I have not yet stepped out into a public place and openly proclaimed the gospel as a street-preacher would. I’ve not gone door-to-door to share the good news. Perhaps I should. Who knows, I might like it!
It’s not that I am hiding my faith. I openly talk about Jesus in restaurants and other public places so that people nearby can clearly overhear the discussion. That doesn’t bother me. I also have this blog. Everyone who knows me will easily be able to identify me through it.
There are many times when I encounter people that I take specific time to tell them about Jesus. They may be having a particularly difficult season in life that provides an open door for conversation. Sometimes they hear, and sometimes they don’t. That’s OK. I leave that up to God.
Honestly, very few unbelievers I have witnessed to actually have evidence of rebirth. In fact, I have stopped going through the sinner’s prayer with people because I don’t want to encourage a false pledge to simply get me off their back or a false sense that they are saved when indeed they aren’t. The proof of salvation is in the fruit, not the “Amen” at the end of that prayer. As far as any prayer, well, the Holy Spirit will prompt a person when and if salvation is offered.
That sounds very Calvinistic, doesn’t it? For those of you who aren’t familiar with that, Calvinism is a label which is often used with a snarl. In a nutshell, it’s a belief that scripture teaches that all humans are so steeped in sin that they refuse to acknowledge the one true and living God. They may be very religious, but with gods of their own making, not the one true God. The situation is so bad that salvation is possible only by a supernatural act of God.
It’s his mercy that saves. Who he chooses to save is unknown to us. What we DO know is that he has determined this before the earth was even made. That makes sense because he knows all things. We ALSO know that we don’t choose him; he chooses us. Until he moves to engage us, we will refuse him.
Don’t think for a minute that this relieves anyone from responsibility. The fact that God chooses us does not change the fact that we deliberately deny him. He holds each of us accountable. Aside from his mercy, we all stand condemned. Most of us will spend eternity in the lake of fire.
His mercy is incredible in that those he saves have done NOTHING to deserve it. We may THINK we’re doing good things and that these good things will outweigh the bad things we do; but in reality, these good things are done with selfish intent. They are nothing more than filthy rags in the eyes of God (Isaiah 64:6).
This concept is difficult to accept for a couple of reasons. First, we have no real sense of the magnitude of our sin. Second, we think we have a choice in the matter while failing to realize that we always choose things OTHER than God (see reason #1).
So, if you are truly saved, as evidenced by a new creation (a new, repentant life) and fruit in accordance to that, you are indeed truly blessed. You have been granted mercy, through no doing of your own, and allowed into the family of God to enjoy him for all eternity. It is a priceless gift.
For those who refuse God, justice will one day be served. Make no mistake, there will be many who THINK they should be saved and will insist as much come judgment day, but they have only served themselves. They will indeed pay dearly for all eternity for their deeds. Frankly, if we don’t understand this, we are stuck in Reason #1: We have no real sense of the magnitude of our sin.
There is NO reason for the saved to be smug about any of this. If there is a sense of that, it is only to prove that THEY are stuck in Reason #1. Saved people can be quite ignorant, too.
So, we can confidently determine if someone has been saved by examining their fruit over time, not by human standards but by what the bible teaches about these things. That’s why it is so, so important to be well-versed and knowledgable about the bible. There are lots of frauds out there; we can easily get sucked into false religion if we aren’t careful. The truly saved cannot lose their salvation because it wasn’t theirs to begin with. However, the saved CAN get seriously side-tracked and cause themselves LOTS of unnecessary problems.
What we DON’T know is who will be saved in the future. Just as no one can do anything that earns salvation, nothing is beyond God’s mercy. Even the nastiest of people sometimes are saved. You and I just don’t know, and that’s OK. It’s God’s business, not ours.
God has given the saved the responsibility to share the gospel with all humanity. Some will be saved, most will not. That’s God’s job. Ours is to pray for the lost and to actually open our mouths and speak the good news.
What do you say? Well, first you can tell your story, about how much God has done for you. We can easily forget our story, so it’s important to keep rehearsing it. It’s also important to learn just what actually happened. Most saved people think they were the one who chose God when, in fact, it was God who chose them! Once that narrative gets understood, the salvation story takes on a whole new perspective and enthusiasm! “Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me!”
You don’t have to be Billy Graham to share the gospel. Use your story in light of the bible. Look how simple the message can be from the lips of one of the greatest preachers of all time, the prophet Isaiah:
Isaiah 55:6-7 6 “Seek the Lord while he may be found;
call upon him while he is near;
7 let the wicked forsake his way,
and the unrighteous man his thoughts;
let him return to the Lord, that he may have compassion on him,
and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
Do your part. Deliver the message, and let God do what God will do after. It’s really that simple. Should you become a street preacher? Of course! But only if God sends you to do that. Seek him in these things, and he will certainly guide you in your own custom-designed mission.
Father, I pray that you send workers into the harvest. Indeed, I see it is ripe! Amen
Copyright © 2020 Scott Powers