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999. Learning Gospel Conversation

The Daily Platform / Bob Jones University
The Truth Network Radio
May 27, 2021 7:00 pm

999. Learning Gospel Conversation

The Daily Platform / Bob Jones University

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May 27, 2021 7:00 pm

Dr. Jeff Musgrave continues a three-part series on “Evangelism.” Jeff has more than 30 years of experience in pastoral ministry, and he now travels the world, training believers in evangelism and discipleship. Today’s message is “Learning Gospel Conversation.”

The post 999. Learning Gospel Conversation appeared first on THE DAILY PLATFORM.

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Welcome to The Daily Platform from Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina. Today on The Daily Platform, we're continuing a three-part series on evangelism led by Dr. Jeff Musgrave. Jeff has more than 30 years experience in past world ministry, and he now travels the world training believers in evangelism and discipleship. Today's message is Leading Gospel Conversation.

Good morning, good to see you here today. We talked about relational evangelism, and when I think of relational evangelism, I really do think of bringing Jesus up close and personal to people. This is the way I kind of see it. It is only when we know Jesus intimately ourselves that we have the ability to show him effectively to the people we come in contact with, and it's in the context of that genuineness that we can speak him boldly into someone's life. And so yesterday we spoke about learning how to have compelling conversations in which the other person enjoys it and wants to talk to us. I believe that there's a component of genuineness of Christianity in which we genuinely care for that person, show them their value by listening to them. And then in the context of that genuineness and closeness, having the opportunity. Now I do want to say this.

We're not talking about waiting until someone asks you. Because I don't think we show the urgency to give the gospel by waiting, but I do think we show the value of the gospel by being patient and persistent and strategic. And I actually believe yesterday what I wanted to focus on is helping us to realize that if we're going to be effective at reaching people with the gospel, we're going to have to be a little strategic about how we approach it. So today I want us to focus on the content of our gospel conversations. And this is my favorite day of the three that I planned for us because I'm actually going to give the gospel to you today. And every single time I give the gospel, it's a little different because every person I give it to, I believe the Holy Spirit gives us wisdom into what's going on in that person's heart that sometimes you need to stress something else.

So it's never going to be exactly the same, but at the same time there's a certain content that a person needs to be able to understand before we can expect them to make a credible decision. So that's what we're going to focus on this morning. I'm going to read a few of these next sections because I want to introduce you to a tool that I believe will help you in being able to be confident in having gospel conversations with people. At The Exchange, we are very focused on training God's people to be clear, compelling, and concise as they give the gospel.

And frankly, because I believe in the power of the gospel, I believe that every Christian ought to be able to articulate the gospel effectively. And so we work really hard at training people to do that. I used to try to train people to memorize a certain outline, and I still think it's very important for us to get thoroughly acquainted with it.

You probably ought to try to memorize a presentation so that it's in your brain and you don't have to worry about what comes next when you're talking. But at the same time, we found that if we could just give people the tools that they need, that sometimes they don't have to focus on the memorization. They can actually focus on the communication. So the tool that I want to walk you through today is The Exchange Message app.

And because I want to help you to understand the app and because I want to use our time wisely, I'm going to read a couple of these next slides to make sure that I'm clear. The gospel presentation that The Exchange uses is a simple introduction to God as a person and how we can have a close relationship with Him. We've developed this thorough, God-centered gospel presentation because we noticed that just giving people the Romans Road or the ABCs of the gospel didn't really work the way it used to. The problem is not so much that people are gospel-hardened. I actually don't like that term because it impugns the power and the efficacy of the gospel. I think the problem usually is that our short gospel presentations were developed for an age in which unbelievers came to the table with a little more information than they do today. And we actually not only have a lack of information in gospel ignorance, but we have misinformation.

And so I believe that it is probably more important for us to give more information before we can expect credible decisions. I mentioned this to you yesterday. We love the thought of more time with more truth versus brief encounters with the gospel. So The Exchange Message app, I believe, is a powerful tool, and it presents the gospel in two separate ways.

So we actually have two different tools in The Exchange app. The first is The Exchange Experience, and it features a responsive gospel presentation that reads like a digital gospel tract with interactive illustrations. The wording can be adjusted to be used as a gospel presentation tool so that you can use it during a gospel conversation. The second tool inside the app is The Exchange Responsive Reader, and it features The Exchange Bible Study. This four-lesson evangelistic Bible study has been used to see hundreds of people saved all over the world.

And I think this is interesting. A recent survey question, or asked this question, if a friend asked you to study the Bible with them, what would you say? And of people in their 20s, 61% of them said, if a friend asked me to study the Bible with them, I would say yes.

And 42% of people 30 and above said yes. And I believe that many in our world are open to hearing and having a gospel conversation, and so you and I have to be bold about those. These Bible studies are available in the app through in-app purchases here in North America, but it's cool.

We've been able to geofence the app so that outside of North America, all of the materials that are inside of the app are free downloads so that the mission fields of the world can use this material without difficulty. The Exchange Bible Study will help introduce your friend to Jesus, and our desire is to put this tool into your hands so that you could use it. So we've come up with a conference promo code that if you put into the app, you can get 50% off of all of your purchases. I would suggest if you want to use the Exchange Bible Study for yourself, that you would purchase for yourself an Exchange Leader's Guide, because you're going to be the leader of this particular Bible study. And then purchase as a gift the Exchange Bible Study, and you can give that to your friend electronically. My plan is that tomorrow at the end of chapel to leave you with a 30-day challenge. And the 30-day challenge is simply this, that I will either strive to have a gospel conversation with someone or invite someone to do an evangelistic Bible study with me in the next 30 days. Now the reason I do that is there's twofold. Number one, you're going to be traveling out of here, and those are going to be the days in which God is going to begin to open doors for you. But in addition to that, I know human nature.

And if we get excited about this this week, and then just kind of put it on the back burner, it could possibly never happen. So what I want you to do is as we walk through the gospel using the Exchange app this morning, I want you to envision yourself having this gospel conversation with a friend that you would like to talk to. So when you first open the app, you're welcomed by screens that will help you and your friend know what to expect inside the app. And since the Exchange with Jesus is a personal experience, the very first step is to personalize the app.

And so you can just put your name in there, put your friend's name if you're talking to them. This first section is an introduction designed to draw the reader into the experience of the app for himself. And the end of each section ends with a next topic button that guides the reader through the app.

There are two modes for the Exchange experience. The default mode functions as an interactive gospel track. It gives a full explanation of the gospel. It has interactive illustrations throughout to demonstrate the truths and to hold the attention of the reader.

It takes about 12 to 14 minutes to read through the entire app and to experience each of the interactive illustrations. The presentation mode lets the app function as a gospel conversation tool, and you can enter the presentation mode by tapping the monitor icon that's up in the left-hand corner of the screen. And this adjusts the content so that now you're only looking at the main points, the Scriptures, and those interactive illustrations.

It just facilitates being able to use it for conversation. Each of the points of the gospel in the presentation are supported by Scripture passages, and under each one of those Scripture passages you will find a More button. Now the More button, by tapping on it, will open a slide-out tray that gives you more Scriptures on that particular topic because all of us know that there are going to be times when you're going to need more information. There's a default translation switch at the top of the More button slide-out tray that will allow you to be able to go back and forth between King James and ESV.

The app comes in the default translation in the ESV. In order to be able to have a close relationship with anyone, you really have to get to know them and to spend time with them. Everything is true about a relationship with God, and so the Exchange Message app introduces people to four attributes of God, four essential truths of God that help them to be able to have a close relationship with Him. One way to explore these topics is by tapping on the icon at the top of each page, and you can see it talks about God is holy and cannot tolerate our sin. God is just and He can't overlook our sin. He has to judge it, but that God is loving and He's reached out to us and He's provided a way for us to be close to Him that satisfies the demands of His holy, just nature. And then finally, God is gracious and offers salvation as a gift.

So if you have the app, you can follow along in your own app as I begin now to actually just walk through the Gospel with us. We're beginning with God is holy, and one of the essential attributes of God is His holiness. The Bible tells us that the word holy means to be set apart, separate, pure, pristine. In fact, the Bible says that God is of purer eyes than to behold evil and cannot look on sin. You see, God is completely holy, and He can tolerate no sin. So then comes a logical question, so what is sin? And the Bible tells us that sin is the transgression or the breaking of the law. Sin is when we rebel against God and His laws. Each law is actually a reflection of a portion of God's character.

When God says, thou shalt not have any other gods before me, it's because God alone is God. And when you and I have something in our lives that is more important to us than God, it offends Him. And that, my friend, is the essence of sin. The essence of sin is offense to a holy God. When God says you should not commit adultery, it's because God is faithful and loyal. And when a man commits adultery, not only has offended his wife, but he offends a covenant keeping God.

Here's one that affects all of us. Thou shalt not lie. Let me ask you a question. Have you ever lied? I have probably given this Gospel presentation in classrooms in the Philippines well over a thousand times. And many times I'll ask, how many of you are willing to say I have never lied and I've never had anyone raise their hand and keep it up?

You know, every now and again you get a prankster. But the reality is all of us know that we've lied and we can actually say, so what's the big deal? And here's the big deal. You see, God is truth. And every time I lie, I separate myself further and further and further from a God who is truth and never changes. You see, God made me to have a close relationship with Him, and my sin separates me from Him. And maybe that explains some of the emptiness and loneliness and lack of love that every person apart from Jesus Christ experiences. That leaves every one of us in a dilemma, because the Bible says that we have all sinned. We all come short of the glory of God. Imagine having a contest with you and a friend standing on the edge of a huge canyon, and both of you are going to try to jump across.

I know we wouldn't do that, but even if we did, one might jump further than the other, but both would come short of the other side. And it's kind of like trying to be good enough to have a relationship with God. Some people are better than others, but no one is holy like God is holy, and our sin separates us from Him. Now, there's more truth than this, but if this is the only thing you knew about God, who would be able to have a relationship with Him? And the answer is no one.

And when you're done with that and your friend understands that, you can move on. And the Bible tells us that also God is just. Now, we all want a just God until it comes to our own guilt, because the Bible tells us that we've all sinned, and God in His justice must judge everyone by the exact same standard. And the Bible says that what our sin earns is death.

You say, well, what does that look like? What kind of death? Well, there's a verse in the Bible where Jesus gives us a picture of this judgment, and He says, Then shall he, talking about the judge, say to them on his left hand, Depart from me, you cursed and everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels. I like to think of that as a good news, bad news verse. The good news is God doesn't want people to go to hell.

He created hell for the devil and his angels. The bad news is that there are people in this verse, those on his left hand, that are going there. If I were you, I'd want to know who those people are. In the last book of the Bible, there's a verse that gives us a list of eight different kinds of people that have to go to this lake of fire.

But the fearful and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and whoremongers and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns a fire and brimstone. This is the second death. Let me ask you a question. How many murders would someone have to commit before you considered him a murderer? You say, well, that's a stupid question. Just one, you know. Well, let me ask you this. How many lies do you think I would have to tell, do you think you would have to tell before God considers you a liar?

Yeah. And we all know we've told more than one lie. The fact is the Bible says that every single one of us are deserving of hell. You say, whoa, whoa, whoa, I thought God was a loving God.

How could he do that? Imagine a murder trial and a judge looking at the evidence, knows that the defendant is guilty and he says to him, I know you're guilty, but you look like a nice guy to me. I'm going to let you go free. Would that be justice? No, we get that.

We understand that. But what if the judge and the murderer were brothers? Now, I know it wouldn't happen that way, but we're just going to imagine it. What if he said, you know, I know you're guilty, but I love you. I can't punish you. So even though you're guilty, I'm going to let you go free because I love you. Would that be justice? And the answer is no, because love does not undo the necessity for justice. And praise the Lord, friend, God is loving, but his love doesn't undo his justice. The good news is his justice doesn't undo his love. And the Bible tells us that God so loved the world.

You can put your own name in there. God so loved Jeff. God so loved you that he gave his only begotten son. And I believe the real question to what Jesus did is who Jesus is. So I always stop and ask my friend, who would you say Jesus is? And we have a conversation about that because it is essential for a person to recognize that the Bible tells us that Jesus is God. And he came down to earth and became a human, lived a perfect human life so that he could give himself in exchange for us. You see, the Bible says that because of my sin, I deserve to go to hell. Jesus Christ came to earth, became a human, lived a perfect human life, and earned a place in heaven. Literally, he completely, perfectly fulfilled the law. And the Bible says that Jesus died in my place so that I could go stand in his place and have his righteousness.

It's an exchange. If you can imagine punishment coming through the room aimed straight at me and Jesus Christ stepping between me and that punishment and taking it in his own body. That's what Jesus did when he died on the cross for me. The Bible says that God made Jesus to be sin for us so that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. It's not just that he comes and takes my punishment, but that he literally wants to give you his perfect righteousness.

There's a chart in the app that will really help you to be able to see that. And you can actually put your friend's name up there and help them to see that when Jesus died on the cross, he took your penalty, your record on himself. He died for your sin, and he wants to give you his perfect record. You see, God cannot let me into heaven and still be just. But when Jesus made that exchange with me and he gave to me his perfect record, now when a person makes an exchange with Jesus like that, God can let that person come to heaven and still be a holy, just God.

You might say, well, wait a minute, that just seems too easy. I mean, surely I have to do something. Well, look at this verse. The Bible says the blood of Jesus Christ, God's Son cleanses us from all sins. So imagine a list of all of your sins. Does it mean all of them? Well, it says all. What about the sins you haven't done yet, but you know you, you're going to do? What about those?

Well, think about this. Jesus, the blood of Jesus, that was 2000 years ago. How many of your sins were future when Jesus shed his blood?

The answer is all of them. And the good news is that when Jesus Christ died for us, he died for all of our sins, past, present, and even future. Now, the Bible says that hanging on the cross, Jesus said, it is finished.

It's an accounting term, and it literally means paid in full. So let me ask you a question. If Jesus Christ paid for all of your sins, what's left for you to pay? That's good news. In fact, the good news keeps getting better because the Bible tells us that Jesus Christ did not stay dead, and three days later he came back to life. So literally, he died the death I deserved and then defeated death and delivered me from it. The Bible tells us that not only is God holy and just and loving, but that God is gracious, and he offers this salvation from sin and its penalty as a gift. God… the word grace literally means God's riches at Christ's expense. And so, the Bible tells us that it is not by works.

It's not by myself. It's the gift of God, and that's the picture of grace. So if this gift of salvation from sin and its penalty is a gift, how do I receive it? The Bible tells us, but as many as received Him.

To them He gives the authority to become the children of God, even to them that believe on His name. You see, this is not about if you want forgiveness, just ask Him, because even God can't absolve sin. Only an exchange with Jesus Christ. Only the finished work of Jesus on the cross. And what we do, friend, when we put our faith in Jesus, is we put our faith in that finished work of Him.

And when we trust Him, He comes in. And the Lord Jesus Christ Himself changes us and saves us from sin. Now this word, believe, we receive Him by believing on Him is critical.

It's important for us, because if all of our eternity hangs on this one word, we need to know how to define it. Now some might say that to believe something is to understand it and to agree with it. And I get that.

That makes sense. But let's try that definition out on this story. In 1859, a man named Charles Blondine stretched a tightrope across the Niagara right at the Niagara Falls. And he went across it many times. He got a wheelbarrow and pushed it across. And the story is said that one time when he was working with the wheelbarrow, he went to the crowd and he said, How many of you believe, now that's our word, how many of you believe that I could put a man in the wheelbarrow and push him across? Well, the crowd wanted to see it, they went wild, they began to chant, I believe. There's a man in the front row with his hand in the air, I believe, and Blondine looked at him and he said, you sir, come get in the wheelbarrow. And the guy bolted the other direction.

Now what was wrong? He didn't believe. Maybe, maybe he believed that Blondine could do it, but he wasn't willing to put his trust in Blondine to take him across. And I believe it's that way with a lot of people in Jesus. They believe in Jesus.

They believe that Jesus died. But they've never personally chosen to put their own trust in Jesus. You see, in order to be able to put your trust in Jesus, you have to be able to understand the truth of our sin and our separation from God and Jesus Christ's exchange for us. You need to be willing to agree with it, I'm a sinner, I need a Savior, but most important, you need to make a choice that I'm going to put my personal trust in Jesus. Another word the Bible uses to describe this decision is the word repent. Now, to repent means to change your mind.

It means to admit, God, you're right, I'm the one that's wrong. So maybe you've been thinking that sure, I know I've sinned, but my sin isn't bad enough to send me to hell. You're going to have to change your mind about that. Maybe you've been thinking, if I do enough good works, it'll outweigh my bad works, and I'll make it to heaven. You have to change your mind about that.

The Bible says that our sin cannot be covered by works. What you need, friend, is the Lord Jesus Christ. You see, it's a decision that we have to make.

It's something that we have to do. We have to position two chairs sitting right next to each other. One chair is going to represent you and your good works, your religious activities. The other chair is going to represent the chair of the finished work of Jesus Christ. So if you're sitting in a chair representing your own good works, what would you have to do to this chair before you go sit in this chair?

You have to get out of it. You have to transfer your trust from this chair to that chair, and that's really the picture that God is painting for us. We have to stop trusting what we've been trusting in and put our trust in Jesus Christ alone.

What if I sat in the middle of both of those chairs? And frankly, I find a lot of religious people that that's what they're doing. I trust in Jesus, but I'm hanging on to my own good works. And literally, why did I leave the chair representing my good works? It wasn't enough. So why am I not totally sitting in the chair trusting Jesus?

Because I don't believe it's enough. You see, what God wants is for us to put our trust only in Him. Now on that Niagara River, there is a place where the current gets so swift that if you get a boat past that place, you'll be pulled over by the falls. And so they mark it very clearly, but imagine you being in a rowboat, and you absentmindedly get your rowboat past that point, and you begin to feel the current pull you, so you're rowing away as fast as you can, but it's not enough. Someone throws you a rope and it lands right in your lap, and now you have a choice to make.

You can keep trying to rescue yourself and die, or you can grab that rope. And that's the picture of every single person without Jesus. You know that water is like their sin. It's pulling them to destruction. Those oars are like their good works or their religious activities.

They're trying, but it's not enough. And that rope is like Jesus. And right now, what God wants you to do is put your trust in Jesus alone. Two quick questions. Do you believe that Jesus loves you and that he would save you from your sin and its penalty if you ask him?

And then the second question is just simply this. Then are you willing to follow Jesus and put your trust in him right now? Now I've been given an illustration of how to give the gospel, but there are probably people here right now, and as you heard this message, it wasn't, wow, that's cool.

I want to talk to someone about it. It's like, wow, that's touching my heart. I need to make that exchange with Jesus. And I just want you to know, God loves you. Whatever you've done and wherever you've been, God wants to have a close relationship with you.

And right now, you can put your trust in him. We're going to be in the den this afternoon from 2.30 to 4 o'clock. If any of you would like to talk with me about this, I would love to come and talk with you about it. I did want to just mention that another way of being able to give the gospel would be that four-lesson Bible study, and it's in the app.

You can go and look at it if you have any questions about that. I'd love for you to come. And here's my last thought for us today. The fact is that whether you use an app or whether you just talk someone through the gospel, the gospel is powerful. What we need to do is give the gospel a chance. Father, thank you for the work that you're doing in each of our hearts. Lord, we want to thank you and praise you for the gospel itself. And I pray, Lord, that you would give to each of us a confidence in the power of the gospel, and that confidence would display itself in our being bold to tell people the truth of what you've done for them. We pray these things in your name. Amen. .
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-11-12 13:23:03 / 2023-11-12 13:33:59 / 11

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