With this week’s lesson titled, “Salvation and the End Time,“ this is a good time to think about how we can share the hope of salvation with those those around us.
“More people than we think are longing to find the way to Christ. Those who preach the last message of mercy should bear in mind that Christ is to be exalted as the sinner’s refuge. Some ministers think that it is not necessary to preach repentance and faith; they take it for granted that their hearers are acquainted with the gospel, and that matters of a different nature must be presented in order to hold their attention. But many people are sadly ignorant in regard to the plan of salvation; they need more instruction upon this all-important subject than upon any other.” –Ellen G. White, Evangelism, pp. 185-186
I would like to share with you the gospel presentation that I have been sharing with people for almost twenty years now. I encourage you, if you don’t already have a gospel presentation chain-referenced in your Bible, to chain-reference this one.
If you choose to chain-reference your Bible, you can write in the back of your Bible somewhere: “Gospel Presentation GP 1 John 5:13”
We will be using “Gospel Presentation” for the name of the study and “GP” for the abbreviation as we continue chain-referencing the study. 1 John 5:13 is our first verse. At each verse just write nearby, “GP, the key thought or question (can be abbreviated) for each verse, followed by the next verse you will go to.”
Okay let’s go to our first verse now.
Key Question: “If Jesus were to come today would you be saved?”
These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God. 1 John 5:13 NKJV
God wants us to know we are saved. He does not want us wondering or hoping, but knowing that we have eternal life. We have done nothing to earn this, but then again, what did the angels do to earn their place in heaven? Nothing! They were just created there. Before and after sin and the cross, life has always been a free gift and always will be.
Key Question: “If you were to stand before God and He asked you why He should allow you into His kingdom what would you say?”
Please assure your Bible student that this is a hypothetical question. God wants you in His kingdom and won’t be saying, “Why should I let you in?” He wants you in!
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. Ephesians 2:8-9 NKJV
I like to share that if I was asked that question, I would just point to Jesus and say “Ask Him.” Jesus would then explain that He was treated the way I deserve to be treated so I may be treated the way He deserves to be treated.
“Christ was treated as we deserve, that we might be treated as He deserves. He was condemned for our sins, in which He had no share, that we might be justified by His righteousness, in which we had no share. He suffered the death which was ours, that we might receive the life which was His.” –Ellen G. White, Desire of Ages, page 25
Key Thought: “Why do I need grace?”
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God Romans 3:23 NKJV
Key Thought: “What are the wages of sin?
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23 NKJV
I like to share right here that the wages of sin is not eternal torment in hell. John 3:16 says those who believe “shall not perish” instead of “shall not be tormented for all eternity.”
Key Thought: “What is sin?”
Since sin causes death this is important to know.
Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness. 1 John 3:4 NKJV
Good news is that it is not a sin to be human or tempted. It is a sin to willfully and knowingly break God’s law. Obviously the law is still in effect. If there were no law I could not break God’s law and sin, and therefore I would not need grace. The fact that I need grace shows there is still a law.
Now if I run a red light just one time I deserve a ticket. Likewise one sin is all it takes for me to deserve death. This leads us to Romans 5:10,19
Key Thought: “How does God deal with the fact that I don’t have a prefect life to offer?”
For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. Romans 5:10 NKJV
For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous. Romans 5:19 NKJV
I am not only saved by His death. I am also saved by His life! His life stands in the place of my life. Again, Jesus was treated as we deserve so we can be treated as he deserves.
Key Thought: “Jesus takes our sins and gives us His righteousness.
For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. 2 Corinthians 5:21 NKJV
Jesus took the punishment for my sins in which He had no share, so that I may have the reward of His righteousness in which I had no share. Jesus was treated the way I deserve to be treated so I may be treated the way He deserves to be treated.
Key Thought: “Jesus gives us eternal life and then helps us to hate the sins we now love and to love the good things we now hate.”
who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed. 1 Peter 2:24 NKJV
If you are chain referencing your Bible, you will want to write “GP End” by 1 Peter 2:24 so that you know this is the last verse and you don’t need to look for a next verse.
At this point, you will want to ask the person with whom share this to accept Jesus as their Savior. God already accepts them, the question is, will they accept God? Ephesians 1:6
Prayer: “Dear Jesus thank you for allowing Yourself to be treated the way I deserve to be treated so I may be treated the way you deserve to be treated. Thank you for dying for my sin so I may have the reward of your righteousness. Thank you for coming into my heart and giving me eternal life, and now please help me to love the good things I once hated and to hate the sins I once loved. In Jesus’ name Amen.”
May I suggest that if you are sharing this in someone’s home that you politely excuse yourself immediately after the prayer? This way they are left with the study and prayer lingering in their heart and mind instead of any small talk after the study.