COLLEGE OF THE OPEN BIBLE
False Church Members. What To Do? It is not unusual for Bible believing churches to have on their membership rolls; people who are not saved but profess to be Christians. Simply put: they are church members masked by a false profession. They are pretenders whether they intend to be or not. This is always tragic. Even the Lord’s apostles had followers with false professions of faith (Acts 8:20-21). Very few church members exhibit any evidence of salvation. How should pastors, evangelist and Christians overall approach and present the gospel of Jesus Christ that produces true converts?
First: Explain The Gospel. It is the good news that Jesus Christ willingly died for our sins, was buried and was bodily raised by God from the grave. Understand that the gospel of Jesus Christ is the only means of salvation. The gospel is God's demonstration of grace and justice. Christ willingly died for all our sins (Romans 5:8). In His death, Christ became our substitute... literally, He took our place as He bore God's judgment on our behalf. Thus, salvation is by grace, known as unmerited favor; but not without justice. Jesus was judged in our stead. At the cross, Jesus laid down his life willingly apart from any solicitation by sinners to do so.
When presenting the gospel of Christ, it must be presented as God's Holy character that demanded justice for our sin of unbelief. Unbelief is not saying there is no God; rather, unbelief is a willful rejection of God and His Law. Ultimately, unbelief is a mind set that simply states... "I don't need nor want God." The gospel of Jesus Christ is the only defense against the offensiveness of sinners towards God. Sinners must see themselves as an offense towards God that separated them from God. Only then, will the Holy Spirit convict sinners of their sinfulness and the consequences of eternal damnation and separation from God.
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It is essential that Christians with a burden for souls carefully and prayerfully present the gospel to sinners so they can perceive the gospel message so that they know what is truly offered by God and what is at stake. To present the gospel apart from ascertaining if the sinner truly understands what the terms of the gospel are and mean is to instigate false professions of faith. The presentation of the gospel must always impress an ultimatum... not an alternative (John 3:7).
A clear biblical presentation of the gospel with the direct assistance and insistence of the Holy Spirit... only then will the sinner realize the awful condition their in. The sinner will understand that there is nothing they can do to escape God's judgment... they are in need of being rescued or redeemed. Thus, a miracle is required. Salvation begins with a gracious offer from God (a miracle in itself)... and realized when the sinner acknowledges their sin and repents from their sin of unbelief and turns to Christ by faith, that is, they understand that God's work of salvation is wholly dependent and fulfilled only in the atoning work of Jesus Christ at the cross.
Secondly: Exemplify the Gospel. For the Christian, the gospel of Christ is their measuring rod of God's grace (Titus 2:11,15). When the Bible emphasizes the importance of growing in God's grace... we are growing in understanding the doctrine of the Gospel. This is why the apostle Paul stated to the believers in Corinth that his only determination was knowing Christ and him crucified (1 Corinthians 2:2). For Paul, the gospel was the power of God for salvation and unto sanctification.
Christians can only be effective and fruitful as soul winners as they are led by the Holy Spirit and rely exclusively on God's Word. This simply means that a spirit filled Believer has learned to be content with God's will. Believers who are content with God's will are confident in God's willingness to save sinners. Simply put, Christians who believe God, are believable about God. There is no greater testimony of the gospel than a believable Christian who has been transformed by the power of the gospel of Christ. Witnessing for Christ is not what we do, It's what we are.
Sincerely, Dr. Arthur Belanger