Westminster Assembly

Westminster Assembly

Acts 6:4

"But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the Word."



1 Timothy 4:6-16

" If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained. But refuse profane and old wives' fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness. For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come. This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation. For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe. These things command and teach. Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity. Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery. Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all. Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee." 1 Tim 4:6-16 (KJV)

"The Doctrines of Grace in Evangelism" by Shane C. Montgomery

Saturday, September 18, 2010

  Is it possible to be faithful to Christ's command to "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature." Mark 16:15 (KJV) without compromising sound doctrine? What do I mean? Well, we have a ton or two or Evangelist out there sharing the Gospel, which is great, but too many of them use the Arminian approach to the Gospel. You know the one I speak of, the "Man Centered gospel" instead of the "Christ Centered Gospel" of the Holy Scriptures.

Witnessing is a very important part of a Christians life. It really is and the fact that so few heed this command is kind of appalling. I know some are painfully shy and others might be gifted in other areas that benefit the Church, but that is no excuse not to witness to Christ's glory brothers and sisters. Frequently, if not always, those who are heeding this command are those Free Will believers who are hitting the streets hard and putting the Gospel out there everywhere they can. Once again, I applaud their service. But if the truth be known, they are doing more harm then good. Too many are performing a horrible disservice to His Church in that they are preaching the Arminian gospel which is to be found no where in the Bible. This is the semi-pelagian view of man's worth and his being born neutral rather than fallen, and so he has a choice to make, either self and Hell or God and Heaven. It is not that way at all though, by preaching that man has the ability to choose is wrong, and harmful. Man not only lacks the power to choose for himself, he lacks the ability to desire anything holy so of course he can never desire the apple of salvation. He will always desire the rotten fruit of sin, always. So we have thousands of well intentioned men and women hitting the streets in hopes of converting the lost, once again, very acceptable, but instead of converting, which we know only a Sovereign God has this power, they are misleading thousands into a false sense of security, the people who hear this false doctrine, they base their salvation on it. Not good, not good at all. They are told that if you will only believe in Christ, (Even Satan and the demons believe) and say a little prayer (the sinners prayer) you will be saved. Uh, no, that is not how it works brothers! Then write the date you were born again in the back of your Bible, the date "YOU CHOSE CHRIST!" Now this is just terrible, it really is, but this is what is passing for witnessing! So many are being lead astray with this false hope. No one, and I mean no one, can choose Christ. No one can "Make Christ Lord" (He always has been) Christ is not a "nice guy" sitting on a bench just hoping you will finally come around and pick Him and make Him your Lord and your buddy! Once again, NO. We do not choose Him, we are totally incapable of this. He chooses us, and I am thankful he does, if He did not, none of us would ever know salvation. Since we are all fallen, in Adam, we all lack anything good, we choose nothing but sin and we are slaves to sin, so the only possible way we can be saved is if He chooses us.

For years this type of misleading witnessing, (think of Billy Graham) has been going on. I can remember being a little kid in the mid to late 1970's living in view of downtown Cincinnati and seeing these people on the streets and then going home and turning on the TV and seeing Billy Graham on one of the three channels we got back then. So it has been going on this way for at least the past 40 years, and I know, even longer than that. We know this way of witnessing is wrong, we know this way is harmful to those who trust in it, and for those who preach it, they are all under a false since of assurance. Not to mention they are mass producing back sliders at an alarming rate. 9 out of 10 of these people do not ever return to Christ to give Him glory, (read Luke 17: 10-17) yet they live their lives thinking they are safe, even though they do not glory in Christ, they are saved, they are born again, they are going to heaven no matter what they do! Can we see how utterly dangerous this is? How many people are being led blindly to Hell? All the while thinking they get to have the pleasures of Heaven. But then again, from this lousy, week gospel comes a totally misguided view of what Heaven is like and what we will spend out time doing. That is a topic for another time.

So what do we do? What can we do? As Reformed believers, following sound doctrine, adhering to the Doctrines of Grace, what do we do? The truth, for the most of us......absolutely nothing. What!? How? Why? Well, we do not know how to. We know the Arminian way of witnessing is wrong, but can we even witness and evangelize when we follow the Biblical doctrines of God's free grace? Of course we can and we must. It is a little more difficult then the "Free Will" method, I will admit to that, but it is not impossible, neither do the "Doctrines of Grace" excuse us from being a bold witness for Christ. Never use the excuse you are a Calvinist so you do not witness! Never let me hear you say that! If you use that week garbage I will tell you that you are not only not a Calvinist, you are little more than a lost soul. A hypocrite! A false convert! I understand you might be afraid, (who isn't) I understand you might be shy, I understand you might feel as if you will do more harm then good (that is never the case) as long as you stick to the truth.

Can we understand that for the past several decades good intentioned men have been misleading the lost, dragging them to Hell while they smile all the way there. Can we understand the amount of total destruction caused by these evangelist? So many thousands of lives lost, eternal death. Never any glory going to God, never, only to self. All the while we sit in our pews, listening to sound preaching, singing the psalter, and inspired hymns. We hear the expository preaching of God's Word. We practice our Shorter Catechism, or the Heidleberg catechism. We pray and give thanks and honor to God alone. But we do little else. Once the Lord's Day ends we are stuck in a rut, a rut of non service. Why not get out there and witness? Law and Grace can be worrisome, but it is not impossible, you can witness, you must witness. We are commanded to "Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature", so we have no excuse. I have heard several times that "Reformed people do not do outreach" or that "Reformed people do not evangelize" why? That is nothing Calvin taught, that is nothing Luther taught, or Knox or Spurgeon or any of the other great men raised and used by Holy, Holy, Holy God. Think about it, I know that we Calvinist can at times be smug, I know our pride (still a sin brothers) gets in the way at times, I know that we believe we have the truth in doctrine (of course we do) we believe that since God predestines who will be regenerated, why evangelize? Good arguments I admit, but they do not hold water brothers and sisters, and we know this don't we, we know in our hearts that we are commanded to witness! True, God does elect and predestine who will be saved and who will perish. True, God is Sovereign and is in control over everything, so why witness? True, all mankind is fallen and not capable of choosing anything but sin, so why witness. True, that only God can save anyone and True, He will do it out of His free grace and mercy, His great love and for His good pleasure and glory.

That doesn't change the fact that Christ commands us to witness. We know that believing comes from the hearing of the preaching of God's Word. God uses our witnessing, our preaching the truth, sound doctrine, the true Gospel of Christ crucified to convert the lost. We are to be His hands, feet, mouths, arms, legs on this earth, we are to take the message to the people and in this preaching of the Word, He will bless it, He will use it to convert the sinner. We have the easy part brothers, all we have to do is go out and open our mouths and start talking and He will either save them or let them perish. It is not up to us on whom will be saved, it is all Him. We can pray for those who are yet lost, and we should, we can not change God's mind though, so a better way, instead of being a "Passive Christian" is to open our mouths and Preach the Word! Whom He saves, He saves, just witness brothers, proclaim the Gospel! The Christ Centered Gospel. You know the one, "we are all sinful, none are righteous, nothing unrighteous can enter heaven, so God became man, Jesus Christ, came to earth, lived a sinless life in thought, word and deed, suffered the hardship we suffer, hungered and thirst as we do, did not fall to temptations as we do. Was obedient to God's Moral Law, (Ten Commandments) perfectly, which we break daily. Was crucified, buried, and three days later rose from the grave thus defeating death and sin forever. We are to Repent (turn from sin) and trust in Christ for our salvation. Since Christ bore the weight of our sins on the cross, since He took everyone of our sins, past, present and future and nailed them to the cross, we now are new creatures, we now live in Christ and He in us. We are now Justified in God's eyes, we are still sinners but in His eyes, we are Holy! We can have eternal communion with God, in this life and the life to come. We are sanctified with the indwelling of His Holy Spirit. We die to sin little by little, every day we become more like Christ, until the day we stand in Glory in front of Christ in heaven. That is the Gospel, that is how you witness to lost, that is how you assure that you have not mislead anyone, you show them how wretched we all are and that only a loving, sovereign God can save us through the Atonement of Jesus Christ.

How many lost people might be saved by your preaching and witness? I do not know, only God can know that. But wouldn't it be nice, wouldn't we sleep better knowing we are being faithful? We are saved by grace, and not by works, but works are expected after we are saved. A bad tree cannot produce good fruit, but a good tree will produce good fruit, so you being good fruit, stat producing brothers! James said "faith without works is dead" and he was right, that has nothing to do with salvation and everything to do with your fruit! What are you doing for the Kingdom? We must be a Bold Witness For Christ, each and everyone of us. This is not optional folks.

Not witnessing, making excuses, that is what the hypocrite does. Not producing good fruit, well, that is what a bad tree does. "Be holy, as your Father in Heaven is holy." Share the Good News of Jesus Christ. Don't worry about saving everyone you speak to, God will take care of their salvation or their damnation. Just share, tell others, do it as often as you can, do not worry about not being versed enough, do not worry about not being a good enough speaker, think about Paul, and John and Peter and the rest of the Apostles, they were not college professors here folks, they were fishermen, and tent makers! "God uses the foolishness of preaching", which is great because I am fool! No kidding, I am. I am so lacking in knowledge and wisdom, but yet God uses me! What an honor! If only God will spend me completely in service to Him, I will die happy. My life will be full and I will be content. Why not you? Study His Word,(more) pray He gives you courage and the energy to serve Him. If you work, work to His glory and take some of the money He blesses you with, (remember, He gives you the ability to earn a living) and spend it on tools that will reach the lost. Spend it on things that tells others of His glory and love. What else are you going to do with your money? Pay your bills first and save some back for your personal ministry. I am a unusual church pastor in that I would rather, and I encourage my flock to give their money first to promote the Gospel and to help the least of these and then lastly give to the Church. I know, that goes against everything we are taught in most churches, I do not care to be wealthy, my wealth is in Christ brothers, not in cars, houses, clothes, but in my communion with God. Use your money to buy edifying tracts and to help others, show His love in this way. Use your money to buy edifying books that will help you grow in grace. Buy food for those families in your community who are hungry. Share the Gospel while you do this.

Today, eight of us from our small church got together and prepared 220 sack lunches. We have been doing this every couple of months for the past four years. We then choose a poor neighborhood or apartment complex, most of these people are lost anyway and do not attend any church, so it is a great chance to feed hungry kids, and tell the families about Christ and forgiveness of sins. We never, ever pressure them to come to our church, we never ask for donations, we never accept anything in return for these free lunches. Often we offer to pray with them when they mention their struggles, sickness, family problems, poverty, whatever, they love knowing someone loves them and cares about them. We tell them about Christ and how only He can give us the forgiveness we are looking for. Only Christ can give us eternal life. We spend about 10 hours working hard these days, we walk until our feet hurt, our backs ache from carrying heavy boxes, and Bibles. We give the Word of God to anyone who asks. We hand out plenty of sound tracts, nothing man centered, always Christ centered. We show these people the love of Christ, we are His feet, hands, mouth here on earth, we are His representatives, what a shame to do nothing but sit in the pews twice a week and read our Bibles in the evening. There is so much we can do. So much. We will not get this chance after we die and move on to Glory with God. There will be no lost people in Heaven. We have so little time while we are here. Please, please, be a witness. Soli Deo Gloria! Shane C. Montgomery


{ Craig } at: December 17, 2010 at 5:18 PM said...

Brother, that was great. How true is of our calling to get out there no matter what. God bless

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