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It’s great to have knowledge, especially the true knowledge of the kingdom of God! However, it is also important to ask ourselves – what are we doing with this knowledge? Are we holding it to ourselves, stuck in our own little “Christian bubble,” or are we actively sharing it? If we’re not sharing it, we are not obeying Jesus’ command to preach the gospel and make disciples! We will be held responsible for what we know and what we’ve done with it. So I wanted to share an assignment from my evangelism class this year, to write a letter to someone explaining the gospel to them, and encourage you to think about how you can be proclaiming this live-saving message! How would you share it, and what are the necessary “ingredients” of the message? (If you think this letter would be useful to share with someone, by all means copy it and adapt it to your situation!) Let’s get busy sharing this amazing truth!

” Dear —-,

Just finished up my evangelism class last week, and it has really got me realizing the seriousness of the things that God has said and how unprepared the Episcopal Church had left me, and I presume you and M— as well. It seems to me that it is easy to have a false assurance of salvation in that church, because of certain doctrines and practices they uphold. For instance, the church practices infant baptism. This practice usually connotes that an infant is eternally saved and a part of the church after they are dunked in water. However, the Bible does not support this notion. In the Bible, one is only baptized after repenting of their sin and believing the gospel message about the kingdom of God, Jesus’ atoning death, and his resurrection. It is only after believing Jesus’ gospel message and responding to it by obedient faith that one receives forgiveness of sin, the gift of the holy spirit, and reconciliation with God. Baptism then, is response of faith to the gospel message (and a command from Jesus for all those who believe); the mere act is not a source of salvation by works. In other words it requires an intelligent confession of faith and repentance from our sin.  Baptism symbolizes the believer dying to his old self, his sinful ways, and being spiritually reborn as a child of God. So infant baptism clearly isn’t biblical, and I am concerned because it can lead to a false assurance of salvation by nullifying the necessity of personal repentance, belief in the gospel message, and obedience to Jesus as spelled out in the Bible.

Another thing that I don’t think is wholly made clear, at least from my limited recollection, is the idea that faithfully going to church and “being a good person” will not be enough when we stand before a just and holy God on judgment day. Just think of a person who has been caught in the act of robbery and is being brought before the court. They are standing in front of the judge, who asks him if he has anything to stay for himself. So they robber says, “Judge, I know that I robbed a bank but I really am a good person so you should let me go. I tithe my earnings faithfully and have gone to church every week. Really, I am a good person.” But is the judge going to let the robber off the hook? No! Any human court would send that robber to prison for his crime, regardless of the good things he had done. And that’s the way that it will be before God, for God is just and holy. We cannot stand on our own good deeds, we are being tried for our rebellion against Him! All the good works in the world cannot eliminate our sin.

So then, if our good works, our righteousness is considered as “filthy rags” before God, how can we be made right with Him? Fortunately God, in His great love for us has made a way for us to be reconciled to Him. We can be reborn again spiritually through the gospel. You know that part of the gospel, namely that Jesus died and took the punishment for our sins so that we could be cleansed from our unrighteousness. He made us righteous, reconciled to God.  But the other part of the gospel seems to be lacking, the gospel of the kingdom. During his ministry Jesus proclaimed the message of the coming kingdom of God and gave people a “taste” of the kingdom through the miracles, healings, and exorcisms he performed. The kingdom of God concept has its roots in the Old Testament. It is the restoration of the world to the way God intended it to be, just like in the beginning of the Bible. In the beginning, God created mankind to dwell with him and reign over the earth. But mankind rebelled and was separated from God. But God set in motion a plan of redemption for mankind and a plan for the restoration of the earth, which is being fulfilled and will be fulfilled through Jesus. His sacrificial death has cleansed us from our sin so that we might have entrance into the kingdom of God, for no one unclean or sinful may enter in. But this isn’t the end of the story. Jesus will be coming back on the Day of the LORD and all of those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of His Son will be destroyed. Those who believed the gospel and obeyed Jesus will be raised from the dead, just as Jesus was! Jesus will then establish his kingdom on the earth and will rule the world as God’s anointed King, with justice and righteousness. Jesus’ follower’s will reign with him and be kings and priests to God. After a millennium, Satan will be thrown into the lake of fire never to be released again, and the kingdom will be handed over to God. In God’s kingdom there will be no more pain, death, or sorrow. There will be peace, righteousness, and justice throughout the world. And God will dwell with his people forever. What a wonderful future for God’s children.

Jesus calls us to live our lives in light of this coming kingdom of God. By believing his gospel message, we are swearing our allegiance to God, through Jesus our King. And this requires living out a life of obedience to God. We are to learn Jesus’ commands and live them out in our daily lives. The Bible says in Matthew 7:21, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” So this is a serious matter! We must learn what the will of God is, and do it! Hebrews 5:9 says that Jesus “became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him.” Eternal life is a gift to those who obey Jesus. That is why we really do need to follow Jesus, learn what he said, and do it.

God desires that we come to know Him and have an intimate relationship with Him because He loves us so much. We are literally, in His eyes, to die for. Jesus knew God as “Abba” or “Daddy,” and God wants us to have that same kind of intimate relationship with Him. And we can. Through the blood of Jesus, we are made right with God. We then can come to God and get to know Him through prayer and studying and our everyday life experiences. He wants us to be alive to Him in every aspect of our lives, to love Him and be loved by Him. He wants to be our Dad. So I just wanted to encourage you to seek to know Him more intimately, for He says that when we search for Him with all of our heart, all of our being, that we will find Him. God wants us to find Him. And I want to encourage you to follow Jesus and apply his teachings to your life, because it is only in him that we have eternal life.

Hope you’ve enjoyed just a taste of what I’ve been studying!




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