“The Story Of Hope”

Posted: March 13, 2020 in Christian Life, Death, Gospel, Heaven, Hell, Resurrection, Salvation

Hopeless. Helpless. This is how many people in our world feel today. They don’t know for sure how mankind got here on earth and where we will go when we die. They fear death because they don’t know what is on the other side of it. Some dismiss heaven and hell from their thinking.

Class. Recently I have been teaching a class about “The Story Of Hope.” It is designed to help Christians lead lost people, who feel hopeless and helpless, to Christ so they can be saved (See John 1:41; 3:16; Acts 8:26 ff). We want to bring people out of darkness and into the light (Colossians 1:13;1 Peter 2:9). The future is as bright as the promises of God for true Christians (John 14:1-3; Psalm 16:11). But it isn’t bright for unbelievers who die without the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Savior (Matthew 25:30, 41, 46; Jude 1:13). God cannot and will not lie to us (Titus 1:2; John 14:6; 17:17). But we must know the promises and claim them for ourselves (Hebrews 4:2).

My Method. When I meet people in the market place, on a plane, or perhaps at the gym, I like to “break the ice” and begin a conversation with them by trying to find something in common with them. Many people are willing to talk about their work, their family, or their background. I let them talk. Then, if I can, I might share with them the story of our son, Bill’s death [1] to point out how fragile life is (James 4:14; Proverbs 27:1). Or I might tell them something about myself. I want to try to bring the conversation around to spiritual things. I usually say, “May I ask you something?”

Three Questions

Sure? Are you absolutely sure that you will go to heaven the moment you die?” The usual answer I get is, “I think/hope I will.” I ask, “Would you like to know for sure that you’ll go to heaven the moment you die?” Before I show them how this is possible, I like to ask them another question.

Why? “Why should God let you into His heaven?” The usual answer is, “I try my best to do what is right.” I ask, “How good do you think you have to be to get into heaven?” (This puzzles them.) If the person has a good answer to this question and believes that he/she is saved, I like to ask another question.

Lose? “If you believe that you are saved, is there anything you could do or fail to do that would cause you to lose your salvation? If so, what would it be?” (I like to ask this because some people, who are saved, lack assurance of their salvation. If I can, and if time permits, I like to proceed with the “Bad News & Good News.” Otherwise, I like to give them a clear Gospel tract or something I’ve written for them to take and read later.)

Bad News / Good News

Death. We’ve all sinned – acted lawlessly (Romans 3:23; 1 John 3:4). All of us deserve to die physically and be eternally separated from God in the lake of fire (Romans 6:23; Matthew 7:21-23; 25:30, 41, 46; Revelation 21:8).

Resurrection. But Christ died for our sins and rose again bodily on the third day. He can save anyone who puts his/her faith and trust in Him alone for his/her salvation (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4; Acts 16:31).

Only One Condition

Believe. If a person seems to be interested, I like to ask him/her, “Are you willing to place your faith in Christ alone to save you?” (Acts 16:31; Ephesians 2:8, 9). I point out that it’s not enough for you to know and believe the facts of the Gospel. You must transfer your faith from yourself and your good works over to Christ alone to save us. I ask, “Are you willing to do this right now?” (2 Corinthians 6:2; Proverbs 27:1). If he/she is willing to do this, I encourage them to tell God. I let him/her know that praying doesn’t save us. But it’s our way of letting God know of our decision to trust in Christ alone to save us. Here is a suggested prayer: “Dear God, I know I’m a sinner and that I can’t save myself. I believe that Christ died for my sins…and rose again bodily from the dead on the third day. I’m trusting in Him alone to save me. Thank You for the assurance that will come to me when I believe your promises to save me.” (Here are some promises that provide assurance of salvation for believers: John 3:16, 18, 36; 5:24; Romans 8:16; 1 John 5:13).

False Conditions. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and be baptized, join the church, give money, confess every sin you’ve ever committed, promise never to sin again, make Jesus the Lord and Master of your life, keep the sacraments, and/or do other good works. Good works don’t save anyone (Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5). They provide evidence of our faith to other people (James 2:18-20).

Formulas

The Right Formula. Grace + Faith = Salvation + Works

The Wrong Formula. Grace + Faith + Works = Salvation

Security & Assurance

When someone truly believes on the Lord Jesus Christ alone, through the message of the Gospel, he/she is saved instantly and is secure “in Christ” forever (John 10:28, 29; Ephesians 4:30). However, a true believer may not always feel like he/she is saved after sinning. The devil/demons like to put doubts into our minds when we sin (act lawlessly) or when we have unanswered questions.

Confession

When we sin, as Christians, we need to confess them (name them and be specific) to God and then claim His promise to forgive us (1 John 1:9). Then we need to learn how not to keep repeating the same sins (1 Corinthians 10:12, 13). We have three spiritual enemies that tempt us: the devil, the present world system, and our own sin nature.

Help. We’re here to glorify God by making Him known to others. We want to help you make sure of your salvation. Once saved, we want to help you grow spiritually (2 Peter 3:18) and help you identify the sources from which your temptations come, and to show you what you need to do so you don’t keep on sinning and grieving God (1 John 2:1; Ephesians 4:30). Perpetual sin, in the life of a Christian, could lead to a premature, physical death (James 5:19; 1 John 5:16; 1 Corinthians 11:30). Contact us through our website: www.kelseypeach.com. If this has helped you, please SHARE it with others.

[1] “The Death Of Our Son” https://kelseypeach.wordpress.com/2016/04/16/the-death-of-our-son-2/

Links

Bad News & Good News” https://kelseypeach.wordpress.com/2019/04/24/the-bad-news-the-good-news/

Do We Really Know The Gospel” https://www.faith.edu/1993/02/do-we-really-know-the-gospel/

“The Clear Gospel” http://www.cleargospel.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/English/English-Display-Pkg-2014.pdf

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