In my last post, I mentioned that I wanted to spend some blog time on the topic of sharing the gospel. My thoughts were provoked recently at this event that we did on Friday night and had been provoked when I wrote a blog titled "And Then 50 People Got Saved..." The gospel, to any who would call themselves "Christian," is the message mandated by Christ Himself that must be shared with every creature with whom we have opportunity and audience. It is a non-negotiable item. In it, the gospel, there is the power of salvation to those that would believe upon Christ, who is the center of this message.
You might recall that I had the opportunity to share the gospel with a man named Fernando. He was well on his way to intoxication, but when I had begun sharing with him, he was not totally there yet. I had a short window before he would be unable to really receive anything. This, coupled with the fact that I required translation, really made me feel a sense of urgency, necessitating a succint presentation.
What is important for a man who is about to be fully inebriated to know? Well, first, there has to be an understanding of his offence to the nature of God through his sin. Then, he has to understand that Christ is the only solution provided by God for the problem of His sin. And he must understand that only by placing his faith in Christ, can he have any hope of redemption. I needed to put this in as quick a statement as possible. It went something like this:
"Fernando, you are a sinner. You have offended God by your actions. God loves you enough to send me to tell you that forgiveness is possible if you put your faith in Jesus Christ. Would you do that?"
At that point, Fernando heard what was said, and then chose to go off on a rabbit trail about something else. I know the message got through, even though he has chosen to reject it for the time being. But it made me think about some of the classic blunders Christians make in such moments. To me, they are as follows:
1) Ambiguity. "The Big Man Upstairs," "The Guy In The Sky," even God, the term, is lacking in specificity. James the Apostle told his readers, "You believe in God? You do well. Even the demons believe and TREMBLE!" Remember, that the name Jesus Christ is paramount in importance. It is in His name that we are called, it is His name and His name alone that any man can hope to have salvation. Jesus Christ is the name above all names, and at His name, every knee shall bow and every tongue confess His lordship.
2) Rabbit Chasing. "But what about the gift of tongues?" "What about televangelists?" This was actually one of Fernando's arguments against Christianity. I refused to talk with him about that. I retorted, "What about Jesus Christ? Has He failed? Is He trustworthy?" To spend any amount of time chasing rabbits is to lose the opportunity to clearly present the gospel.
3) Personal Decision. It's no use for a person to hear a message without having the opportunity to believe and affirm that he/she is taking the message for themselves. This is critical, as faith comes by hearing...faith is an action that must be presented as the imperative moment which the other two points lead to.
There are many more things that I want to talk about regarding this subject. Lord willing, over time I will have the opportunity. Understand, to anyone who might be reading this, that the Gospel is the greatest news of victory the world has ever seen and it is a priviledge to carry the banner of salvation to any whom the Lord might place in our path. Even, and perhaps especially the guy whose sole hope is found at the end of a bottle. It seems that he is just the type that Jesus would glorify Himself in through the work of regeneration.
Blessings To The Friends Of Spain,