Sunday, March 28, 2010

Preach The Gospel!

And He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. "He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned." (Mark 16: 15-16)

Yesterday my wife and a few others from our church went out in the neighborhood, going door-to-door, handing out invitations to a free Easter breakfast on Easter Sunday followed by Easter Service. Out of the over 400 doors we knocked on, there were several not home, or not answering, but there were those who graciously accepted our invitation.

In the above scriptures, our Lord Jesus told His disciples to go into all the world, telling everyone that He had paid the penalty for sin and that those who believe in Him can be forgiven and live eternally with God.

But what did Jesus mean when He told His disciples, “He who believes and is baptized will be saved;” So was Jesus telling us that we must also be baptized to be saved? No!, Jesus did not combined being saved and baptism together, because the next passage said, "but he who does not believe will be condemned." Notice that Jesus left out baptism because He did not required it for salvation.

If we continue to read other scriptures that deal with salvation and baptism it clearly states that it is not the water of baptism that saves, but God’s grace accepted through faith in Christ.

Because of Jesus’ response to the criminal on the cross who died with Him, we know it is possible to be saved without being baptized (Luke 23:43). Baptism alone, without faith, does not automatically bring a person to heaven.

We also know that when the Apostle Paul said, “For by grace you have been saved through faith and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast." (Ephesians 2:8-9) There is no mention of baptism, only by grace we have been saved through faith.

And when the Apostle Paul also said, “For whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved." (Romans 10:13) There is no mention of baptism, only by grace we have been saved through faith.

When Jesus said, "I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture." (John 10:9) There is no mention of baptism, only by grace we have been saved through faith.

Now when Jesus said to the woman that washed His feet with her tears, "Your sins are forgiven.” And those who sat at the table with Him began to say to themselves, "Who is this who even forgives sins?" Then He said to the woman, "Your faith has saved you. Go in peace." (Luke 7:48-50) There is no mention of baptism, only by grace we have been saved through faith.

And again when the Apostle Paul said, “But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),” (Ephesians 2:4-5) There is no mention of baptism, only by grace we have been saved through faith.

These are just a few scriptures that make it clear about what God requires for us to be "Saved". Then when we witness to someone and that person wants to know what it takes to be "Saved", we can explain to them what God's Word has to say about it.

Father God, thank you for my free gift of salvation and for giving me my marching orders to “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.”


Kristi said...

Hi Lloyd! Thank you for the comments at Thimble Thoughts. I loved the Cardboard Testimonies video. Wow!

I'm glad you posted those verses on salvation and baptism. We have several of our family that come from backgrounds where they believe baptism is part of your salvation. Those are good verses to share the next time it's brought up. :)


Lloyd said...

Thank you Kristi for your visit and comments. Every time I watch the Cardboard Testimonies video it reminds me so much of my own personal past before Jesus set me free.

It is surprising how many Christian denominations believe that baptism is a requirement for salvation. Baptism is certainly an important step of obedience if we, as believers, want to follow Jesus, but it does not keep us from going to Heaven. I believe that teaching someone that baptism is required for salvation only adds an additional burden for them to carry. God bless, Lloyd

flyawaynet said...

Here's where I always struggle with this.
You didn't preach the gospel!
You invited someone to a breakfast followed by an Easter service.

It's a great thing to do, and I ABSOLUTELY respect you and your wifes' willingness to do knock on doors, but it wasn't "preaching the gospel".

Was it?

I've struggled with even inviting people to church just because of that contradiction. Christ told me to spread His good news, to preach the gospel - and yet instead of sucking it up and telling my friends and family more about about Christ I'll just say "Hey, would you like to go to church with me this Sunday?"
Surely won't lose a friendship over that, won't offend anyone, won't be asked questions I can't answer.

It's easy.

But Christ called us to do something scary, and hard, that might actually cause us to lose friends or offend people.

I'd say more, because I hope you understand I'm not complaining or bashing what you did ( I think it was great, truly). And I hope you get that. I just really struggle with this.

Faith Imagined said...

Thank you God for salvation! Amen! Powerful post!!!

Lloyd said...

Thank you so much flyawaynet and Faith Imagined for your comments and visiting my blog.

It is true, flyawaynet that when we went door-to-door, we did not evangelize, but only invited people to our Easter Service. The idea is to get the unchurched into church, then when they come we have teams to lead them to the Lord, if the time is right to do so.

My wife and I are on a FAITH Team that actually goes out once a week to spread the Gospel door-to-door, or visit with people that have attended our church and expressed a desire for a visit.

It is very true what you are saying about meeting strangers and talking to them face-to-face about our Lord. I know that at first I was terrified to do it because I was afraid of rejection, but after the proper training in the FAITH Training method and Share Jesus Without Fear training, I feel more confident.

Whatever method that you feel comfortable with, whether it is the FAITH, The Roman Road, or Share Jesus Without Fear, I encourage all Christians to be effective in sharing the Gospel just in case someone wants to know what it takes to get to Heaven. You can pick up any of these books in all Christian Book Stores. God bless, Lloyd

Sassy Granny ... said...

What a lovely, simple telling of the Good News! I have to believe the scriptures when they tell us the "harvest is great", so each and every invitation offered is likely to represent at least one seed (or many) that has the potential of blooming into a full-blown salvation.

May all who would believe be found in Him this Easter, and tomorrow, and he day following that, and ....

Blessings to you & yours,

May Be Miracles said...

I have had a moment this evening to read a little and stopped by! You have a very powerful message. God Bless You for using your knowledge and wisdom that He has graced you with to do so much amazing work for Him!! One of my favorite scripture passages from the Gospels is: Matthew 28:16-20 (King James Version)

16Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them.

17And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted.

18And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.

19Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

20Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

I love this because HE ASSURES US that he is with us ALWAYS...and we have nothing to fear when we are on HIS mission of love!!

May you and your family have a wonderful and very blessed Easter!!

Chantel said...

i love doing that- going out and talking to people about salvation. It is uncomfortable, but God always speaks when i by Faith open up my mouth- the Holy spirit really does bring things to memory. stay faithful, and hungry for the Lord. god bless you.