KEYS FOR EVANGELISM IN 2002
by Bro. Robert Holm, Missionary
It has been nearly one hundred years of 'evangelism' since the church forsook the key to the sinner's heart.
Luke 11:52: Woe unto you, lawyers! for ye have taken away the key of knowledge: ye entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in ye hindered.
- pertaining to the law, one learned in the law
- in the NT an interpreter and teacher of the Mosaic law
Similar statement to Pharisees
Matthew 23:13 ¶ But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.
Matthew 23:15 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.
- There IS a 'key' to reaching the lost.
- Rusty through a lack of use. The Bible does actually call it "the" key, and its purpose is simply to unlock the Door" of the Savior. Its function is to bring us to Christ.
- It is a Biblical key
- Through history the Church has used it to unlock the doors of revival.
- Lost around the turn of the twentieth century.
- Keys have a habit of getting lost.
Jesus used it—John 4—woman at well, Matthew 5 (reminded hearers), Mark 10 (rich ruler)
Paul used it--Romans 3:19-20—Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
Acts 28:23--And when they had appointed him a day, there came many to him into his lodging; to whom he expounded and testified the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus, both out of the law of Moses, and out of the prophets, from morning till evening.
Emphasized it to Timothy--1 Timothy 1:8--But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully;
James used it—2:10-11 For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law. (see James 2:10).
Stephen used it when he preached--Acts 7:53-- Who have received the law by the disposition of angels, and have not kept it..
Jesus said that the lawyers had "taken away" the key, and even refused to use it to let people enter into the Kingdom of God (see Luke 11:52).
The Pharisees--bent it out of shape so that it wouldn't do its work--Mark 7:8--For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do. And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.
Jesus returned it back to its true shape, just as the Scriptures prophesied that He would do see Isaiah 42:21--Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles.
Satan has tried to prejudice the modern Church against the key. He has maligned it, misused it, twisted it and of course hidden it...because he hates it because of what it does.
WHAT IS IT? (THE LAW)
The Bible tells us the Law of Moses is good, if it is used lawfully (1 Timothy 1:8--above). It was given by God as a "schoolmaster" to bring us to Christ (See Galatians 3:24). The Law of God (the Ten Commandments) is evidently the "key of knowledge" Jesus spoke of in Luke 11:52. He was speaking to "lawyers"--those who should have been teaching God's Law so that sinners would receive the "knowledge of sin," and thus their need of the Savior. It shows the great love that God has for His creatures.
TO SHOW GOD'S LOVE, ONE MUST SHOW THE CROSS. TO SHOW THE IMPORTANCE OF THE CROSS IS TO SHOW SIN. AND THE 'KEY' TO SHOWING SIN IS THE LAW
IN THE N.T. God's love is almost always given in direct relation to the Cross:
Herein is love--1 John 4:10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
For God so loved—John 3:16
God commendeth His love—Romans 5:8
The Cross is the focal-point of God's love for the world.
How can we point to the Cross without making reference to sin?
("See who Jesus died for" box)
How can we refer to sin, without the Law? (see Romans 7:7-- What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.)
The biblical way to express God's love to a sinner is to show him how great his sin is (using the Law—Rich young ruler in Mark 10, Romans 7:13, Galatians 3:24), then give him the incredible grace of God in Christ. This was the key to reaching so many on the Day of Pentecost. They were "devout" Jews who knew the Law and its holy demands, and therefore readily accepted the mercy of God in Christ to escape its fearful wrath.
I believe the Law of Moses holds 8 effective keys to evangelism (probably more)
THE LAW IS:
- THE KEY THAT SHOWS GOD'S HOLINESS
Revelation 15:4: Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest.
Judgments: something which has been deemed right so as to have force of law
God will someday judge the world in righteousness
Psalms 9:8 And he shall judge the world in righteousness, he shall minister judgment to the people in uprightness.
Psalms 96:13 Before the LORD: for he cometh, for he cometh to judge the earth: he shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with his truth.
Psalms 98:9 Before the LORD; for he cometh to judge the earth: with righteousness shall he judge the world, and the people with equity.
Acts 17:31 Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.
A.W. Tozer who said, "The vague and tenuous hope that God is too kind to punish the ungodly has become a deadly opiate for the consciences of millions."
(From "The Power of Darkness" manuscript by Ray Comfort)
How does a holy God look upon violators of His Law? How serious are our crimes? For the answer, let's imagine that we visit a museum. You have come with me to take your mind off some serious financial troubles.
As we look at a particular display, we read a notice, which says: "Do not cross this line or touch this display. This plate is priceless."
As you look at an old china plate, you are sure it's the same as a low-cost one you purchased at a store in Hong Kong. You can't believe that they would try and deceive the public, so you reach across the line and actually pick it up. No doubt about it, it looks the same as the cheap one you have at home . . . the crooks!
As you swing around to show me, you strike the top of the steel rope-post, and the plate shatters in your hands. You are embarrassed more than anything at first, and you console any concern you may have because you can replace it with the plate you have at home. Nothing to worry about. All this happened in seconds.
Suddenly, alarm bells are ringing and armed guards are grabbing you on either side. Surveillance cameras had been on you all the time. The museum manager suddenly appears with an expression of outrage on his face. He looks at the shattered plate, the sign, the rope, then back at you and says, "Can't you read?! What is wrong with you . . . that plate was worth $150,000! You are in big trouble!" The police arrive, and to your horror you are taken into custody.
What are you to do? You have big financial troubles. You don't have a penny to your name. What's more, you were totally mistaken about the plate's value. Now you are guilty of a very serious crime. You were warned by the sign and supposedly held back by the rope. You hang your head in shame. There is no way you can justify what you have done.
For some time the police chief questions you in the room in which you are seated. You feel such remorse for your actions, you can hardly look up to answer his questions. He leaves the room for a few minutes, and returns with a sober look on his face. Then he says, "I think you realize how serious the crime is that you have committed. The manager has every legal right to throw the book at you. You could easily find yourself with a very stiff prison term. The sign, the rope . . . everything stands against you. However, you are free to go."
You look up in unbelief. What did he say – free to go? Upon inquiry, you find that the police chief told the museum manager of your genuine sorrow, and after some deliberation, he decided to pay for another plate using museum emergency funds.
You sit there in stunned silence. Tears well in your eyes, tears of unbelief, of gratitude . . . of relief. Those words echo in your mind – "Free to go."
The first thing you feel you must do, is go to the manager and try in some way to find the words to thank him for such undeserved kindness.
You know it's true that many times you have ignored the restraining rope of your conscience. You knew what was right, yet you did what was wrong. You reached out to sin, harmless though it seemed, but in doing so you shattered God's precious Law into a thousand pieces.
You consoled yourself with your self-righteous deeds, thinking you could make things right. You can't make up for what you have done because the Bible says that you are morally bankrupt. Nothing you can offer God can pay for your crimes against Him. Little did you know that the surveillance eye of an omniscient God saw your every deed and thought. Now you wait at the feet of His mercy. Hell is your just dessert.
Perhaps you aren't yet sorry for what you have done. This is because you don't see how serious sin is. The thing that brought sobriety to the museum incident was knowledge of the cost of the plate's replacement. When you found out that it was worth $150,000, you saw the seriousness of the crime, and from that knowledge issued sorrow . . . sorrow, which was to be expected with such a serious transgression.
How then can you see the solemnity of sin? How can you be sorry? This is the key – by understanding the value of the Law you have shattered. How much then does God value the "plate" of His Law? The answer is seen in what God did to replace it and make things right between Himself and humanity. What was the cost, what extreme did He go to? For the answer, look to the battered and bruised body of the Son of God, as He hung on that cross for you. Blood poured from His head, His hands, His back, His beard, and feet. His blood was shed for the forgiveness of sins . . . your sins. His face was twisted and His body contorted, as the fury of a Holy Creator was unleashed against Him.
The Bible tells us that (Isaiah 52:14) … his visage was so marred more than any man. He was hardly recognizable as a human being, as not only physical pain ripped through His body, but the sin of the entire human race was laid upon Him.
Just as a full $150,000 had to be paid to make things right between you and the museum, so likewise justice demanded the suffering death of the sinless Messiah, to make things right between us and the Law of a holy God.
GOD IS HOLY. THIS IS SHOW FORTH BY HIS LAW, WHICH IS ALSO HOLY
Romans 7:12 Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.
"How much then does God value His holy Law? The answer is seen in what God did to replace it and make things right between Himself and humanity. What was the cost, what extreme did He go to? For the answer, look to the battered and bruised body of the Son of God, as He hung on that cross for you. Blood poured from His head, His hands, His back, and His feet. His blood was shed for the forgiveness of the violations of His law. Sin . . . your sins. His face was twisted and His body contorted, as the fury of a Holy Creator was unleashed against Him.
The Bible tells us that (Isaiah 52:14) … his visage was so marred more than any man. He was hardly recognizable as a human being, as not only physical pain ripped through His body, but the sin of the entire human race was laid upon Him."(adapted from Ray Comfort, The Evidence Bible)
THE LAW IS:
2. THE KEY TO GODLY SORROW AND REPENTANCE
2 Corinthians 7:10 "GODLY SORROW WORKETH REPENTANCE UNTO SALVATION"
The apostle Peter acted in misguided zeal when he tried to dismember the Roman servant in the garden of Gethsemane. Many misguided Christians are also cutting off ears - the ears of potential hearers. Once sinners think they have given the gospel a try, they no longer have an ear for it. Why are sinners turned off and tuned out? Because we no longer preach the full message of the gospel. We have omitted the key to genuine repentance - the Law of God.
If we no longer show a person that he has transgressed God's holy Law they will not have godly sorrow which leads to repentance, without which they cannot be saved.
THE LAW IS A SCHOOLMASTER; IT IS LIGHT—
Galatians 3:24--Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
Proverbs 6:23 For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life:
Listen to these words from Spurgeon:Lower the Law, and you dim the light by which man perceives his guilt. This is a very serious loss to the sinner, rather than a gain; for it lessens the likelihood of his conviction and conversion...I say you have deprived the gospel of itsablest auxiliary [most powerful weapon] when you have set aside the Law. You have taken away from it the schoolmaster that is to bring men to Christ...they will never accept grace till they tremble before a just and holy Law. Therefore the Law serves a most necessary and blessed purpose and it must not be removed from its place.
When the sinner sees the awful consequences of breaking the Law of God - that he cannot escape the certainty of judgment - he will see his need to put on the Lord Jesus Christ. When we preach future punishment by the Law, the sinner comes to Christ to flee from "the wrath to come."
THE LAW IS:
3. THE RIGHT KEY
735 John Milton (British poet): "Death is the great key that opens the palace of Eternity."
(Fancy quote. We will all step into eternity someday. But what if, when you've stepped through the veil of death, you discover you're going to the wrong place?)
976 WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU HAVE THE WRONG KEY? A number of men were upstairs in a house amusing themselves with a game of cards, when there was cry from the street below of "Fire! Fire!" The men looked at one another in disbelief. One of the windows grew orange with the flames. "Wait!" said the dealer... "Let's just finish this hand, we've got plenty of time---
I have a key to the back door." The men nodded in approval, then quickly picked up the dealt cards.
Precious minutes passed. One of the men became nervous as the flames licked through the now broken window. With eyes flashing and sweated brow, he asked for the key. "Coward!" muttered the dealer as he tossed across the key. Each of them then rushed to the door and waited with baited breath as the key was placed into the lock. "It won't turn!" was the cry. "Let me have it!" said the dealer. As he tried in vain to turn the key, he whispered in horror "... it's the wrong key!"
THE WRONG KEY--MODERN EVANGELISM says: accept Jesus for 'peace, joy, happiness', better life, deliverance from your problems, etc.,
INSTEAD OF: YOU NEED A SAVIOUR BECAUSE YOU ARE A LAWBREAKER. THAT'S WHY YOU DESERVE TO GO TO THE BURNING FIRE OF HELL"
(Does Jesus deliver from problems and give peace, joy, etc? YES—But that is NOT WHY HE CAME, THAT IS NOT THE 'DRAW CARD'--NOT WHY A PERSON SHOULD RECEIVE HIM .
Jesus came to save his people from their SINS (Matt 1:21)
ANOTHER WRONG KEY—
TO NOT SPECIFY WHAT 'SIN' IS.
It is a CHURCH WORD, BIBLE WORD
IT MAY ONLY OFFEND (EVEN THOUGH THEY WON'T TELL YOU SO)
THEY DON'T REALLY BELIEVE THEY HAVE OFFENDED GOD,
NOR DO THEY BELIEVE THEY DESERVE HELL
Remember what Romans 7:7 says
MANY WILL END UP IN HELL BECAUSE NO ONE EVER CARED ENOUGH ABOUT THEM TO SHOW THEM THEIR LAWLESSNESS!!!
Matthew 7: 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
I John 3:4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.—PEOPLE ARE IGNORANT OF WHAT 'SIN' IS BECAUSE NO ONE EVER TOLD THEM
LISTEN TO THIS TESTIMONY OF USING THE RIGHT KEY w/ a surfer in California
On the Saturday night of April 24th, 1972, I walked into Graham and Wayne's room. Graham was quietly sitting on his bed. Wayne was fast asleep. For some reason I sat down and began to talk. During that time, the subject of God surfaced. Wayne woke from a deep sleep and heard us talking about God. He aired his disapproval, and was so offended, he left the room.
Graham and I[We] spoke for 6 ½ hours that night. During that time I found myself confronted with the fact that I had violated the Ten Commandments. The scripture that sunk like a sharp poison arrow into my heart was, "Ye have heard that it was said by them of old, thou shalt not commit adultery. But I say unto you that whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart" (Matthew 5:27,28). It was the death of me. If God made my mind, He could see what He made . . . He saw my thought-life. I was guilty of the sin of the heart a thousand times over. I knew that I would be condemned on Judgment Day and end up in Hell.
I was trapped, as a guilty criminal in the prison of Divine Justice.---Suddenly, the door began to open. Jesus Christ, God in human form, came to this earth and suffered and died in my place. He took the punishment due to me. He paid my fine. He alone had the keys to death and Hell. For the first time in my life the Gospel made sense to me. I found that the Bible says that the whole of creation was subjected to futility and death, because of sin. When Jesus came to this earth, He took the curse of God upon Himself. That's why He bore the crown of thorns. That's why He died on the Cross. Then He rose from the dead and defeated death. I was told that night, if I would repent and trust in Jesus Christ, God would forgive my sins and give me the gift of everlasting life.Would I?!
I asked God to forgive me for violating His Commandments.I gladly embraced the Savior as a man dying of thirst grasps a cup of water. It was then that I found the God who gave me life.
The only way I can even begin to describe the experience is to point to a newborn baby. It cries the moment it is born. If I could ask what the problem was, the baby might say, "Something is missing. I don't know what it is, but there is an instinctive cry in me that won't let up until I find what it is." The doctor then picks up the screaming child and places it upon the mother's breast. The baby stops crying and suckles. I tap the baby on its tiny shoulder and ask, "How do you feel now?" It looks at me with tears of joy in its wide eyes, and says, "This is it! This was what I was looking for. I had no idea what it was because I had never experienced it before."
On the night of April 25th, 1972, I found what I had been looking for. I had no idea what it was until the moment I experienced it. The Bible says that Jesus Christ shall make you "whole" (see Acts 9:34).
We went to bed at 3:30 that morning. As I drifted off to sleep, I had a fear that what I had found would be gone in the morning. It wasn't. In fact, it was so real, for the first time in ten years I didn't want to go surfing. I was quite happy to sit and read a Bible. That was very strange. It was in there that I read of what had happened to me. The incredible peace I felt was what the Bible referred to as " the peace of God, which passeth all understanding,"(see Philippians 4:7). I didn't just feel peace, I felt like a new person. My eyes fastened on 2 Corinthians 5:17, "Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature; old things are passed away, behold, all things are become new." The Bible seemed to come alive as I read its words.
THE LAW IS:
4. THE KEY OF AGREEMENT
THE LAW IS:
5. THE KEY OF LOVE
THE LAW IS:
6. THE KEY THAT MUST BE USED BEFORE THE 2ND KEY, THE KEY OF GRACE, WHICH OPENS DEATH'S DOOR
Proverbs 3:34 Surely he scorneth the scorners: but he giveth grace unto the lowly. (Must be lowly—how?)
Psalms 51:17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise. (Must have a contrite heart—how?)
Romans 3:19 Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.
John 1:17 For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. (Law, then grace)
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Law, then grace)
Romans 5:17 For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.) (Law, then grace)
Romans 5:20 Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: (Law, then grace)
John Newton (the writer of "Amazing Grace") said that a wrong understanding of the harmony between Law and Grace would produce "error on the left and the right hand."I don't know if any of us could claim to have a better understanding of Grace than the one who penned such a wonderful hymn.
Remember what Spurgeon said, "They will never accept Grace, until they tremble before a just and holy Law."
(spotlight in a bright room—not too impressive! It must be dark, so that the light is fully appreciated)
Romans 5:20 Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:
The Law causes Grace to abound in the same way darkness makes light shine.
"The world will never clearly see the light of the glorious Gospel of Christ, until the blackness of sin is explicitly painted on the canvas of a just and holy Law."(Ray Comfort)
JESUS IS THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD—THEY WILL BE ATTRACTED TO JESUS LIKE MOTHS TO A LAMP WHEN THE BLACKNESS IS GREAT
John 8:12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.
John 12:46 I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.
Psalms 119:130 The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.
"A man once called his Christian friend, and with a voice of urgency told him about how he kept seeing everyone with the word "Death" written across his or her foreheads. I said, "Hey, that's good!" He said, "No it's not . . . it's bad, because I'm not witnessing to them – pray for me!"
May we see every person we don't know, as potential friends in a holding cell with death waiting for them. May our conscience give us no rest until we take to them the pardon from Heaven, and give them the key to unlock death's cold and black door."
WE SEE PEOPLE WALKING BY AT THE FAIR AS ON THE BROAD ROAD TO DESTRUCTION
THE KEY OF THE LAW SHOWS THEM THAT THEY ARE HEADING TO ETERNAL DEATH; GOD'S GRACE IS KEY OF DELIVERANCE
THE LAW IS:
7. THE KEY TO THE WAR ROOM (WHERE THE CANNONS OF GOD ARE KEPT)
WOULD YOU RATHER GO TO WAR WITH A PLASTIC SWORD? OR THE SHARPEST TW0-EDGED SWORD?
THIS BIBLE IS SHARPER THAN A TWO-EDGED SWORD—IF YOU USE IT RIGHT!!!
Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
Revelation 2:16 Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.
Revelation 19:15 And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.
Isaiah 49:2 And he hath made my mouth like a sharp sword; in the shadow of his hand hath he hid me, and made me a polished shaft; in his quiver hath he hid me;
Ephesians 6:17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
IT IS THE SWORD THAT GOD'S SPIRIT USES TO CONVICT THE WORLD OF SIN(John 16:8)
2 Corinthians 10:4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)
WE ARE IN A WAR FOR THE SOULS OF MEN—I BELIEVE THAT THE LAW IS OUR MIGHTIEST WEAPON—pick it up and use it
Those who see the role of the Law will be sons of thunder before they are the sons of consolation. They know that the shoes of human pride must be removed before sinners can approach the burning bush of the Gospel.
THE LAW IS:
8. THE KEY WHICH SHOWS GOD'S GREAT LOVE; IT CAUSES US TO HAVE A ZEAL FOR GOD; IT IS THE KEY TO REVIVAL
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
WHAT A BLESSING THIS GIFT OF GOD'S LOVE BECOMES, WHEN WE SEE WHAT WE DESERVE BECAUSE OF OUR TRANSGRESSION OF GOD'S HOLY LAW
John 15:13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
Romans 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
(R. Comfort, from The Evidence Bible)
A QUOTE FROM A MAN WHO THOUGHT HE WAS TRULY SAVED FOR OVER 30 YEARS:
"Men and women, boys and girls must be made to feel completely lost and undone by the Law of Moses. Lackof showing the lawless man his specific transgressions against a holy God is to leave him ignorant and unconcerned of his practices, and undisturbed of the wrath to come. He will blithely persist in doing that which is right in his own eyes. He will reap to himself the wickedness that he sows; he will be an affliction to his neighbor, and an abomination to God. He must instead tremble before the holy Creator's commandments, which leads to godly sorrow, which worketh repentance unto true salvation. Apathy turns to action when he sees even a glimpse of his eternal condition in the blazing light of God's holiness. The immeasurable depth of God's love is scarcely plumbed when we perceive that the Lawgiver has paid the full penalty for our lawlessness against Himself. If left unconvinced and unconverted, the natural man will soon appear before a thrice-holy God not as Saviour, but as Judge unto the damnation of his body and soul in eternal hell-fire." rah. 8/31/01
Needed for this talk:
Bible (big one as a sword, or a little one as a 'dagger')
Broad road to destruction picture
[See who Jesus died for box?]
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