Dear Gail, Thank you for your sincere reply. Please let me try to explain what I didn't have time to explain in our short meeting at the Old Town car show. The over 150 one-page papers on www.preach-the-gospel.org I have written over the years explain anything I leave off and I make reference to some of them thoughout the letter. The good news reports, also on the website, tell about our exploits to furthed the gospel throughout the week. The papers and good news reports have only one aim: to encouraging others to preach the gospel and to teach others to preach it (Mk 16.15 & Mt 28.20).
I have found it that telling the good news (gospel) to another in person with our mouth gives them the opportunity to believe on Christ and be saved (Jn 3.36, 6.47,1 Cor 1.21 & Eph 6.19). Salvation includes forgiveness of sins (See SAVED on www.preach-the-gospel.org for an explanation of 'saved'.). You wrote, "With this being said, you have to believe that in order to confess with you mouth that He is Lord and Saviour, you have to first understand that you are a sinner, lost and destined to spend eternity in Hell without Him. So why would you not ask Him to forgive you of your sin?" Rom 10.9 states, "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God has raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." The word confess, "homologeo," according to the strongs concordance, is the same word Jesus used in Mt 10.32 when he said, "Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven, " It means to profess, not to say a prayer as we have interpreted it in our 'plan of salvation'. I wrote a one-page paper entitled THE SINNER'S PRAYER on www.preach-the-gospel.org explaining scripture by scripture how the passages used to support the sinner's prayer are misinterpreted. Will you please read it and let me know what you think? Salvation comes by grace through faith (belief) alone. See 47 PASSAGES ON BELIEF on www.preach-the-gospel.org that prove that a person is saved solely by believing (Faith).
The instant a person hears the good news (gospel) preached to them in person by mouth they have the opportunity to believe on Christ (with their heart) and be saved (Jn 6.47, Eph 6.19 & Rom 10.9). I find that most do believe, for the gospel is God's power to save every one that believes (Rom 1.16 & IS 55.11). I see the holy Spirt fall on them the instant they believe after I tell them the good news (Acts 10.44 & 11.15 ) and witness the fruit of the Spirit in their lives from this point onward (Gal 5.22-23). The problem is that the gospel is not being preached in person with our mouths by every believer, as it ought to be (See SHOD YOUR FEET on www.preach-the-gospel.org) not that people will not believe it.
The gospel must first be defined before we can preach it, of course. The Apostle Paul clearly defines the gospel in his first letter to the Corinthian believers - "Moreover, brethren, I delare unto you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you have received, and wherein you stand... For I delivered to you first all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins, according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures (1 Cor 15.1-4)." The gospel is easily preached to another after asking them if they have heard the good news (Gospel means good news) and replying - "Christ died for our sins, he was buried, and he rose the third day (v 3-4).
The other problem is that we have added a 'plan of salvation' whereby we must show a person that they are a sinnner and have them say a 'prayer of salvation' (See PLAN OF SALVATION and PRAYER OF SALVATION on www.preach-the-gospel.org). The 'plan of salvation' can only be preached from a pulpit. Christ commands us to - "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believes and is baptized shall be savedl. He did not say to present a 'plan of salvation'. This is man's doing. And we have swallowed it hook line and sinker (See THE BIG LIE on www.preach-the-gospel.org).
Concerning repentance, "... the goodness of God leads thee to repentance (Rom 2.4)." "Being confident of this very thing, that he which has begun a good work in you will perform it until that day of Jesus Christ (Phil 1.6)." The work begins the instant a person believes on Christ after we tell them the good news, so we better start telling the good news and teaching them that believe to tell it! If we are not confessing Christ with our mouth (Eph 6.19) then we are not of God, according to the Apostle John (1 Jn 4.3). We must repent if we aren't preaching the gospel and teaching them that believe to preach it (Mk 16.15 & Mt 28.20).
Thank you again for e-mailing us Gail. I look forward to hearing from you again. Maybe we will see you at Old Town. We plan on preaching the gospel there tonight.
Harry & Wipha
Please read a one-page paper on www.preach-the-gospel.org each day to be encouraged to preach the gospel and teach others to preach it (Jas 1.22-25).
We did not get a chance to finish our conversation the other day at Old Town so I would like to try and finish my thoughts here. As you said, it is by God's grace that we are saved, not by any works of our own. And the Gospel is clear as in Acts 16:31, John 3:16, etc..
I imagine there are some churches out there that believe that you have to say a specific prayer in order to be saved but as you say, that is not the true gospel and I really cannot speak to what churches preach such.
However, many people say they believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, i.e., that He actually lived, He was a good man, died on the cross, etc., but really do not understand who He really is. He is God in the flesh! And if you understand who God is, Holy and Pure, you understand that you cannot possibly come into His presence with sin in your life. And you know that Jesus was sent to be our Saviour such as stated throughout the New Testament such as in 1 John 4:14 "And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world." And we are all sinners, Romans 3:23 "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God". With this being said, you have to believe that in order to confess with you mouth that He is Lord and Saviour, you have to first understand that you are a sinner
I know for myself it was a dramatic experience. I knew who Christ supposedly was, but it wasn't until I finally understood that I was a sinner and had no hope of eternity without Him, that l I asked Him to forgive me. With that He came into my heart, forgave me of my sin, and now I am a joint-heir with Christ (Romans 8:17)!
Acts 2:36-38 "Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ. Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost."
No, it is not the fact that you say a certain prayer or are even baptized, but if you truly believe in Christ and you understand who He really is, you will ask Him to forgive you and you will follow Him in baptism. This is certain…
As for including us in your good news report, please with-hold for now. I need to read your material a little more carefully to see what you are sharing before I would agree.
In Christ We Stand,
To learn more about preaching the Gospel please visit www.Preach-the-Gospel.org.
Copyright © 2012 Preach-the-Gospel.org and Good News Church