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2 Cor 9:14 tells us, “Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift”.
The gospel is DECLARED in 1 Cor 15:3-4.
For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures…
…and we know His resurrection was witnessed by all the disciples, by the 500, and last of all, by Paul.
This is the Gospel Paul preached to the Corinthians, in fact in vs. 11, he says ALL the apostles believed it and preached it (for those who say there are two gospels, one to the Jews and one to the Gentiles). It was the same gospel the church at Corinth had all believed, received, stood in, and were saved by. We should remember the basic outline seen here, then we can expound upon it as people want to understand something, as Phillip did with the Ethiopian Eunuch. It’s good to know obviously why Jesus died for our sin (the wages of sin is death)…
We are saved by believing upon HIM. This means that we have placed our faith in Who He is (God the Messiah) and what He has done and nothingof ourselves. Again, there is no work we can do or promise to do, in order to be saved – that is not just before, but promise of works during or after. We must believe upon Him as our Savior alone. He paid the price on the cross, He took the curse for us and REDEEMED us.
His work is seen here:
CRUCIFIXION: Christ HATH (meaning it’s DONE) redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree. Galatians 3:13
HATH redeemed us… It means it is finished, already done, past tense! We possess; own; to have, to hold — eternal life.
John 6:47 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me HATH everlasting life.
John 5:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and BELIEVETH on him that sent me, HATH everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.
There are many, many verses that tell us to believe as the sole condition to be saved. Believe is used FOUR TIMES alone in John 3:15-18. Seems like that is very clear what we must do in order to be born again. Once we believe ON HIM, we are passed from death UNTO life (eternal). From darkness TO light. We are born again, seated in heavenly places ALREADY. It’s Done…
I started this note about a few years ago because of all the unclear language I was seeing in people’s ‘gospel’ presentations. I hope this helps you all in sharing the good news, remembering that it is His love that compels us to serve Him, and also love for others, in being involved in the great commission, to preach the gospel to everyone.
I hope that this will keep us aware enough, that we might care for the lost, so we can pray for them (1 Tim 2:1-6). Contemplate those we know who may face spending an eternal destiny in hell. That is reason enough for us to pray also for opportunities and boldness to share. But before I go into my note, I ran across a link a couple weeks ago that is from Duluth Bible that I’d like to use first. I could have incorporated it into my note, but I’d rather keep his intact as he wrote it, so please forgive any redundancy if I repeat something he said in my own note.
Duluth Bible; Wrong responses to the gospel (link broken).
Whether it be me or anyone else you know, any person that someone quotes or uses in anything they share, should always be proven (1 Thess 5:21). Always check out all teachers, authors, or anyone, prove what they say with the Word. They should be happy to be questioned and think you are noble to do so (Acts 17:11). We might not always have the answer, but we can sure try to find out.
Subtle phrases not seen in the Gospel
So, what phrases have we possibly incorporated into our gospel presentations that are not found in His Word? Have we added something to the gospel unknowingly?
DISCLAIMER: Before you get upset and come out to challenge me, I challenge you first to find the language you are going to defend in His Word. In the presentations of the apostles/disciples. PLEASE, check the Scriptures first, and then read this in prayer please.
Some may simply be that we thought we were just paraphrasing portions of God’s Word. But if so, we should all be willing to examine these things and carefully search the Scriptures to see if these things are so (Acts 17:11). Remember, it is the enemy’s intent to corrupt minds from the simplicity that is in Christ. Keep in mind when Paul wrote this in 2 Cor 11:3-4, he was concerned that those who were already believerswere going to be deceived and put up with those who were. Believers can be deceived concerning the truth of the gospel. We cannot be wise in our own eyes or permit tradition to keep us from considering things we might have allowed in our own presentation that may not be correct.
We should contemplate whether we may have unwittingly tainted the gospel with our own wisdom of words. Knowing the gospel’s power, we want to be so careful not to do that. We need people’s faith to stand in the power of God (which is seen in His gospel – Rom 1:16-17), not any wisdom of men. Don’t we want a clear gospel if this the only way to be saved? In 1 Cor 9, Paul says, ‘woe to me if I do not preach the gospel’… sure something to keep in mind.
For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect. For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. 1 Cor 1:17-18
And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: that your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. 1 Cor 2:1-5
(see also 1 Jn 5:10-13; 1 Cor 15:3-4 which contains the content of that testimony God has given of His Son.)
We need to emphasize Christ and HIM crucified for our sin…It was HIScross where all our sins were forgiven (Col 2:13-15). Seeing that it is the gospel that is the power of God unto salvation, shouldn’t we be ever so careful to keep it clear?
Here are some examples of things we need to re-think.
Praying a sinner’s prayer
While praying (talking to God) is something we should do, we should be careful where the gospel is concerned, about them possibly placing faith in a certain formula of prayer (“say these words and you will be saved”). We need to emphasizethe only thing necessary is belief (putting their faith upon Christ and Him crucified for their sin – all of it, past, present and future) for their sins.
When one says they have believed, usually I will try to be sure they have believed the correct gospel by asking them a few questions. Then I will tell them that since they have believed, the Word says they can knowthey possess eternal life already (1 John 5:9-13, John 20:31 etc.). Then I suggest that now is the time to start learning to talk to God, maybe ask them to pray with me, and I’ll start by thanking God for the free gift of eternal life, which can never be lost, and and encourage them to talk to Him also, asking Him to show them how to grow in His grace. Let them know that comes from being in His Word in prayer.
Altar call, invitation to come forward, raise your hand
These things are not necessarily wrong if the correct gospel is presented, but we ‘might’ create confusion if not made clear that these things are not necessary for salvation. Better to look at the pattern of the apostles. Do we see altar calls or invitations to come to the front when the apostles preach to the crowds?
For example, raising your hand may be fine to acknowledge silently (if you wish) that you have believed upon Jesus Christ, but it may cause doubt for the one who did not raise their hand. They may wonder, “was that a part of what I should have done so am I really saved because I didn’t raise my hand?” Explaining that raising their hand is simply so that you can pray for them, or walking down to receive prayer is just that — for prayer. Just strive to be clear.
Ask Jesus into your heart, (or as your personal Savior)
We do receive Him when we believe (Jn 1:12, Rom 8:9, Col 2:6). He does come to dwell in our hearts. He does become our Savior, when we believe, we receive Him. It is one-on-one. But asking Him into our heart, or ‘accepting Him as our personal Savior’ is not a condition of the gospel, so should we add it and confuse them with this tradition-acquired language?
For if that which is done away was glorious, much more that which remaineth is glorious. Seeing then that we have such hope, we use great plainness of speech. 2 Cor 3:11-12
We need to use GREAT PLAINNESS of speech when we present His Word because we have such a glorious hope remaining with us. Too many of us use language we may understand, but what about those who do not know what it means?
Pastor Hank Lindstrom (biblelineministries.org) who is now with the Lord, said this about his experience of asking Jesus into his heart:
I was raised on the phrase “Ask Jesus into your heart”, and yet I was never saved. Every Sunday morning in the church that I was raised we sang a song called “Come Into My Heart, Lord Jesus.” The words were as follows: “Into my heart, into my heart; Come into my heart, Lord Jesus.” We sang this song every Sunday morning and were given the opportunity to “Invite Jesus into our hearts.” Well, I sincerely invited Jesus into my heart each Sunday and yet I was not saved.
My theology was totally based on the words of the song. I would pray something like, “Lord, please come into my heart. If you came into my heart before and left, please come into my heart again. If you never came into my heart before, please come in for the first time. If you came in and left, please come back and stay.” The song taught that Christ could come and go at will. I was confused and frustrated.
I invited Jesus into my heart at least 600 times, yet I was not saved because that message is not the Gospel. I hardly missed a Sunday at church from the time I was six years old until I was eighteen years of age. To be fair, let’s say that from the time I was six years old until I was eighteen on at least 50 Sundays a year.
Not until after I had turned eighteen years of age did I understand that I had to believe the Gospel message of the (death for our sin, the burial and resurrection of Christ), in order to be saved.
Invite Jesus to come into your life
If a non-believer has not heard the gospel, but flipping through TV, has heard these catch phrases on all of the heretical networks, and ‘asks Jesus to come into his life’, what does that mean for him?
Nowhere in God’s Word are we told to invite Him into our lives, but we ARE told in His Word we receive a free gift from Him of eternal life, and the permanent indwelling of the Holy Spirit, when we believe.
Here are some verses which explain what is all-inclusive in the free giftof eternal life which God give us when we believe (Rom 6:23).
But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification. For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.) Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. Rom 5:14-19
So we see the free gift comes BY grace, THROUGH faith in the Good News (what Jesus Christ has done on our behalf, not by any works of our own. (Read Eph 2:8-9; Rom 5:15; Titus 2:11)
We are given the gift of righteousness, the free gift of justificationunto eternal life. We are made righteous (also see Romans 10:4).
He gives us the gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38; 10:45)
When do we receive the Holy Spirit?
In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise. Eph 1:13
It happens after, it does not happen before we believe (many reformed/Calvinists aka ‘Doctrines of Grace’ teach that faith is the gift vs. eternal life) that one has to receive before they are able to believe (FALSE).
Open the Door of your heart
(I remember this one as a little girl from Rev 3:20. We were told Jesus was standing at the door knocking on our hearts. Since this is spoken to the hardened church (ALREADY BELIEVERS) of Laodicea that saw no need for anything, we probably should steer clear of that verse spoken to believers and their fellowship with God and others.
We should be SO careful that what we use with non-believers, is spoken to non-believers, vs. an already existing church — always doing our best to use clear language so that we do not confuse them. In using these verses, we may possibly teach them how to take one verse out of context later in their studies. Do we see Rev 3:20 as the same as the gospel declared in 1 Corinthians 15:3-4?
Confess your sins
Confessing one’s sin (and turning from it), is #75 out of 613 commandments of the law. So we already know, we cannot add a work of the law to the gospel. Maimonides has made a list of the 613 with chapters and verses.
Then they shall confess their sin which they have done: and he shall recompense his trespass with the principal thereof, and add unto it the fifth part thereof, and give it unto him against whom he hath trespassed. Numbers 5:7
Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified. Gal 2:16
After believing, (and seeing the Jewish exorcists be wounded by the demons, the believers were afraid, and came and confessed, and told of their deeds. Those who had practiced magic brought their very expensive books together (worth 50,000 pieces of silver) and burned them in front of everyone. No one asked them to confess, they had believed already. But obviously were led to rid themselves of these items of witchcraft. Acts 19:18-20
Be sorry for your sins
We may very well be sorry for our sins (and will be at some point), or conversely, when some believe, they may be overjoyed. We cannot place experience, (whether ours or another person’s) be what makes a certain response necessary. We have no Biblical record of a mandate to ‘be sorry’ in the gospel itself. Again, we all have different emotional responses, but the only condition is believe upon the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved (Acts 16:31).
Some (who use passages out of context), cite 2 Cor 7:8-11, using godly sorrow as a necessity of being saved.
8 For though I made you sorry with a letter, I do not repent, though I did repent: for I perceive that the same epistle hath made you sorry, though it were but for a season. 9 Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing. 10 For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death. 2 Cor 7:8-11
Now skip back to verse one, who is being spoken to?
Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. 2 Cor 7:1
These are the believers at the church of Corinth that were being reprimanded. This is an example of times we need to ask, what kind of salvation (or deliverance) is addressed? As believers, what were they being saved from?
Salvation/deliverance is more often spoken of in the Bible as physically being saved from something such as a consequence. (70% or more of the time) salvation is used as deliverance, safety, rescue, preservation, victory etc. over 600 times in the Bible in its various forms. Salvation is FROM something TO something. The question we should ask is what someone is being saved FROM? We ask, who is being addressed? We need to be sure of context.
Besides being saved from our enemies, or just consequences of life, believers can be saved/delivered/rescued from these things:
Loss of Fellowship with God (1 John 1:3, 6,9)
Loss of Fellowship with other believers (1 John 1:3, 7)
Loss of Fullness of joy in our walk (1 John 1:4
Loss of Rewards at the judgment seat of Christ (1 Cor 3:10-16)
Bring judgment in this lifetime upon ourselves (1 Cor 11:29)
Loss of our physical life (1 Cor 5:5; Acts 5:1-11, 1 Cor 11:30)
Loss of our health, be weak or sickly (1 Cor 11:30)
Loss of our testimony or justification before men (James 2, Titus 3:8)
We can shame the name of Christ for sins named among us (Eph 5:3).
Face chastening by the Father (1 Cor 11:32; Heb 12:5-6)
Face worldly consequences for our actions (Gal 6:7-9)
Others face things because of us, including loss of knowing Christ. (Gal 6:9)
We could stray from the truth, being dishonorable – (2 Tim 2:18-20)
Not being ashamed at His appearing – (1 John 2:28)
We can lose the joy of our salvation (Ps 51:12)
And much more…
We should never attribute how someone SHOULD feel when they believe , we should base our faith instead on what His Word states. It is written, that IF we have believed God’s testimony of His Son, we HAVE eternal life. So much safer to look to the examples of preaching the gospel in the Bible.
Confess your belief in public
Many misunderstand ‘confess with your mouth’ in Rom 10:9 to mean it is necessary to publicly confess in order to receive eternal life. They cite Rom 10:10 (confession to salvation). Also sometimes they will reference Matt 10:32 & Luke 12:28 (confessing before men). Remember, there were many believing rulers that did not confess Christ before men because they were afraid of being put out of the synagogues, and they loved the praise of men before God’s praise. So we have to be sure, is it belief or confession or both? Or does that confession save us from consequences in this lifetime and the loss of rewards in the next? Should believers confess Him? Of course!
Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue: for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God. John 12:42-43
We don’t know if these secret believers later changed their minds, but there would be consequences if they did not, both for them and others that they did not demonstrate their faith before. For a time the disciples abandoned Jesus, denied Him, hid in fear, and even had a lack of faith. Yet their were already called CLEAN (sanctified believers) in John 13 & 15. The early believers scattered after Stephen’s stoning, and because of this, the gospel was spread. Titus 3:8 tells us we should CONSTANTLY affirm that (believers) SHOULD be careful to maintain good works which are beneficial to all people. There is a reason why we SHOULD do that.
The overwhelming majority of the passages in the Word that speak to eternal life, speak of ‘believing on the Lord Jesus Christ’ ALONE as a requirement for salvation. The Word does not contradict itself so should we not emphasize His Word vs. men’s words?
The book of John uses the condition believe ALONE, apart from public confession, or the word repent (never used in the book at all), although obviously if one has believed upon Him they have changed what they used to think. One FB friend once told me that John is not the whole counsel of God. I disagree. If we look to John 20:31, we see the purpose statement of why the Gospel of John was written.
But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.
Some say that John is not for the church, but for the Jews, and a different gospel because they say the crucifixion was not preached. I disagree with these mid and latter Acts dispensationalists. John was written around 90-95 AD, and John told us the reason the book was written — so it was a purely evangelistic book to all — both Jew and Gentile.
Repent from, turn from, stop your sins
This is a WORK. It SHOULD be something believers should strive to do as their reasonable service (Rom 12:1) – – no one can ‘stop sinning’, if they say they can, they are a liar, 1 Jn 1:10). I have seen people like Ray Comfort literally tell people in his sermons to ‘stop sinning’ or ‘turn from all sins’ in order to receive eternal life. I have news for him and all people. You cannot do it — you will fail, otherwise you are deceiving yourself.
Turning from or stopping sinning is not in the Bible once as a condition for nonbelievers to do in order to be saved. (Some versions such as NLT will add the words ‘from sin’ to the singular word repent – change mind/thinking.) Nonbelievers are ungodly (Rom 5), they are incapable of doing a righteous thing such as turning away from sin. But Titus 3:4-7 tells us it is not by works of righteousness that we are saved. It is what and Who we are repenting about (changing our mind) that matters. We must understand that we are sinners, and the penalty for any, just one sin is death. That there is nothing we do can to help save ourselves — only what He has done, and because of who He is, the we can be saved.
Who can tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger, that we perish not? And God saw their works, THAT they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not. Jonah 3:9-10
What were the works God saw that they did?
Who did the repenting?
Who turned from sin?
Turning from sin is a good thing to do, a righteous work. And in this case it saved the Ninevites from immediate destruction. But turning from sin (evil ways) IS a WORK, as His Word correctly identifies, and it is NOT by WORKS of righteousness we have done that we can gain eternal life – Titus 3:4-7
Give (commit) your life to God
Again, it cannot be part of the requirement of BELIEVING in order to be saved eternally. Why? And what does that mean anyways? What in our lives do non believing sinners have to offer or commit to Him?
JESUS gave His life for us, and AFTER we have believed, we SHOULD commit our bodies to Him as a living sacrifice, which is ‘our reasonable service’ (Rom 12:1), but for being saved from eternal death (eternal life)? No. It is ambiguous language at best. Believers should try to become disciples after we have believed (John 8:30-31). It is part of our fellowship or walk with Him.
Some go further (such as John MacArthur) — He says: “commit your emotion, your will & intellect, your whole life or surrender and abandon all, etc.” We need to keep discipleship of a believer separate from the gospel. Once we are saved eternally, believers should be doing this, but it is an ongoing process to submit.
Make Jesus the Lord of your life or surrender to His Lordship
This again is not the gospel we see in His Word. We don’t make Him the Lord of our Life. He IS Lord of all. Lord (kyrios – kurios) means God, the Messiah. He is THE LIFE. He has offered up His life, and gives us eternal life FREELY. We do ABSOLUTELY believe upon Him as our Lord (as the others who lie and say we are anti-Lordship). No, we are anti- load-ship doctrine. These Pharisees shut up the kingdom of Heaven to others.
And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. He that overcometh shall inherit all things (see 1 John 5:4-5); and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. Revelation 21:6-7
And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely. Revelation 22:17.
As believers we should want to spend more time with Him in His Word, BUT we need to obey to do this. Trust in Him, acknowledge Him in more of our ways, abide in Him, abide in His Word — these things will help us grow in grace and sanctify us (Lk 10:38-42; Acts 20:32; John 17:17; Eph 5:26 among others).
Once we get to know Him, we will understand how He is already our Lord, the strength of our life, our light and salvation (Ps 27:1)
Put Jesus on the throne of your life
All the above are good for believers to do. An unbeliever does not have strength. He is ungodly — a sinner, unable to even know what God wants them to do (Rom 5:6-8). Once we have come to know God’s grace, we can then learn what God wants us to do through being commended to the Word of His Grace (Acts 20:32).
What does God’s grace teach us? (Titus 2:11-14) So dear friends, learn by spending time with Him, hearing His Word, speaking to Him in prayer. The more we know of His grace, the more we grow. It is by truth that we are sanctified practically or progressively speaking — (Jn 17:17; Eph 5:26), God’s Word is truth, we are cleansed by it when we study it with His Approval as our goal (2 Tim 2:15), He will teach us as we apply our hearts to knowledge (Ps 119:9-11; 2 Tim 2:15; 1 John 2:27; Prov 22:17-21). Don’t let the voice of the accuser of the brethren sneak in.
One thing I learned from I ‘believe’ Dennis Rokser from Duluth Bible church was how to look at John 3:16. It’s a nice chart to lay out with people.
GOD’S PART – For God SO loved the WORLD
GOD’S PART – That He GAVE His only Begotten Son (the Lord Jesus Christ)
OUR PART – That whosoever believeth on Him (Christ and Him crucified and resurrected – He is the resurrection and the life (John 11:25-27)
GOD’S PART – Shall NOT perish (John 10:28-30)
GOD’S PART – But have EVERLASTING LIFE (John 5:24)
Some teachers falsely say that God does not love everyone, nor did He die for the whole world, but ONLY those He has elected to salvation (Calvinism/limited atonement). I deny this unbiblical theory and this system of belief has limited the audience of the gospel and I believe quenches the drive to share. I notice they often share TULIP, but frequently if you ask them, they just don’t know the simple gospel.
To effectively give the gospel, I believe that as part of our armor, we should shod our feet DAILY with the preparation of the Gospel of Peace (as we are told in Eph 6:15). We should be ready with an answer for the reason of the hope that is within us (1 Pet 3:14-16). If we should be prepared daily, I believe we should share it and hear it daily. Paul was declaring the gospel to believers in 1 Cor 15. Why if they were saved eternally? They’d already been led astray. He was reassuring them concerning the resurrection. False teachers had already come into make them doubt which also made their own gospel ineffective. Instead, be prepared!
In conclusion, we should make sure we have the facts of the gospel straight — That we understand the correct definition of repentance. We need to have down pat what people need to know regarding gospel facts so we can present the good news effectively.
Certain things should be emphasized in the Gospel after we have presented it. The unsaved person is listening to every word we say (hopefully), so we need to try our best, to pray while we are speaking to them, and be sure we are presenting His truth, not ours. It is a matter of life and death. It matters.
The fact is — the Gospel is GOOD NEWS FROM God TO man. In fact it is the GREATEST piece of news anyone will ever hear. The Gospel is not a call for man to reform one’s behavior FOR God BEFORE they believe, but to come to be saved.
BELIEVE upon Christ (who He is) and Him crucified for their sins (what He has done) should be emphasized. He died for every person’s sins (John 3:16; Heb 2:9; Isaiah 53:6; 1 John 2:2; 2 Pet 2:1)
Trust in Christ and Him alone regarding His FINISHED WORK. It is mentioned over 1000 times in the epistles — it’s spoken that many times — so then, Christ and Him crucified (His finished work) SHOULD be emphasized. His finished work includes being forgiven for ALL of our sins, that we are DELIVERED from the penalty of our sin (death) and we now Possess eternal life, which is FOREVER.
NOT BY ANY WORKS of our own, eternal life is a FREE GIFT and should be MADE VERY CLEAR that it is without cost to us. Costly for Christ, FREE for us (Isaiah 55:1-2; Rom 6:23; Rom 5:15-19; Rev 21:6; 22:17).
ETERNAL LIFE IS EVERLASTING. Emphasize eternal life cannot be lost, this is part of the gospel, the good news. ETERNAL life IS the free gift (John 5:24; 6:39-40; 10:28-29; Rom 8:31-39) so if one thinks they can lose it, have they believed God’s testimony of His Son’s work? One can KNOW they are His by BELIEVING His Word because He cannot lie. We judge not by feelings, performance or other people’s fruit inspection of our lives (1 John 5:9-13; John 20:31; 1 John 5:4-5)
My friend John from expreacherman.com wrote a list out that I think is helpful to consider laying out to the unsaved. I’ve added some Bible verses to it.
Everyone is a sinner (Rom 3:23)
The penalty for sin is death (eternal separation from God in a place of conscious torment – hell) – (Rom 6:23, Isaiah 59:1-2)
One must be perfect to get into heaven. Not good. Not great. PERFECT. (Rev 21:27)
One cannot do anything of himself to obtain this perfection – this includes turning from sin, committing your life to Christ and so on. God offers eternal life as a gift – it’s not for sale or barter. (Rom 6:23)
God provided a sin-bearer for us (The Lord Jesus Christ, God in the
flesh. He had no sin of his own, but he came to die for us, paying the full penalty for our sin. He was raised from the dead, proving that His payment was acceptable) – 1 Pet 2:24. (And also proving He was God and had the power to take His life back up again as He said in John 10:18. The sin-bearer is also foreshadowed in Abraham’s offering up Isaac in Gen 22.)
All we can do to receive everlasting life is to believe in Jesus Christ as our Savior (John 3:16-18, 36; John 5:24; John 6:47).
Eternal life, once received by faith in Christ, can never be lost or forfeited, no matter what happens in our lives down the road (Rom 10:28-29; John 3:16; John 6:38-40).
What is there to do to receive eternal life? Simply BELIEVE that Jesus made that payment for your sin – for you.
Post Script – Mark and Avoid the Jesus DVD
Someone wanted me to watch the Jesus film on DVD, she’s asked me many times, so I watched (while doing other things), and almost missed what was said in the end as the movie was over. So odd to have this be the subject of today’s Bible study. In case it’s unclear my stand, I completely disagree with this DVD unfortunately.
Here are the words at the end of the movie: (My words in parenthesis)
“He sent Jesus the Messiah to die in our place. His life, death and resurrection, restored the relation between God and man, for all those who put their trust in Him.
Now all who follow Jesus not only have their sins forgiven but are saved from God’s eternal judgment, they are assured of paradise and will live with Him forever”. (not all who are followers believed – see John 6)..
“It is this life, and freedom from the guilt and power of sin that Jesus offers each person today. This does not mean following a religion, but choosing to have faith in Jesus, who says, “I stand at the door and knock, if anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come into Him”. (again spoken to a church in Revelation)
“This means turning to God and trusting Jesus to come into our lives, to forgive our sins and to make us what he wants us to be.
It is not enough to >>intellectually agree with His claims, nor to have an emotional experience, we receive Him by grace through faith, as an act of the will.
When people are ready to become >>followers of Jesus the Messiah, they may speak to Him in a simple prayer”. (Again, there is a difference between a follower and a believer).
“Perhaps you are ready now to ‘open your life’ to God. If so, you may join in the following prayer to Him, silently, in your heart, Lord Jesus, I need you, thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. I >>confess and >>repent of my sins. (FALSE) I >>>open the door of my life and receive you as my Savior and Lord. Thank you for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life.
Make me the kind of person you want me to be.
As I become one of your followers.
(In case I have not made it clear, I completely disagree with the presentation above in italics), although there is some truth, there is certainly enough to taint it. Here are a couple links to a clear gospel.