Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The Gospel and its proclamation (part 7): Finale

[continued from here, here, here, here, here and here]

We have seen that the Gospel is to be proclaimed in words, especially through the medium of preaching, and we have also seen the wrong way of sharing the Gospel message by the Amyraldians, neo-Amyraldians and the crypto-Arminians. So how exactly are we to proclaim the Gospel?

First of all, the proclamation of the Gospel must contain the Gospel, which includes elements such as the sinfulness of Man, the wrath of God against sin, the death of Christ on the Cross and His resurrection from the dead, the command to repent of our sins and believe in Jesus, and the consequences of doing so and of NOT doing so. We are to, like the apostle Peter, implore others to turn to Christ (Acts 2:40) and plead with them regarding their salvation from the coming judgment of God. The sincere promise of the Gospel, that ALL who turn to Christ will be saved, must be made known.

Note the difference between such a presentation and the presentation which the Amyraldians would give if they are consistent with their theology. Nowhere in the Gospel presentation should we tell others that God loves them, or that God loves them despite everything which they have done, which the Bible does not do so anyway. Our exhortation to sinners is along the lines of 'Repent and save yourselves', not 'God loves you and please accept Him'. The basis of our exhortation is thus also different: we should implore others based upon the fact that they are in danger of hellfire, rather than the 'fact' that God wants them to turn to Him. The former puts God in charge, and pleads for Man to escape hellfire, whereas the latter puts Man in charge as it elevates human autonomy to accept God or not, even in the decision to escape hellfire.

The reason why this is so important in the Gospel presentation is that only the sick would need a doctor (Mt. 9:12; Mk. 2:17; Lk. 5:31). Unless and until we expose the sinfulness of Man, no one would see their need of a Savior to save them from their sins. If we just present Jesus as anything less than a Savior from the utter wickedness of our sins, then we diminish the message of the Gospel. If Man is made to believe that they can somehow help themselves, even in being given the choice to decide to accept Christ or not, then they have not seen the gravity of their own sins and thus the Gospel message is compromised. Only when they know that they are helpless and doomed before the wrath of an Almighty God would they realize the awfulness of their sin and cry out to God for mercy.

The Gospel presentation must be one of urgency also. Since the Gospel is the only things that saved, then we should show urgency in bringing the message to dying sinners. God wants His people saved (2 Peter. 3:9), and we are the instruments (Mt. 28:18-20) that He uses to accomplish His mission of saving all His lost sheep (Mt. 18:10-14). Yes, their salvation ultimately does not depend on ourselves, since Christ has already said that all that the Father has given to Him would come to Him (Jn. 6:37) and would not be cast out (Jn. 6:37), but that doesn't mean that we can be disobedient to God's commands. Furthermore, we should all the more go out and evangelize since we have the confidence that all of God's people WILL respond to the Gospel sooner or later, unlike the synergists who have no assurance that their proclamation of the Gospel would save anyone.

Last of all, the Gospel presentation should be passionate. If you don't even believe in the Gospel, or show no sign of really believing it, how can you share it with others?

In conclusion, the Gospel message is to be proclaimed in such a way that the glory and holiness of God is lifted up, and the sinfulness of Man is exposed. Only then will the grace of God towards sinners shine and people would eagerly turn to Jesus Christ, if they are convicted of their sins. We should present the Gospel urgently too, knowing that time is short and we should do so with the passion of truly believing this truth of the Gospel. Such a Gospel presentation would be one that honors God, and would thus be blessed and used of God mightily in the salvation of His people and the condemnation of the reprobates (2 Cor. 2:16a).



Biby Cletus said...

Cool blog, i just randomly surfed in, but it sure was worth my time, will be back

Deep Regards from the other side of the Moon

Biby Cletus

casebo said...

i'll be here soon... :D