How to Lead People to Christ: Part 1 The Content of Our Message -- By: Zane C. Hodges

Journal: Journal of the Grace Evangelical Society
Volume: JOTGES 13:2 (Autumn 2000)
Article: How to Lead People to Christ: Part 1 The Content of Our Message
Author: Zane C. Hodges


How to Lead People to Christ: Part 1
The Content of Our Message1

Zane C. Hodges

The title of my two-part article may lead you to expect a discussion on how to do personal evangelism. Hopefully you will get some ideas about personal work from these articles, but this is not my major objective. Instead I want to discuss how grace theology should affect the way we present the gospel, whether to individuals or to groups.

Nevertheless, before I address my subject, let me say this. I do genuinely enjoy talking to people about their eternal salvation. I have done so with many, many individuals over the years.

A close friend works with me in my office. When I first met him, he did not understand the way of salvation. But over a period of years, after many conversations on the subject, he became a believer. He understands that salvation is absolutely free even though most of the people he knows do not. The salvation of this friend is one of the most highly valued results of my years of service to Christ. It is an immense joy to know that our friendship will continue eternally in the kingdom of God.

What I am saying is this. I am a teacher by spiritual gift. But I enjoy doing the work of an evangelist as much, or more, than I enjoy teaching. So as I talk today about putting good theology into our soul-winning, I am talking about a most important issue. And I also try hard to practice what I am preaching to you today!

The question I am raising is a simple one: Have we allowed solid grace theology to properly affect the way we proclaim and share the gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ?

I propose to address this question under two headings: (1) The content of our message and (2) Our invitation to respond to it. I will consider the first of these topics in this article, and the second, in Part 2.

I. The Deserted Island Scenario

Let me begin with a strange scenario. Try to imagine an unsaved person marooned on a tiny, uninhabited island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. He has never heard about Christianity in his life. One day a wave washes a fragment of paper up onto the beach. It is wet but still partly readable.

On that paper are the words of John 6:43–47. But the only readable portions are: “Jesus therefore answered and said to them” (v 43) and “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life” (v 47).

Now suppose that our uns...

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