Evangelism & the law
I am fifteen years old and have grown up in a Christian home. When I was seven, my mom shared the ‘gospel’ with me and asked if I would like to ‘pray a prayer’. As a young child, of course, I said yes and thought I was a Christian. I knew all the Sunday school answers, but I never paid attention to the sermons.
In the seventh grade, I decided to actually listen for once. The young man speaking to our youth group was talking about Job giving God the glory in suffering. I began listening on a regular basis – and started questioning my faith. Second Corinthians 13:5 says, ‘Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realise … that Jesus Christ is in you? – unless indeed you fail to meet the test!’
I started to do just that – examine myself – and didn’t pass the test. I was a false convert. However, in the midst of it all, I heard the true gospel and was convicted of my sin. I repented and put my trust in Jesus Christ alone.
Using the Law
I started listening to ‘The Way of the Master Radio’ (WOTM) with Todd Friel. I noticed that their method of evangelism was different – WOTM uses the Ten Commandments (the Law) to show people their sin.
The Law is the key to seeking and saving the lost. That is what the Law is used for. It is Law to the proud, grace to the humble. Why would sinners seek a Saviour if they don’t see their need to be saved? Galatians 3:24 says, ‘the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith’.
Charles Spurgeon said, ‘I do not believe that any man can preach the gospel who does not preach the Law. The Law is the needle, and you cannot draw the silken thread of the gospel through a man’s heart unless you first send the needle of the Law to make way for it’.
My church was teaching something different. We were taught to share the good news first and only later mention sin. We also invited people to ‘pray a prayer’ – the very thing that made me a false convert. If a person is truly at the place of repentance and faith, God will show them what they need to say. Of course, we can pray for them that they will understand and grow.
Problem with programs
I found myself in a dilemma. ‘Should I take part in my church’s evangelism program if I’m not in agreement with the program?’ I searched the Scriptures, listened to some sound preachers, and sought godly counsel.
One fellow believer pointed out the problem with programs – they teach you to use a ‘system’ instead of speaking from your heart. We should seek to show people that they are sinners needing a Saviour because they have broken God’s perfect standards. They also need to understand repentance and faith. If you leave them with that knowledge, you have fulfilled your duty.
I came to understand that we cannot save or convict anyone. We are to go into the world and preach the gospel. When we do that, the seed is planted and God gets the glory! Go serve your King!