Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Conversation starters of eternal value

Do you have some simple questions that I could ask people of the Acts 2 persuasion that would get them to reconsider the typically-held perspective on when the ‘church’ started?

The following are a few questions that I use when dealing with others about the truth of God's rightly divided Word.

Obviously each individual situation is different depending on the person you are dealing with, their particular persuasion/denominational viewpoint/religious system, etc. But for the most part, these questions work to at least get them to think about what they actually "believe."  Once you spend a few years actually talking to people about these things, it will get much easier to know where to go, and how to "maneuver" through the conversation, and it will become "second nature" to you in time. Anyway, here we go.

 You need to deal with 2 major issues: a person’s salvation and why is Paul in the Bible?

The very first thing that I want to deal with anyone that I talk to is the issue of salvation! If this person says that they are a Christian, I ask them to tell me what they are trusting at this very moment to be right in the eyes of God.

Chances are that most of the people that you deal with won't be able to articulate what they believe clearly, nor will it be a clear testimony of the gospel of the Grace of God! Most likely it will involve some type of "work" (i.e., repentance, water baptism, etc.), so you will end up having to help them out in the end...but we will get to that later.

But for now, you want to get them to think about what they are trusting. Most will say something like Acts 2:38 or some other thing outside of what our Apostle Paul says within his epistles (Romans – Philemon) is necessary for salvation, and so they will be wrong.

I then go on to give them this particular scenario:

We are walking down the street together and you are "witnessing" to me. As we cross the street at the intersection I am then hit by a car and my life's blood is pouring out and it is obvious that I may die. After calling 911 and doing all you can to care for my wounds, you begin to think about my eternal life, and realize that I might die soon.

Then I ask them to give me a message that makes me right with God right then and there on the spot…

 Give me a gospel/good news that can get me saved in 3 minutes or less! Give me a way to be right with God right there on the street before I die.

Most cannot do that because there is some kind of "work" involved.

But if their so-called "gospel" (good news) cannot do that, then it is not of any worth! Only Paul's Gospel of Grace can do that! And so whether it is Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons, Roman Catholicism, or any other Christian religion, none of those can get you right with God in an instant, like the Grace gospel can.

Romans 5:8
But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Romans 4:4-5
Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.  But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.

Ephesians 2:8-9
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Titus 3:5
Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

If the conversation happens to ever get to water baptism and whether or not it is a requirement for salvation (as it is in Israel's program...Mark 16:15-16, Acts 2:38), then you can ask them to show you in Paul's 13 books where that is written (they won’t be able to, as it's nowhere to be found)!
In fact, you can have them read 1 Corinthians 1:17-18, 1 Corinthians 12:13, and Ephesians 4:5 to show them that although water was/is a part of God's program with Israel, it is not a part of His program with us today under Grace! Then ask them, since Paul never tells us to water baptize for any reason, then why do they or their church do it! And if they say that it is an "outward sign of an inward faith," ask them to show you that in Paul's epistles, or anywhere in the bible.


 While on the topic of Paul, ask them why Paul is in the bible. Ask them why in the world would God raise up Paul when He already had 12 Apostles with the Great Commission to take to all the gentile world?


Ask them show you where the church the Body of Christ is mentioned outside of Paul's 13 books? (Romans 12, 1 Corinthians 12, Ephesians 1, and Colossians 1).


Ask them to show you even one verse outside of Paul's books where God says that a man is justified in the eyes of God by Grace through faith plus no works. Then show them James 2:24 (compare to Paul’s doctrine in Romans 4:4-5; Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:5).

Ask them to show you in scripture (outside of Paul's epistles) where God tells gentiles that He will save them and put them in the heavenly places (Ephesians 1:3; 2:6).

These questions are a start but believe me, you will hardly get past these two most basic of issues when talking to most people!

Again, how I go about dealing with a person depends on the person and their knowledge of verses, but this is a good start. Believe me, even if you talk about these few points, the conversation will last a couple of hours. Just remember use the scriptures to get them to see what God says about salvation.

Romans 3:4
God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.

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