By John MacArthur
What are the bare-bone facts of the gospel? What is the minimum information needed to believe and be saved?
While those questions may foster interesting discussions, they are not valid questions for developing evangelistic programs. Sadly, too many evangelistic efforts are based on answers to those questions.
In fact, many of the formulaic approaches to the gospel deliberately omit important truths like repentance and God’s wrath against sin. Some influential voices in modern evangelicalism have actually argued that those truths (and others, including Christ’s lordship) are extraneous to the gospel.
They say such matters should not even be brought up when talking to unbelievers.
Other evangelical leaders, desiring ecumenical unity with Catholic and orthodox churches, suggest that important doctrinal issues such as justification by faith and substitutionary atonement are not really essential to the gospel. They’re in effect calling for a bare-bones approach to the gospel.
Their ecumenical openness implies that virtually any kind of generic faith in Christ may be regarded as authentic saving faith. They ignore the fact that the New Testament condemns those who profess to believe in Christ while rejecting or twisting the doctrine of justification (Galatians 1:6–9).
It seems many evangelicals are obsessed with finding out how little of God’s truth a person can believe and still get to heaven.
Applied to parenting, that approach has potentially eternal consequences. That’s why parents should resist the temptation to think in such terms. The sort of constant, faithful, diligent teaching required by Deuteronomy 6:6–7 is incompatible with a minimalist approach to the gospel.
6 And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.
The gospel is the good news about Christ. There is a sense in which the gospel includes all truth about Him. There’s no need to think of any aspect of biblical truth as incompatible with or extraneous to the gospel.
In fact, since Christ is the sum and the summit of all biblical revelation (Hebrews 1:1–3), every truth in Scripture ultimately points to Him. And therefore none of it is out of place in evangelistic contexts.
One could accurately say, then, that parents who want to be thorough in evangelizing their children need to teach them the whole counsel of God, taking care to show the gospel ramifications in all that truth…
Read full article at Grace to You
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.