Thursday, September 24, 2009


by Robert Fraire

When a believer thinks about his responsibilities as a Christian, one that comes to the top of the priority list should be the need to evangelize the lost.

In this post I am going to look at what the Bible tells us is occurring as someone hears the gospel and responds. I am going to do this from two perspectives. First I will talk about how it looks to the people involved, then I'm going to look at what the Bible tells us is happening theologically during this event.

First we see that the Christian loves his friend and wants him to know the Lord Jesus Christ. His heart is heavy with concern over the prospect of his friend living his whole life and then dying where he will face judgement.

In Biblical terms the Christian's concern is well founded as scripture tells us that all men have sinned and therefore will face the wrath of God if they die in that condition. The Christian knows that this is true because he believes that the Bible is the written Word of God and he wants to please his Lord and savior by being obedient to him. But it isn't a forced obedience, because as a Christian he is indwelt by the Holy Spirit. And God constantly is transforming him to think and have the passions that Jesus did. This is the process of sanctification, the beautiful Lord Jesus is irresistible to him and he must tell his friend of this treasure. This passion also demonstrates that this man is truly redeemed.

So the Christian begins to tell the man how God changed his life. That the Bible states clearly that everyone including his friend is a sinner. And that God is just and righteous and so He must punish sinners.

What is the spiritual state of the unbeliever? Ephesians 2:1 tells us that men before salvation are spiritually dead in their sins. "Dead" means that men apart from God are NOT ABLE to please God in a spiritual realm. In fact men would be without any hope of pleasing God if not for a substitutionary work of Jesus Christ. It is essential that the person to whom we are proclaiming the gospel, be told this truth. As the Bible says, only the sick need a doctor: only the hopeless understand their need for a savior.

Now the friend begins to ask the Christian about these strange things he is saying and the Christian responds with the truth of scripture.

Romans 1:16 tells us that the gospel is the power of God unto salvation. That God's will is that people will be saved through the hearing of the gospel. Another important point to consider is: how does this spiritually dead man understand the spiritual truth of the gospel? The Bible tells us that this occurs through God's action of regeneration. (John 3:5) And without God's action the friend will despise the gospel message and reject it.

The Christian tells his friend of the work of Christ on the cross and His resurrection. He then tells him that he must repent of his sin, desire to turn away from his sin and toward obedience to God. To trust that God is able and is willing to save him.

Luke 9:23-24: Jesus says that we must deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow him. This is what the Bible means by calling on the name of the Lord, or as John 3:16 says: "Believe in him" Salvation is of God, and God decreed that he would bring His chosen people to himself through faith in Jesus Christ. If this friend is chosen of God and it is the time God has chosen to draw him, then God will regenerate the man, and the man will understand the gospel and love the gospel message and the mercy of God.

The friend hears the truth and believes that it is true. He asks his friend: "how can I be saved?" And the Christan sets his focus on Christ and His finished work.

Saving faith is required by God. There are types of faith that do not save. The emotion based faith with die out, the fear based faith will cool. But when God draws the man, he will possess true faith.

The man prays asking God to save him. He then asks his friend how can he know that he is saved? The Christian opens the Bible to show him 1 John and tells him that those who love God will obey him, love fellow Christians, and repent of their sins.

Scripture never points men to rely on a "remembering the day you prayed to receive Christ"
The man who possesses true faith will live out that faith in obedience to Christ. James 2:17 tells us that true faith will have good works. It is a life characterized by walking in obedience to God that gives us assurance of salvation.

The evangelist operates in the human realm. We cannot see whether God has chosen the man to which we are preaching. But it doesn't matter because God knows who are His. We cannot see with our eyes whether the Holy Spirit has given the hearer new life to understand the gospel, but it doesn't matter because we are commanded to proclaim the truth, God will bring His people to himself.

Sometimes we want to have a fool proof way of knowing who is called. And we want a fool proof way of knowing if a person's profession of faith is real, but God, in His wisdom has said that we will not be able to know, therefore we trust God and worship Him as the sovereign Lord of Salvation.

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