Author Topic: What is the right way to present the Gospel to an audience?  (Read 1875 times)

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Offline fullarmor2

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What is the right way to present the Gospel to an audience?
« on: November 05, 2008, 04:59:30 PM »
     The other day I was listening to a well known minister.  And the way he presented the Gospel and then gave the alter call at the end just didn't sit well with me.   Basically  he made everyone understand that they are sinners which is fine.   And he said that if you do what I ask you to do you can be saved,   meaning,   come to the alter and surrender.  And it just didn't sound like the good news I now believe.    And I remember thinking,   why doesn't  he come out on the stage and say hey everyone,   I got great news!   God loves us so much that he ALREADY saved us!  Its a done deal!  And now my friends,  all you have to do is find about it and simply begin a new relationship with God.   Learn about what God has already done for you. And about how God wants you to change and to become a better person by receiving God's love and practicing it. 
    Thats all.   I  simply mean that I want to hear the Gospel presented as the good news that it is. Not like somebody handing out life preservers on the Titanic. Which will not even work because the water is too cold!   Know what I mean?
       
« Last Edit: November 05, 2008, 05:10:30 PM by fullarmor2 »
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martincisneros

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Re: What is the right way to present the Gospel to an audience?
« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2008, 05:21:16 AM »
If you ever take a cruise, try to get on board with cayenne supplements.  If things go south then take an obscene number of them before you're in the water.

There's a Spirit-filled way of sharing the Word and then there's a way for everybody else to do it.  I recommend the Spirit-filled way 'cause it's more fun.

For everybody else, there's:

1. God's plan in the Creation
2. What went wrong
3. God's solution in Christ
4. The call to repent and embrace His Lordship per Acts 17, Acts 20, Romans 10, 2Corinthians 5, etc.

For others:

1. What God did wrong
2. Why He did it wrong
3. How He's making it right
4. Why He'll never ever do it again

A much easier way than either the Arminian or Predeterminist ways above is to emphasize the need of mankind and how it tries to disguise itself or to distract from the main issue.  Emphasize God's only provisions being through Jesus Christ.  Emphasize the Gospel's demands upon every life.  And then presuppose the intelligence of the people to get things right with the Lord after you've explained the simplicity of it and then from that point forward start sharing how to live a new life in Christ and emphasize their righteousness in Christ rather than abusing and twisting 1John 1:8 and 1John 1:10 which were written to the Docetists and not to Christians.

When my ministry was exclusively Word of Faith, this was essentially my game plan each time I had either a one-on-one with someone or a crowd:  Emphasize the provisions in Christ, how to tap into them, what keeps you from enjoying the fruits of the work of Christ, and how to keep the devil locked out of your life.

The 4 point outlines above easily turn into 6 to 16 if you're the least bit sensitive to the Holy Spirit's leading on things that you mention along the way that you wind up stopping to elaborate on.  And then this turns into this which turns into this before you make your way back to your general outline.  And when you've explained the whole world, you've gotta be careful not to lose their souls :icon_jokercolor: by making sure that you bring in the net with offering to pray with people to receive the answer to their needs, to commit or recommit their lives to Christ, His Gospel, His plan for their lives, and His peace and carefree lifestyle for them.

It's really not that hard.  What you have a lot of times is people either parroting how they've always heard it done and/or people that are so full of condemnation that they're just condemning everyone else around them.  You've got to keep in mind:

Hurt people, hurt people;
Condemned people, condemn people;
Angry people, anger people;
Fearful people, scare everyone else;
Edified and confident people edify and build confidence in others;
Loved people, love people;
Insecure people hack away at the security of others;
Unstable people work at pulling others off of their foundation;
Unindoctrinated people try to pull others away from knowing all of the doctrines of the Scriptures;
Questioning people [unintentionally but] destructively try to make confident people question their foundation in Christ;
Carefree people remove the burdens from others;
Bold people embolden others.

martincisneros

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Re: What is the right way to present the Gospel to an audience?
« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2008, 05:28:18 AM »
It's really not that hard.  What you have a lot of times is people either parroting how they've always heard it done and/or people that are so full of condemnation that they're just condemning everyone else around them.  You've got to keep in mind:

Hurt people, hurt people;
Condemned people, condemn people;
Angry people, anger people;
Fearful people, scare everyone else;
Edified and confident people edify and build confidence in others;
Loved people, love people;
Insecure people hack away at the security of others;
Unstable people work at pulling others off of their foundation;
Unindoctrinated people try to pull others away from knowing all of the doctrines of the Scriptures;
Questioning people [unintentionally but] destructively try to make confident people question their foundation in Christ;
Carefree people remove the burdens from others;
Bold people embolden others.
Just wanting to make sure that everybody realizes that these 12 or so comments that I closed my last post with were with regards to ministers in the pulpit and they weren't condemnations of people that are searching for answers.  They're not always applicable to everyone, but with those that speak the most regularly with larger numbers, as in the case of ministers, these are usually the state of the union.

Offline reFORMer

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Re: What is the right way to present the Gospel to an audience?
« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2008, 08:14:12 AM »
What I would like to answer is, "What is the true gospel as distinguished from other so-called gospels?"  Maybe another thread.

The right way to do anything of God is how God has made you to function.  You need to aquire experience, preferably with the brethren, flowing together under the headship of Christ.  This way you've been judged for what you do and say.  You're practised in yielding to the qickening of the Holy Spirit who inhabits many vessels and are yourself ready to impart spirit to others.  Some more emphasize the Word, the seed form that carries the Spirit.  Others tend more to pour out Spirit like water for the seed to sprout and be nourished in good soil.  These aren't exclusive differences.  All should grow to be ready for any good work.

Notice how the writings of various men of God are different from each other? or even narrowed down to the N.T. authors and the stories concerning their lives -- each has a unique personality displaying the grace of God.  Peter is distinct from Paul.  John is so special.  And how about James?  Be the you God made to function is His unction.  David couldn't go forth in another's armor he'd not proved for himself.

But...so many in the public eye have a confused idea of what "the gospel" even consists long before we ever get to God's ultimate disposition of mankind.
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Offline jabcat

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Re: What is the right way to present the Gospel to an audience?
« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2008, 08:37:00 AM »
My understanding;

"No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him,", John 6:44, and "Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out" Acts 3:19.

I personally don't believe we can just decide we're going to "follow Jesus and live a good life".  IMO, lots of folks "make the effort", but that's what it is, "an effort/works".  

God is calling and choosing some now, and I believe scripture is clear there is a specific moment when one is given the faith to repent (turn from/to), believe/trust Christ's work on the cross.

I believe that's the way it needs to be shared, i.e.,   "Jesus died and rose again for your salvation...trust Him as your Savior, ask His forgiveness".  If God is calling and choosing a person, they will spiritually hear and be given faith to believe.  If not, it's not their time and God will draw them as He chooses. God's blessing, James.
Neither should there be vulgar speech, foolish talk, or coarse jesting--all of which are out of character--but rather thanksgiving.  Eph. 5:4  **  Saved 1John 3.2, Eph. 2:8, John 1:12 - Being saved 2Cor. 4:16 2Peter 3:18 - Will be saved 1Peter 1:5 Romans 8:23

martincisneros

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Re: What is the right way to present the Gospel to an audience?
« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2008, 11:34:22 AM »
I don't know if it's this thread's opening question that's gotten me to thinking again, or what.  And if it was this thread that triggered some thoughts that have bothered me this evening, then whether it's human zeal or the Holy Spirit's leading towards something -- even if only in the instructive stages right now.  Some of the problem with preaching the Gospel in a Church setting is that you're usually minimally trying to come up with 104 sermons a year.  Again, usually minimally.  And when you're thinking of some type of pastoral, or ongoing Apostolic, Prophetic, Teaching, and/or Evangelistic duties, then your thoughts are returning again and again to the New Testament's language about milk for babes and meat for men -- and how to juggle that. 

Some pastors get accused of sensationalism, but it's that multi-tiered approach that they've got racing across their minds either from week to week -- or from month to month if they're the kind that teach/preach series of messages, example: What Happened From The Cross To The Throne pt. 1, pt. 2, pt. 3, etc., ad infinitum through their mind's cataloging of subjects that they believe that they have some proficiency in, in the Bible.

And I've been wondering AGAIN this evening how I'd go about keeping it both fresh and where people at all levels would get something, from the town drunk being dragged in there by the Blood of Christ (Ephesians 2:13) to some retired dude with enough Th.D. degrees to cover every millimeter of a thermometer.  I've been thinking through my websites and if those are a good sampling of what I'd be teaching, or whether I'd be "dumbing it down" to a certain extent, etc.  The typical answer, of course, is to be lead by the Holy Spirit, but even after hours of speaking in other tongues, fasting, worship, and quiet time to get ready, I'm not always going to be behind a pulpit totally POSSESSED with Christ Jesus Himself breaking the Bread of His Body with the people.  Realistically, any LONG-TERM ministry endeavor involves having the plans B through Z for when you don't walk in there as a burning bush.

Perhaps a companion question to the question that started this thread, that hopefully won't kill the thread 'cause of timidity of stepping forward on this one, is how many subjects should a pastor realistically be looking at getting into over the course of a year or two figuring on both genuine members that'll stick around until the resurrection (or until genuinely lead otherwise) and newbies wandering in all of the time?  Websites, revival meetings and seminars allow for staying on one subject and getting just as deep as you'd care to get as long as you know that you're not losing your audience and perhaps have copies of your teaching outline to give everybody so they can look at every single Scripture you're alluding to.  But anything approximating more than a few weeks at the most and you're needing a game plan/strategy and a sense for what's deep enough to get them studying on their own, but not so deep that you drown anyone that can't swim with you yet, but far enough along to carry the sheep right to Christ Jesus to where they rely on Him alone having tasted and seen that His Word is good, that He keeps absolutely all of His Covenants that relate to the New Testament, etc.

The dangers of pastoring, or should I say good pastoring is also where the blessings are when people would eventually follow you to the jumping off point.  You can have an amazing time both teaching and receiving edification from people that are that in tune with you.  But striking that proper New Testament balance of "follow/imitate me as I follow/imitate Christ" and making sure everyone's firmly rooted in Christ if anything should ever happen to one is a delicate balance that sends many people,  with good hearts, myself included, running and screaming away from anything approximating ministry because they neither wish to pontificate nor to be anyone's cultic shaman.

Should someone set long range goals with a particular book of the New Testament, that if I've got 65% to 85% of the people that show up around here well versed in most/all of the truths of this particular epistle within two to three and a half years, then God's favor is with me and the things that I'm doing to prepare are soundly structured for those moments when I'm not parting the Red Sea and making the manna fall?

""Hypothetically"":  How would anybody around here go about it, if between now, i.e. November 6, 2008 and December 31st, 2009 you were facing between 80 and 120 or so services that you had to teach/preach with relatively the same crowd?  Would you pick a good daily devotional each year to expound upon particularly meaningful passages of the week along with seasoning it with UR and other meaningful truths to you that you feel would directly relate to both what you're saying and to your knowledge of where the people are at in the congregation that you've spoken with that week?  Or would you think in terms of, okay....January is about this, February is about this, March is unquestionably about UR 'cause we're sneaking into Easter and it's important for people to know the full implications of Christ's work, etc., etc. down through the calendar.  Or would you keep it to UR and try to have over a hundred ways of saying it per year?  Or would you have long-range goals with half a dozen subjects and figure that if everybody's, or enough people are showing signs of progress in those subjects over a year and a half that things are progressing well on your end of your responsibilities before the Lord?

After all, something to keep in mind with ongoing ministry is that you're only responsible for speaking with some semblance of clarity and then fulfilling the responsibilities that accompany whatever office of ministry that you're called to.  To a large extent, of course, the growth of any congregation is on their shoulders and whether or not they're pressing in, as it says that the crowd did when Jesus borrowed Peter's boat.  Peter was busy with his nets and tried to make his good deed of the day letting the preacher borrow his boat for a couple of hours while he finished what he was doing, but the Scriptures indicate the crowd was hanging on every Word.  That's a product of the Holy Spirit at work in their lives and to a certain degree, that's a product of the self motivation of the people in response to the grace, mercy, and peace of God that has already worked in their lives.

I've been so disturbed over the last couple of years over the subject of starting a Church that for all I know, that may be why other doors have seemed like they've been closing/slamming on me -- to push me in this direction until I've got some kind of meeting hall and a commitment before God to do what He wants done with it on a regular basis.  All I care about on anything like that is that if I ever wound up putting together even a skeleton crew of staff for something like that, that they'd be more than taken care of because the laborer is worthy of his hire, as Paul told Timothy.

Anyway, back to my original question that's central to this post of mine: what would be your backup plans on teaching each and every week if during any particular week you didn't have a "thus saith the Lord" boiling in you?  Would you be prayerfully scribbling notes/outlines all of the time, using some of your favorite books for general themes to cover over segments of time, or what would be your battle strategy if you were committed to the week to week thing??  I am presuming on this hypothetical question your having too many reasons from God for why you can't just hide under the bed or in the bathroom on weekends to avoid this.  What would you do, aside from blowing your brains out, relocating under a different name, or getting drunk if you had to do this?  I mean, if you felt it from the bottom of your heart and knew that "the Jonah routine" wouldn't work for you for various reasons.

Offline fullarmor2

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Re: What is the right way to present the Gospel to an audience?
« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2008, 06:37:42 AM »
Thanks  for these posts.    Another thing that motivated my question here is some street preaching videos I watched on  u-tube.   And I felt bad for those street preachers because they were so sincere at trying to reach people,  but I could plainly see that ET doctrine in their message was hindering them!  And its sad  to see my fellow believers struggling because of false doctrine.  And right now I'm having a spiritual moment about this.  As if I can feel with Jesus compassion for them, and Jesus' desire for them to be set free from that false doctrine.  :Mcry:
For all those who live in the shadow of death,  a glorious light has dawned!  And for all those who stumble in the darkness,   behold,   your light has come!!

Offline reFORMer

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Re: What is the right way to present the Gospel to an audience?
« Reply #7 on: November 07, 2008, 07:53:53 AM »
Anyway, back to my original question that's central to this post of mine: what would be your backup plans on teaching each and every week if during any particular week you didn't have a "thus saith the Lord" boiling in you?  Would you be prayerfully scribbling notes/outlines all of the time, using some of your favorite books for general themes to cover over segments of time, or what would be your battle strategy if you were committed to the week to week thing??
What for years I couldn't understand, and I still have very little answers for, is why people who have an experience with God, who say they believe the Bible, and regularly meet with other Christians, simply have no real BIBLE studies.  (Remember, 97% of such believers never read the Bible through even once! if they don't get it at the meeting, they won't ever get it!)  They will use verses applied to some topic; but, rarely go from the first letter of the first word of the first verse of the first chapter of, for instance, the first book that groups together with the first five books and is tied into the next because it starts with the conjunction:  "And..."  Then, to go, letter and word by word, section by section, on through that book to it end.  If possible to also examine, specially in places where it is significant for some reason, what the original language has.  As well to present something of the history of interpretation across the centuries.  We are to make plain the meaning of God's word in the hearing of the people!  "For the priest's lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek the law at his mouth: for he is the messenger of the LORD of hosts." (Malachi 2:7, AV)  Then to open it to participation among the other members of the body present, honoring Jesus in our midst.

When I say the study of the Scripture in the form God gave it to us is rare, those who have "Christian" TV on cable or satellite may, like me, have eight fulltime channels plus and no study of the Bible as I've delineated on any of them!  I know what it is to mark out 20 or more churches reasonably close in an urban setting, telephone them about this and discover none of them had actual systematic, though the Bible, verse by verse, book by book study of the Bible!  "And ye, ye have turned from the way, Ye have caused many to stumble in the law, Ye have corrupted the covenant of Levi, Said Jehovah of Hosts.  And I also, I have made you despised and low before all the people, Because ye are not keeping My ways, And are accepting persons (showing favoritism) in the law. " (Malachi 2:8-9, YLT)

For me to add to it the fact that only for beginning or special meetings should the church use "the lecture structure," else we give all our gifts and blessings away to a few titled professionals who will preform for us (resulting in civil society with all our freedoms given away to a few "experts.")  Meanwhile, the normal, and if reduced to it, the only indispensable meeting of the Church is in "the round-table structure" where the members of the body of Christ may actually function under the headship of Jesus Christ.  I'm overwhelmed by the apostasy of the Church of our time.  How asleep people are!  Then to go on into how their doctrinal errors grate is simply too much...

What's a modern Christian man who actually read the Bible supposed to do?  I'm in suffering that's been prolonged throughout most of my life.  Understand, I've also seen organized persecution and the loss of jobs, friends, homes, churches and the like because of this.  I cannot communicate the horribleness of year after year after year after place and again another place and another and another and on and on...where is the place of rest?  I seek a city!  When shall we be gathered together unto Him?
« Last Edit: November 07, 2008, 08:12:50 AM by reFORMer »
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Offline WhiteWings

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Re: What is the right way to present the Gospel to an audience?
« Reply #8 on: November 07, 2008, 02:42:18 PM »
What for years I couldn't understand, and I still have very little answers for, is why people who have an experience with God, who say they believe the Bible, and regularly meet with other Christians, simply have no real BIBLE studies.  (Remember, 97% of such believers never read the Bible through even once! if they don't get it at the meeting, they won't ever get it!)

Hi,

I already have the same feeling in my short Christian walk.
I think most apply everyday life to the Bible. If you got some water pipes leaking you call a plumber. When the light doesn't go on you call an electrician.
When the stove doesn't burn call the pastor/vicar  :laughing7:

The last sentence was a bit funny but also very real.
When people want info on the Bible the call in the help of a professional.
Just like playing with electricity can be dangerous when you have no clue what you are doing; playing with the Bible is unsafe too because you can get infected with diabolical interpretations.
Many Catholics where even forbidden to touch a Bible. They would insult God and everything that's holy if they misinterpreted the words written in it.
I think that's a large part of the problem.
1 Timothy 2:3-4  ...God our Savior;  Who will have all men to be saved...
John 12:47  And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.
Romans 4:5 But to the one who does not work, but believes in the one who declares the ungodly righteous ...