"brand" churches, "church" Soul-Winning Station, doing own "thing", leading the lost to Christ, mankind's gospel not Lord's Gospel, preaching is for the lost, reaching unsaved persons, sinner's prayer, substituted human programs for God's program, unbiblical salvational prayers, unbiblical salvational processes
And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. ~ Mark 16:15-16, KJV
As born again, saved (justified), and filled with the Holy Spirit Christians, we are called to leadership—we are called to lead a lost world to salvation by first preaching the Gospel’s message to them, and secondly by witnessing to them. In other words, the Lord says that we are to proclaim or herald the Good News about Jesus the Christ, who died to give everyone who believes in Him an eternally wonderful life and an intimate relationship with God. Additionally, Jesus the Christ expects us to back up the preached Gospel with our witnessing, which is not limited to what we say, for our witnessing also should be accompanied by a life of holiness, righteousness, and love.
Indeed, our witness, which is a demonstration of the Lord’s true disciples’ transformed lives—our “changed” lives, which come about by the Grace of God, the power of the Holy Spirit, and the atoning sacrifice of Jesus the Christ—will both strengthen and confirm the Lord’s Gospel message that we are preaching or heralding. The bottom line, then, is that we ONLY are able to reach the unsaved people in the world (to lead them to Christ) by the preached or heralded Gospel message that is evidenced by our consistent demonstration of what a holy, righteous, and loving life in Christ looks like.
Once again, the Lord Himself not only commissioned us to preach (proclaim or herald) His Good News, but also He expects us to support His preached or heralded Gospel message with our witnessing—with our godly living. Now, it is important to note here that to herald means to give the Lord’s message, word for word; to herald does not mean to interpret the Lord’s message and then give our own views and opinions that we have shaped into our own message! For sure, when we preach or herald the unadulterated Gospel, that same Word will cause a person to respond in the right way to the heard Gospel message. It is after God’s saving Faith is put inside the hearer of the preached Gospel message that a Gospel hearer’s life truly can be transformed (changed) through regeneration, salvation (justification), and progressive sanctification. By the way, this saving Faith is the same God-given Faith that causes, with the help of the Grace of God, the power of the Holy Spirit, and the atoning sacrifice of Jesus the Christ, an unsaved person to respond the right way to the heard Gospel message.
Be that as it may, today, in the institutional church, many spiritual leaders are doing their own “thing,” which is everything but what Jesus the Christ commanded His disciples to do: “…Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature…” (Mark 16:15). Instead of following the Lord’s Great Commission command, which also is Father God’s Way for reaching unsaved people—His Way for leading the unsaved world to the Lord—so that they can receive salvation, too many spiritual leaders in the institutional church have substituted their programs, or the programs of well-known spiritual leaders in “brand” churches, for God’s program. More important, these same spiritual leaders have presented their own gospel instead of the Lord’s Gospel.
A case in point is the fact that today’s spiritual leaders have changed God’s program by making the institutional church, primarily every physical building, a Soul-Winning Station, which means the “church” is the place where the preaching of the Gospel is being fulfilled. However, the Word of God makes it clear that the preached or heralded Gospel is solely for reaching, leading the lost world to salvation, and that the teaching or making of disciples is for the assembly of “called out ones” who make up the community of witnessing saints (ekklesia/ecclesia).
Put differently, the Lord sends us into the world to preach His Gospel’s message so that those unsaved people can be born again, saved (justified), and filled with the Holy Spirit, but ONLY after they respond to this preached or heralded Gospel message in the appropriate way, which is to believe in their heart (in their center of spiritual activity) that they need to be born again and that they need Jesus the Christ as their Lord and Savior. It is after unsaved people are born again, saved (justified), and filled with the Holy Spirit that the Lord then places these believers into His ekklesia (a.k.a., ecclesia), which is His assembly of witnessing saints who come together (fellowship with one another) so that they can receive teaching or discipling (discipleship training or equipping), edification, and encouragement (see Too Many “CHURCHGOERS” Are Spectators Instead Of Participants).
Another case in point is the fact that, as the result of countless men and women in “church” or “ministry” leadership positions treating the leading of unsaved individuals to the Lord as a “process,” too many of today’s believers are not really saved! These countless men and women’s salvational “process” typically involves: 1. Asking unsaved individuals if they want to be saved; 2. Explaining to unsaved individuals, who say that they want to be saved, the unbiblical concept of inviting Jesus the Christ to come in their hearts by repeating an unbiblical Sinner’s Prayer; 3. Leading these unsaved people in some form of the unbiblical Sinner’s Prayer; 4. Telling these sinners who prayed an unbiblical Sinner’s Prayer that because they prayed said prayer they are now children of God (see The Sinner’s Prayer); and then 5. Helping these allegedly “saved” persons find a “church” home.
Regardless of the fact that there are too many spiritual leaders in the institutional church who are doing their own “thing,” no one who truly is born again, saved (justified), filled with the Holy Spirit, as well as no one who really is allowing the Holy Spirit to sanctify, teach, prompt, and lead him or her, can challenge, with authority and power, this Divine Truth: The Lord intends for each one of His believers not only to desire to be a participant but also to become a participant in His Great Commission. For sure, the Scriptures support this Divine Truth, which once again is that the Lord intends for every believer to help with the GREAT harvest of souls for Him, by doing his or her part in the leading of the lost world to Christ, and by witnessing to the lost world in the same godly lifestyle that he or she lives within EVERY ekklesia/ecclesia, within every community of witnessing saints.
For instance, in EVERY ekklesia/ecclesia, every community of witnessing saints, each believer demonstrates the God kind of love for one another, and he or she makes sure that no brother or sister in Christ ever forgets what Jesus did for each believer. He or she also makes sure that no brother or sister in Christ ever forgets what God is asking every believer to do for Jesus the Christ, in this life.
More important, in EVERY ekklesia/ecclesia, every community of witnessing saints, we believers also reiterate that the Lord intends for those of us, who are seeking to fulfill His Great Commission, not only to lead the lost world to Christ but also to teach fellow Household of Faith siblings how to be disciples, as well as to share in love our spiritual gifts, indeed, we must share in love ALL things with one another. We also reiterate that the Lord intends for us to know the most important aspect about participating in His Great Commission, which is that before we can be successful at winning souls for Jesus the Christ, we must be in right standing with Father God, be in an intimate relationship with our Father and with our Lord, be in an intimate relationship with our brother and sisters in Christ, as well as be all about equipping one another for God’s Kingdom business, all about edifying and encouraging each other, and all about doing the Perfect Will of the Father, together (see Too Many “CHURCHGOERS” Are Spectators Instead Of Participants).
In other words, we cannot lead others where we have not gone, nor can we lead anyone to where we are not willing to go ourselves. These last statements simply mean that those people who are not genuinely born again, saved (justified), and filled with the Holy Spirit are the ones who will have to resort to speaking their own gospel message, to doing their own programs, and to following their own salvational processes and salvational gimmicks that they believe gets people “saved,” instead of following God’s program and the Lord’s Gospel message.
Furthermore, contrary to popular opinions, leading the lost world to Christ is NOT about making unsaved people members of our ekklesia/ecclesia, nor is leading the lost world to Christ about making them members of our local “church.” Leading the lost world to Christ also is NOT about making unsaved people our friends. Leading the lost world to Christ also is NOT about having unsaved people repeat a Sinner’s Prayer after us, nor is leading the lost world to Christ about having unsaved people make a sincere commitment to Christ. Our “call” to leadership means we are to live a life for Christ that daily demonstrates His love, His righteousness, and His holiness that we have received because of the Lord’s atoning sacrifice.
Equally important to know is that we primarily are “called” to lead the lost world to Christ by preaching or heralding the Lord’s Gospel message. In other words, putting the Faith to believe in Christ inside anyone’s heart is the work of God’s saving Grace and the power of His Holy Spirit. Putting the Faith to believe in Christ inside anyone’s heart, therefore, is NOT a function of any humans’ superb preaching techniques, nor is putting the Faith to believe inside someone’s heart the result of any humans’ excellent evangelistic dynamism. For these reasons, we must let the power of the Gospel’s message (let the Grace of God and the influence of the power of His Holy Spirit) do the saving work that results in the Lord adding whomever is being saved to a particular ekklesia/ecclesia (a community of witnessing saints). At that point, we then are able to help a believer along in his or her faith walk through discipleship teaching and through fellowship gatherings where EVERYONE edifies and exhorts!
Put differently, since ONLY the Lord knows someone’s heart, and since the issues of regeneration and salvation are between a person and the Lord, especially since being born from above and being saved concern whether or not a person is sincere about wanting to have a life in the presence of God (concern whether or not a person is sincere about wanting to accept Jesus the Christ, or sincere about making a commitment to serve the Lord), our “responsibility” then is to present the Gospel, and to present it clearly. Additionally, we can pray for lost souls, by asking God to make the hearts of those individuals who are spiritually separated from Him receptive to the sown Word so that they too can be saved.
Finally, there is nothing beyond our witnessing, our preaching, and our praying that can lead anyone to Christ, or that can be instrumental in getting anyone who is lost, saved! To teach or preach that we can do more than witnessing, preaching, and praying is to teach and preach a different Gospel. In short, it means that we are doing our own “thing”!