Watch What You Say Rom. 6:23 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO of witnessing mistakes.
When we are witnessing or preaching the gospel, we may be prone to say things that distort the truth. We’ll cover some of these common witnessing mistakes today. People often say:
Your sins must be paid for – Rom 6:23. We have a tract about being 100% sure you will go to heaven when you die. The second point is “Your sins must be paid for.” We quote Rom 6:23 for the first death and Rev 21:8 for the second death. These verses set up the excellent point that the Lord will cast all “liars” into the lake of fire.
But the truth of the matter is that Jesus Christ has already paid for our sins, Rom 5:8, 1 Pet 2:24. This is why Christ shed his blood Col 1:14. We inadvertently diminish the full atonement for sin by Jesus Christ. Getting this doctrine straight removes all hope that a person can affect God’s attitude about his sin through penance.
You will be judged after you die – Heb 9:27. This verse is also in our 100% sure tract. It sets up a great illustration to show a person that God will not judge him based on his good works versus his bad deeds. But rather, God will judge him against the righteousness of Jesus Christ.
However, the truth is that God has already judged sinners who have not believed on the Lord Jesus Christ. Jn 3:18, 3:36 say they are already condemned and under the wrath of God. Conversely, when we get saved we are immediately justified [1 Cor 6:11; Rom 5:8-9]. So, no one is waiting on the judgment one way or the other. God condemns you now or justifies you now. Note: we will go through the judgment seat of Christ, but this is a judgment for the sons of God, not for sinners.
Are you 100% sure that you will go to heaven when you die – 1 Jn 5:13. The problem with this is that the Lord offers us eternal life NOW, Jn 3:16, 5:24, 6:37. We don’t have to wait till we die to benefit fully from the life Jesus is offering us.
You see, by preaching about going to heaven, we have set up several problems. First, there’s the problem with eternal security. We are not waiting to get to heaven to have eternal life. We have it now. There is no probationary period during which God might change his mind. Second, by equating eternal life with going to heaven, people don’t see the need to make a decision now. Third, if sinners do make the decision to receive Jesus Christ, they have the impression that eternal life is about going to heaven when they die rather than living the abundant life of Christ today [Jn 10:10].
Invite Jesus into your life or into your heart – Gal 2:20. Salvation is not inviting Jesus into your life. That sounds like you are going along with your life and you invite Jesus along for the ride. The truth is, Jesus saves you and your life dies so that he can live his life in you. The trouble with many Christians today is that Jesus is just along for the ride. He doesn’t want to ride in your passenger seat. He wants you in the trunk so he can drive without you even attempting any back seat driving.
This is what repentance really deals with. You let go of the reins and let Jesus start running your life. Most Christians mess up right here. They trust Jesus and nothing changes because they invited Jesus into their life instead of exchanging their life for his.
Jesus loves you just the way you are – Heb 12:5-11. Preachers and soul winners will say this to entice a person to come to Jesus. However, if what they say is true, then the people won’t see the need to change after they believe. That’s what you see in many modern churches today. They will never understand the chastening love of God.
Conclusion: these common witnessing mistakes may not seem like big deals. However, if we say these things when we preach and attempt to lead people to Jesus, we distort the truth and may cause problems for the people we are dealing with, later. Just stick with the plain truth. The Lord doesn’t need our “help” to crank up conviction or to make the gospel more palatable.