When we share the gospel on the streets, we need to realize that each person’s spiritual background is going to be different. That means that every individual will have a different belief on what they must do to attain eternal life. Some may believe being good or doing more good than bad will reap eternal rewards. Others believe that by performing a certain number of religious rituals, they will appease the god that they worship. Many even professing Christians think that they can achieve a works righteousness or that they need to speak in tongues or be baptized to be saved. We can see when we look at God’s word that all of these means are wrong. We need to clearly state how it is faith alone that saves from damnation. Even repentance alone is not sufficient, for mere repentance leads to a moral life without being justified before God.
“yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified.” (Galatians 2:16)
Faith has always been the means by which a person must be saved. The Bible says that Abraham’s faith “was counted to him as righteousness” (Romans 4:3). Since the beginning, God has made his plan of redemption clear. Man is to trust Him for salvation, not in themselves or anything else.
“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9, emphasis added)
Does this mean that we can live however we want simply because we’ve placed our trust in Jesus? Absolutely not! What a shameful thing to do, to willingly do over and over again without remorse the very things that placed our Savior on the cross in the first place! If we truly love God and trust Him, we will obey Him and hate the sin that we once loved. It is important to stress this when speaking of what it means to become a believer of Jesus Christ.
I was guilty of this once. I clung to Jesus simply as a ticket to heaven, caring not for obeying Him and learning more about this great Savior. When someone tries using Jesus only to escape God’s wrath, it is not a saving faith at all and they still stand condemned before God. It is those who have placed their faith in Him wholly that regenerates their hearts and transforms their lives. Saving faith will be seen by others through the fruit it produces.
Lost men and women must be told how to be saved. It is not enough to know they need saving. If I was told I had cancer but wasn’t given a cure, I would be lost. I may try finding my own way to escape my fate, but it would be at best speculation on my part.
We know the disease. We know the cure. Let’s make sure we give both to the sinners we encounter in our evangelistic efforts.