Sunday, October 12, 2008

great hindrance to the gospel

I just want to throw out some thoughts concerning the gospel;

It seems to me that what often hinders the gospel today is the incredible emphasis on methods and the incredible amt of labels placed on people.

"What will be most effective for this person?, What do they like?, Where did they come from?, are they atheist?, postmodern?, new age?, secular humanist?, evolutionist?, hip-hop?, grunge?, Gothic?, pantheist, etc......"

What most of this has done and all the seminars and series on these subjects has caused the majority feel as though they could not possibly reach anyone until they know all these things. For many it has become a major stumbling block of inability, and a major idolization of intellectuals who do know these things.

Is America gospel hardened from hearing the gospel so much? NO NO NO NO not at all!

Now some will say that and mean that there are plenty of people that have never heard of Christ, yet I'm thinking of the people that HAVE heard of Him yet have no clue who He is. They know phrases and words, but have no clue to their meanings. It's only natural then for those people to adopt their own meanings for such words-meanings that are not biblical!

IS the problem that we don't share the gospel enough? NOT FOR MOST PEOPLE! It would be better for most people to STOP sharing what they call the gospel, some people only share cliche's and others talk about things contained in the gospel but they don't share the gospel. As Martyn Lloyd-Jones points out that there is a world of difference between preaching 'about' the gospel and preaching the 'gospel'.

If only people KNEW the gospel, and were TAUGHT the gospel (not TAUGHT a method of sharing)- even tracts can be unfruitful if they are vague and not understandable.

When People can grasp the fundamentals of the gospel, then and only then can they share effectively. Effective meaning: honestly and fully presenting the truth and presenting it in the right spirit, being faithful to glorify God. Effective is not contingent upon the response, although we should greatly desire the salvation of many.
If only this could be central to the training of disciples, how glorifying to Him it would be.
In sharing the gospel, be satisfied with nothing short of salvation; contained in the many false views of salvation- people will often feel they have made major leaps by joining a church, getting baptized, buying a study bible, or giving up something. Let this NEVER be seen as a victory, if their were such 'steps', then what do you get when you are 'just a step away' from salvation? (Wrath and Fury). I can't tell you the many heartbreaks I've had (and many others have had) because someone did such a thing and then STOPPED! If you see this or hear this, use it as an opportunity to (once again) declare the gospel.
Need help? read and listen to really good evangelists (not for a method, but for the truths they often bring up)---- Good not meaning POPULAR (for the most part leave the tv and radio alone).
WHAT IS NEEDED TO GRASP? Grasp these truths and you will be equipped to begin preaching the gospel.
Biblical view of the Character of God (His holiness, Justice, Sovereignty, Grace and Love...)
Biblical view of Man (his sin nature, his LOVE of sin, his KNOWLEDGE of God, his helplessness, his hopelessness, his DESERVING of wrath)
Biblical view of Repentance, Regeneration, Justification, Sanctification and Glorification
I believe it was Spurgeon who made the point that until you are able to explain something to a child, you don't really know it! WHAT? That's simply to say that instead of remembering phrases and methods which once you use them you run out of things to say, you chew and digest the truths. You give yourself to studying such fundamental doctrines so that when you proclaim the gospel, you can explain in many different ways the same truths until they are understandable. HARD WORK? Perhaps, but delightfully hard work, which won't only equip you to reach the lost, and discern those you might want to support, but also to reach your family. One thing more: the GOSPEL is a MEANS (tool) of GRACE for the believer, to think upon, to speak about such things has a sanctifying effect, that is what it means to set our eyes upon the cross. Time will cause you to be MORE effective, but it doesn't have to take months and years for you to grasp such things.

Book recommend? Well Justification and Regeneration by Charles Leiter (to the point and short). Holiness by J.C. Ryle, this book came at an incredible turning point for me (theologically) I began to see things I never saw before and was confronted with tons of examples of preaching the gospel (i took the day off from work because I spent all night reading this...) Yes I'd recommend more but that's all--- i hope to be able to recommend more sermons as well.

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