An answer to the imputations of our adversaries: Now to the latter we answer, That we do not deny, nay, we affirm and avow, that the very meanest translation of the Bible in English set forth by men of our profession (for we have seen none of theirs of the whole Bible as yet) containeth the word of God, nay, is the word of God: as the King’s speech which he uttered in Parliament, being translated into French, Dutch, Italian, and Latin, is still the King’s speech, though it be not interpreted by every translator with the like grace, nor peradventure so fitly for phrase, nor so expressly for sense, every where…..No cause therefore why the word translated should be denied to be the word, or forbidden to be current, notwithstanding that some imperfections and blemishes may be noted in the setting forth of it. (Pg 14-15)
“You can’t be saved by a gospel you don’t know. If you can’t tell me biblically how I can get to heaven, then why should I believe you are going there?” (Tony Miano)
“We need to adjust our presentation of the gospel. We cannot dismiss the fact that God hates sin and punishes sinners with eternal torment. How can we begin a gospel presentation by telling people on their way to hell that God has a wonderful plan for their lives?” (John MacArthur)
How much does a person have to know to become a Christian?
In some of the conversion instances in Scripture they turned away from idols, which means they at the very least had to have knowledge and an understanding of who the true God was.
Peoples like the Hindus, with insufficient knowledge, can simply add Jesus to their list of false ‘gods’.
I believe the Gospel in America is so diluted that many, if not most, Americans do not have a true understanding of Who God is, and have therefore cast their trust upon an idol of their own making.
So how much knowledge is enough?
Christian, God has a general love for all of His creatures, but to tell an unregenerate rebellious hater of God that God loves him but hates his sin IS A LIE. God is angry with the sinner every day and His wrath abides on him. Be honest with him and tell him the danger he’s in, that unless he repents, the full wrath of God will bear down on him and he will perish on Judgment Day.
…this principle should also be stressed in evangelism. We are not to do everything for the “mission subject” (i.e. evangelization prospect). The church is not called to serve “lunches”, give presents, and “buy” their interest in the Gospel. Ours is the task of presenting the claims of our God! (pg 81)
The rainbow is not only a reminder to us of God’s promise that He will never again bring a global flood, but also that He judges and punishes sin. —paraphrased from Answers in Genesis
Heard a great Q&A with RC Sproul and Al Mohler that really got my brain rockin’ cuz I’ve been thinking this for awhile now.
There is one reason and ONLY one reason why our churches have a big emphasis on programs, meeting people where they’re at, meeting people’s felt needs, our emphasis on being non-offensive, trying to find out what the needs of the local community are and meet them, and it’s because WE DON’T BELIEVE IN THE POWER OF THE GOSPEL ALONE TO SAVE.
The things we stress in our churches today for reaching and evangelizing the masses and keeping members in the congregation, are frighteningly absent from Scripture. Why do I use the word, “frightening”? Because it reveals the documented trust the disciples in Scripture had in the power of the Gospel alone to save and keep the believer saved and in the body, and reveals our mistrust of the same. And I use the word ‘mistrust’ purposefully; if we trusted the Gospel, we would rely solely on it and not our ‘programs’.
This also leads to our churches being used inappropriately. Our churches are not evangelization centers, hospitals for the ‘broken’, entertainment centers where we have to have occasional ‘special’ music or lead guitar solos during the congregational singing, they are where believers in Jesus Christ gather to worship the true God of the Scriptures and hear His Word proclaimed. While unbelievers may sit in the services, the church is not for them, it is for believers.
Do we really want to honor God and show that we believe in the power of the Gospel to save? Then cancel all the programs, cancel all the specials, cancel the building program, cancel the pizza parties — and put the emphasis where it belongs, on the Gospel of Jesus Christ, His Word, and His ability to save and keep those for whom He died. God does not need buildings or money, He doesn’t even need us, but we should be a people willing to proclaim the Gospel and suffer for it.
Are we trusting in the power of the Gospel to save and keep those who are saved from falling away, or are we trying to help God by adding our own unique spin on it?
What does God’s Word say about the Gospel? Does God plead and beg sinners to repent? Absolutely not! Scripture is clear that God COMMANDS all men and women everywhere to repent. So why do we, as God’s amabassadors and heralds of His Good News, present to a lost, dying, rebellious, sin-loving, God-hating world a weak and begging god, instead of a full, bold proclamation that God’s wrath abides on the sinner and He will by no means clear the guilty, but for those who repent and put their trust in Christ there is mercy and forgiveness.
May God grant us repentance from our worldy wisdom and help us to fully trust the power of His Gospel.