In my book Always Be Ready to Give an Answer! I developed a strategy for personal evangelism to overcome the fear most Christians have of being asked questions they can’t answer. We tackle this fear with the approach Jesus used by discerning the motive of the questioner. Jesus often did not answer questions but responded with his another question! For example in Matthew 21:23–25 “And when he (Jesus) entered the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came up to him as he was teaching, and said, ‘By what authority are you doing these things, and who gave you this authority?’ Jesus answered them, ‘I also will ask you one question, and if you tell me the answer, then I also will tell you by what authority I do these things. The baptism of John, from where did it come? From heaven or from man?’” The Pharisees were stumped and had to withdraw their question. Jesus had made them see their motive and DID NOT answer their question. You can do the same. Don’t answer the question. Get to the gospel first by using the Spiritual Equations to share Christ simply and quickly. The two equations are “Justice” and “Mercy”.
Mankind = All men and women born from Adam and Eve. This is everyone that lives on earth, except Jesus Christ. Jesus was not a son of Adam because of the virgin birth. That’s why he’s called the second Adam.
God’s Law = The moral law of God given to Moses and Israel in the Old Testament. It’s God’s rules for mankind’s behavior that must be kept perfectly to avoid God’s justice.
Good Works = All the different things men do to try to please God.
Grace/Faith = The gospel of Jesus Christ as given in the New Testament “for by grace you are saved through faith”. Jesus made the payment for sin by his death on the cross
Hell = Eternal separation from God resulting from His justice for violating the moral law. Everyone! No exceptions. No one can be good enough because the standard is perfection and no son or daughter of Adam can ever be perfect in this life. As is commonly said, “I’m only human!”
Heaven = God’s reward to the elect who have been called, justified, sanctified, and finally glorified. They have received grace (mercy) and live by faith.
“Justice”. Mankind + God’s Law + Good Works = Hell
“Mercy”. Mankind + God’s Law + Grace/Faith = Heaven + Good Works
Note common threads in both equations, starting with mankind and God’s law. Both contain good works, but on opposite sides of the equation. The results are direct opposites: hell or heaven. We conclude:
1) Without grace/faith, no amount of good works can bring us to heaven!
2) God’s justice MUST be satisfied that judgment is Hell for all mankind
2) Hell is the only result mankind can expect on his own merit without God’s intervention.
3) With mercy (grace/faith), mankind receives heaven and good works result their life.
Lesson: Christians can be empowered to share the gospel quickly and easily by using spiritual equations for “justice” and “mercy”.
This blog is adapted from pages 55-57 in Always Be Ready to Give an Answer! Charlie is also author of: ANSWERS For “The Hope That Is In You.” http://yourchristiananswers.com
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