Continued from yesterday. Observations concerning witnessing to atheists based on the debate between Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron vs Atheists Brian Sapient and "Kelly" as screened on ABC Nightline. Ray and Kirk were widely criticized by many Christians for not pulling out the heavy apologetic artillery in fighting the cause of the existence of God. But is that criticism biblically informed. Today is the final installment of this series and fifth observation on how we should evangelize atheists:
People don't reject the Gospel because it wasn't presented in a clever or attractive manner, people reject the Gospel because they love darkness and hate the light.
Again, John 3 explains to us why people reject the Gospel. It is amazing how much neglected yet important information is contained in the verses following John 3:16. Information so important in fact that a working knowledge could have saved many "seeker sensitive" pastors a lot of time and effort with how they approached evangelism.
Joh 3:19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
Joh 3:20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
Again, I commend Ray and Kirk for avoiding the conventional route of clever argument and instead choosing to reason of sin, righteousness and judgement. It's not rocket science - people love sin and therefore hate the light of God's Holiness. With this in mind and knowing our own sinfulness and the incredible mercy extended to us by God, let us approach the task of evangelism with deep humility but strong urgency to show the sinner (as lovingly as we can) that his deeds are evil and his primary need is not happiness but righteousness. Reasoning from God's law is the only way to show the sinner his exceeding sinfulness and warn of the coming judgement as Paul did in his sermon to the pagan culture of his time
Act 17:30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:
Act 17:31 Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.
In the Old Testament God continually reminded the Israelites that they should remember that they were once strangers in Egypt. We Christians should humble ourselves in the memory that we were once strangers from God and that our redemption had nothing to do with our own merit (because we have none) but by God's grace so that we could never boast in anything but the cross of our risen Saviour. With this in mind may we plead with lost souls appealing to the Holiness of God, the wretchedness of man, the justice of God in punishing sin, that God punished Himself in our place, sealed our eternal hope through His resurrection, and that all men must respond in repentance and faith.
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For The Church, With The Church
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