6 ways how not to RESPOND to the Gospel & 1 right way.

If you’ve done any evangelism at all, and many of you have, you’ll immediately recognize these most common ways folks RESPOND to the Gospel message, especially to the command to be baptized.

However, we need not rely on anecdotal evidence, we can see these same responses in the scriptures.

Following are a list of ways how not to RESPOND to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and ONE way to RESPOND, can you recognize the one?

How do folks RESPOND to the Gospel?

The preachers of the Gospel went far and wide to every type of person. They preached to the elite class and the lower class. They preached when it was in season and when it was out of season. They preached from a mountain top and from a prison. They heard every way one could RESPOND.

RESISTANCE: When Stephen preached the Gospel to the Jewish leaders, he recognized this first one, RESISTANCE.

Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye.” [Acts 7:51]

ESCAPISM or Ignore it. When Jesus was

Will Not Endure Sound Doctrine

“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;”

[2Timothy 4:3]

asked how to inherit eternal life, He told the young ruler what must be done. He didn’t like it, so he turned and walked away. Also, those in John 6 who didn’t like the hard sayings of Jesus. When the sayings of Jesus are too hard for some, they choose rather to ignore it. They escape to other teachers [2Tim 4:3].

“And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions.” [Mark 10:22]

SCOFF at it. Along with RESISTING & IGNORING the Gospel, some go further and mock it. They my also go a step further and SCOFF at the messenger.

“And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked:” [Acts 17:32]

PARTIAL OBEDIENCE: Partial obedience to God is no obedience at all. Unfortunately, far too many stop at faith alone, and fail to consider the whole counsel of God [Acts 20:7]. Jesus’ criticism of the Scribes & Pharisees was with their partial obedience to the Law.

“Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cumin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.” [Matthew 23:23]

OBEDIENCE: This one thing is Resisted, Ignored, Scoffed at etc. The scriptures are so clear, OBEY THE GOSPEL.

“And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;” [Hebrews 5:9]

NEGLECT it. Here’s a sad truth. Some Hear, Believe, Repent, Confess & are Baptized, but then fall from grace through NEGLECT. Failing to be diligent unto the end. We NEGLECT reading, worship, communion, working, or serving.

“How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation;” [Hebrews 2:3]

DELAY: Delay is to Disobey. How sad it is when folks hear the truth but delay obedience until some more convenient time. This is putting trust in a future that has no promise [James 4:14].

“… Felix trembled, and answered, Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee.”

[Acts 24:25]

How do you RESPOND to the Gospel?               —Spencer

OBEDIENT FROM THE HEART

Image result for romans 6.17

THERE IS AN OLD STORY THAT GOES SOMETHING LIKE THIS:

An old man, going on a journey, left instructions for his 3 sons to take care of the farm and to build a barn by the field to the west, a house on the hill toward the north, to plant an orchard toward on the east side and dig a well on the southern part of the property. He then departed on his journey.

After the old man had left, the 3 sons went to the west where the barn was to be built. They conferred and said,

Father has made an excellent choice for the barn.” So, they built the barn according to their father’s instructions.

Next they surveyed the hill to the north for the building of the house. They conferred once again and said to one another:

Father has chosen an excellent spot for the house.” So, they built the house according to what their father had said.

After this they went toward the east side of the property and examined the area for the orchard. Upon inspection they said to one another,

This is indeed a fine spot for the orchard.” So, they planted the orchard in the instructed location.

When they had completed the barn, the house and the orchard their attention then turned to the digging of the well. They went over to the southern side to inspect the spot their father had chosen for the well. They counselled with one another and said,

“Father has truly made fine choices for the locations of the other things, but his choice for the well is not good. It’s not in a convenient location. There’s already a nearby stream, let’s forgo digging and use the stream for our water.” They then ceased their work from the father.

The question then is this, in how many areas were the sons obedient to their father? Four? Three?

The correct answer is NONE!

We can easily see that they disobeyed in one area, but they had actually disobeyed in all four. Regarding the 3 areas in which they followed the father’s instructions, they only followed their father’s instructions in the areas after they agreed with his choices.

Obedience requires following instructions whether one agrees with them or not.

OBEDIENCE, IF ONLY IN AGREEMENT = DISOBEDIENCE.

This is exactly what we see regarding our Heavenly Father’s instructions. God has given instructions regarding salvation:

  • God said that one must believe in Jesus as the Christ [Acts 10:43; John 3:16]. This makes sense to many, so they agree to believe in Jesus.
  • God said that each person must repent of their sins. [Luke 13:3; Acts 17:30). To many this also makes sense, so they agree to repent.
  • God said that everyone must confess with their mouth the Lord Jesus [Rom 10:9, 10]. This is seen as a reasonable command, so they gladly oblige.

God has also clearly commanded the believer to be Baptized in water for salvation. [Acts 2:38; Mark 16:16; 1Peter 3:21] Unfortunately, some stop at this point because they don’t agree with the Lord. They don’t see the need for baptism. Naaman had this problem, he thought waving hands was better. [2King 5:11]

So, they refuse to be baptized to have their sins washed away. [Acts 22:16].

The question is repeated here; In how many ways have those who have faith alone obeyed God? The answer is the same, NONE. They’ve only acted on the instructions with which they agreed. Obedience requires submitting to God’s will whether you agree or not. Submission implies some disagreement.

Jesus asked it this way, “And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?” [Luke 6:46]

by grace alone, by faith alone, in Christ alone?

NT Bible passages calling for obedience

The other day, a man said to me, “A person does not have to do any works of man or OF GOD.” That statement struck me as being contrary to the scriptures. I attempted to point out that there are only two types of commands, (1) those from man (2) those from God. I agree, the commands of man should be overlooked to be obedient to God, but the commands of God should never be overlooked.

In light of this discussion, I have assembled as many scriptures in the New Testament I could quickly find. Certainly, there are more. To stop the mouths of those who would accuse me of “cherry picking”, my only defense is to ask this, If I have cherry picked, so be it, but tell me then, what do these passages mean?

I plead with you, this article is written with love, kindness and a desire to know the truth.

CHILDREN OBEY PARENTS:
Eph 6:1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.
Col 3:20 Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord. <KJV>

SERVANTS OBEY MASTERS:
Eph 6:5 Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ;
Col 3:22 Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God: <KJV>

The above passages are offered first to demonstrate that we understand what it means to obey. Now, let’s look at some other passages regarding obedience..

INDIVIDUALS OBEDIENCE:
Ro 15:17 Therefore I have reason to glory in Christ Jesus in the things which pertain to God. 18 For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ has not accomplished through me, in word and deed, to make the Gentiles obedient— <NKJV>

Ro 16:19 For your obedience is come abroad unto all men. I am glad therefore on your behalf: but yet I would have you wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil. <KJV>

2Co 7:14 For if in anything I have boasted to him about you, I am not ashamed. But as we spoke all things to you in truth, even so our boasting to Titus was found true. 15 And his affections are greater for you as he remembers the obedience of you all, how with fear and trembling you received him. <NKJV>

Php 2:12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. <KJV>

1Pe 1:1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To the pilgrims of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, 2 elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace be multiplied. <NKJV>

Phm 1:21 Having confidence in thy obedience I wrote unto thee, knowing that thou wilt also do more than I say. <KJV>

1Pe 1:13 Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 14 As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: <KJV>

NOT OBEYING THE GOSPEL:
Ro 10:16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? <KJV>

2Th 1:8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: <KJV>

NOT OBEYING THE WORD:
2Th 3:14 And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed. <KJV>

1Jo 2:3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. 4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. <KJV>

OBEYING JESUS:
Joh 14:15 ¶ If ye love me, keep my commandments.
Joh 14:21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.
JJoh 14:23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
Joh 15:10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.
Joh 15:14 Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. <KJV>

Heb 5:8 Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; 9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him; <KJV>

2Co 10:4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, 5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, 6 and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled. <NKJV>

1Jo 2:3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. 4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5 But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. 6 He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked. <KJV>

OBEYING GOD:
Heb 11:8 By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. Heb 11:17 By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, <KJV>

1Jo 1:5 ¶ This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. 6 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:<KJV>

1Jo 5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous. <KJV>

2Jo 1:6 And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it. <KJV>

OBEYING THE FAITH:
Ac 6:7 And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith. <KJV>

Ro 1:5 By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name: <KJV>

Ro 6:16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? 17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. <KJV>

Ro 16:26 but now has been made manifest, and by the prophetic Scriptures has been made known to all nations, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, for obedience to the faith— <NKJV>

OBEYING THE TRUTH:
1Pe 1:22 Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: <KJV>

COMMANDS OF MEN:
Mt 15:9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
Mr 7:7 Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
Col 2:22 Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men? (KJV)

All of the passages listed mean something. Many are teaching a doctrine of salvation “by grace alone, by faith alone, in Christ alone”. They then go onto say what the man I met said, “A person does not have to do any works of man or OF GOD.” I believe in the scripture, Eph 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. It says it, and I believe it. This passage does continue……Eph 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
One more scripture I wish to share with all of you. In the entirety of Scripture, there is only ONE PASSAGE that uses the phrase, “by faith only”. One, singular, only, there is no other passage, and here it is…….

Ye see then how that by works a man is justified,
and not by faith only. Jas 2:24

Tell me, why is this the only passage in all of scripture to use this phrase if “by grace alone, by faith alone, in Christ alone” is true? Will you believe this passage also?

My only desire is to know the truth, to teach the truth for there is no other place to turn…

Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. Joh 6:68
Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. Joh 17:17