It is a surprising and shameful thing that God has been neglected in all of the most popular Gospel presentations. I believe that the chiefest reason for this is evangelical pragmatism that had its origin with the Billy Graham Crusades.
Billy Graham meant well when he ignores doctrinal distinctions for the sake of reaching the lost through the Gospel, but in doing so sow the seeds of pragmatism.
Quantitative vs Qualitative Evangelism
With such an emphasis in Gospel dissemination, Matthew 28:20 is all but forgotten. Tracts were made that was quick and easy to read. First among them were Chick Tracts which were comic booklets which in the end, underscores the seriousness of sin, the awfulness of Hell, and how Jesus saves.
Others came in pamphlets but generally without stories. If you go to Pinpoint Gospel Tracts (https://store.gospeltract.org/Free-Gospel-Tracts_ep_43.html) you will see tracts that were made earlier but still very well used. Between the two, I recommend the former*.
Unfortunately, newer Gospel presentations such as the Four Spiritual Laws, 5 Things God Wants you to Know, and the Romans Road shows a greatly reduced Gospel in very short paragraphs. Those tracts simply tells its readers that they’re sinners, and that they can be forgiven for their sins, but does not tell readers WHY the bible calls them sinners in the first place.
Worse, students in school clubs are often taught only the contents in those tracts.
It is not enough to say that the Bible said it, and then claim that the Bible is inspired and infallible. They need to understand what makes them sinners in the first place, how serious sin really is, and why sinners are sent to Hell for an eternity thus their need for a savior.
They cannot know truly, the whys and the wherefores, unless they know God Himself.
The Character of God.
3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.
– John 17:3
And all of the tracts I’ve mentioned virtually neglected Him in that respect.
So why sin is so serious and the consequence so severe? Because God is Good. Now we read that and think “Of course! He is good, that’s why He loves us sending His son down on the cross for our salvation.” But we’ve forgotten the other meanings:
6 And the Lord passed by before him, and proclaimed, The Lord, The Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth,
7 Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.
– Exodus 34:6-7
God is good therefore He is love, but He is also Holy and Just as well. So when He sees sin it is abhorrent to Him, and in His Holiness He cannot allow sinners into His presence (Psalms 5:4-5). He cannot be with sin, and He will not hear their prayers (Habakkuk 1:13).
God is so good that He requires moral perfection (Matthew 5:20). So to sin but once is to violate all of the commandments (James 2:10). One might ask “Why can’t He just forgive us”? Paul Washer made an important point in dealing with that question. If He were to do that, then He would be unjust, quoting the following verse:
15 He that justifieth the wicked, and he that condemneth the just, even they both are abomination to the Lord.
– Proverbs 17
For Part 2, click here: https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/107887481/posts/3126285931