Aug 31

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In this article we will “hit” the area that has been so neglected in teaching lost people how to become Christians. In other words, how to obey the gospel, as they follow the plan of salvation. Just what is this neglected area? It is the larger part of the “plan of salvation!”
First, when teaching a lost person the first part of God’s plan of salvation, this person should see the need to be in the assemblies of worship. One of the reasons for this is that this lost person, must begin loving God, as this is the first commandment, as Jesus said: “The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment” (Mark 12:29-30). Just how can any person, who is teaching a lost person: “How to be saved,” fail to teach the first commandment of all commandments is the highest order of neglect! I confess that I have failed to do this in the early part of my efforts to teach the lost! However, please allow me to explain how this has happened in the years gone by. It has been assumed (assumptions are dangerous) that the people we have taught, already loved God! It is also true, that in past years, such a teacher did not have to convince the lost that God exists; as it was generally understood that it was not necessary! As most people believed in the existence of God. Of course, sadly this may not be the case today. Therefore, let this be known to all who attempt to teach the lost “the plan of salvation,” that they cover both necessary truths! With these two points before us, we are ready to continue the subject: “God’s plan of salvation.”
Second, the charge has been made that “preachers in the past” have failed to teach the lost that there is a larger part of “God’s plan of salvation.” Just what does this mean? The larger part of “God’s plan of salvation” is living faithfully the rest of one’s life, after obeying the gospel of Christ! Once more, let me confess that this has been true in many cases! I personally know of cases, where the teachers were told to not bring up the subject of the church, while teaching the lost how to be saved; how to receive forgiveness of their past sins. Oh, how sad this was and would be just as sad, if anyone should do the same today! Understanding the word “church” is the Greek word “ekklesia” which means: “a calling out” (Strong). The gospel is God’s means of “calling out” the lost into the kingdom of his dear Son!” (Rom. 1:16-17, Col. 1:13). The apostles were commanded; for this very reason: “Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15). Then, “the called-out ones” are to fulfill the eternal purpose of God, as Paul wrote: “To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, according to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Eph. 3:10-11). May it never be the case that “the called-out ones” of today go out to teach the lost God’s plan of salvation and fail to teach what the lost must hear today!
Third, even more teaching should, must, be done on total faithfulness to God, as one attempts to teach the lost “God’s plan of salvation!” Even here, the words “total faithfulness,” may imply that there is something less than “total faithfulness!” One is either faithful or not faithful! We must never get into teaching “partial,” as in incomplete faithfulness! Every effort must be made to teach “faithfulness” to those who are lost! I remember a case where a preacher was teaching a “home Bible study” and the man who was lost, so understood, the necessaries, that if he was to be saved, he had to be faithful and this included being in the assemblies of worship; that he went out and sold his boat. He was a man that really liked fishing and he knew that so long as he had the fishing boat it was going to be a hinderance, a continual temptation in his being faithful once he obeyed the gospel of Christ. To get this, one must know that the only day this man had to go fishing was Sunday! Here was the case of a man who had been taught about being faithful before he was encouraged to obey the gospel! No effort to “sneak” into salvation!
Fourth, why did, and some are still doing it, we ever think that the lost may sneak into the kingdom of Christ; by what we might call, a “quick” conversion? The preacher who taught me, said that we are to teach the lost, and keep on teaching the lost, until they know they are ready to obey the gospel of Christ! Please, never set a time table, as in five lessons, and the lost should be ready to obey the gospel. No, never!
Therefore, if you are going to teach the lost, how to be saved; first, teach them to love God, and that loving God means obeying his commandments (John 14:15). It may be necessary to teach the lost that the Bible is the inspired word of God. As a matter of fact, it should be done!

Frank R. Williams

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