“I have been writing this volume while residing in Germany for a teaching trip. I am humbled by penning these 95 theses in the same country as Martin Luther did many years ago. I submit these to the evangelical church of our day and pray that God would allow anything of truth in these pages to bend and change men’s hearts back to God.” – Greg Gordon –
It is useless for large companies of believers to spend long hours begging God to send revival. Unless we intend to reform we may as well not pray. Unless praying men have the insight and faith to amend their whole way of life to conform to the New Testament pattern there can be no true revival. – A.W. Tozer
I am currently reviewing and commenting on 95 theses to the modern evangelical church “revised” by Greg Gordon. The following discusses how we preach.
We have inherited a system of evangelistic preaching which is unbiblical. This has clearly arisen from the careless mixture of 20th century reasoning with God’s revelation.
Colossians 2:8 See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits[a] of the world, and not according to Christ.
Romans 1:25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed for ever! Amen.
Galatians 1:6 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel—
When you look at 21st century sermonizing as a whole, considering the above points, in particular, I can see how one might come to the conclusion. We clearly have low standards, accepting so much unbiblical preaching! When I have time, I would enjoy a study as to how 20th century reasoning, mixed with God’s Word, led us to this point.
Decisionism and the sinners prayer has been the major cause of false conversions in the evangelical church.
2 Peter 2:1-2 But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. 2 And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed.
Ephesians 2:4-5 But[a] God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—
2 Corinthians 5:17-18 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.[a] The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation;
I would need further understanding of the term “Decisionism” as used here. The topic of false conversion as the result of false gospel was touched on earlier.
The sinner’s prayer, however, is another topic. Essentially, the pastor asks you to repeat a prayer accepting Jesus into your heart if you repent of sin. Afterwards, he may say something along the lines of “If you just prayed that with all your heart, you’re saved!”
While that certainly has the trappings of what the Bible shows for salvation, it misses so much, as well.
Evangelicals are swelling the ranks of the deluded with a perverted gospel! Many who have made decisions in churches have been told in the inquiry rooms their sins have been forgiven will be surprised to hear “I never knew you depart from me.“
Matthew 7:22-23 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’
1 Corinthians 6:9-10 Or do you not know that the unrighteous[a] will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practise homosexuality,[b] 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.
Galatians 5:19-21 Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, 21 envy,[a] drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
Carrying the earlier points further, we learn that the Bible provides many warnings about those who believe they follow Jesus, yet He will deny them on the Day of Judgment. Essentially, if you think you follow Christ, yet your life is still characterized by sin, you have a reason to be gravely concerned. While no follower lives a completely sin free life in this world, those who have truly laid their lives at Jesus’ feet get a new heart in exchange. This new heart leads them in new directions as their heart’s desires no longer line up with the world.
They also find new passion for the things of God, including Wisdom, righteousness, charity and love. We should never consider these ends onto themselves. Many false religions use their good works as an evidence that they follow God. True followers of Christ have good works as a natural result of a renewed heart born again.