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The Gospel Presentation — 28 Comments

  1. Hi William, where can I start my presentation to a group of smokers and drinkers?

    Can you help? I have difficulty to continue with the remaining topics.

    • Henry,
      I am not Mr. Earnhardt, but this may be a suggestion, 1st read Lillian's presentation on Doe deer, start from the beginning.
      Here is a story and a little tidbit of advice.
      There was a pastor who was called by one of his parishioners who worked as a nurse in the hospital in Jackson Mississippi several years ago. We have a family where 3 have died in a car accident and two children are in critical care. They were almost home from vacation on the Gulf Coast. They were going on the freeway and another car was going the wrong way, they collided head on at interstate speeds, we need you to be their Chaplin. On the way over he was thinking that maybe if someone driving the right way could have honked or hailed the driver on CB, "YOUR GOING THE WRONG WAY."
      Henry, it is okay to tell people they need to change their lifestyle, even if they already know it. You may be instrumental in getting them to quite smoking, stop drinking, or change to a plant base diet or total vegetarian diet, with starches in as natural form as possible, low on dietary fats out of there natural form, exercise more, get plenty of sunshine, drink plenty of water, fresh air, be temperate, get rest, and trust in God.
      Good day,

      • Thanks William, wonderful words. And thank-you Henry for lending an ear. I will pray for you, you do the same for me. A little out of sequence, that won't hurt.
        Good day

    • Hi Henry,

      I agree with John and Lillian's post on Doe Deer is excellent. In Matthew 5:3 Jesus says, "Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." The poor in spirit are those who have no pride in themslves and sense their desperate need of a Savior. Not the beautitudes go on from there to perfection of character and a complete conversion, being pure in heart and filled with the righteousness of God that they hunger and thirst for. However, as soon as the sinner senses his need and accepts his Savior the kingdom of heaven is his! God comes into His life, gives Him the kingdom and then continues to work in his life to bring about a complete and perfect conversion. This is the result of a relationship. So, instead of just doing doctrinal studies I will want to do some relational studies as well, helping this person to grow in their relationship with Christ. This is something we as Adventists have lacked in times past. We bring them to a seminar and throw facts at them, telling them "we're right you're wrong! Now join our church so you can be right too." Well I may be exagerating a little here but stay with me here. What we have failed to do in the past is be relational. We have been so focused on being "right" that we have failed to be relational. This is where we need to keep our eyes on Jesus. Jesus was always right, but He was also always relational. He didnt rush or pressure people to get baptized this year so He could meet His quota. He took time to have relationships which some never yielded fruit till after He was gone. Denis Sands has some wonderful relational studies for growth groups and small study groups. They are 100% right and 100% relational. Instead of just throwing doctrines at people, lets teach them and show them how to have a realtionship with Jesus. As they come closer to Jesus He will help them hate the bad things they now love and to love the good things they now hate. I hope this helps. If you still have questions please let me know.

      • How true!! Once people think they are right they often close their hearts to learning. Thanks for sharing this and for your study and especially the ending to leave after prayer.

      • Thanks Willy, well said.

        God will continue to bless your ministry as you continue to feed us with more new insights from His word.

        God bless.

      • Happy Sabbath my dear brother!
        I'm always inspired by the way God used you to bring home certain topics.
        As I got the question“If you were to stand before God and He asked you why He should allow you into His kingdom what would you say?” I lingered a very long time because I know I have no justifiable cause of my own. All of my sins this week and of the past came up before me, even though I've asked forgiveness; I still felt that I'm not worthy. But I read on and thanks be to God for the answer "Ask Jesus"
        At times I'm a mess! I feel like such a big let down to God! At times I feel like because I'm doing right He owes me. I've praying about a health condition for so long. Ive fasted and prayed, Ive gone to half night prayer meetings and Ive made it as one of my foremost request but no healing yet and sometimes because I've not been delivered yet, I tend to think that neither have I've been delivered from other besetting sins; even though I believe 1 John 1:9
        I thank you always for your timely topics.
        God bless your ministry.

  2. I think we both can agree with Ishmael's second comment which basically affirms what you said in your previous comment that God desires all to be saved.

    As I see it what you are questioning is his first comment which probably could have been worded a bit better. However, in spite of that, I believe what he is saying is the same as what Paul stated several times in different ways that he died daily to self for the sake of the Gospel.

    I view Ishmael's two comments as complimentary that present the two sides of the motif of dying. As Jesus said, "For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it" (Mat 16:25 NKJV).

  3. Some members in my class believe a person can say, I KNOW I am saved (through faith by grace, of course, not once saved always saved.) Other class members quote Ellen White in Selected Messages saying no sanctified tongue should ever utter those words. These members state that believers should instead say I WILL be saved when Christ returns. This discussion is prominent in our study this week. Thoughts?

    • Anita thank you for bringing up this important concept. First of all let's look at the passage you are referring to.

      "We are never to rest in a satisfied condition, and cease to make advancement, saying, "I am saved." When this idea is entertained, the motives for watchfulness, for prayers, for earnest endeavor to press onward to higher attainments, cease to exist. No sanctified tongue will be found uttering these words till Christ shall come, and we enter in through the gates into the city of God. Then, with the utmost propriety, we may give glory to God and to the Lamb for eternal deliverance. As long as man is full of weakness--for of himself he cannot save his soul--he should never dare to say, "I am saved." It is not he that putteth on the armor that can boast of the victory; for he has the battle to fight and victory to win. It is he that endureth unto the end that shall be saved. The Lord says, "If any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him" (Hebrews 10:38). If we do not go forward from victory to victory, the soul will draw back to perdition. We should raise no human standard whereby to measure character. We have seen enough of what men call perfection here below. God's holy law is the only thing by which we can determine whether we are keeping His way or not. If we are disobedient, our characters are out of harmony with God's moral rule of government, and it is stating a falsehood to say, "I am saved." No one is saved who is a transgressor of the law of God, which is the foundation of His government in heaven and in earth. -Ellen White, Selected Messages, Volume 1 314-315

      Paul tells us in Ephesians to put on the helmet of salvation, which I think is the assurance of salvation. John 5:13 tells us we can know we have eternal life, but who does he tell they can know they have eternal life? He says, "we write these things to you who believe. Some of the things John wrote was "He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked." 1 John 2:6 and " Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God." 1 John 3:9 and "And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.
      4:17 Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world." 1 John 4:16-17. John was writing to those who believe in Jesus so much that they are overcomers. "For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, [even] our faith." 1 John 5:4.

      Adam and Eve sinned when they doubted God's love and took the fruit to be in control of their own happiness and welfare. When we believe in God's love we start obeying again! So belief and obedience are extremely closely related throughout Scripture.

      In Ellen White's passage it seems to me she is addressing people who are claiming salvation without obedience or continued obedience. Also we need to be careful that we don't fall for the once saved always saved trap. I cannot say I am saved no matter what, as if there was no way for me to fall again. "Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall." 1 Corinthians 10:12.

      Salvation comes from a continual faith which leads to obedience. Ephesians 2:8 tells us we were saved. 1 Corinthians 1:18 tells us we are being saved. Romans 5:9 tells us we will be saved.

      To me, John is telling people with an obedient faith that they can know they have eternal life. Ellen White is telling people who do not have an obedient faith, or think they are beyond the capability of falling again, not to say they are saved.

      Again this is a very important question because we don't want to give a false hope. I heard an elder in Texas say one time, "God comforts those who are troubled, and troubles those who are comforted." Those who have a false sense of comfort need to be troubled so they know their true state. I believe those are the ones Ellen White addresses in Selected Messages. I believe John is comforting those who need comforting.

      In Christ I am saved and being saved, but if I turn away and fall back into a continual sinful lifestyle I am no longer saved.

      • Thanks for your thoughtful replies. I am a senior who also finds myself saddened by those in my age group who are still struggling over past regrets and sins. Many find little joy in the blessings of old age. Will share your comments. Not sure it will change minds but it has comforted me. Thank you.

        • Hi Anita

          I too can relate to the sadness you experience for others who struggle over past regrets and sins - especially in their senior years. I have a family member who is approaching their end of life with much fear regarding whether they will be saved or not. And I have spoke with countless others who feel/fear the same.

          And although I am one generation away from being a senior, I too was raised under a religious focus on the importance of ensuring that every sinful deed was confessed - or else!

          What I have since learned from many re-reads of the Bible from cover to cover is that it is not our 'behaviours' that are the 'criterion' for salvation - it is our habitual heart tendency (1 Sam 16:7 is the most succinct summary of where God focuses versus where humans tend to focus).

          There are so many references to God talking about Israel's heart condition and the need for healing of people's hearts (especially throughout Isaiah and Proverbs). What is meant by heart condition? The 'heart' is the term used by bible writers to describe the source of our deepest desires - that is, what is it we desire most deeply: a life that is synonymous with the Kingdom of God (and its foundational beneficent/other-centred nature) or a life that is synonymous with the Kingdom of Darkness (and its foundational self-centered/self-indulgent nature)?

          David appears to have understood this - which is why I believe He was referred to as "a man after God's own heart" (1 Sam 13:14; Acts 13:22). And also why, when he sinned 'big time', he asked God to (re)create a clean heart within him (Ps 51:10).

          With specific regard to the Selected Messages quote, I draw the same conclusion as William - that it appears Ellen White is talking to those who had a self-satisfied condition (which could also be described as a conceited attitude/disposition) and who believed in a once-saved-always-saved-regardless theology.

          If you want, you could invite the relevant members in your class to research from their Bible what the key/core 'criterion' is for being saved and see if they come back having discovered that it is their habitual heart tendency rather than individual behaviours. While we can seemingly be doing the right behaviours without a right heart (eg Isa 29:13; Matt 15:8), genuine heart change will be reflected in an overall tendency to right behaviours (even though there may well unfortunately be the occasional thought/word/deed 'slip ups' along the path of sanctification as per Paul's experience reflected in Phil 3:12-14).

    • I like to say that I am in a saving relationship with Jesus Christ. I am saved as long as I stay in that relationship. I believe God wants us to have assurance of salvation. It's sad to hear of saintly Christians agonizing on their death bed regarding whether they are saved or not.

      As William said, I believe Ellen was writing about a specific way of saying "I am saved" in the context of "once saved - always saved."

  4. If Jesus was 100%human being and 100%God and kept the law in human nature and dependent on external power to keep the law and had no advantage over any human being.

    But there are instances where he performed miracles, examples:
    Calmed the storm, multiplied few breads and fish, healed the blind, woman with an issue, when people tempted to stone him, he disappeared, walked on the waters, at 12 yrs could explained the scripture to elders....
    I would like to get more clarity to Jesus's keeping of the law depending on external power as us human beings.

    • S'fiso Mlambo Remember Jesus did nothing in His own power. "Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise......For as the Father raiseth up the dead," John 5:19-21

      Remember Peter walked on water too and raised the dead as long as He was focused on God. All the wonderful things Jesus did, we may do to. "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater [works] than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father." John 14:12

  5. Hello Mr Earnhardt, Have many people accepted the message by this simple presentation as far as you can remember? You can answer me by my mail as well thank you.

    • Hi Beverly, this is always the first Bible study of the series that I give. I began using this study in the early 90's. Well over a thousand have accepted Jesus as their Savior, with around 500 going on to be baptized. I have done this study so many times, I can present the entire presentation, verses included, from memory with no notes or Bible. 🙂 But I still use my Bible. 🙂

  6. Hello William, I praise God for your witness and the harvest. Now I ask you to pray for my son and his wife, my husband and my son-in-law that they commit their life to Jesus and become His disciples. And let nothing impede them. Be blessed yourself as you minister. And thank you in advance.

  7. I have been away almost for all this year.
    I wish you a happy new year with a lot of Gospel sharing from house to house,sit to sit,bed to bed,office to office occupy until he comes man of GOD.

    We have a lot do for our mission,on this earth.
    Most of we still not understand the purpose if God calling us in this field,let us help each other the ones who Our lord open their eyes by fulfilled with his light in his word let them help the weak to know where they have to start from to pin the target of the mission.

    I wish all member of the sabbath school to concentrate on making strong groups in church for bible study the coming year.

    Happy new year.


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