Monday, March 26, 2012

Evidence of Salvation Is So Much More Than Standing On A Box

The following was posted by my good friend, Jon Speed, on Facebook and is reprinted here with his permission. I completely concur with Jon's statements and they should serve as a clarion call for all street evangelists to examine themselves to see if they are really in the faith (2 Corinthians 13:5).

#1: Being a street evangelist is not necessarily evidence of fruit of the Spirit.

#2: Intellectual conformity to sound doctrine and principles of evangelism is not saving faith. In other words, a decision to embrace truths is not salvation.

#3: Regeneration is solely the work of God and has nothing to do with man's decisions or efforts. A man may be intellectually convinced of the truths of Christianity, but if God does not work there is no salvation.

#4: The parable of the soils does not have to do with the quality of the seed that is sown. In all four instances, the seed was the Word of God--perfect and without defect. Sound gospel presentations and sound theology will not save apart from a work of God. The issue in the parable is the soil in the heart of the recipient, not the message.

#5: Since these things are all true, we cannot and must not assume that everyone who preaches the gospel on the streets, everyone who claims to believe it in the pulpit and pew, and everyone who loves good theology is in fact saved. Because we have lost the doctrine of regeneration, we have reduced the response to the gospel to the lowest common denominator. Because we are afraid to guide professing believers in Biblical self examination, we do damage to their souls by neglect.

#6: I am convinced now more than ever that if there is going to be a genuine revival it will have to start with a mass of conversions within the professing church. This will include those who love sound doctrine and evangelism. It must include the principles that lie behind what we have learned with ministries like Way of the Master and we must preach the possibility of false conversion amongst those we think do not need to hear it. And if we do that, we will need to do it without regard as to whether or not people like us for it.

#7: We need to change the way we do evangelism training. Too often we assume that if people agree with WoTM [Way of the Master], then they are saved and only need to be trained in the "how." False conversion must be emphasized and the teaching of it has to go beyond the parable of the soils and focus on Matthew 7:21-23 and similar passages. 1 Corinthians 6 and Galatians 5 are essential as well. We need to talk about the fall away (from the gospel, not evangelism) we've seen in street evangelism circles, and we need to warn people that their interest in evangelism is no indicator of their salvation.


Three years ago I preached a message titled "Marks of a Possible False Convert," which I think serves well as an affirmation of the above seven points.

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