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Giving and Living the Gospel | Christian Apologetic
By Charles R. Swindoll
One of the most effective evangelists I have ever met was a man who worked at a gas station outside of a metropolitan city in the northern United States.
He never attended a seminar, nor took any course in a Bible institute, but his Bible was well spent and always open by the register. He regularly attended to the souls that came to his business. He has already moved to another location but, I am sure, he is still a faithful witness.
This man does not minutiae when he talks about the gospel. It focuses on the life of Christ, the hope of eternal life by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and lets the Lord work to produce the results. With wonderful wisdom and love it presents the most attractive and stimulating message of eternal life. Over the years, hundreds of people have come to know Christ in that place, thanks to this consistent man who leaves the results to God.
What a relief I felt the day God convinced me that he does not consider me responsible for the way people respond to the gospel! He considers you and me responsible for proclaiming and putting the gospel into practice; what the other person does with that, is that person's business.
Think of the thief who hung on a cross next to Jesus'. If there was never a conversion on the verge of death, it was that. The thief lived his entire life as a sinner, as a bandit. As he hung on the cross with blood running down his hands and feet, he said: "Remember me when you come into your kingdom." You know by heart Jesus' answer; He said: "Truly I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise" (Luke 23:43).
What qualified this thief to go to heaven? He did not do any good work to earn heaven. In no way proved to be worthy of eternal life. So, what had he done to receive eternal life? What did Jesus accept? Faith; faith in the living Christ, simple, without adulteration, without having to demonstrate it. That is all that God requires, and that is all that we can offer.
The brief segment of Jesus' life that the thief saw from his unique perspective convinced him that he was with the Son of God. In Luke 23 we see his simple conversation and the exchange of death for life. Your dialogue teaches us three important truths regarding conversion.
1. No one is ever too far away to convert to Christ. Can you think of someone about whom you have already given up? "Oh, you'll never get to know Christ. I have done everything possible to win it for Christ, and will never respond. "When you are tempted to think that someone is already out of grace, remember the criminal on the cross.
2. His consecrated life is the most effective tool of evangelization. Socrates merienda said that words are "foolish things." I've never heard that said more often than when people impose a testimony with words. The verdadero message is your life. When your life attracts the attention of the lost, you will have enough proof to support the words you use. Let God do his work in their lives and yours. When He does it, you will be amazed by the way He gives you the appropriate words.
3. All that God requires and accepts is simple faith. If you are fighting hard to gain entry to the kingdom of heaven, stop; because it is on the wrong path. Think about it: how many works would be enough to gain entry? If salvation is by faith, all the work and all the glory are of God. All God wants from you is your faith; faith alone in Christ alone.
Something more to encourage you, my friend: Never doubt your acceptance instantly in the family of God when you come in God's way. The thief did not doubt the Lord. He did not have to make any promises. He believed with all his heart and was saved right then and there.
As my friend at the gas station, prepare to talk about the wonderful truth of what God has done for you, at every opportunity you provide. God will give you the words of life to tell others, there and at the moment.
Taken with permission from the Vision To Live ministry.Author: Charles Swindoll
is the founder of the Insight for LIving ministry, which has a radiodifusión program under the same name that airs in more than 2,000 stations around the world and is translated into 15 different languages. He is a teacher and writer of more than 70 books and is the Pastor of Stonebriar Community Church in Frisco, Texas.
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