Gospel Gazette Online
Vol. 15 No.10 October 2013
Page 5

Moral Opportunities

Andy RobisonNot long ago a speaker presented the idea that in our postmodern, amoral and immoral world, there still is an opening to talk with people about God. His point, if I remember correctly, was that even though biblical morality seems lost in the present generation, most people still have some point at which they can see a wrong has been committed. Atrocities make them recoil in disgust. It is at this point that Christians may have an opportunity for evangelism with even the hardest of unbelievers.

When such an event as the Holocaust is discussed, people will generally (though tragically, not always) recognize the inherent awfulness of such a thing. Then, the Christian has the opportunity to pry a bit. “Why is that wrong?” one might ask. It may take some time to peel through the layers of superficial responses: “Well, it just is!” However, perhaps it can be done. Maybe the Christian can get the unbeliever to see that without a transcendent God, morality really means nothing. Without a Creator, who gets to make up moral rules? If someone responds that a government does, then Hitler’s gas chamber guards were just doing the right thing. Hopefully, people will see the errant nature of that logic. If someone responds that morality is based on inherent goodness in man, one could ask him to define that goodness. One leaving (unscripturally) an ailing wife to marry another might not seem good to that first wife, but it might seem great to the selfish husband or the new woman. So, goodness, at the core, without a transcendent lawgiver eventually becomes purely subjective.

If a Christian can find a person honestly seeking truth, this person can be challenged with these thoughts. As others have put it, “If God does not exist, nothing matters; if God does exist, nothing else matters!”

Perhaps the scandals of the current day can be openings to discuss these principles with people. People can see that, whether left-leaning or right-leaning politicians be involved, cover-ups and harassments are wrong. Hopefully, the recent trial exposing an abortion doctor for his infanticide will open the eyes of people that the two practices are inherently the same – one inside the womb and one outside. And why are these things wrong? Well, there must be a higher power. If there is not a God, then the highest power is either government or the individual. If government is the highest power and government does these things, then there is nothing wrong with them. The one shocked is then shocked without basis. If the individual is the highest power, then one cannot judge these individuals (whoever is responsible) in government for they might not have thought these things to be wrong. They may even have thought them to be good in a utilitarian (end-justifies-the-means) sense. Yet, people inherently know there is something wrong. People who are honest will be forced rightly to the conclusion that there must be a moral authority, there must be a higher power, and there is a God.

This is the moral argument for God’s existence. It, along with the cosmological and teleological arguments, carries the weight of proof. I cannot see God, yet I know He is there (Romans 1:20). Without seeing Him, I can love Him (1 Peter 1:8). With His presence, I can know by the revealed message what is right and what is wrong. I don’t have to wonder (John 12:48; 1 John 2:3-4; 5:3).

Leading a Lost Soul to Christ

When I have opportunity to study with someone who believes the basics but has not understood and obeyed the Gospel, I follow this plan:

First, I establish the fact that we live under the New Testament and not the Old Testament, and the significance of that fact. The Old Testament was a covenant made exclusively between God and the nation of Israel at Mt. Sinai (Deuteronomy 5:1-3; Psalm 147:19-20). The Gentile world was never under this covenant, and the Jewish world, since the death of Jesus, is no longer under it. So, we must get our instruction from the New Testament.

Second, I establish a common sense approach to Bible study. All the facts must be gathered. For example: When they came to arrest Jesus, Mark says that one of those who stood by drew a sword and cut off the ear of the servant of the high priest. Matthew informs us that it was a disciple of Jesus who used the sword. Luke says it was the right ear that was amputated. John identifies the swordsman as Peter and the victim as Malchus. Then the student must reason accurately from all the facts. Any Bible subject must be approached in this way.

Third, I apply all this to the question of how and when one becomes a saved person by studying the Great Commission accounts. Matthew says one is to be baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (28:19). Mark says that one must believe and be baptized to be saved (16:16). Luke adds the element of repentance and remission of sins (24:46). So, one becomes a saved person when he hears the Gospel and believes it, repents of past sins, and is baptized for the remission of sins.

Fourth, I confirm this conclusion by a brief study of Acts 2. Thousands in the audience there heard the Gospel and believed it (verses 14-37). When they asked what else they should do, they were told to repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus for the remission of their sins (verse 38).

I emphasize two things about believing, repenting and being baptized. First, this stands together as a unit. Not one of these can be omitted and still result in the remission of sins. Second, there is a logical progression from faith to repentance to baptism to salvation — which progression has been distorted by some of our religious neighbors.

Question: Where are you in your obedience?

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