Even sinners know something is fishy with the ‘all you have to do is believe’ gospel.

Think back . . . don’t they ask a lot of questions like they’re trying to figure out ‘what’s the catch’?

I think it’s because, deep down (at least when we were children and still had a conscience) when we do something wrong, we feel guilty and know we need to say we’re sorry to whoever we’ve injured or offended. Deep down, if the Holy Spirit has been drawing a person to God, they feel dirty and guilty, and ache to tell God they’re sorry and ask His forgiveness.

But in steps a well meaning pseudo-Christian with the false ‘only believe’ gospel, and throws a monkey wrench into the process. He tells the sinner ‘God loves you–it’s just your sin He hates’. (How in the world do these folks suppose that God sees the sin apart from the person who performed it?!) Then, after much persuasion that God wants to accept them ‘just as they are’, the sinner sets aside the idea of repentance and accepts the false gospel.

(Zealous ‘evangelist’, you’ve brought the sinner right to the point of (new) birth, and let them die in the birth canal! Repentance is the way in which we come to Jesus Christ!)

Then, lest they ever possibly come to repentance in the future, they are told that ‘there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus’ . . . forgetting the other half of the verse (Romans 8:1) and the fact that the person never repented in the first place!!

If you are witnessing to people about salvation, please understand this: It is not YOUR job to persuade people to become saved. THAT is the job of the Holy Spirit. It is your job to preach about sin and repentance. WHILE you are doing that, the Holy Spirit is working in their heart to convict them of their own, personal sins. When you give the invitation, if they have ALLOWED the Holy Spirit to bring them to repentance, they will respond to the invitation. Then you can lead them in a prayer of repentance.

But if they have resisted the Holy Spirit, they will not accept the invitation. Let it go!! If the Holy Spirit was not able to persuade them, neither can you. Know that the things you said were seeds planted. The Holy Spirit will continue to bring those things to their remembrance. When the time is right, they will find you again, or God will send someone else their way, or they will cry out to Him on their own.

We are not to be salesmen. Don’t cheapen the gospel by trying to ‘sell it’ to people. We are to be messengers: that people are separated from God by their sins. If and when the person’s heart is pricked with remorse, they will ask YOU what they can do about it!

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