As we present the gospel with someone and walk through the truths of who God is, His ways and our inability to keep these ways, our sinfulness, at this point it’s a good time to pause for reflection. Will Metzger provides a few questions, after going through everything that we’ve done so far in an evangelistic gospel presentation to pause and to ask questions of those that we’re sharing the gospel with.
Has God Worked in Your Heart?
One thing that I want to point out that Will Metzger doesn’t include in the “Come Home” presentation is his question “do you admit you are a sinner?” If you’ve seen American Gospel, you’ve heard Paul Washer talk about this. The question is not do you know you are a sinner? The question is this: “As you have heard me preach the Gospel, has God so worked in your life that the sin you once loved, you now hate?”
Why make this distinction? Because an acknowledgment of sin in and of itself is not enough. Think of an experience in your own life, recognizing some wrong you have done is not enough to make ourselves right and to do the right thing. We can become guilty of the wrong thing that we have done, but inevitably it may happen that we do that same thing again. Even demons believe and know of their opposition to God. They proudly oppose God.
What people need not to be asked is: Do You admit you’re a sinner? That may be a helpful starting point but we have to go beyond that to a conviction of sinfulness. “Has God so worked in your life that your heart has been made new?” as David said, “create in me a clean heart and renew a right spirit within me” (Psalm 51:10).
And so we ask, “has God worked in your heart that the sin you once loved, you now hate?” Now, this is not going to be perfect. We’re not going to evidence this immediately that we perfectly love God when we are converted and we perfectly hate our sin. But there is some evidence that loving God and hating sin is going on.
A few questions that Will Metzger poses in Tell the Truth on the bottom of page 279 are important and helpful to think through. Here are some examples of the questions he asks.
Are you willing to admit that you are accountable for your sin and totally unable to keep God’s rules? That you cannot save yourself by any attempt such as: good deeds, church membership, helping others, fighting injustice, etc.?.
Do you agree that the Bible teaches that you are spiritually helpless, for sin is like a deadly cancer in your life?
Do you realize that the road you were on leads to self-centered living now and an eternity separated from God and others (hell)?
These are the harsh realities and the difficult questions are hard for us not only to swallow, but to say to someone. They need to hear these questions, hear the gospel, and recognize their sinfulness.
The Big Dilemma
If you’ve shared the gospel with someone and at this point they recognize their sinful nature, their inability to do anything in their own power the dilemma is then, as Will Metzger puts it:
that should be yours is: ‘How can I, a guilty sinner, become acceptable (forgiven and righteous) before God, my Maker?’
Do you have this concern?
(Admittedly, this is bad news–but unless you are convinced of your dilemma, the good news of a loving Savior and Father calling you to ‘Come Home’ will seem irrelevant.)
Take time now for serious reflection.”
People need to know what they’re being saved from. Just saying, “are you saved?” or something like that has no value unless we recognize our need to be made right with God because of our sinful nature.
And so that time is a time for pause and serious reflection. And then at that point, depending on their answers and where they’re at, you can ask them if they would like to continue to hear of the good news that is available in this dilemma.
And that good news is that Jesus is the way back to life. We are not left without hope. God has provided a solution to our dilemma. And that’s what we’ll talk about in our next article.