Friday, December 21, 2007

A Way to Think about Sharing the Gospel

What does a can of Coke have to do with sharing the Gospel? You’ll find out if you keep reading.

Sometimes I write blogs about sermons I’ve listened to. This is one of those. I was recently introduced to Rick Holland's preaching. He is is the college pastor at Grace Community Church and an excellent communicator. You can find his sermons here. FYI - you can also find there some by Steve Lawson and CJ Mahaney.

The Rick Holland message is called "What you must get right to get the Gospel right." Without stealing the thunder too much, I’ll share some tidbits, his four S’s to summarize the Gospel, and finally explain the pop can story.


  • Regarding the Lordship: In the book of Acts, which chronicles the founding of the Church, Jesus is referred to as Lord 92 times, and as Savior only twice!
  • Works are a response to a salvation given, not a way to get salvation. They’re the caboose not the engine. (Eph 2:10) The fruit and not the root. (1 John 2:3) If you’re a Christian, you’ll live like it!
  • On the tension between the sovereignty of God in election and the responsibility of sinners: No one ever went to Heaven by their own choice. And no one ever goes to hell because of God’s choice.

Summary of the Gospel
gave four S’s to help summarize the Gospel so you can share with people the Lord puts in your path!

  • Sovereignty. He is Lord, the Creator God. He’s Holy, the only true and unique Living God. He alone is the Sovereign of the Universe. Sovereignty means King. “If you don’t start there the other pieces of the puzzle don’t fit”, explains Holland. He mentioned Solomon’s words in Ecclesiastes, “Remember your Creator (Eccl 12:1)”
  • Sin (the problem). The origin of sin comes from Adam and Eve. We are born sinners, and then we sin. We’re not born innocent and become sinners after we sin. We’re born sinners. We have personal culpability before God because of our sin. “In the words of my brilliant theologian son," says Holland, “we are in trouble with God because of our sin.” Because of our sin we deserve to be damned to Hell and punished by God. Because of our unrighteousness and His righteousness and His righteous standard.
  • Substitution. Once this is established, the Good News can be joyfully proclaimed! God sent His Son to substitute and take the punishment in our place, instead of us, to give us His righteousness. The facts of the cross (1 Cor 15:1-4) come into play here and were fleshed out in the first sermon in this two part series.
  • Submission. Because God is sovereign and has rescued us from our sin by substituting His Son for us, He requires, demands, and we have the privilege of, submitting to Him. A faith that believes and a faith that works. “You lose your life as a Christian, but you find His in you. It is much better!” Holland didn’t quote Jim Elliot, but I will: “He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.”
Pop Can Story

Holland told a great story about a guy who approached those waiting in line to get into Magic Mountain. He had a box of empty Coke cans that had a coupon for a $10 discount to the park printed on them. He would just go up to people and say, “Hey you want $10 off? I can get you $10 off with this coke can!” Holland said, “Ok. Do you want anything in return?” The answer: “No, I just want to help you get $10 off.” Holland later thought, “This guy’s a little weird. But he’s nice. He gave me a $10 coupon and was delighted enough to go to everyone in that line and give it to ‘em. I have eternal life that’s been given to me. That is a gift that we can offer to others. Have you ever been as giddy as that guy in the line over giving the Gospel (Good News) to someone?

I’ll close by addressing my two audiences. Everyone falls into two groups:

  1. Those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as Lord: Jesus said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me (Matthew 28:18)." The fact that you ignore this fact does not make it go away the same way someone on drugs can't make the law of gravity go away if they jump from a building thinking they can fly. Have you dealt with your sin problem (a problem we all have according to Romans 6:23) by believing on the Lord Jesus as your substitute? Have you submitted your life to Him, repenting (turning your back on) your sin and putting your trust in Him as the only way to be reconciled to God? You can do so today! Don’t wait!
  2. Those who love Christ and treasure Him as Lord: Are you sharing the Gospel? Are you as giddy as that guy was giving out the pop cans? You have eternal life, don’t keep it tucked up inside of you! You might look silly, in fact Jesus said if they hated Him they would hate us (John 15:18)! But to those who will come to know Christ, you are the bearer of the most important gift that was ever given!
Merry Christmas to all!

"Oh, magnify the Lord with me, let us exalt His name together!" (Psalm 34:3)

No comments:

About Me

Here is my testimony: mike