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Preaching by: John J. Malone, Sr - JABSBG*

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It’s the CONTENT, Stupid - Comments (1)

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Author: John Malone
Date: 6th December, 2004 @ 05:32:55 AM

Evangelism has to do with accuracy.

I realize I am getting older, but I’m not sure that my advancing age explains my distaste for the direction “evangelism” is taking.

The other day, I engaged in some interaction with a few young clergymen. Now, I am no clergyman, and I do not like the whole notion of it. In fact, the Bible term for “clergyman” is “hireling” (employee) and maybe we should just stick with it. It is not a complicated term: it means someone who is engaged contractually on a temporary basis.

So these young employees of a mega-church felt compelled to tell me – all Bible truth aside – about how Christian relationships worked, and how I should and should not conduct myself with them, and then made a few pointed criticisms about my style of presenting truth.

So, I thought to myself, “Maybe these are some {Shimei’s|2Sam 16:6-13} that the Lord has sent to throw rocks at me for some reason of discipline: I will search out the context of their criticisms, and try to overlook the lack of proper treatment that should accompany them, and focus instead on content.”

Why it might seem self-serving, I came to some conclusions that disturbed me, but which are predictable from the Scriptures.

These fellows don’t even preach the gospel of Jesus Christ. In fact, they have an “Ungospel:” bad news concerning God and man.

And that bad news goes something like this: “Turn your life over to Jesus.” Or, “Give Jesus your heart.” Or, “Commit yourself to Jesus with your whole being, and He will save you.” Or – everbody’s favorite – “Ask Jesus into you heart.” Or, “Ask Jesus into your life.”

All of these of course are inaccurate restatements of what the Bible teaches, and a few of them are abjectly the OPPOSITE of what the Bible teaches.

The Bible says “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved.” These “restatements” about “turning your life over” and “give your life to Jesus”, and “invite Jesus into your life” are all OPPOSITES of what truly is the good news of Jesus Christ, and also contrary to what is going on when God saves a sinner by revealing to him Who Jesus Christ is.

The gospel of Jesus Christ is that God sent Jesus Christ into the world to sacrifice Himself in place of – and bearing the penalty due to – sinners. The happy result of that work comes to any sinner as the gracious gift of God – eternal life – through faith in Christ.

So at its basis, salvation is about what God has given to the sinner.

To ask sinners to give something to God, rather than receiving what He has provided, is nothing other than the exact opposite of the way of salvation. And yet, almost universally, this is what is being preached from a pulpit near you!

I know what you are going to say: isn’t this mincing of words, a matter of semantics? My friend, yes it is. Semantics. Words and their meanings. It’s about the content.

The job of the evangelist is to present accurately the content. After all, all the work has been done by Another.

Comment by Brenda Mill » 9th September, 2005 @ 03:09:37 PM

What happened to if you confess with your mouth and believe with your heart then you are saved?

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