Offended by a Gospel tract

December 24, 2008

Yesterday Bradley posted this comment on this blog in response to receiving one of our tracts. We are always happy to have the kind of discussion that he requested. I have move the comment to its own post, so it’s easier for people to find. Well we should start with Bradley’s comment – here it is:

I find your material not only offensive, but not at all, that is the message you are purporting to bring, in the spirit of christianity. For example, I was walking through the Murray St Mall recently, when a pleasant enough women handed me a small piece of paper – your message – stating that I (1). have sinned (2) will spend eternity (because of my sin) in hell, and(3).conveniently enough, if I accept certain conditions and adjustments I may be fortunate enough to be forgiven (for what I do not know?) by some omnipotent entity who you are, apparently, on very familiar terms with.
Now I would like to respond, does any sane person truly believe (1). if some all-knowing etc entity was in fact able to remove all my supposed sin, that he may have, in the first instance, thus created a people, in his own image nonetheless (mind boggling stuff again, but more on this later), that were a little nicer, so they did not in fact require their sins to admonished?
Good point say I. Your material, which was handed to me in a public place, I find analogous to pornography. That is, I would not want my children to read it or to try and interpret it’s message. The implications resemble a horror movie (rated R or X) and as such should not be on public display.
Thus I find your actions reprehensible, irresponsible and worse yet, the conclusions one can draw from such material, may cause physical harm – in this world – which is the only world anyone has every spoken of with any authoritative and first hand experential knowledge.

Please respond, as I am interested in debating this topic further.
So, as all matters concerning human interests, which to your mind are the most pressing, please do (respond and debate) through the site so it (the debate) is in the public domain, so others who may not yet be fully committed to to your religious ideology, have an opportunity in which they can hear other, and as equally coherent, views expressed.

This should not be an issue, since if one is convinced in their belief, then there will be little I could say or do to change it. However, if they are not yet totally convinced, then we have equal opportunity to convince them one way or the other; that is , to convince them otherwise.

Kind Regards
Bradley

Bradley I am sorry that you are offended by the Good News (Gospel) of Jesus Christ. I want all people everywhere to receive Jesus as their King and Saviour, but I also know from scripture that this is not going to happen. I am sad, but not surprised, when someone finds the Gospel offensive.

The bible teaches that we all are rebels against God from birth. We are dead in our sins against a Holy God. We desperatly need God to have grace and mercy towards us and to shine His light into our blind condition. It is impossible for us to get right with God through our own effort – we need to be saved.

In your first paragraph you intimated that you have an appreciation of Christianity. What do you think the Christian message should be?


Get Equipped

December 1, 2007

As Christmas approaches, is your church starting to get ready to share the gospel with people who only come to a church for Christmas and Easter? I hope so, it’s a good opportunity. Let’s try and make sure that we share a faithful presentation whenever we get the chance.

I am reminded of this as I have recently heard some real stinkers. One was emailed to me by a dear friend. The other was at a church event designed as outreach. ARG!

Know the gospel, share it faithfully. Please!

If you’re not sure what the gospel really is, please read your bible carefully and in context and then check out freeoffer.wordpress.com for some ideas on ways to share it.


Their hearts bear witness…

November 9, 2007

heart

I was listening to way of the master last week and was very taken by a section sent in by a listener to WOTMR, sent in this quote from “Hope Lutheran church – C F W Walter”

“There is a difference between the Law and the Gospel. All religions contain PART of the Law. Some of the heathen have advanced so far that they have even perceived the necessity to have a inner cleansing of the sole. Purification of thoughts and desires, but of the Gospel not a particle is found except in the Christian religion.
The Law is written in their hearts, Their consciences bearing witness to them, but not the Gospel, this is why we need to go to the ends of the world. Had the Law not been written in men’s hearts, no one would listen to the preaching of the law. Everyone would turn away and say “That is too cruel, no body can keep the commandments, such as these!”
But my friends do not hesitate to preach the Law, people may revile it but they only do so with there mouths, but what you say to them is the things that there conscience is preaching to them everyday! [Unless God has let them go, and that is a terrifying thought…] Nor could we convert any person by preaching to him unless we preach the law to him first. It would be imposable to convert any one if the Law had not been written in men’s hearts.”
Read the rest of this entry »


‘Gift of the Gospel’: The Gospel by the numbers

October 27, 2007

I have recently come across the Westminster catechisms, it is the best orthodox Confession ever produced and is a “must read” for every Christian.However, today we are going to take a walk through the “Westminster shorter catechism” as it was written to be shared with lay people and young children, to give people a handle on huge parts of Christian theology, all while being spread over 107 small questions and answers.

The first 12 questions concern God as Creator.

Questions 13-20 deal with original sin and the fallen state of man’s nature.

Questions 21-38 concern Christ the Redeemer and the benefits that flow from redemption.

Questions, 39-84, discuss the ten commandments.

Questions 85-97 teach concerning the Sacraments of Baptism and Holy Communion. The final set of questions

98-107 teach and explain the Lord’s prayer.

So lets explore WSC for a clear, accurate, deep yet simple telling of the gospel spread over 22 of the questions

Q. 1. What is the chief end of man?

A. Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever. Read the rest of this entry »


‘Gift of the Gospel’: acceptance; you and God

October 21, 2007

This week’s gift of the gospel presentation comes to you from Pastor Fred VanHulst of The Branch Christian Church thebranch.org.au

Roll over the microphone and use the ‘snap shot’ player or right click and save it to disk.


Deadly Serious Offer About Life

October 13, 2007

Talked to a guy today, he told me that his dad had died of pneumococcal infection in his early 40s. His dad had faith when he passed away but the son didn’t. I talked to a woman earlier in the week whom I had bought my family car from a few months ago. She informed me that her healthy 56 year old husband had died from complications in a routine operation just two weeks ago. I was reassured to hear that this woman’s husband had recently professed faith and started attending church. Death has been in my radar through these and many other experiences in recent days and months. Death is real. Death is certain. Timing is the only variable. You are going to die. I am going to die. When?

As I was pondering this fact I wanted to remind myself of the only comfort that really matters when you die. It’s the answer to this question: where will I spend eternity?Hell and Heaven are both equally impossible to really comprehend. Eternal joy and peace or eternal pain and torment. These are ultimate realities but often a long way from our daily experience. We often get a mingled taste of pleasant and unpleasant experiences and occasionally (in our middle class – western society) make forays into the extreme highs and extreme lows. Jesus was very certain about these realities. Read the rest of this entry »


Gift of the Gospel – Why is Jesus so Narrow Minded?

October 8, 2007

In the bible we read Jesus repeatedly explaining himself to be the exclusive means of forgiveness. Jesus does not give room for any other paths to God. He is clear that things such as forgiveness, love, joy and heaven are found exclusively in him. According to Jesus any other ‘way’ is not a way at all but a sham; Jesus claims nothing less than exclusive authority and ability to save sinners. (Jn. 14.6; Mat. 7.13-14)

So to why is Jesus so narrow minded?

because there is only one God

The bible teaches that there are not many Gods but rather just one. And from this one God everything that has been made was made. This same God now sustains everything with his own power & sovereignty. People may claim that there are other Gods, however, God, in response, says that this is not true. God is intolerant of competition. (Is. 44.6-8; Acts 17.24-28)

because of the high standards of God

God has made everything for himself, to give him pleasure. His standard is inflexible. He demands absolute perfection. The way in which this shows itself is by loving him with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength. This is shown through passionate devotion & obedience to God.

Even the slightest variation from God’s design is rebellion & God views rebellion as worse than treason. The consequence for rebellion is death; expressed now in terms of death, sickness, and inability to earn his favor, and ultimately in terms of eternal condemnation. Where perfect love for God is lacking certain & relentless divine judgment is present. (Mat. 22.36-40; Rom. 3.23; Rom. 6.23; Col. 1.16; Jam. 2.10)

because it is the truth

Jesus himself being God is perfect & cannot lie. So we must remember that if Jesus said it then it is true! Jesus became a man to live here on earth. In his life he showed perfect & sinless love through obedience to God. Jesus is the only substitute for rebels. Our responsibility as humanity is to please God according to his standards (this we did not do), however, Jesus did.

And further Jesus also satisfied the inflexible justice of God by bearing the eternal judgment of God on the cross. Jesus distinguishes himself as the only one eligible to live perfectly and pay adequately for rebels who stand in God’s righteous crosshairs. (2 Cor. 14.6; Tit. 1.2; Heb. 1.3)

JESUS’ narrow MESSAGE for everyone

God was satisfied with Jesus work furnishing proof by raising him from the dead. Now Jesus commands his followers to tell everyone the glorious truth that he is the only Savior; the only one who is able to give rebels forgiveness, life, joy & heaven.

This forgiveness is not automatic like voting when we are 18; instead it comes by recognizing Jesus as king & ruler over our lives. In doing this we turn from rebellion (sin) & turn to Jesus (submission). It is this posture of submission to Jesus as king & following him as Lord that characterizes the Christian life & gives God pleasure.

While there is not room on Jesus’ narrow road for other saviors, there is room for everyone who will come to him for life. Jesus’ truth telling then shows him to not only be the exclusive Savior, but the loving Savior! (Jn. 14.6; Acts 17.30-31; 1 Tim. 2.5; Jn. 3.16-18)

This gospel presentation has been downloaded from Irish Calvinist. It is available as a free tract download. Thanks to Irish Calvinist for their ministry.