Different Gospel Presentations: Who Gets Saved?

The following hypothetical conversations take place when evangelist A shares Jesus with unbeliever A while evangelist B shares with unbeliever B. The reason for this exercise are the recent assertions that Calvinists and non-Calvinists are promoting different gospels. Let’s see….

A

B

Evangelist A (EA) and Unbeliever A (A):EA: A, I’m glad we could meet today so I can share Jesus with you and explain how to be saved – how to be right with God.

A: I told you I would listen to what you have to say about Jesus so here I am!

EA: First, I want you tell you why you need a Savior. The Bible tells us that we have all fallen short of God’s glory, broken His Laws, that none of us are righteous, but God’s standard for acceptance is righteousness.

Therefore, we are sinners, separated from God because of our sins. Ours sins offend God and we can’t make up for them with our “good” works. Even our works are tainted with sin.

The Bible tells us that our sins make us enemies with God. He is holy and cannot even look upon sin. Since God is just He must punish sin.

Does that make sense?

A: Yes, so what do I do about my sin? What about Jesus?

EA: Jesus came to deal with your sin. See, God loved the world so much that He gave His only Son, Jesus Christ, so that whosoever believes in Him will be saved.

Jesus died on the cross for you because He loves you so much. He took the punishment for your sins when He died on the cross. And He rose from the dead three days later overcoming death.

Jesus calls on you to turn from your sins, ask for forgiveness for your sins and believe in what He did for you on the cross in order to be saved; to be right with God. Jesus will set you free from your sins and give you peace with God.

And I am asking you right now if you believe this good news of what Jesus did for you? Will you now turn from, and ask forgiveness of, your sins before God and trust through faith alone in Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection to be right with God?

A: I believe that Jesus died for me and I’m sorry for my sins against God. What do I do?

EA: You don’t actually do anything since Jesus did it all so trust in Him by faith alone. And based on what you just told me, that you truly believe, I want you to pray this prayer with me.

A: Ok….

Evangelist B (EB) and Unbeliever B (B):EB: B, I’m glad we could meet today so I can share Jesus with you and explain how to be saved – how to be right with God.

B: I told you I would listen to what you have to say about Jesus so here I am!

EB: First, I want you tell you why you need a Savior. The Bible tells us that we have all fallen short of God’s glory, broken His Laws, that none of us are righteous, but God’s standard for acceptance is righteousness.

Therefore, we are sinners, separated from God because of our sins. Ours sins offend God and we can’t make up for them with our “good” works. Even our works are tainted with sin.

The Bible tells us that our sins make us enemies with God. He is holy and cannot even look upon sin. Since God is just He must punish sin.

Does that make sense?

B: Yes, so what do I do about my sin? What about Jesus?

EB: Jesus came to deal with your sin. See, God loved the world so much that He gave His only Son, Jesus Christ, so that whosoever believes in Him will be saved.

God shows His love through Jesus dying on the cross for sinners like you and me. Jesus took the punishment for the sins of all who will believe when He died on the cross. And He rose from the dead three days later overcoming death.

Jesus calls on you to turn from your sins, ask for forgiveness for your sins and believe in what He did on the cross to save sinners; to make them right with God. Jesus will set you free from your sins and give you peace with God.

And I am asking you right now if you believe this good news of what Jesus did for you? Will you now turn from, and ask forgiveness of, your sins before God and trust through faith alone in Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection to be right with God?

B: I believe that Jesus died for me and I’m sorry for my sins against God. What do I do?

EB: You don’t actually do anything since Jesus did it all so trust in Him by faith alone. And based on what you just told me, that you truly believe, I am going to pray. Then, I want you to pray in your own words just what you told me about turning from your sins and belief in Jesus.

B: Ok….

So who gets saved: only A, only B, or both A and B?

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tagged as in Arminianism,calvinism,Christianity,Church Issues,Evangelism,Gospel,Southern Baptist,theology

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

1 the Old Adam February 19, 2013 at 12:02 pm

If the presentations had just ended with the gospel announcement, they would have been much better. Asking for the unbeliever to ‘do’ something to make that gospel Word effective, just turns it into another law. It turns the gospel on it’s head.

“Faith comes by hearing, and the Word of God.” Not by anything that we do.

Thanks.

2 Mark February 19, 2013 at 12:12 pm

So, instead of grasping the point I am making you nit-pick. So is your answer that neither are saved?

3 Joe Blackmon February 19, 2013 at 12:17 pm

I think both A and B.

4 the Old Adam February 19, 2013 at 12:18 pm

We cannot know who is saved, or not. The Holy Spirit creates faith, when and where He wills, through the hearing of His gospel.

I don’t mean to nit-pick, but it is an important doctrine of the Christian faith. Christ chooses us, we don’t choose Him. He even said that.

__

I do everything that you did (said) in your examples above. But after I announced the gospel to them, I’d invite them to church. or give them a web site address where they could hear more. Learn more.

Thanks, Mark.

5 Edwin Leslie February 19, 2013 at 12:18 pm

Both A and B. It is a point we of the Reformed persuasion have been making to certain ones on another blog. Our presuppositions about the way God saves, i.e. regeneration first, etc., have no effect on God actually saving when we both share the same gospel. The Reformed gospel is not another gospel.

Les Prouty

6 staygold360 February 19, 2013 at 12:27 pm

I would say both A and B..But I feel that they both should have let the person pray their own prayer…

7 mariep February 19, 2013 at 12:44 pm

The one who truly repented and believed in Christ- hopefully both, maybe A, maybe B, maybe neither.

I actually think that saying, “You don’t actually do anything” is an unhelpful statement in both, though I know it’s meant to uphold solus Christus and sola fide. But that’s not how the apostles, or Jesus, answered the question- I would say something like, “Jesus said,’Deny yourself, take up your cross and follow Me.’ Are you willing to forsake your sin and live under Jesus’ Lordship?” The answer to that would be very telling.

8 the Old Adam February 19, 2013 at 12:51 pm

You don’t do anything to become a Christian.

You do quite a bit after you are one.

9 Edwin Leslie February 19, 2013 at 1:09 pm

the Old Adam,

I, being full blown Reformed, understand and appreciate what you are saying and making clear that our salvation is not of works. But I think you state the case too far. We exercise faith and we repent, though neither is a work. Both are gifts from God. God the Holy Spirit does not believe for us and He does not repent for us. We do those things, by His grace and enabling of course. or, am I misunderstanding what you are saying?

Les

10 Mark February 19, 2013 at 1:27 pm

mariep, I added the don’t do anything after Old Adam’s first comment. I get your point, but I was trying to provide a general example of atleast part of a dialogue. Of course, more could be said just like we might think how we could have said more or said things differently after a real encounter of sharing the gospel.

11 Joe Dupree February 19, 2013 at 3:11 pm

I would have to say, if both confessions are sincere within their hearts, that they are truly relying on faith alone, then they are both saved. Christ does choose us and we have to trust Him by faith. By faith, we know we are saved. Something unexplainable that the Spirit does when he regenerates our old dead state to a new life.

12 the Old Adam February 19, 2013 at 4:10 pm

Les,

You are right. faith and repentance are gifts of God. He gives then to us. We can’t do them without Him. we won’t do them without Him.
“We are dead in our sins and trespasses.”

So, we don’t do anything to become a Christian. But our Lord calls, gathers, enlightens and sanctifies us in the one true faith.

13 Jerry Minor February 19, 2013 at 6:23 pm

Could be A & B, could be just A and not B, could be B and not A, could be neither. The proof is in the pudding. Just because someone states that they want to repent and believe doesn’t actually mean that they repent and believe. There have been plenty of folks who have made mouth confession without heart repentance. We present the Gospel (and both of these presentations are the Gospel while I lean more to B), call people to repentance and belief, and trust God to perform the miracle of regeneration.

14 Adam G. in NC February 20, 2013 at 12:08 am

Time will tell. Either way, we dont say “hey, now you’re a christian”. That’s something that the Spirit does without any need for our popish proclamation.

15 Danny February 22, 2013 at 7:04 pm

We treat both as if they are saved, then disciple, disciple, disciple!

16 Mark February 23, 2013 at 9:32 am

Danny, thank you for the most accurate, succinct reply. Amen!

17 Lynn Mac September 6, 2013 at 4:07 pm

Jesus did NOT teach belief only saves in Jn 3:16 so neither would be saved by faith only but remain lost.

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