How we preach the Gospel
this past century, there seems to be a shift in the way we approach our
evangelistic methods. I believe that we have abandoned the Biblical
emphasis in favor of that which seems to be more effective and
practical. We are gaining larger numbers at our altar calls, but the
present state of spirituality among our church members is the sad result
of the usage of these current methods.
may be wondering as to what point I am trying to get at, but I beg your
patience as I lay a foundation before us.
Bible, The Gospel, The Method
man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him”
Jesus is quoted as saying in John 6:44, and speaking of the Comforter,
“And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of
righteousness, and of judgment”, John 16:8. God draws us through the
convicting and convincing of the Holy Spirit. The Scriptures are
consistent in its portrayal of the Gospel. We hear of appeals to the
work and death of Christ, and statements
of Jesus about the horrors of spending eternity where there will be
weeping and gnashing of teeth.
these appeals to the veracity of the Gospel deal with mans predicament
of being dead in trespasses and sin. The atonement of Christ is more
than a covering for past sins, but deals with the removal of the sin
itself from the believers life. Conversion
requires several elements to be genuine.
There must be 1. A calling (or drawing) of God, 2. Conviction for
the personal sins that we have committed, 3. Repentance towards God.
problem today is that many are using an approach that emphasizes the
eschatological. Appeals are made to listeners to accept Christ so they
do not miss the boat on the second coming. “Jesus is coming soon! Get
saved tonight for He may come back tomorrow!”.
This I believe to be a dangerous and humanistic substitute for
genuine Gospel conversion. People
are “getting saved” without any conviction for sin! They repent only
to ensure that they are safe from the imminent doom that will befall the
world, but not because the Holy Spirit has convinced and convicted them.
If there is no conviction, then what are they repenting of?
is not looking for the acceptance of mankind, he is looking to recover
and reconcile sinful man with a Holy God.
“gospel” uses fear, and not conviction to reach the sinner. This
approach is the result of an unhealthy fondness for speculation
concerning Bible prophecy.
may ask “So what is the difference between this approach and the way
that Jesus preached the fear of everlasting torment and hell?”
Namely, the torments of hell and the motivation to avoid such a
place is connected to sin. Sin is the cause of this doom, and
deliverance from sin is the Gospel answer that frees us from this fate.
The modern gospel of fear makes salvation possible without Holy Spirit
conviction or calling.
complaint is not that the modern church spends to much effort on
prophetic issues, but that in the name of prophecy, we have substituted
fear mongering and manipulation for the work of God.
Terror tactics may yield large results for the church ledgers, but it yields little if any true conversion. I question whether prophecy was ever given to stimulate evangelistic efforts. It is of the most value to the one that is already saved. What we need is not deliverance from the future, but deliverance from sin and its deadly results.