is no personal consciousness of sin, then the sinner will not see the significance of Christ's sacrifice on his behalf. Or worse, he will pervert it by inventing some other idea such as Jesus died merely as a demonstration of how much He loved us. On the cross, Christ was set forth to be the propitiation for our sins (Rom 3:25), i.e. the substitutionary object of God's wrath poured out against a violated law.

    I see my job as helping people find faith in Christ. There are variety of means that are unique to each story that God is writing in a person's life.
    That is awesome man! I do agree there are many ways as well to bring someone to Christ.
    Using the Law to see my sin was the only way that had any affect on me to immediately help me understand. My heart was immediately changed. Since the what transformed me, I have a desire to use the same approach when sharing my faith with others.

    My suggestion would be to consider how God has wired you and find an evangelism "style" that fits you.
    I got this statement from you from a different thread, but using the Law in Evangelism along with the gospel is how God has wired me, which is why that is my focus in evangelism

  12. Quote Originally Posted by shnfx View Post
    Jesus used the law in evangelism often. One example is in Mark 10:12-17, The rich young ruler.
    I wasn't very clear in expressing what I was thinking. The Script of WOTM as I see it and hear it used is what I meant. Oops. But at the same time, this is only one story out of many conversion stories in the NT.

    Thanks for the reminder of this illustration. But it is one of many stories in the gospels and acts about coming to faith.

    Some believed because they were healed.
    Some believed because they were seeking truth.
    Some believed because Jesus called them to follow him.

    Jesus didn't give the disciples the law when he called them to follow him.

    In Acts, some believed because they saw the miracle of Pentecost and Peter mentioned how that was connected to the promise in Joel.

    As I look at conversion stories in Acts, I see the gospel contextualized.

    When Paul preached at Athens, he didn't use the Law directly since his audience didn't even have a worldview that included it. Rather, he used their current culture to connect to biblical truth. Some believed, some ridiculed, some wanted to hear more.

    As long as we don't get into saying this is the only valid form of a gospel presentation, or that people are not included in the kingdom because the message they responded to was incomplete or wrong. {i'm not universalist, so don't misread my statement}.

    That puts an unhealthy burden on the evangelist (what if I say the message wrong or mess up), reduces the gospel to a ritualistic forumla (follow these steps clearly), and if the forumula is done wrong, their conversion has misfired.

    This strips the gospel of its richness, and its power, making the presentation totally man centered in "wise and persuavive words" or "wise arguments."

    Remember, I'm not reacting to the theology of the Law and Gospel as a script. I'm reacting to some practicioners who make it the only valid form of gospel presentation.

    Chris
    Pastor Chris
    EvangelismCoach.org

  13. #13
    Chris,

    Thanks for making some very good points.
    I feel God has tuged on my heart and has given me a zeal for evangelism using the Law, at least at this point in my walk with Christ. I was so much transformed by the law myself, which is why I have a desire to use the law when I talk to people about why we should come to Jesus. I did not know how sinful and evil I was until I was confronted by God's Law. Then I knew how much I wanted and needed Jesus. I am just concerned for people who go to Christ for the wrong reasons, but don't really understand fully why they need Christ.

    I just hope the same transfromation will happen to others when I share the same message that immediately brought me to Jesus. The change was so immediate and forced me to surrender at once to Jesus knowing I was doomed without Him because I finally understood. There are many messages and different ways to evangelism, but my heart right now is using the Law along with God's Grace because of the effect it has had on me.

    You might notice that in a lot of my posts I use the Law and then grace. I feel there may be another person out there who ws like me and doesn't fully understand why Jesus died for us. I am hoping to give understanding to that person (like me) because it only takes one person who doesn't understand to look on this website and that message could be the message to help and save them.

    I have learned so many things so far as a new christian and continue to learn more everyday. That is what I love this so much about this website. It is an opportunity for me to try to help others, but at the same time, I am learning and getting help from others also.

    Shane

  14. #14
    Rejoice[sic] in heaven is done when a sinner repents[sic] not when a decision is made for Christ in hopes that it makes the sinners life better and easier or that someone's church will get bigger.
    It is our job to help a sinner understand the serious nature of sin and share the good news of the gospel like Jesus did.
    Where does Jesus talk about the serious nature of sin?

    This was an article and I didn't conduct any studies myself, but I think it's fair to say that the message today seeks to tell people what they want to hear to seek a decision rather than repentance.
    So the article you read didn't cite the study it referred to? This is a blantant misuse of statistics. Studies must always be cited so that the reader can go back to the original data without much trouble.

    To answer your question. You are correct Yes, being a Christian means more than understanding the law and asking Jesus to take away the Laws requirements. Understanding the importance of the Law and the need for Jesus to make us clean is only the first step.
    This is where you and I disagree. I would start in the garden where things were good, and explain how God originally created us good.

  15. Keep up your passion. Keep sharing away. It's good to have a concern for those who are not yet Christians.

    Quote Originally Posted by shnfx View Post
    I am just concerned for people who go to Christ for the wrong reasons, but don't really understand fully why they need Christ.
    What I read here is a concern for people who come to Christ for the wrong reasons.

    This sets up a set of questions to explore with you
    • Is the reason for coming to Christ more important than the destination of following Christ?
    • Do people have to understand fully before their conversion is "complete" or "true" or "insert some adjective here"?
    • What then do people have to understand first?
    • If a piece is missing, does their conversion misfire?
    • Does this reduce the gospel to a set of logical propositions and mental agreement to it as a litmus test?
    • Can people believe first and then understand later?
    If proper belief to a set of principles is The requirement to believe correctly or repent correctly, then I think that we have created a man-made barrier.

    I think people can believe first, and then come into an understanding of the fullness of their conversion. I'm not sure the conversion experience can be reduced to a formula that has to be followed like a recipie.

    I did not grow up with a Christian world view, I didn't even own a Bible until after I became a Christian. I decided to follow Jesus one day because I saw that I needed a direction in life.

    My conversion moment was not because of my sin -- but because of a different need. When I began to read the Bible, my worldview was being rebuilt. I came to understand that I was a sinner about 6 months after I started following Jesus. The Bible educated me as it rebuilt my worldview.

    I'm going on mission work for 10 days and will be out of touch.

    Chris
    Pastor Chris
    EvangelismCoach.org

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •