By delivering His people from sin’s power and penalty, God has given every Christian a testimony—a story of sin and grace; justice and mercy; failure and redemption. Yet, a personal testimony of salvation in Christ is unique to all other stories we can tell. We might have warm-hearted stories of time spent with family or riveting stories of adventure and friendship. Our testimony of salvation in Christ is unique, however, for it is the story through which all our other stories find meaning and significance. Continue reading “The Value of Your Salvation Testimony”
Over the years as I’ve witnessed to and talked to Mormons, I have always made it my goal in our conversation to demonstrate that Mormonism and Christianity are two entirely different religions. The reason I take this approach is because Mormons call themselves Christians, use Christian terms, and claim to be the restored (i.e., true) church of Jesus Christ. These claims are confusing, both to practicing Mormons and those with whom they converse.
My goal is the same for this brief article. I want you to see clearly that Mormonism is not a branch or denomination of Christianity, but that it is, in fact, something entirely different. I want you to see that Mormonism is, in the final analysis, a false religion that holds no resemblance whatsoever to historic Christianity. Continue reading “Is Mormonism Just Another Christian Denomination?”
I recently engaged in a light Twitter exchange with a few atheists after I posted the following tweet:
Christians love atheists and adherents of other religions, not because we accept their worldview, but precisely because we don’t.
— Derek Brown (@DerekBrown24) April 12, 2016
A few self-described atheists didn’t think this statement sounded too loving. One suggested that I needed to “open my heart.” Another said that “Christian love” is a joke over which no one is laughing anymore.
My point in the tweet was to highlight the truth that the Christian worldview, when truly embraced, enables a person to love those with whom they disagree. For example, as a Christian I believe the biblical doctrines about God, humanity, Christ, heaven, hell, and salvation to be true. Because of this, I do not accept worldviews like atheism, agnosticism, Buddhism, Hindusim, Islam, to name a few, because these belief systems are contrary to biblical Christianity and therefore not true. Yet the Christian worldview, while simultaneously requiring me to reject contrary worldviews as false, enables me to love atheists and those who adhere to other religions for two basic reasons. Continue reading “How Do Christians Love People With Different Worldviews?”
As the debate over evangelistic methods continues among fellow evangelicals, important theological questions are sometimes ignored in favor of pragmatic concerns. When it comes to the actual practice of evangelism, however, there are some theological questions that will have immediate influence on our approach to gospel proclamation—whether we realize it or not. One question over which I have mused for many years is the question of whether or not we should encourage an unbeliever to ask God for saving faith. Continue reading “Should We Encourage Unbelievers to Ask God for Saving Faith?”
Prior to his death in 1975, Paul Little was a devoted disciple of Jesus Christ and committed evangelist of the gospel. Little and his wife worked for twenty-five years with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship—a ministry dedicated to serving Christian college students and bringing the gospel to unbelievers in a university context. Little also served as an associate professor of evangelism at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois, and authored two other popular books, Know Why You Believe and Affirming the Will of God.
What is the Gospel? How can we explain it to others? Mark Dever and Paul Alexander in their book, The Deliberate Church, give a helpful explanation of the gospel:
The most important aspect of evangelism is the evangel—the Gospel, the Good News. If we are not getting the evangel right according to the Word, then whatever we’re doing, it can’t be called evangelism. So what are the essentials of evangelism? We can sum them up in four words: God, man, Christ, and response. God is our holy Creator and righteous Judge. He created us to glorify Him and enjoy Him forever (Genesis 2:7; 16-17; 18:25; Matt.25:31-33). But mankind has rebelled against God by sinning against His holy character and law (Gen. 3:1-7). We’ve all participated in this sinful rebellion, both in Adam as our representative head an in our own individual actions (I Kings 8:46; Rom. 3:23; 5:12, 19; Eph. 2:1-3). As a result, we have alienated ourselves from God and have exposed ourselves to His righteous wrath, which will banish us eternally to hell if we are not forgiven (Eph. 2:12; John 3:36; Rom. 1:18; Matt. 13:50). But God sent Jesus Christ, fully God and fully man, to die the death that we deserved for our sins—the righteous for the unrighteous—so that God might both punish our sin in Christ and forgive it in us (John 1:14; Rom 3:21-26; 5:6-8; Eph. 2:4-6). The only saving response to this Good News is repentance and belief (Matt. 3:2; 4:17; Mark 1:15; Luke 3:7-9; John 20:31). We must repent of our sins (turn from them and to God) and believe in Jesus for forgiveness of our sins and reconciliation to God.
God, man, Christ, response. Remember—it’s not evangelism without the evangel (51-52).
We can talk to a lot of people; we can have a lot of discussions over coffee and talk about family, philosophy, the weather, and even the Bible. But if we are not giving people the Gospel, let us not fool ourselves into thinking that we are actually practicing evangelism. Let’s know the Gospel. Let’s preach the Gospel.