Sexton, Hyles, and Murphrey: Examples of Salesmanship Posing as Soul-winning

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Jim's picture

Why do we ask people ... "Do you want to go to heaven?" or variants such as "If you were to die today would  you go to heaven?" (or "if you were to die today why should God let you into His heaven?"

Where in any of Paul or Peter's preaching in Acts do we see the Gospel presented that way? Answered: No where!

Furthermore - where do we see in Acts a presentation of this: "Christ died for your sins!"

Instead we see (Acts 17:22-34):

  • God is creator: "God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth,"(v 24)
  • God commands men to repent: "now commands all men everywhere to repent" (vs 30)
  • Jesus is the risen Lord who will judge men: "raising Him from the dead ..." (vs 31)

In sum:

  • Christ is the risen Lord!
  • He is risen from what? The cross! 
  • Why the cross? Answered: "This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief." (I Timothy 1:15)
  • Paul called himself a sinner! You know what? I am too! You know what? You are too!
  • God judges sinners! Men deserve death and hell! Ouch!
  • Repent and embrace Christ as Savior and Lord!

How this is better than the "Are you going to heaven?" approach:

  • There is not an abundance of evidence that Christ died for all men in the same way!
  • Why tell people that Christ died for them? 
  • Instead command them to repent and accept Christ as Lord and Savior (may need to develop the Deity of Christ and the Trinity to the ignorant)

Think how easy it is to go "uh huh" to the other approach:

  • Do you want to go to heaven? "Uh huh"
  • Christ died for your sins! "Uh huh"
  • Take the gift: ? How? Do this prayer: "Uh huh"

 

 

Dave Gilbert's picture

Agreed, Jim. 1 Corinthians 15:3-8

Ron Bean's picture

In this age, our trip on the Roman's Road needs to start at Romans 1 instead of 3 and needs to include the Good News that it's not about what you're DOING but about what He's DONE!

"Some things are of that nature as to make one's fancy chuckle, while his heart doth ache." John Bunyan

David R. Brumbelow's picture

I know this gets into Calvinism and non-Calvinism, but the Bible is clear that Jesus died for all and it is certainly appropriate to tell sinners that Jesus Christ loves them and died for them.

John 1:29
John 3:16-17.
John 12:47.
Romans 5:6.
2 Corinthians 5:14-16, 19.
1 Timothy 2:4.
1 Timothy 2:6
1 Timothy 4:10.
Hebrews 2:9.
2 Peter 3:9.
1 John 2:2.
Matthew 23:37.
2 Peter 2:1

A large part of the Gospel is that Jesus died for our sins (1 Corinthians 15:3-4; Romans 5:6; 5:8...).

I don’t agree with Jack Hyles’ ministry and lifestyle.

But I certainly agree with the proper use of the Roman Road Plan of Salvation (Romans 3:23; 6:23; 5:8; 10:9-10, 13). 

The Roman Road was used to lead me to salvation.
David R. Brumbelow

dgszweda's picture

David R. Brumbelow wrote:

But I certainly agree with the proper use of the Roman Road Plan of Salvation (Romans 3:23; 6:23; 5:8; 10:9-10, 13). 

The Roman Road was used to lead me to salvation.
David R. Brumbelow

 

The concern is that "soul winning" is about doing Step #1, #2, and #3 and then when you are get to the last step, they are in a position to only say "Yes", than you can ask them to say a pray.  And if that doesn't work, start again with #1 and so on.

What others argue for, and I agree, is that it is not about technique, style or method that man has put together, but is just clearly telling someone the gospel message.  Leave the rest up to God.

Jim's picture

Response to David Brumbelow who said: "A large part of the Gospel is that Jesus died for our sins (1 Corinthians 15:3-4; Romans 5:6; 5:8...)."

Answered: 

  • 1 Corinthians 15:3-4. The "our" speaks of the recipients of the epistle. Paul addressed the epistle "to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all who in every place call on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord" (1 Corinthians 1:2)
  • Ditto with Romans 5:8, "But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." The very next verse says "having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.". Conclusion: The "we" are saved! Also Romans 1:7, "To all who are in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints"
Matthew J's picture

One danger of Romans Road type of evangelism (and I am not saying that it is wrong, just a caution). Is that any cult or false religion can "proof-text" the Bible toward their conversion. In a culture where I minister dealing with Mormons, I have to be careful to slowly explain the context of each passage of Scripture. I find it best to simply take one passage of Scripture that seems to express the gospel well and explain that along with other passages, not just verse quoting. 

P.S. I was saved through Romans Road evangelism, but I am cautious about and with it. 

Lee's picture

dgszweda wrote:

David R. Brumbelow wrote:

But I certainly agree with the proper use of the Roman Road Plan of Salvation (Romans 3:23; 6:23; 5:8; 10:9-10, 13). 

The Roman Road was used to lead me to salvation.
David R. Brumbelow

 

The concern is that "soul winning" is about doing Step #1, #2, and #3 and then when you are get to the last step, they are in a position to only say "Yes", than you can ask them to say a pray.  And if that doesn't work, start again with #1 and so on.

What others argue for, and I agree, is that it is not about technique, style or method that man has put together, but is just clearly telling someone the gospel message.  Leave the rest up to God.

Yet, do not passages such as Acts 18:4; 19:8; 26:28; 28:23; and II Cor. 5:11 indicate a specific methodology to bring about a specific end-goal? Is that persuasive methodology what is being rebuked here as mere salesmanship?

Lee

jimcarwest's picture

Sounds to me like you are looking for ways to limit salvation to a select few rather than make salvation available to all.  Only a twisting of Scripture might accomplish that purpose.  Is that what you are trying to do?

JohnBrian's picture

David R. Brumbelow wrote:

I know this gets into Calvinism and non-Calvinism, but the Bible is clear that Jesus died for all and it is certainly appropriate to tell sinners that Jesus Christ loves them and died for them.

That is not the Gospel the apostles preached!

There are a number of sermons recorded in the Acts and in none of them was the message "Jesus loves you and died for you." It was always "repent and believe."

p.s. My article on Preaching and Evangelism touches on the issue of "selling" the Gospel.

CanJAmerican - my blog
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whitejumaycan - my youtube

JohnBrian's picture

jimcarwest wrote:

Sounds to me like you are looking for ways to limit salvation to a select few rather than make salvation available to all. Only a twisting of Scripture might accomplish that purpose. Is that what you are trying to do?

Salvation is limited to a select few (or select many) - only those who believe.

Though it is available to all, it "is foolishness to those who are perishing," while at the same time to those "who are being saved it is the power of God." 1 Cor. 1:18

 

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whitejumaycan - my youtube

jimcarwest's picture

I understood the emphasis of Jim's entry was to emphasize a limited atonement, which I cannot accept with any biblical authority.  Of course, only believers can be saved.  I hardly think that could be questioned on this blog.  I think you understand that the gist of my statement was not to promote universalism.  Sorry if I gave that impression.

JohnBrian's picture

Quote:
...a limited atonement, which I cannot accept with any biblical authority

John 3:16-18 affirms a limited atonement:

"...whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." v.16

"...he who does not believe is condemned already" v.18

Those who believe, receive the gift of eternal life (Rom. 6:23); those who do not believe, have the gift of eternal life withheld from them.

Maybe what you cannot accept is the notion that the intent of the atonement is limited, in favor of the notion that it is the application of the atonement that is limited.

p.s. I wasn't reading universalism into your previous post.

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Robert Apps's picture

The tenor and content of this teaching was well and truly exported to Australia some decades ago.

While many good churches have left the worst excesses behind, it still produces a 'quick prayer mentalilty'. What is the point of boasting how many people you led to the Lord on Saturday morning or afternoon when you may not see them on Sunday or they virtually disappeared from view within a few months? 

Don't the saved also possess a new nature that longs after righteousness? 

Robert's church website is www.odbc.org.au and his personal website is www.appsministries.org

jimcarwest's picture

We are not talking here about for whom is the atonement efficacious.  Of course, only believers receive the benefit of the atonement (John 3:16 as you quote).  I couldn't agree more.  What I was referring to in my comments about "limited atonement" are those people who believe that Jesus Christ did NOT die for all mankind but only for a select few who are referred to as "the elect," "the foreordained," "the predestinated to life eternal."  That is what I cannot accept.  Please don't confuse the issue.

jimcarwest's picture

I very much agree with  you that too much of present-day evangelism is shallow and focused too much on "saying a prayer."  This article addresses the major culprits who have for many years influenced wrongly fundamental churches.  However, I do believe that leading a soul to Christ, though it may require a level of pre-evangelism and elementary indoctrination, whenever the moment arrives that the individual understands the gospel and what God requires of him (repentance and faith), a confession -- be that simply an oral statement or a sincere prayer of faith -- is all that is required.  We need not complicate the matter further, IMHO.

JohnBrian's picture

jimcarwest wrote:

What I was referring to in my comments about "limited atonement" are those people who believe that Jesus Christ did NOT die for all mankind but only for a select few who are referred to as "the elect," "the foreordained," "the predestinated to life eternal."  That is what I cannot accept.  Please don't confuse the issue.

Not trying to confuse the issue here, as I am one who believes that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are unified in their purpose as regards the salvation of man.

God chose a bride for the Son.

Christ satisfied the wrath of God in atoning for the bride (and not for the non-bride).

The Holy Spirit, by means of the preached gospel, brings the bride to salvation.

Seems like your view (that Christ died for both the non-bride and the bride) puts Him at odds with the Father and the Spirit.

 

CanJAmerican - my blog
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whitejumaycan - my youtube

JohnBrian's picture

jimcarwest wrote:

...whenever the moment arrives that the individual understands the gospel and what God requires of him (repentance and faith), a confession...

What God requires, he provides, as repentance and faith are gifts given by God, not something from within man that he uses correctly to gain salvation.

Acts 11:18 - When they heard these things they became silent; and they glorified God, saying, “Then God has also granted to the Gentiles repentance to life.”

2 Peter 1:1 - Simon Peter, a bondservant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have obtained like precious faith with us by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ.

1 Cor. 4:7 - For who makes you differ from another? And what do you have that you did not receive? Now if you did indeed receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?

CanJAmerican - my blog
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whitejumaycan - my youtube