Thursday, May 1, 2008

We Need to Get People Lost

Does it just seem wrong to you when people have to be persuaded and pleaded with to become a Christian? Why is it that more people start in the way than stay in the way? Ever notice that people who are dragged to an altar of public prayer seldom set up an altar of private prayer? So what is going on?

Well, some of the problem might be the way we are approaching sinners with the Gospel. Ray Comfort points this out in his book Hell's Best Kept Secret:

The way we present the gospel determines the kind of response the sinner makes.

Let me illustrate.

Two men are seated in a plane. A stewardess gives the first man a parachute and instructs him to put it on because it will "improve his flight."

Not understanding how a parachute could possibly improve his flight, the first passenger is a little skeptical. Finally he decides to see if the claim is true. After strapping on the parachute, he notices its burdensome weight, and he has difficulty sitting upright. Consoling himself with the promise of a better flight, our first passenger decides to give it a little time.

Because he's the only one wearing a parachute, some of the other passengers begin smirking at him, which only adds to his humiliation. Unable to stand it any longer, our friend slumps in his seat, unstraps the parachute, and throws it to the floor. Disillusionment and bitterness fill his heart because as far as he is concerned, he was told a lie.

Another stewardess gives the second man a parachute, but listen to her instructions. She tells him to put it on because at any moment he will be jumping out of the plane at 25,000 feet.

Our second passenger gratefully straps the parachute on. He doesn't notice its weight upon his shoulders nor that he can't sit up upright. His mind is consumed with the thought of what would happen to him if he jumped without it. When other passengers laugh at him, he thinks, "You won't be laughing when you're falling to the ground!"

The problem with many "conversions" is that people are converted for the wrong reasons. Someone told them that accepting Jesus into their heart will give them joy and happiness, or make life easier to cope with. All this may be true, but it is the wrong reason to get saved.

If people are converted for the wrong reason, their faith fades when that reason goes away. Like the man who was told his parachute would "improve his flight", they will abandon the parachute when they see others who are having a perfectly good flight without one. If you get them in on the basis of joy, they'll lose interest when sadness sets in. If you promise them that God has a wonderful plan for their life, they will fall away when they don't like the direction that plan is taking.

So what is the proper basis for Salvation? The proper basis for Salvation is the knowledge of sin and its consequences. People need to realize that they are lost in their sin, that a high and holy God is disgusted by what they are, and that He is going to judge them for it.

Once people know and understand that they are lost in sin, they won't have a problem repenting and coming to the Savior for mercy, and they won't be falling away afterward. That's why I say that we don't need to get people saved - we need to get people lost.

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