The Gospel Will Sell Itself

If you speak it into the ears of the hearer:

…preach the word [as an official messenger]; be ready when the time is right and even when it is not [keep your sense of urgency, whether the opportunity seems favorable or unfavorable, whether convenient or inconvenient, whether welcome or unwelcome]; correct [those who err in doctrine or behavior], warn [those who sin], exhort and encourage [those who are growing toward spiritual maturity], with inexhaustible patience and [faithful] teaching. 2 Tim. 4:2 AMP

All followers of Christ are called to be evangelists (Mk. 16:15), to reach the unsaved for the kingdom of God, to rescue them from eternal death. We’re not all summoned by God to be preachers, but evangelism definitely requires some preaching. Not to worry; every time you open your mouth for Christ, you instantly become Holy Spirit-equipped to do so:

“For the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.” Lk. 12:12 NKJV

“…the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things. and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.” Jn. 14:26 NKJV

What Jesus says to you is found within His gospel. That’s why you want to get that word in your heart. Then Holy Spirit will help you share it.

However, your evangelism (speaking of the promise of the gospel) will fall upon deaf ears unless you give a compelling reason for them to act upon it. They need to see the danger of embracing worldly thinking and behavior. In a compassionate manner, you must present the old ‘fire and brimstone’ message. He or she must feel the danger of the situation that they are in. You must prepare them for hearing the salvation message by getting them to see why they need it. Then, the gospel will sell itself.

Therefore, for you to be properly prepared for the Holy Spirit to use you for this endeavor, you must separate yourself from the world first. And then pray ardently for the Spirit to facilitate your execution of the message as you get ready to deliver it.

What are we trying to do? We are attempting to reposition the hearer to receive their resurrection from sin and death – by inducing a spiritual longing, a yearning for redemption and making them aware that in and of themselves, their own faith won’t cut it.

We must impart the knowledge that only by embracing the gospel, will they get the faith from God that will make their deliverance happen, i.e. that they cannot receive it by any other means or actions of themselves. God is the one doing the saving, through the sacrifice of His Son.

The required efforts of the recipient are to do is his or her best to give up their sins; and they must be shown that the worst possible sin is to rebuke the gospel:

…you will die [unforgiven and condemned] in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am the One [I claim to be], you will die in your sins.” Jn. 8:24 AMP

The Bible is crystal clear about the path to redemption:

“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall be saved…” Acts 16:31 NKJV

So, once you help your hearer really see their present plight, then the gospel can be preached as  you simultaneously assure him or her that it distinctly applies to them – that they will be free of their sins, accepted by God and no longer need to live in fear of death, destruction or the power of the devil.

Moreover, they will now live a life bathed in the love of the Father and the Son through their renewed spirit-connection in their born-again selves.

It would also be good to instill in your new ‘Christian’ some wise wariness, letting them know that there are malevolent spirits in this world that will try to cause them to stumble in their walk to follow Jesus. Teach them that despite their self-recriminations that arise over those slip-ups, God still loves and accepts them and will help them to get up and face another day – as He keeps their unique place awaiting in heaven.

Let them know that the moment they received Christ, they were transformed by the Holy Spirit into their heavenly life now. Even so, they must now be acutely aware of the forces in this world that would darken their soul once more, so that they must strengthen themselves by living as Christ did, to the best of their ability.

Anyone who approaches you asking questions about salvation already has God working inside of them. God’s talking to you through them at that point, saying, “I’m sending you another one. You can do this. The gospel will sell itself.”

We also lovingly help our hearer see their wretchedness, and then we open their eyes to the mercy of God – where punishment is a thing of the past.

Fire and brimstone message? God only warns of hell to implore His children to come to heaven. We must preach as long as they will be willing to hear – patiently until they either get it or reject it. The result falls into the space of the hearer’s free will. But at least you can open the door…

Goodnight and God bless.

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Two-Sided Salvation – part 6

Often, those who reside on the side of life prior to salvation are plagued with faithlessness. Why? Many of us are raised in this world with a ‘scientific’ viewpoint; i.e. ‘I’ll believe it when I see it.’ Yet a plethora of the population believes in the ‘Big Bang,’ while not ever contemplating that it takes some kind of ‘faith’ to believe that the universe and how we got here was resulted from a series of random events.

Many take for granted that every time they flip the light switch, illumination will result – even though electricity, for the most part, cannot be seen.

Lack of faith can produce several deleterious results. For example, what if you don’t have faith in a hereafter? If you haven’t noticed, this life flashes by in heartbeat. Moreover, it is chock-full of trials and tribulations, with no true path for navigating them or rising above them. To make matters worse, the world’s concepts of happiness yield fleeting results at best. Contentedness is a rare commodity.

What if you don’t have faith in love? It’s hard to possess sometimes, given the inherent shortcomings of our humanity. We can’t trust most people to put other’s welfare above their own. And again, the world provides so many destructive paths that lead to failure in love.

If you don’t have faith in yourself, life will be doubly hard. Life keeps coming at you whether or not you are prepared to weather it. If you don’t know how, you’ll view yourself as weak, flawed and unacceptable. Hardly fertile ground for growing relationships. Instead, you can find yourself in isolation, depression and subsequently suffering from all the self-destructive activities one dives into to suppress them.

If you don’t have faith in God, who then are you going to turn to deliver you out of this mess?

That’s where salvation comes in. God has been waiting for you since before your first day of life on this earth, yearning for your return to His original purpose for you:

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved (Jesus). Eph. 1:3 – 6. NKJV

God had every intention of delivering you from the world and its ways and its consequences. He built it into your path. And the gate to the path is Christ:

In Him we have redemption [that is, our deliverance and salvation] through His blood, [which paid the penalty of our sin and resulted in] the forgiveness and complete pardon of our sin, in accordance with the richness of His grace which He lavished on us. in all wisdom and understanding [with practical insight], He made known to us the mystery of His will according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Christ, with regard to the fulfillment of the times [that is, the end of history, the climax of the ages] – to bring all things together in Christ, [both] things in the heavens and things on the earth. In Him also we have received an inheritance [a destiny – we were claimed by God as His own], having been predestined (chosen, appointed beforehand) according to the purpose of Him who works everything in agreement with the counsel and design of His will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ [who first put our confidence in Him as our Lord and Savior] would exist to the praise of His glory. Eph. 1:7 – 12. AMP

So, God wants to draw you to Himself but He cannot do so unless you are holy (sinless). Can we of ourselves come into His presence in that state?

…for there is no one who does not sin… 1 Kings 8:46 NKJV

But we are all like an unclean thing, and all of our righteousnesses are like filthy rags… Is. 64:6 NKJV

Thus, not only are we sinful, our best efforts to atone for them are for naught. But praise be to God, you can see that He has made us ’acceptable’ in His grace through the blood of Christ that pays the price for our transgressions and gathers us into His love for eternity. That is the gospel message, that is salvation.

Notice though the last line of the scripture, we who were the first to hope in Christ; (emphasis mine). ‘Hope’ equates with ‘faith.’ If you have no faith in Christ, who He is, what He’s done and His gospel, you will have no salvation. The consequence is that at the end of time, you will be placed into the category of what Jesus says are ‘goats’ that He gathers in HIs left hand:

“When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world’…Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels’ “… Mt. 23:31 – 34 & 41. NKJV

Doesn’t sound like a great outcome for those goats.

Bottom line: it takes faith to receive salvation. So, what is faith?

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Heb. 11:1 NASB

Faith is the hope in things that are not tangible to our five senses. And faith is required to have a relationship with God:

But without faith it is impossible to please and be satisfactory to Him. For whoever would come near to God must [necessarily] believe that God exists and act He is the rewarder of those who earnestly and diligently seek Him [out]. Heb. 11:6 AMP

We can’t even approach God without some measure of faith. When we possess that faith, the love of God confers upon us our salvation – totally by His doing, not by any efforts of our own:

For we hold that a man is justified and made upright by faith independent and distinctly apart from good deeds (works of the Law). Rm. 3:28 AMP

The [appointed period of] time is fulfilled (completed), and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent (have a change of mind which issues in regret for past sins and in change of conduct or the better) and believe (trust in, rely on, and adhere to) the good news (the Gospel). Mk. 1:15 AMP

“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.” Jn. 5:24 NASB

It’s all about the faith, because if you don’t have it, you cannot be delivered from that stain of worldly dross:

“…if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.” Jn. 8:24 NKJV

We need the faith, but how do we get it? That’s the best part!

…God has allotted to each a measure of faith. Rm. 12:3 NASB

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness… Gal. 5:22 ESV

…let us with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith… Heb. 12:1, 2. ESV

So faith comes from hearing [what is told], and what is heard comes by the [preaching of the] message concerning Christ. Rm. 10:17 AMP

Thus, God gives us a free gift of faith that He created through His Son, which is delivered by the Holy Spirit and nurtured and strengthened when we immerse ourselves in the hearing of the gospel.

God never leaves us hanging. Once, Jesus came upon a boy that was suffering from demon-induced epileptic seizures. The boy’s father asked Christ to cure the him if He was able. Jesus replied:

“All things are possible for one who believes.” Mk. 9:23 ESV

The father immediately responds, “I believe; help my unbelief!” Mk. 9:24 ESV

And Jesus healed the boy.

So, not only do you receive divine faith when you ask for it, Jesus makes sure you have enough.

Have faith.

Goodnight and God bless.