How Not To Present The Gospel

How Not To Present The Gospel June 12, 2017

What are some of the worst ways to present the gospel? What is the biblical method?

Let Jesus Come into Your Heart

Imagine a young mother hearing her young son rummaging through the kitchen drawer and when she comes in, she screams because the young boy is standing there with a long knife pointed at his chest ready to plunge the knife into his heart. She grabs the knife and cries out, “What are you doing?” The young boy said, “I wanted to let Jesus into my heart.” The young boy had gone into the kitchen after he asked his mother about Jesus and how he could to go to heaven. She had told him to “Just let Jesus into your heart.” A young child might have a hard time understand this presentation, and besides, it’s unbiblical and could have cost her son his life.

Jesus Loves You

Yes, Jesus loves you but He is also asking you to repent. The saying “the universal fatherhood of God and the universal brotherhood of man” is not in the Bible. Whoever is not of Christ is not a child of the Father. To simply walk up to people and proclaim, “Jesus loves you” never mentions the need for the Savior because of the wrath of God. It is written, “God is love” but what may be God’s greatest attribute is that He is holy. In fact, the only attribute of God that is mentioned three times is that He is “Holy, Holy, Holy.” In Jewish literature, to repeat something two times is to give it great emphasis, but to say it three times is to stress it to the highest degree. Telling someone who is not saved that Jesus loves them may bring them to say, “Well, my children love me too…and so does my wife, and my…” Can you imagine Paul going up to the Pharisees, the tax collectors or even the Greeks and saying “Jesus loves you?”

I’ve Accepted Jesus

I have seen so many of these signs that ask us to Accept Jesus” or asking, “Will you accept Jesus today,” but does Jesus need our acceptance? I would be more concerned about Jesus accepting me! To “accept Jesus” is like saying, “If I have too, I guess I will accept Jesus,” as if He needs us to accept Him. No, it is we who desperately need Him! If you’re going to “accept” something, accept the fact that you and I are sinners and we needed saving. Our sins have separated us from a holy God, so for me, I didn’t accept Him, but I pleaded with Him for forgiveness and repented of my sins. Nowhere in the Bible does it say that we are to accept Jesus.

Now-after-John-was (2)

Give Your Heart to Jesus

Not loving this one either. To ask someone to, “Give your heart to Jesus,” is to offer God something that He doesn’t want. He wants all of you, heart included, but to offer a heart that still has a sinful nature, is to offer Him something far short of what He wants. I know it’s a common expression to say, “I gave my heart to Jesus,” but that expression doesn’t mean anything to someone who is not saved, so to ask, “Have you given your heart to Jesus” doesn’t make sense because the heart is deceitful and desperately wicked, and only God can really know it (Jer 17:9). Jesus never asked anyone, “Let me into your heart.”

The Sinner’s Prayer

God alone saves, so even repeating a sinner’s prayer may not save them. God grants repentance, and then that person trusts in Christ. That’s how they’re saved. They see their sinfulness and the need for Christ, and are compelled to pray for forgiveness. A canned or “Follow after me” prayer is a manmade formula. That’s like saying everyone who came forward and filled out a “decision card” were saved when the turned in their paperwork. Coming forward at services, repeating a sinner’s prayer, or filling out a decision card doesn’t save a soul; God alone does (Acts 4:12). God may use those as a means to save some, but they are not in themselves able to save. If you are repeating a sinners prayer or even filling out a decision card (neither are biblical), you may be giving someone false assurance or creating a pseudo conversion. It’s very easy to unknowing create tares among the wheat when the right gospel is not presented and people come to Christ for the wrong reasons. When the Jailer asked, “what I must do to be saved,” (Acts 16:30), Paul didn’t say, “Well, here fill out this decision card,” or “walk down the aisle,” or “repeat the sinner’s prayer.” No, the Apostle Paul said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31).

The Real Gospel

Can we get rid of these church signs which say, “Come to Jesus,” “Jesus needs you,” or “Need Jesus?” Yes, we need Jesus, but tell them why (John 3:18). We love to read John 3:16 about God’s great love, but neglect the following verses, which are linked, and where John writes, “Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already” (John 3:18). I don’t see that on church signs. Why? Because this is such a seeker sensitive time we live in and the soft-sell, easy believism draws nice crowds but just doesn’t work, and God alone knows how many are there for the wrong reason and may not be saved, and most importantly, not even know it! People so often come to Christ for the wrong reason, so until we tell people the bad news that if they step out of this life without Christ as their Lord and Savior, they’re going straight to hell because their sins have only earned them eternal death (Rom 6:23). The lost need to know that they are separated from a Holy God by their sins and they need to repent (Isaiah 59:2), and that only Jesus can become sin for them and through Him alone can they be seen as having His righteousness (2 Cor 5:21), but also that ever one of us fall infinitely short of God’s standard (Rom 3:23), and that none of us are not without sin (1 John 1:8, 10). If they don’t know that, then they may never see the need for repenting or even know what repentance is. It is the wrath of God that makes God’s mercy relevant. God’s righteous wrath makes the good news of God’s mercy and forgiveness like water for a dying man in the desert.

Conclusion

You cannot present the gospel without mention repentance. That’s why “John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, ‘Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matt 3:1-2). Peter pierced the conscience of those who were witnesses of and responsible for Jesus’ being crucified, and he told them all, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ” (Acts 2:38). Jesus preached the necessity of repentance, saying, “Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel” (Mark 1:14-15), not, “Let me into your heart” or “Will you accept Me?” Even though repentance is granted by God (2nd Tim 2:25), you cannot separate turning from sin (repentance) from having faith in Christ. You cannot turn to God without turning from sin. In fact, conversion cannot occur apart from the presence of both repentance and faith. Only a brokenness or conviction of sin can ready the fallow soil for the seed of the Word of God. Only when the soil’s broken up can the seed take root.

Article by Jack Wellman

Jack Wellman is Pastor of the Mulvane Brethren Church in Mulvane Kansas. Jack is host of Spiritual Fitness and also the Senior Writer at What Christians Want To Know whose mission is to equip, encourage, and energize Christians and to address questions about the believer’s daily walk with God and the Bible. You can follow Jack on Google Plus or check out his book Teaching Children the Gospel available on Amazon.

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  • Iain Lovejoy

    Did the “let Jesus into your heart” story actually happen that you yourself witnessed, or is it some dubious circulated story? Even if it is, it is a bit OTT to suggest it is going to happen again. You might as well say it is dangerous to tell a child to “cut that out” or “knock that off” if doing something they shouldn’t, in case they misunderstand in a similar way. You can’t police every idiomatic turn of phrase you use. If a child is doing this it is pretty well certain there is a heck of a lot more going on than an unfortunate turn of phrase.
    ‘Can you imagine Paul going up to the Pharisees, the tax collectors or even the Greeks and saying “Jesus loves you?”’. I don’t have to imagine it, I can read it: Romans 5:8: “but God shows his love for us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us”. Paul expressly states God loves unrepentant sinners. It is the central message of Christianity that God so loved the (at this stage unrepentant) world that he sent his son to save it. So yeah, God loves sinners. God may have holiness as an attribute, but God IS love: saying God’s love takes second fiddle to his holiness is simply ignoring the Bible.
    Revelation 3:20: “See, I stand at the door and knock; if any one hears my voice and opens the door, I will come into him, and will eat with him, and he with me.”
    I am confused as to what your problem is with the notion of accepting Jesus. I don’t understand what you think “repentance” means if you don’t think it means turning back to God, ceasing your rejection of him and putting trust in Jesus. Is it possible you are confusing repentance with displays of self hatred and self-flagellation (which have nothing whatsoever to do with true repentance)? Or are you preaching that we are required to make ourselves worthy of God before he will accept us? Either way that isn’t the gospel.

    • pud

      “Paul” was a murdering lunatic. You’re a lunatic

    • Jack Wellman

      So Jesus said “I love you” and also Paul to the Pharisees, “I love you?” I know we’re to love all people and even our enemies we pray for God to bless them, so you use this type of evangelism then? How effective are you at it? Does it mean anything without telling them what the gospel is, in it’s whole, as Jesus said (Mark 1:14-15)?

      • Dalia

        Pastor Wellman, Lain Lovejoy is an atheist. It’s very hard to not respond to these walking dead men because we want to get a message across, but they are in darkness and are evil. To have a reasonable discussion with these dead men is utterly fruitless. Lovejoy and Pud are very deranged to spend an insurmountable amount of their worthless lives on a site where Christians gather to learn and be edified. They appear on this site for one reason…they are filled with hate and have nowhere else but to direct their rage on the followers of Jesus. They are to be pitied, but alas I don’t have pity for them. They have their due coming. By the way they attack it seems their due has enveloped them.
        Great article and very true.

        • Iain Lovejoy

          Actually, no, I am not an atheist, I am a Christian. I am not sure what you think a “reasonable discussion” is, but your words are not it. I disagree with Pastor Wellman on a number if things, but some things he says I find interesting, informative or inspiring.
          Even if I were an atheist, God looks in the world and despite everything loves it and pronounces it “good” (atheists included). It is the work of the Accuser to denounce before God everyone and everything as “evil”, and profoundly unchristian to enlist God in revenge fantasies against those you do not agree with.

          • pud

            “Even if I were an atheist, God looks in the world and despite everything loves it and pronounces it”

            Consider the stupidity of this statement….nuff said

          • Dalia

            God pronounced everything good before the fall, you stupid atheist. And you’re a liar

          • Iain Lovejoy

            God bless you, and keep you, and lead you out of the pit into which you have fallen. I pray for you.

          • Dalia

            God is not hearing your prayers because you are not one of His own. You are demonic. We both know this. Why don’t you go outside for a walk. Go to the gym. Learn a new hobby. You are a retired recluse with nothing to do but come face to face with a computer. You are a lonely homebound nobody. More than likely your wife has left you because you are hopelessly boring. All you do is criticize this pastor because you think you are a know-it-all. If you’re sooo wise start your own blog, site, etc. but, no, you sit on your fat lazy behind and think you know more than this pastor by spewing your green slim like Satan can do. Get out and do something productive.

          • Iain Lovejoy

            Bless you and thank you for your kind thoughts.

          • Dalia

            You’re welcome. Pick up jogging. It starts with the first step

          • Maybe I’m a saved atheist. I run 20 kilometres 4 mornings a week.

          • pud

            Go clean your trailer

          • Maltnothops

            Some Bible verses to support your points would have strengthened your comment.

          • Dalia

            I have found that quoting scripture and citing chapter and verse to atheists and God haters will tune them out, so I paraphrase using my own. Not ideal, i know, since the scripture is sharper than a double edged sword. To quote scripture to these evil dark hearted dying men would only cause them to trample further on the blood of Jesus. They don’t covet the truth of scripture and therefore undermine them, mock them, and challenge them….so I no longer give the precious jewels of truth to them. Jesus says they weren’t for them anyway. (Challenge: What book, chapter, and verse did I quote that from)?

          • Maltnothops

            I take it that you have found insulting people is more likely to bring people to God than quoting Scripture. What sorts of insults have been most effective for you?

          • Dalia

            Insulting? How about truth? The mega church has created weak servants. American Christians have no clue what a servant of God is. They seek comfort without trial. They continue to view Jesus as their personal servant. They feel they are in demonic warfare when they don’t get their way in life. They are ultra sensitive and find offense in everything. Just like you do. They get insulted easily. This pastor is preparing sermons for his congregation. He is an author. He writes articles. For what? To be constantly weighed down with questions meant to challenge without sincerity. Lovejoy needs to stop being lazy and search for himself. John and Jesus “insulted” the Pharisees by calling them vipers. I’m sure you find that insulting. You would’ve pulled Jesus aside and told Him He is sooooo rude. My personal opinion: I can’t stand weak men! Uggg!!! P.s. How are you doing with the challenge I posed?

          • Maltnothops

            I’m not sure what made you think I was insulted in any way. I wasn’t. But when you wrote this — “You are a lonely homebound nobody. More than likely your wife has left you because you are hopelessly boring.” — I thought you were attempting to insult Iain Lovejoy. If you don’t regard those comments as insulting, I apologize. I may have caused you needless angst. Unless you didn’t feel angst, in which case my apology is superfluous and I apologize for that.

            I have a counter challenge. When Abraham heard God tell him to sacrifice his son Ishmael, who did Abraham actually hear and how do we know that?

          • Dalia

            Meet mine and stop diverting

          • Maltnothops

            So were you trying to be insulting? Remember that Jesus doesn’t like liars.

          • Dalia

            Yes. Now Jesus loves me

          • Maltnothops

            So why the faux “insulting?” Why lie about something so petty?

          • Dalia

            Welll, “insulting” doesn’t necessarily mean lying. It’s how you took it. YOU found it insulting. YOU defined insulting as lying. I saw it as truth. Anyone with that ungodly amount of time sitting in front of a computer must be lazy, unhealthy, and lonely, desperately seeking a relationship in whatever form. He is obviously educated. He must be married, as he appears to be an older man. He must also be divorced because what woman will stand living with a shut-in in love with his computer and doesn’t have time for a marital relationship. He is easy to read. You appear to want to dig deeper into my psyche.

          • Maltnothops

            Not necessarily. But in this case you lied. At least an atheist helped you return to the straight and narrow.

            I am as interested in your psyche as I am in your challenge. I hope that isn’t too much of a blow to your ego.

          • Dalia

            If you repeat yourself a few times you will believe it.

          • Maltnothops

            So you never did explain why insulting people is an efficacious way to witness to them. If that is true, you should try to get better at it.

          • Yes, she is doing a great job of creating people who wouldn’t want to be like her god. She should keep up the great work of creating atheists.

          • Maltnothops

            “…creating atheists.”

            I wouldn’t give Dalia that much credit. I am dubious, however, of the claim that insults are a successful way to proselytize.

          • What a load of nonsense!

          • Maltnothops

            “Now Jesus loves me.”

            In the Christianity I was brought up in, Jesus’s love was unconditional. He loved everyone, even when they lied. He didn’t like it, but he loved them. I’m sorry your Christianity isn’t like that.

          • Dalia

            It wasn’t Ishmael. It was Isaac who was obedient and willing to be sacrificed

          • Maltnothops

            You’re not doing very well with the challenge. Try again.

          • Dalia

            No need. I am right.

          • Maltnothops

            Giving up?

          • Dalia

            Yes

          • Maltnothops

            Dalia needs to stop being lazy and search for hirself.

          • Dalia

            It was Isaac

          • Maltnothops

            No. Isaac and Ishmael were brothers. I was referring to the version with Ishmael. Forget the Isaac version; it isn’t relevant to the challenge. Not that it matters, but Ishmael was also willing to be sacrificed.

            In the Ishmael version., who told Abraham to kill Ishmael and how do we know that?

          • Dalia

            Ishmael and Isaac were half brothers. There is only one version. The godly and demonic. You are hard pressed to focus on the demonic. What happened? My challenge seemed to have stumped you? Goodbye…you bore me. Entertain someone else. I have things to do.

          • Maltnothops

            “There is only one version. The godly and demonic.”

            Seriously? The difference between one and two is beyond you? Sad!

            Thanks for quitting. You gave me what I wanted.

          • Maltnothops

            It was Satan, btw. Obviously.

          • Dalia

            According to your Quran.

          • Maltnothops

            It’s your Quran too.

            What I always liked about the Ishmael version is that Yahweh is a decent chap. He shows up in the nick of time and saves the day. He’s like, “Dude! What the heck made you think I would ever tell you to murder your son? I’m the good guy, remember?”

            Whereas Yahweh is plainly an asshole in the Isaac version. Yahweh already knows that Abraham will obey him and Isaac will go along with it so it isn’t like he is actually testing the two of them. He is just being a jerk because he can.

            And the Ishmael version is consistent with the putative nature of Yahweh as good and merciful whilst the Isaac version isn’t.

          • Dalia

            Oh, no I do not. Jesus said I am the way, the truth, and the life. That means everything else, every other way is…not the way, a lie, and death. Keep your Quran and your prophet Mohammed, and your Allah. I stay with the sovereign God, Jesus Christ my Savior, and the Holy Spirit. You’re on the wrong road, my friend.

          • Maltnothops

            You are as atheist as me when it comes to Allah. Neither one of us thinks of that character as a god or even anything other than a fiction. If I’m on the wrong road with respect to Allah, then you are too.

            What cracks me up is that you would happily accept the Ishmael version if it were in your bible and reject the Isaac version if it were in the Quran. The behavior of the god character is irrelevant to you. My take on the two stories is consistent regardless of their source. Yahweh/Allah is an asshole in the Isaac version and a decent chap in the Ishmael version.

          • Dalia

            You go down your road, I will go down mine. Our roads won’t meet.

          • Maltnothops

            “Our roads won’t meet.”

            I certainly hope you are more accurate about this than everything else you’ve written because your track record for getting stuff right is awful.

          • Dalia

            “More” accurate, meaning I was accurate albeit less about some other things? If I am wrong, I have nothing to lose. If I am right you will pay for eternity in hell….not with many virgins like your belief system states.

          • Maltnothops

            Suppose you are correct that there is a god but incorrect about which god. Furthermore, suppose that the actual god has one rule: “You shall have no other gods before me.” Everyone who violates the rule goes to hell and everyone else goes to heaven.

            You and I die. You go to hell because you had put your god Jesus above the actual god. I go to heaven because I didn’t believe in any gods at all and therefore did not violate the actual god’s one and only rule.

            This is known as Rascal’s Wager. Since neither one of knows for certain if any of the gods we don’t believe in is the correct god, the best choice of all in Rascal’s Wager is to be atheist. You have everything to lose and nothing to gain by believing in Jesus.

            ….

            You seem to think I’m Muslim because I don’t accept Allah as god. You also don’t accept Allah as god so you must be Muslim too.

          • Dalia

            Do you know who you are? You say you are a Christian, then an athiest, then a Muslim. You are mired in confusion. Allah is NOT god. And, no, I am not Muslim. I am a Christian. You can spin your brain around philosophy, but you will get nowhere. Philosophy is a red herring leading you down a spiral path to death. Colossians 2:8 “Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principle of the world, and not according to Christ.” Wouldn’t you rather stop “supposing” and just believe and be sure? John 20:27 “do not be unbelieving, but believing”. John 20:29 “Blessed are those who have not seen (meaning those who have yet to see Jesus in the flesh) and yet believe.” But you refuse to believe because you are chained to lies….and you like it! Tell me, why do atheists frequent where Christians gather on this site? Because deep down you, and the likes of you, are pissed off and filled to the brim with hate that we do not follow your empty philosophy.

          • Maltnothops

            Where did I say I am Christian or Muslim? Please quote it. I’m atheist and have claimed nothing else.

            I think you’re right about tuning out bible verses. I skipped right over them. I’ve read your bible so much that there is nothing there left for me to learn.

            “Why do atheists…”. I can’t speak for other atheists, of course. In my case, it is because I like to see if bible-believing Christians have gotten any better at logic since the days I was a believer. That’s why I ask questions and probe reasoning. They haven’t gotten any more logical. The same logical fallacies keep cropping up. It is like going to the zoo occasionally: I’ve seen the animals before but I like seeing them again.

            Not sure why you think I’m pissed off. I’m not.

            I see you didn’t address Rascal’s Wager. How come?

          • Dalia

            Dear confused atheist, if the same fallacies keep cropping up, it’s because you keep frequenting the same place, such as this site. Duh! It appears to you that we haven’t gotten any better according to your wisdom and reasoning. We will not change our message, but if you feel you still need us (for whatever jollies you need) welcome! “Logical reasoning”, did you mean “illogical”. Lol….you’re funny! (Giggle, giggle). P.s. You were never a believer. You were never one of us. You’re a lost dying man…doomed.

          • Dalia

            And…and of course I’m right about the Bible versus. I’m humbled you admitted this fact. Oh, and I’m always right

          • Maltnothops

            Yes, you are always right. You were right when you asserted I was Christian. You were right when you asserted I was Muslim. You were right when you asserted I was atheist. For non-traditional values of right, anyway.

            Anyway, thanks to you, I won a bet and got a bunch of homemade cookies from a friend. I gave her a list of bad arguments you would make and when you made enough of them, I won the bet. She then said you weren’t a real Christian but I defended you. I told her you reminded me of myself when I was a True Christian like you are now.

          • “I’m always right”. Some humility!

          • Dalia

            The reason I dont address rascal’s wager is because there’s nothing to comment. He’s all philosophy…empty. I see you still haven’t met my challenge. If you read the entire bible as you said you have, you would’ve been able to answer. I like going to the zoo too, but not EVERY DAY. You seem (every day) to need someone to talk down to with your constant visit to this site. When someone responds to you you feel that twitch between your legs, your mouth starts salivating like a rabid dog, and the salacious thrill of your opportunity to mock a Christian takes over. Well, look….repent, you fool, before God shuts the door of salvation on your stupid ignorant pussy face!

          • Thank you Dalia. You are doing a great job . Why would anyone want your God if she is like you?

          • Evermyrtle

            You will find that this is true with all anti-GOD peoples! Still we should try to answer with love, no matter how obnoxious they are when present their anti-GOD, anti-CHRIST opinions . Remember they are lost and have no idea the wonder of GOD and HIS SON JESUS CHRIST!

          • Iain Lovejoy

            Ha. “Rascal’s wager”. I like it! It ultimately fails though because it misunderstands the meaning of the word “God”. Islam, Judaism, and at least traditional Christianity are atheistic by your definition, since they don’t worship any god that is a being among beings (however powerful) existing within the universe that could possibly be one particular god rather than the other.
            Monotheism in this sense is rather an assertion about the origin, foundation and cause of existence itself and the ultimate source from which it emanates and basis on which it operates. We can’t worship different gods since “God” can only by definition refer to one thing. It is possible to worship any number of created “gods” instead of the source / origin / foundation of existence, however, (which in my less charitable moments I fear a lot of Christians do, too.)

          • Maltnothops

            I don’t understand how the abrahamic religions are atheistic by any definition. Monotheism is theistic by definition. It may be incorrect in at least two ways: 1) there may be more or less than one god. 2) there may be only one god but not the one any particular religion has identified.

            Besides, the Hebrew Scriptures are pretty clear that there used to be multiple gods.

            I think it is possible that the god of the Bible (Tanakh, Koran) exists, but not as described by those texts. That god is logically impossible. However, I accept the possibility that the Bible (etc.) is wrong and that it’s god is real.

          • Iain Lovejoy

            The problem is that “god” is used to mean both gods such as Zeus, Jupiter, Thor etc, which are postulated powerful beings involved to a greater or lesser degree in forming the Earth from its initial unformed state and in control to whatever degree in what happens on it, but living in the universe and part of it, but which are essentially, however powerful, beings among other beings, but also to mean the underlying universal principle by which the universe itself operates. The latter, which is what classical monotheism refers to as “God”, in some ways has more in common with e.g. the eastern philosophical concept of the Tao than the pagan concept of what constitutes a deity.

          • Maltnothops

            I think you are iron-manning your interpretation of classical monotheism’s understanding of God. (Which is not to imply the underlying premise is incorrect.) I suspect the vast majority of monotheists — abrahamic or otherwise — would regard themselves as “believers” and I would say correctly so. None of us knows if what we believe about god(s) is correct but surely the vast majority of us know what we believe.

            Be that as it may, my point in bringing up Rascal’s Wager was to undermine Dalia’s use of Pascal’s Wager. That worked, as Dalia immediately abandoned Pascal — although I am not certain that Dalia realizes that zhe tossed out the baby with the bath water.

          • Iain Lovejoy

            Yes, the view I take of God is a very “high” version of classic monotheism which not all Christians sign up to (although I believe Islam and Judaism are pretty consistent in this respect) but this is the only concept of God that makes the slightest sense to me, and my stubbornly persisting belief in God stems largely from there being in my view a great big glaring hole in the middle of how everything works if no such universal principle exists.
            If I bang on about it is more to do with supposedly monotheistic Christians insisting that “their” God is special and different to that of other (monotheistic) faiths, as if there could ever be more than one of God, or propounding the toxic idea of God as some invisible bearded bloke in the stratosphere somewhere who does what they tell him and smites people they don’t like. Shoring up arguments against atheists I am not actually that bothered about.
            I do actually think Pascal’s wager works a bit at least, in that, even if you are unsure about it, if there is a chance you are actually living in a property there is someone who took the trouble to construct, and alongside people he regards as his responsibility, you might want to consider doing your best to keep the place in order, not be a d*ck to your co-habitees and keep an ear out just in case he does exist and really is trying to tell you something.

          • Maltnothops

            Your comments about Pascal’s Wager working a little bit apply equally to Rascal’s Wager.

          • Iain Lovejoy

            True enough. If you assume the possible existence of one or more petty tyrant small-g gods who will roast your gonads if you pick the wrong one, best not to choose.

          • Maltnothops

            Or even your big G god if you misunderstood its needs.

          • pud

            No, you’re a complete lunatic who should be on meds

          • God’s own champion! You engage in the delusional comments about so-called “demons”. Again, I commend you for your attitude that creates atheists. Just continue to be rude to them. You are a great example for a Christian whom Jesus said that God is compassionate (kind) towards those that you consider are wicked and ungrateful. Where’s your kindness? Oh I forgot. It doesn’t matter to you. Being right is better for you than being like Jesus!

          • “…evil dark hearted dying men…”

            You assume that atheists are evil. Do you really know any atheists. Some may be evil (though no-one is entirely evil. There is good and evil in all persons.), but many are compassionate caring and kind.

            We don’t see the bible as truth. After all, the bible has god commanding the mass slaughter (murder)of defensless women, little children and babies.

          • pud

            No it wouldn’t. The buybull is a made up story book written by nonsensical barbaric Bronze and Iron Age apocalyptic delusional religious zealots. There is nothing supportive of anything in that disaster of a manuscript

          • Why don’t you do something productive than just spouting your fantasies!

          • pud

            Nothing fails like prayer.

          • pud

            Really? Prove it.

          • You are doing at good job at creating atheists by your attitude, Dalia. keep up the good work!

        • What is evil about a person who is an atheist?

      • Iain Lovejoy

        I am happy to admit I am rubbish when it comes to evangelism, so if all you were saying is that in your experience these statements were not effective evangelism then I would not be in a position to comment (other than to say that this plainly isn’t the experience of others, since they continue to use these techniques: perhaps dome people find some messages more effective than others).
        What you do, though, is denounce this message as false and unbiblical, which I do not think is at all justified, and go on to (apparently) propound a message which, as I said, I think just plain wrong.
        Regarding Mark 1:14-15, this only supports my point. The message is to “repent”, which means to turn back to God, not self-flagellate, and believe the good news, which is the good news of God’s reign coming on earth. Your preferred message seems to be to repent and believe in hell, which unless you think the Kingdom of God is hell, is not the good news.

        • I like some points you make LL. Something we all should make it a point to recall is that while announcing “the [promised] kingdom is at hand” , which is part of the burden of the kingdom gospel Jesus and his 12 preached—- the other part is that the “King” of that kingdom, aka the Messiah is among them if they would only recognize that fact. It’s kinda like “Duh! …if you knew your scripture you would realize Who I am.” I think I am drifting off a little too far, so I will give it a break. 😉 [Edit to add: I have “Pud” blocked, so I don’t see any of that.] Thanks be! 😎

      • pud

        “jesus” “said” nothing…the authors (who you have no idea of) wrote a story book….error #1 which you constantly repeat

        Paul was a murdering psychotic….how many other murdering psychotics that you meet talking to jesus on the subway do you hitch your wagon to?

      • Good grief Pastor Wellman, In Mark 1:14,15 Jesus was speaking to the Jews of Israel whom had long departed from the truth and needed to change their minds. Jesus woulddn’t preach then to Gentiles like us. We are not saved by
        the “Kingdom gospel.”

    • pud

      You’re more than “confused”

    • I agree broadly with one caveat: The love of God for the sinner must be presented but along with His declaration each of us is born in sin and do sin.
      That, after all is the reason we seek salvation in the first place, no?

      • Iain Lovejoy

        Hmm. A joke with a point to it:
        “Knock, knock.
        Who’s there?
        Jesus.
        What do you want?
        To save you.
        From what?
        From what I’m going to do to you if you you don’t let me in.”
        If your gospel is about threatening people with God’s punishment if they don’t do what he tells them, ultimately it fails.
        According to the Bible the wages of sin are death, not hell, for which I understand the natural consequences of departure from God, the source of life.
        You don’t need to tell people they are sinners if they already know they are f*cking things (and themselves) up. There can be a need in some cases to hold up a mirror to people so they can see what they are doing, but I think in most cases it is pretty obvious to most that we need saving. An over-emphasis on God’s general p*ssed-off-ness with sin can lead to the false gospel that it is God we need saving from rather than ourselves, in my view.

        • I’m short of time. Please allow me to sleep on that one and I hope to get back to you later—God willing.

          • To lain lovejoy: I am not sure what you are advocating as a better, or scripturally correct approach to presenting the saving good news [gospel of Christ] to anyone.
            What I am sure of is that approach is unfailingly presented to all who receive it in the epistles of apostle Paul.
            He writes those epistles to people who have believed his gospel, but since he died before reaching many who need salvation also— Paul fortuitously wrote a recapitulation of the gospel he had preached to sinners. It is in I Cor. 15:1-4.
            Once the sinners had believed and trusted that good news [gospel] Paul followed up with much, much more building up [edification] on the foundation of Jesus Christ. He explained as no other Bible writer did or could the mystery [formerly hidden] of the Body of Christ. The BOC is the ekklesia (assembly) of all , living and dead, who have believed the gospel Paul preached. Grace and Peace to all in the Body of Christ.

        • Steve Wheeler

          God is love u have a choice love or hate no rules choose love and live choose hate and die ur choice ur free to choose whats it going to be ? Love i hope aloha and have a blessed day!

      • “born in sin”

        Sin is a religious construct. We are not born “in sin”. We do enter a world that has evil in it and as we are socialised by our parents, and the people we interact with, we take on some of the characteristics of the culture and the norms and values that our parents try and in still in us.

        • I appreciate your responding with your personal take on whether the Bible is correct when it states unequivically that with Adam as our father, we are born with the “fallen” nature the Bible calls sin nature.
          I can only surmise that you don’t believe the Bible [God’s Word.]

  • pud

    “Only a brokenness or conviction of sin can ready the fallow soil for the seed of the Word of God.”

    It is NOT the word of any gawd. It is the words of many delusional ignorant religious zealots

    Fixed it for you once again

    • JRene

      So, Pud is a bit of a pain in the neck, I suppose, as he is everywhere on Patheos…LOL. But perhaps all Christians should listen to him. The words you speak about the bible, God, Jesus…it’s all rubbish, nonsensical, illogical blabber, indoctrinated deep into your minds. Religious expression is the only setting where the doctrines believed and expressed would get you placed in a nuthouse with a diagnosis of schizophrenia anywhere else. Listen to yourselves. Demand evidence. Think.

      • pud

        They won’t listen or consider anything. They are full blown cult members who have built their entire identity around the worship of an ancient book. They have forsaken their critical thinking skills and all ability to reason. They suffer clinical cognitive dissonance, confirmation bias and pathological delusions about the nature of reality. They are addicts who need extensive treatment but like all addicts won’t even consider it until they realize they have a problem

        • JRene

          Agree. It’s quite frustrating. It’s useful to engage, though, as once in a while one finds their way out of the insanity that is religion. I’m one of them. You have to understand what centuries of mind control and extreme cultural/societal shaping does to a human being. If you insult them, you immediately validate them in their own minds.

          • Jack Wellman

            It seems the insults are one-way my friend. I am sorry you’re frustrated. Maybe you can find a hobby.

          • JRene

            Did you even read my post, and to whom I was replying? Apparently not. Take your time to read and process when posting.

          • Maltnothops

            Like Dalia, I suppose.

          • Being “religious” or even attending “religious services” and subscribing [giving credence] to religious doctrines/traditions
            is quite different from placing one’s complete trust, faith, eternal life, love and devotion to the One living person Who has taken your place
            suffering the wrath of the One Holy Creator God.

      • Jack Wellman

        To “listen to him” is to acknowledge a troll, which is pointless. And what you or he/she (who knows?) believe doens’t change what is true.

        • JRene

          You have no evidence for what you believe. Your views or no more valid than those of a Hindu or Muslim. And I am not trolling I am discussing. Open your mind and explore the universe intellectually and the veil of indoctrination will lift from you.

          • Jack Wellman

            The problem with open minds is that just about everything can come in. My mind is set on Scripture where Jesus says He is the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6), so either you believe Him or not. May God lift the veil over your eyes.

          • JRene

            Thank you for what I believe are your sincere well-wishes. An open mind does not invite everything, rather, it invites truth and reality. The only veil is that which covers your own mind.

          • “My mind is set on Scripture”.
            Among the many exhortations, corrections and instructions of our Apostle too many Christians overlook is in Paul’s last epistle 2 Tim. 2:15.
            Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

          • How can the bible be the word of truth when it has God commanding the extermination(murder) of babies and little children?

  • Jack Wellman

    As for Pud…even though I cannot read anymore of your comments because they held no true value except to other trolls, I appreciate your blessing people Matt 5:10-12; 1 Pet 4).

  • Maltnothops

    The best advice I can give to proselytizers is that you have start at the beginning of the argument rather than the middle or the end. Until you can demonstrate the existence of any deity in general or your deity in particular, there is little point in quibbling over how best to promote its putative wants and needs. It is like discussing how best to protect Bigfoot from the effects of climate change on its habitat.

  • pud

    “That’s why “John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, ‘Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand”

    Ooops! One more failed “prophecy” Funny even gentle jesus meek and mild had a similar failed prophecy…unless there are some 1st century believers still alive.. but don’t let this keep you from your imaginary friend and end of days wishes…cheers

  • what a crying shame it is that even after this brother Jack Wellman lists all those ways NOT TO PRESENT THE GOSPEL, he finishes his mostly effective lesson with
    a complete confusion of what the gospel of Christ is.
    The gospel of Christ Paul repeated for his Corinthian believers in I Cor, 15:3,4
    was not revealed to mankind when JTB, Peter, the 11 were with Jesus , and not even spoken by Jesus to them, Is God a Liar? His Word says the gospel of grace was hidden from the foundation of the world. (Rom. 16:25) Except for Paul’s letters, the Body of Christ isn’t found anywhere in the Bible. The 12 apostles were preaching A GOSPEL all the way into the first few chapters of Acts, but when Jesus had come to the point of going to the cross, THEY TRIED TO STOP HIM! Peter preached the cross as BAD NEWS to Israel.
    Folks, the only gospel that saves today is that gospel Paul preached. Anything “other” is “another gospel” and under a curse.

  • Steve Wheeler

    Jesus knows ur heart when u pray jesus loves u or let him into ur heart ( life)
    Accept jesus …..the holy spirit knows and prays on r behalf to GOD….main thing is you want to know jesus better and
    Love him more everyday…. pray with a pure heart let GOD DO THE REST AMEN ALOHA AND HAVE A
    BLESSED DAY,! P.S if u confess jesus is
    Lord and believe in ur heart that GOD raised him from the dead u shall be saved ! he knows ur heart !