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Gospel Ignorance Widespread In Many Churches

21 November 2014 2 Comments

Hi everyone

About 10 minutes ago I went into a cafe to order a breakfast.   I am en route to Oke Bay to do some work up there at our evangelism dv1291034training centre.

The lady behind the counter (Mel) was 19.  As she was taking the order, I said to her (no one else could hear us, which is how you want it to be) “Mel, let me ask you a good question”

“Sure” she said.

“Say there was big explosion here right now, and you died. And you came up before God and He said to you ‘Mel, give me two reasons I should let you into heaven’, what would you say?”

Literally, Mel took at least two minutes to answer.  There was no one else in the cafe waiting to be served. It was the perfect situation for evangelism.

Eventually she said “You know what, I really don’t know.  I don’t have a clue!”

I said “Ok, what do you think would qualify someone to go to heaven?”

Again, she said she had no idea.

Then came the shocking bit.

She told me that she’d been brought up in a Christian family, and had “given her life” to Jesus when she was 15.

She told me she attends a Pentecostal church in Whangarei.

I know the church well.

question markMy question is this: “How could a person be brought up in a church all her life, ‘give her life to Jesus’ to at 15, and not know what qualifies a person to go to heaven?”

The answer is quiet simple - she would not know if she’d never been told.

That is to say, if she’d never heard the gospel.

Widespread ignorance (“ignorance” is a harsh word to use, agreed, but what other word is there? ) about the most basic and fundamental Christian doctrines is running at an all time high in the vast majority of churches.

One would have to conclude that there are many many people sitting in churches on Sundays and they have never heard the gospel.

If they died tonight, they would end in hell.

How can a person be a Christian having not heard the gospel?  It’s impossible.

It’s as ludicrous as saying Jesus was gay.

Mel is not an isolated case.

I have friends working in churches who report the same problem.

Lest you think I am being a little too harsh, pick 5 people in your church next Sunday and ask them the question I asked Mel.

Their answers may surprise you.

If you are a pastor who is reading this, teach your people the critical content of the gospel, and teach them where this content comes from in the Bible.  Our great error as leaders is to presume our people know this content.  Presume they don’t.

The critical content of the gospel message is as follows:

  1. why we must be saved.
  2. How Jesus can save us.
  3. What we must do to be saved.
  4. The cost of being a disciple.

If I was teaching the people in my church this content, I would set aside 4-5 hours of teaching for each of these four points. people are good at sinning

If you did this, I am certain you’d be shocked to discover how little your people know when it comes to the gospel.

You may also be shocked to discover just how many people in your church are not saved.

How can Mel communicate this content to the lost world around her, unless she knows it herself? The answer is she can’t.

Needless to say, I gave Mel the follow up booklet called “How To Be Sure Of Going To Heaven When We Die” which she accepted with no little glee.

Widespread ignorance in churches about the gospel is a major reason why only 2% of the Church today engage in evangelism – they have no idea what to say to the lost all around them because they have never heard it themselves!

Wow, I am still in shock as I sign off.


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  • Nelson says:

    Hi Julian,

    Thanks for your inspiration and examples of proclaiming the gospel.

    One of the statements that Jesus made was that many people would come in his name saying He is the Christ and would deceive many.

    One of the ways this happens is because of false doctrine and the fact that many people in church have not been taught true doctrine. I think for the church to be strong and capable at proclaiming to others they must understand the truth themselves.

    This basically comes down to believing the bible is Gods inspired word and being lead and impowered by the Holy Spirit, who is the spirit of truth. If we know God\Jesus\Holy Spirit we should be able to find the truth because he said he woud lead us into it.

    Many churches are full of people who believe all sorts of things which are not the truth.

    I think many churches would benifit from stressing the fundamental true doctrines of Chritianty as a first step for preparing people to move forward in evangilism.


  • Julian Batchelor says:

    Hi Nelson, I could not agree more with what you have said here. bless you my friend for your stand and dedication to the truth.

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