Friday, January 11, 2008

Declaring God's Word


   The modern church lives within what it considers to be an exciting time. We are seeing thousand of decisions for Christ happening internationally on a scale that is growing exponentially each year. The advent of the Wide World Web and other forms of digital communication have allowed for a more broader spreading of God word within relatively short time. Places that were once hardened against the gospel are now opening their doors to missionaries and evangelists. One cannot help but feel a sense of excitement towards what is currently happening within Christendom.
However, an examination of the actual ratio between decisions for Christ and church growth records in addition to other statistics regarding the moral character of people who claim to be of a Christian background reveals a shocking contradiction towards the above statement.

During the late 1970s, an evangelist from New Zealand named Ray Comfort was given an itinerant ministry that allowed him access to church growth records. In his message entitled "Hell's Best Kept Secret" (which can be downloaded from, Comfort stated that:

As I began to travel, I found that I had access to church growth records, and found to my horror that something like 80 to 90% of those making a decision for Christ were falling away from the faith. That is, modern evangelism with its methods is creating something like 80 to 90 of what we commonly call backsliders for every hundred decisions for Christ.
Let me make it more real for you. In 1991, in the first year of the "decade of harvest" a major denomination in the U.S. was able to obtain 294,000 decisions for Christ. That is, in one year, this major denomination of 11,500
churches was able to obtain 294,000 decisions for Christ. Unfortunately, they could only find 14,000 in fellowship, which means they couldn't account for 280,000 of their decisions, and this is normal, modern evangelical results, and something I discovered way back in the late seventies; it greatly concerned me.
I began to study the book of Romans intently and, specifically, the gospel proclamation of men like Spurgeon, Wesley, Moody, Finney, Whitfield, Luther, and others that God used down through the ages, and I found they used a principle which is almost entirely neglected by modern evangelical methods.

The statement that immediately comes to mind when we consider the fall-away rate within modern Christendom is Something is wrong.

What is missing from Modern Evangelism?

   So what was the common principle of the great historical evangelists of church history and how does it differ from what is commonly used today?
   Psalm 19:7 states that "The Law of the Lord is Perfect for reviving the soul." We know that the ultimate revival of someone's soul occurs at conversion what someone becomes a Christian by accepting Christ into his or her life. The King James Version translation even goes as far as to say, "The Law of the Lord is perfect for converting the soul" (emphasis mine). What is it that the Bible says is perfect for converting the soul? Simple: The Law of the Lord. Now, upon reading Psalm 19:7, many Christians will no doubt cry out "Impossible! We are not subject to the law any longer as it brings death (1 Corinthians 15:56)." That is true, the law is not applicable for Christians. But emphasis should be given on the prior sentence's last two words: for Christians, as Christ has paid the price for our transgression through The Cross. So what about the non-Christian who is still living in sin? 1 John 3:4 state that "Everyone who sins breaks the law, in fact, sin is lawlessness." The moral law of God as summarized in the 10 Commandments represents the standards of morality by which God expects his children to abide by. It will be the standard by which God will judge us when we face him after our physical death.
   So what is the purpose of God's Law for the evangelist?
   In Romans 7:7, The Apostle Paul says to the reader regarding the relationship between Law and sin: "What shall we say, then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! Indeed I would not have known what sin was except through the law. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, 'Do not covet.'" The purpose of the Law, as Paul writes, is to make the sinner aware of what they had done wrong against God. 1 Timothy 1:8-11 says "We know that the law is good if one uses it properly. 9We also know that law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious; for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, 10for adulterers and perverts, for slave traders and liars and perjurersnd for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine 11that conforms to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me." Unfortunately, many misinterpret Romans 7:7 to mean that it is solely by knowledge of the Law that we are tempted to do sin in the same way that if you present a bowl of chocolate to a spoiled child and tell him not to eat it, he will be tempted to eat it and thus will. This is not entirely accurate. Consider a native bushman living in the Australian outback that has never been exposed to Western civilization. All he knows are the traditions of his tribe that dictate the relationship between himself, his brethren and the Land. Now, using the interpretation of Romans 7:7 of the Law as temptation, one must consider the bushman as being innocent and without sin as he has never been in contact with the Judeo-Christian model of morality. But would he be? Of course not, he is just as capable of lying, stealing and killing as much as any other human being. Acts 17:30-31 "The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all men everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day when he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead." Although he's never been told about the nature of his sin, in the sight of God he would still be considered a transgressor. Romans 3:23 "For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God."
   King David wrote in Psalm 19:7 that "The Law of the Lord is perfect for reviving the soul" because he regularly meditated upon God standard of righteousness and reflected upon whether he was living in accordance with it or not. Whenever he found that he had sinned, his conscience yearned for satisfaction and feared the consequences of being abandoned or turned away from God. In the same manner, the evangelist who seeks to bring people into a relationship with God must first explain the standard of God righteousness and allow the conscience to thirst for satisfaction in the form of accepting Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Saviour.

In describing the applications of the Law for the Christian today, Baker Theological Dictionary states:

The Law prepares sinners for the gospel. No one can receive eternal salvation by works of the law (Gal 2:16) because none perfectly keeps the law (Rom 3:23), and violation of any part of it makes one guilty of the whole (James 2:10; cf. Rom 2:25; Gal 3:10). Instead, salvation is a gift obtained by faith, not works (Rom 4:4-5; Eph 2:8-10; Phil 3:9). Nonetheless, the law was meant to lead us to Christ (Gal 3:24). It makes the sinner conscious of sin (Rom 3:20; 7:7; 1 John 3:4). It provokes and incites rebellion (Rom 5:20; 7:13), thereby making on fully accountable before God for violation of his moral requirements (Rom 3:19; 4:15; 5:13; 5:13; 7:8-10). By this means, the law shows sinners their need for a mediator to redeem them from the Law's condemnation (Gal 3:13). Hence, the law is an essential prerequisite in preparing sinners for the gospel.

Look at what great heroes of Church History (past and present) have had to say about the use of the Law:

  • John Wycliffe, the Bible translator "The highest service to which a man may obtain on earth is to preach the law of God."

  • Martin Luther "Satan, the god of all dissension stirs up daily new sects. And last of all which of all others I should never have foreseen or once suspected, he has raised up a sect such as teach that men should not be terrified by the law, but gently exhorted by the preaching of the grace of Christ."

  • John Newton "Ignorance of the nature and design of the Law is at the bottom of most religious mistakes."

  • Charles Spurgeon "I do not believe that any man can preach the gospel who does not preach the Law." Then he warns, "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 its ablest auxiliary [its 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 purpose, and it must not be removed from its place."

  • Jonathan Edwards "The only way we can know whether we are sinning is by knowing His Moral Law."

  • George Whitefield "First, then, before you can speak peace to your hearts, you must be made to see, made to feel, made to weep over, made to bewail, your actual transgressions against the Law of God."

  • John Wesley " is the ordinary method of the Spirit of God to convict sinners by the Law. It is this which, being set home on the conscience, generally breaketh the rocks in pieces. It is more especially this part of the Word of God which is quick and powerful, full of life and energy and sharper than any two-edged sword."

  • C. S. Lewis "When we merely say that we are bad, the 'wrath' of God seems a barbarous doctrine; as soon as we perceive our bad-ness, it appears inevitable, a mere corollary from God's goodness..."

  • J. I. Packer "Unless we see our shortcomings in the light of the Law and holiness of God, we do not see them as sin at all."

  • John Bunyan "The man who does not know the nature of the Law, cannot know the nature of sin."

  • A. W. Pink "Just as the world was not ready for the New Testament before it received the Old, just as the Jews were not prepared for the ministry of Christ until John the Baptist had gone before Him with his claimant call to repentance, so the unsaved are in no condition today for the Gospel till the Law be applied to their hearts, for 'by the Law is the knowledge of sin.' It is a waste of time to sow seed on ground which has never been ploughed or spaded! To present the vicarious sacrifice of Christ to those whose dominant passion is to take fill of sin, is to give that which is holy to the dogs."

  • Augustine "The Law is not in fault, but our evil and wicked nature; even as a heap of lime is still and quiet until water be poured thereon, but then it begins to smoke and burn, not from the fault of the water, but from the nature and kind of the lime which will not endure it."

  • Matthew Henry "Herein is the Law of God above all other laws, that it is a spiritual law. Other laws may forbid compassing and imagining, which are treason in the heart, but cannot take cognizance thereof, unless there be some overt act; but the Law of God takes notice of the iniquity regarded in the heart, though it go no further."

  • D. L. Moody "Ask Paul why [the Law] was given. Here is his answer, 'That every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God' (Romans 3:19). The Law stops every man's mouth. I can always tell a man who is near the kingdom of God; his mouth is stopped. This, then, is why God gives us the Lawo show us ourselves in our true colors."

  • J. C. Ryle "People will never set their faces decidedly towards heaven, and live like pilgrims, until they really feel that they are in danger of hell ... Let us expound and beat out the Ten Commandments, and show the length, and breadth, and depth, and height of their requirements. This is the way of our Lord in the Sermon on the Mount. We cannot do better than follow His plan. We may depend on it, men will never come to Jesus, and stay with Jesus, and live for Jesus, unless they really know why they are to come, and what is their need. Those whom the Spirit draws to Jesus are those who the Spirit has convinced of sin. Without thorough conviction of sin, men may seem to come to Jesus and follow Him for a season, but they will soon fall away and return to the world."

  • A. B. Earle "I have found by long experience that the severest threatenings of the Law of God have a prominent place in leading men to Christ. They must see themselves lost before they will cry for mercy. They will not escape from danger until they see it."

  • A. W. Tozer "No one can know the true grace of God who has not first known the fear of God."

  • Dr. Martin Lloyd-Jones "A gospel which merely says, 'Come to Jesus,' and offers Him as a friend, and offers a marvelous new life, without convincing of sin, is not New Testament evangelism. (The essence of evangelism is to start by preaching the Law; and it is because the Law has not been preached that we have had so much superficial evangelism.) True evangelism... must always start by preaching the law."

  • John R. Stott "We cannot come to Christ to be justified until we have first been to Moses, to be condemned. But once we have gone to Moses, and acknowledged our sin, guilt and condemnation, we must not stay there. We must let Moses send us to Christ."

  • John MacArthur "God's grace cannot be faithfully preached to unbelievers until the Law is preached and man's corrupt nature is exposed. It is impossible for a person to fully realize his need for God's grace until he sees how terribly he has failed the standards of God's Law."

Another Gospel (Galatians 1:6-9)

Now let take a look at what modern evangelism says (or doesn't say) about the Law, sin and Judgement Day:

4 Spiritual laws:
1. God LOVES you and has a wonderful PLAN for your life.
2. Man is SINFUL and SEPARATED from God. Therefore, he cannot know and experience God's love and plan for his life.
3. Jesus Christ is God's ONLY provision for man's sin. Through Him you can know and experience God's love and plan for your life.
4. We must individually RECEIVE Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord; then we can know and experience God's love and plan for our lives.

What's wrong with the above example of a modern "Gospel" presentation?

1. The message is man-centred:
If you were to go around asking people what their idea of God wonderful plan for their life was, most of the answers you would receive would be very carnal in nature, referring to today secular, materialistic culture. The drawcard this method uses is one of life enhancement; If you accept Jesus into your life, your life will get better as a result of following God's plan.
   But by what standard exactly are we defining wonderful? When we look at the lives of the 12 Disciples and what they went through - hardships, persecutions, imprisonments, shipwrecks, ostracism, physical assault, martyrdom - as recorded in the book of Acts in addition to the plights of missionaries today such as Heavenly Man author Brother Yun who have experienced horrifying situations of persecution for sharing the gospel in areas that are hostile towards it, how can we reconcile a message of life enhancement with the truth of the adversity Christians suffer from for practicing their faith? How can anyone faithfully read Acts from cover to cover then look a non-Christian in the eye and joyfully say "God has a wonderful plan your life!"
   It's just not being honest.
   When a young believer accepts Christ with false hope of life enhancement and is not ready for the truth of trials, tribulations and hardship, their faith is not going to last long as a means of supplying a buzz that the world couldn't offer. As a result, it creates another backslider who is bitter towards the gospel presenters and inoculated against further invitations to the faith. And quite rightly so; the actual experience did not meet up to the expectations that were encouraged. It was the work of spiritual con-artists.
Proverbs 11:4: Wealth is worthless in the day of wrath, but righteousness delivers from death.

2. Sin is left as an abstract, impersonal concept:
While the above gospel presentation states correctly that sin separates us from God, is does not specifically refer to the Law as God's standard of righteousness in such a way that a person can immediately see what they have done wrong. Can they identify themselves as liars, thieves, adulterers, blasphemers and idolaters? If there is no personal acknowledgement of sin, how can there be genuine repentance, which in turn leads to genuine salvation?
This does not mean that a person who hears this message is totally guiltless, as some people do show visible signs of contrition, yet this is usually the result of issues that a person is already aware of and has started taking steps to fix. However, for the most, the majority of people are simply not aware that they have committed any sin whatsoever to the extent that they see themselves as completely innocent. Ask anyone on the street, "Do you consider yourself to be a good person?" and most will say "Yes" but this answer will mostly be based upon their own self-righteousness as opposed to God's.
It is at this point that I'd like to make a confession: when I first said the sinner's prayer, I did not repent of anything for the simple fact that my self-righteousness blinded me from my own sin. As a second-year Arts student studying World Religions at University, I was very open intellectually to the things of God, but again, intellectually. When I accepted Christ, it was done merely in an experimental fashion intended to satisfy the insatiable curiosity of a young mind. I unknowingly made the error of allowing the Holy Spirit to minister only to my mind and not to my heart where my conscience belonged. I spent most of my Christian life as someone who looked to God in the hopes of getting a mental buzz that the world's philosophies couldn't offer. It wasn't until certain events within my fellowship group took place in which my convictions had to be much stronger that I decided to examine myself to see if I was walking properly in the faith. To my shock, I came to the conclusion that my conversion was completely false as my heart was still hardened towards my conscience and was resistant towards the Holy Spirit power of convicting sin. I sat down and prayed, renouncing my false salvation and thus confessing before God that at heart I was a worshipper of other Gods, an adulterer, a blasphemer, a liar, a thief, an adulterer and a coveter. I then said a sinner prayer, this time welcoming Jesus into my heart and not just my mind. When I said men? the only thing on my mind was how many others out there who claim to be saved yet are still blind?

3. God's wrath, judgement day and Hell are excluded from the explanation of man's eternal destiny.
Apologist Ravi Zacharias said in a lecture regarding he Top 5 Questions Students Ask?that any belief system must be able to answer consistently:
1. The question of origin,
2. the question of meaning
3. the Question of destiny?(emphasis added).
Like it or not, what goes around will come around in the form of a day of judgement. Hebrews 9:27 "Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment." If we are true and sincere witnesses, then we must warn people that unless they have Christ in there lives, there is wrath to come pending judgement day. Unless we have the "parachute" of salvation in the form of Christ, there is no possible way we can survive the jump out of the "airplane" that is called life. Now many people will say, "You can't go around condemning sinners and saying they're going to go to hell, it's not a very loving expression!" To the contrary, to speak of hell and judgment day with the intent of warning and prevention is perhaps one of the greatest acts of love you can express to another human being as you are displaying concern for the fate of their eternal soul. John 3:18 "Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son."
4. It asserts "decisional" regeneration
Like most modern gospel presentations, 4SL concludes with the invitation to receive Christ via the common "Sinner's Prayer". While I agree that the call to respond to the gospel message is indeed a necessary part of the gospel message, the idea that a person can be saved and assured of their salvation on the basis of saying a single prayer alone is to befound nowhere in scripture. Sadly, a lot of protestant churches are quick to boast about being above tradition and ritual for the sake of defining Christianity as "a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ", yet in the same breath, such churches will freely measure such on the basis of whether people recited a man-made prayer.

Partiality: Idolatry's primary stepping stone

In his book Come Help Change the World, the late Dr. Bill Bright, the founder of Campus Crusade for Christ and author of the 4 Spiritual Laws method explained why he chose the format for the 4 Spiritual Laws

"Originally our first law emphasized man's sin, but the Lord impressed me to emphasize God's love. This change was made just before we went to press. I had done my final editing and had left Vonette and the girls to finish the
As I had been travelling a great deal and it was quite late, I had gone upstairs to bed. In fact, I was in bed just at the point of going to sleep, when suddenly there came clear as a bell to my conscious mind the fact that there was
something wrong about starting the Four Laws on the negative note of man's sinfulness. ... I felt that few people would say `No' to Christ if they truly understood how much He loves them and how great is His concern for them.

"So I got out of bed, went to the head of the stairs and called down to Vonette and the girls to revise the presentation so that the first law would be, `God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life,' instead of `You are a sinner and separated from God.' ... Thus the Four Spiritual Laws started with the positive
note of God's love and plan.

"Some time later, one of the girls said to me, `I was so distressed over your change in the presentation that I wept that night. I was afraid that you were beginning to dilute the gospel and that you were no longer faithful to the Lord, because you placed such a strong emphasis on the love of God rather than on man's sin. Now in retrospect, I realize of course that this is one of the greatest things that has ever happened to the Campus Crusade ministry'" (1986)

If only this young lady had listened to her gut instinct and told Dr. Bright that he was in fact diluting his gospel presentation by de-emphasizing man sinful nature. What had Bright done wrong? He had become partial towards the word of God by choosing only the snippets that he felt would be appealing to a non-Christian. This goes back to what Jesus said to Satan himself about "Man cannot live on bread alone, but by every word of God." Ergo, if you selectively choose just one small section of the Bible, which as a whole represents the fullness of God's word, and base your entire faith around it, it is just as good as relying on one single portion of the complete requirements for your personal survival. When you become selective about the Word of God, inevitably you become selective about God Himself. You find yourself reading the Bible so that it suits your own views, and in doing so create a view of God that is of your own making. You create an idol. You disobey Jesus by giving in to one of the most basic temptations that he himself so forcefully said "No!" to. In light of this, any spirit that encourages partiality and selectivity towards God word and his nature cannot truly be of God.
   As a result of this form of spiritual deception, Bill Bright and hundreds - if not thousands - of other reputable Christian ministers are now teaching a "gospel" that is not fully in line with the word of God. Just as the Enemy has deceived the church with false prophets and teachers throughout history, so to has he also deceived potential converts by means of false evangelists. While there certainly are several modern evangelists out there with good heart intent who seek to glorify God in their ministry, they fail to do so and do not really produce good fruits as their actions are not fully in line with God's word. We can ask as much as we want for the assistance of the Holy Spirit, but if we are limited in the use of god word, then so will the Spirit who acts in obedience to the Father.
   Thankfully, prior to his death, Bright repented of this deception and admitted in his book Heaven or Hell that it had probably done more harm to the Body of Christ than good:

In His approximately 42 months of public ministry, there are 33 recorded instances of Jesus speaking about hell. No doubt He warned of hell thousands of times. The Bible refers to hell a total of 167 times. I wonder with what frequency this eternal subject is found in today's pulpits. I confess I have failed in my ministry to declare the reality of hell as often as I have the love of God and the benefits of a personal relationship with Christ. But Jesus spent more of His time warning His listeners of the impending judgment of hell than speaking of the joys of heaven . . . I have never felt the need to focus on telling people about hell. However, as a result of a steady decline in morals and spiritual vitality in today's culture and growing indifference to the afterlife, I have come to realize the need for greater discussion of hell . . . I have thus come to see that silence, or even benign neglect on these subjects, is disobedience on my part. To be silent on the eternal destinations of souls is to be like a sentry failing to warn his fellow soldiers of impending attack (2002)

   I recently started a friendly debate on a Christian Internet message board regarding the biblical validity of the 4 Spiritual Laws. The discussion was quiet, and opinions expressed were both biblical and constructive, encouraging people in the area of witnessing. Unfortunately, I got into an argument with a member of Campus Crusade for Christ who tried to justify Modern Evangelism principles as being correct.
   I kindly said to him, "If you were standing on top of the World Trade Centre on September 10, 2001 with the intent of sharing the gospel to those on the rooftop, knowing fully what would happen to everyone in the tower within 24 hours, would you say 'God has a wonderful plan for your life'? No, I think you'd have to change your presentation. If the 'Wonderful Plan' concept is not applicable in that situation, how can it possibly be the Biblical Gospel?" 
   This drew some good replies from other forum members. "Simple, it's not. That's a very good point."
   The Campus Crusade member however said, s to the 9-11 comment, I would never deny the Love of God, even if I knew a painful death was imminent. I just can't justify presenting the gospel as a parachute or safety net."
   What this person had in fact admitted was that their idea of God's "love" was the same as that of a neglectful father who spares the wooden spoon and raises an undisciplined child. He had no solid understanding of hell or judgment day; such things were seen in his eyes as uncharacteristic of God love. As a result of modern evangelism, he had his own understanding of what he had been saved for as opposed to biblical knowledge of what he had been saved from.

The Good Way?and The Right Way

So what is the Biblical way of evangelism? What DID Jesus Do?
In his ministry on Earth, Jesus only did that which he knew pleased the Father in addition to what the Father did Himself. When sharing the gospel, he gave Law to the proud and self-righteous, Grace to the humble and contrite. Law to the proud, grace to the humble; nowhere in the Bible will you find Jesus expressing the grace of God to someone - Jew or Gentile - who is proud, self-righteous and unwilling to acknowledge his or her sins. When the rich, young ruler came to Jesus asking what must he do to inherit eternal life, Jesus made no mention of grace, the cross or God love. Instead, he directed the young man to the commandments and showed that he had been in fact living in self-righteousness. Also consider the Samaritan woman at the well: After receiving a cup of water, Jesus gets her to admit that she has been living in adultery, and after that is the point at which he finally reveals himself as the messiah.
Jesus also revealed his grace to the humble and contrite. When Nicodemus addressed Jesus in humility as a man of God, Jesus patiently explained to the Rabbi the concept of spiritual rebirth. When the woman caught in the act of adultery flung herself at the feet of Jesus, knowing fully what she had done wrong and its consequences that were demanded, He defended her by saying et he who is without sin cast the first stone.?Can you imagine how the woman must have felt when she heard Jesus say this? She was at the mercy of the very person who had an actual right to condemn her as He was without sin. But instead of inflicting condemnation, Jesus could see her contrition and proceeded to display the grace of God by saying "Go, and sin no more". So how do we put this principle into practice?
Ray Comfort teaches a very simple method called WDJD "What DID Jesus Do?"
W: Would you consider yourself a Good person?
Begin by asking someone if they consider themselves to be a good person. As mentioned above, most will say, "Yes."
D: Do you think youe kept the 10 Commandments?
Ask if they think they have kept the 10 Commandments. Proceed to go through the commandments, asking the person if they have violated any of them. Specifically use what Jesus taught were the extent of the commandments: lust being equal to adultery; hatred being equal to murder, etc.
J: Judgment
After a person has confessed by their own admission that they have broken God's law and sinned against him, tell them about God judgment. Ask if they would be innocent or guilty based on what they have just admitted.
D: Destiny
Once they have pleaded guilty, ask if they think whether they will go to heaven or hell. Some will just blurt out eaven!?To this we explain that if God is good, He must (by nature) punish murderers, rapists, thieves, liars, adulterers, fornicators, and those who have lived in rebellion to the inner light that God has given to every man. Upon hearing this, they will most likely change their answer to "Hell." Ask them if this concerns them. At this point, they may start to show signs of contrition - nervous laughter, weeping, worry, fear - when they realize the gravity of their eternal situation.
If at this point they remain self-righteous, you are under no obligation to continue any further by throwing pearls before swine. But for those who have had an awakening of the conscience, their hearts have been softened by their conscience and are now open to allow the Holy Spirit to do the work of conversion. It is then nd only then ?that we turn the conversation to The Cross and how it is an expression of God love and grace.

A conversation using this principle goes a little like this:

"Do you consider yourself to be a good person??
"Can I ask you a few questions to see if that true?"
"Have you ever told a lie?"
"What does that make you?"
"A liar."
"Have you ever stolen something?"
"Yeah. Once or twice."
"What does that make you?"
"...A thief."
"Jesus said, 'Whoever looks at a woman to lust after her, has committed adultery with her already in his heart.' Have you ever done that?"
"Then by your own admission, you are a lying, thieving adulterer at heart. If God judged you by the standard of the 10 Commandments, will you be innocent or guilty on the Day of Judgment?"
"Will you go to Heaven or Hell?"
"Because God is a loving god and wouldn't sent people to hell as he forgives."
"Are you sure? If a judge in a criminal case has a guilty murderer standing before him, the judge, if he is a good man, can't just let him go. He must ensure that the guilty man is punished. If God is good, He must (by nature) punish murderers, rapists, thieves, liars, adulterers, fornicators, and those who have lived in rebellion to the inner light that God has given to every man."
"Hell then..."
"Does that concern you?"
"Do you know what God did so that you wouldn't have to go to Hell? He sent his son Jesus Christ to die on the cross for our sins."

Note: this method is not hell-fire preaching. Hell-fire preaching aims to create converts through fear of punishment, which unfortunately results in many people having a relationship with God based upon a foundation of fear. However, the correct use of Law and Grace will create a genuine tear-filled converts who are truly repentant and have an apparent revelation of God's grace. Neither is the correct use of the Law one that encourages legalism. Of course not, as the confessing sinner admits that because of their transgressions, no action on their part can ever please God fully.

What today's church currently needs to do with urgent desperation is to return to the biblical method of evangelism and do away with the heresies that are posing as presentations of the gospel. To give the frontline of our Christian ministry - that is, evangelism - diplomatic immunity against accountability when it comes to the doctrines and teachings being put forward will only result in a greater level of deception coming in through the front doors of our churches.