Recently, I had the opportunity to share my faith on two separate occasions. What struck me the most—as I spoke with each of them—was how they had clinged to a distorted view of their eternal destination. Both men had a false assurance which had proceeded from a faulty understanding of salvation.
The first person saw his faith as something that could be earned through good works. It was his belief that a lifetime of good effort would simply outweigh the bad in the eyes of God. But worse yet was the second individual, who told me that he was relying upon a profession he had made long, long ago—yet sadly there’s been no evidence of a change of heart ever taking place (see James 2:14-26).
Both of these conversations were convicting for me. It’s one thing for a person to reject the truth, but altogether another for them to not be in possession of it.
If we are honest, during these divine appointments there is a struggle between the fear of man and the fear of God. We care what others think, often at the expense of what God thinks. Will we communicate the absolute truth about every man, woman and child’s sinful condition or cave to the prospect of being a cool fool? Call it misaligned priorities. A tug of war between the flesh and the Spirit; where the call to share the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ is in direct opposition to the pressures of compromise.
When we blur the message it is no longer God’s message. A false gospel misrepresents the original. The Apostle Paul warned of this very thing to the churches of Galatia. There was a different, distorted, and divergent gospel that was permeating their culture:
I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed! (Gal 1:6-9)
Wow, what a warning! When sharing the gospel it is imperative that we keep it to the biblical gospel. It is this message that addresses the need for man to be reconciled to God. It is this message where the power of God resides, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek” (Rom. 1:16).
We must confidently proclaim the gospel, because we know that there will be power, God’s power, attached to its message. This is what frees us from being ashamed, from a desire to blur the message.
Ken Ham makes the same claim in his book Why Won’t They Listen?,1
The doctrine of sin, its consequences, and the fact that we are all descendants of this first man is why we are sinners and why we need salvation… if we are people of the Book, if we say that the Bible is our rock, our touchstone of truth, turn to it unashamedly.
Make it the foundation of your thinking in every area… we need to ask ourselves, “Where is our allegiance? To the Words of God, or the plans, programs and opinions of mere men? Who do we tremble at?”
The “Words of God” help us to see our need for a Savior. It is a sad truth: we are all lost sinners in need of a right and restored relationship with God. But there is good news: God has provided a way!
“If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation” (Rom 10:9-10).
This glorious gospel proclaims that the Son of God lived a perfect life in obedience to the Law, yielding Himself to the Father’s will of being the sacrificial Lamb for sin. A double imputation would take place. Jesus would be imputed the sins of all who believe (past, present and future), and these same believers would be imputed His righteousness. God then brought forth Jesus from the dead—and believers have been promised that they too, will rise and be joined with Him (cf. 1 Cor. 15).
We must never waiver from this, never blur its message—most especially when sharing with others. Do we love them enough to tell them the whole truth? It is a matter of eternal life or death.
1 Ham, Ken. Why They Won’t Listen: The Power of Creation Evangelism (Green Forest: Master Books, 2010). 116, 153.