Biblical Evangelism – Part 5

The final thing we must consider regarding biblical evangelism is that in the New Testament the apostles and the early church taught and practised that baptism was part of the actual conversion process. Throughout the New Testament evangelism consisted simply of the declaration to unbelievers that they should repent of their sins, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and be baptised. That, and that alone, is the biblical gospel. And if you read the Acts of the Apostles you will find that, entirely consistent with that assertion, converts were baptised immediately upon profession of faith in the Lord.

Fundamentally, for two thousand years, the Christian Church has gotten baptism completely wrong, and two errors have dominated regarding it since the emergence of the false teachings of the Early Church Fathers. The first error is when baptism occurs when it shouldn’t (infant baptism), and secondly, when it doesn’t occur when it should; that is, when it is delayed after conversion for the purpose of any kind of baptismal preparation.

We must be clear that, if we go by scripture as opposed to unbiblical Christian tradition, baptism has nothing whatsoever to do with such things as whether your parents are existing church members and themselves baptised, or with joining a church, or with the ministrations of priests or church pastors, or with special church ‘services’ to inaugurate new converts into the Christian life. Absolutely not! None of those things have anything whatsoever to do with baptism! In the New Testament, whether someone was saved publicly in a crowd, or privately with hardly anyone else present, converts were baptised immediately upon profession of their repentance and faith and Jesus. No special meetings were required, and there was certainly no need for church leaders to be present for the purpose of presiding over proceedings and performing the baptism. Biblically, baptism was simply understood to be part of the conversion process. If you were with someone who had just believed in Jesus and gotten saved, then you baptised them as soon as possible – pure and simple!

I’m not suggesting that if someone believes on the Lord but doesn’t get baptised as part of that process they aren’t saved. Of course not! But I am saying that for two thousand years, as with evangelism in general – and many other things pertaining to our discipleship and church life – the Christian Church has followed the false teachings of mere men as opposed obeying the teaching of the New Testament. Or, to put it another way, whether it be evangelism, baptism, church life, or a myriad other things, the Christian Church continues, virtually monolithically,  to go against the teaching of scripture.

So let me summarise what we have seen in our consideration of biblical evangelism:

  1. Nowhere does scripture command that all believers are to engage in proactive evangelism.
  2. Nowhere does the New Testament instruct us to pray for the salvation of unbelievers.
  3. There is not one example in the entire New Testament of an evangelistic declaration that includes the proclamation of God’s love to unbelievers.
  4. The gospel message is the communication of the fact that God’s wrath abides on unbelievers, and that they are commanded to repent, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and be baptised. By so doing they will receive forgiveness of their sins, the free gift of salvation and eternal life.
  5. The New Testament teaches that baptism is part of the conversion process and that converts should therefore be baptised immediately upon repentance and profession of faith in the Lord. There is no biblical requirement for the presence of church leaders, neither for special church ‘meetings’ during which baptisms are performed. Whether the evangelism had taken place in a public or private setting, the early church baptised converts immediately simply upon their profession of faith.

I do appreciate how unnerving and mind-blowing all this is, but hey, don’t blame me for the fact that the Christian Church is in so much serious error and continues to go against the Bible so much. As an Ephesian 4 pastor-teacher I am mandated by the Lord to teach what scripture says and to refute error, and I must therefore expose the unbiblical and man-originated doctrines and traditions that most other Christian leaders teach, and to which most Christians resultantly adhere. But let me end with this: If you disagree with what I have said and want to counter it in any way, then I think that’s great! Indeed, I positively welcome it! Please feel absolutely free to challenge what I have said and to correct me all you will! (Indeed, feel absolutely free to challenge anything I have ever taught anywhere!) But here’s the deal! You must do so from the text of scripture itself and not on any other basis. You are free to fire all the unscriptural theology, personal opinions and so-called ‘prophetic’ declarations at me you want, but be warned that I will only take notice of arguments and reasonings that are formulated from the text of scripture itself. I have no desire to upset or offend anyone, but when it comes to issues of doctrine, ethics and practise, I only accept as authoritative the teaching of scripture itself.

 

2 thoughts on “Biblical Evangelism – Part 5

  1. Beresford,
    What a blessing finding your housechurch.org site and blog are to me!! 22yrs ago after God saved me my first disciple class was called Fishing for Men (think it was a Campus Crusade for Christ lesson) It went along the lines of every fisherman needs to have a strategy, what fish are you wanting to catch, what bait will you use, how do you reel in that fish. Pretty much using psychology to manipulate and win souls. My newly converted heart was screaming WAIT doesn’t it say Follow me and I will MAKE you fishers of men? I was taught the Great Commission and how that was every Christains command from Jesus. Again I’m screaming WAIT doesn’t it say He called the twelve disciples and said that to them? When I taught vacation bibleschool I was instructed to have an altar call. Again, WAIT no that’s not salvation. God would not allow me to do that. I think I spent at least my first whole year in church praying about me being rebellious. Now I know the Holy Spirit was teaching me and leading me. After 8 yrs.and 3 churches I gave up on church. Have just started going back after 14 yrs. Don’t know what God’s plan is but it has been interesting. Organized church is still a business and organization . Sad part is is that the preacher clearly loves God, was saved 20 yrs ago out of a meth addiction. Really miraculous testimony. This is his first church and it is a struggling one. I get the impression that if he doesn’t get it to grow, it’s done. About 20 people, absolutely no fellowship that I can see and he lives over an hour away. I sense his frustration. He’s put in a huge monitor so we can worship better by singing the newer songs. I can’t sing along because you never know when that Jesus figure we use is going to pop in the screen. (I’ve never been able to look at that Jesus image we’ve made up, it makes me feel yucky) The last few weeks he has been playing Eric Ludy movies. To me they were the most emotionally, psychologically, and manipulative thing to bring into a church. If you’ve never seen any of them I;d love your opinion. They are short. He almost screams at you with loud music telling you what you owe Christ. What I did get out of that experience was I needed to repent because I too was that angry at the organized church and that judgemental of the people in charge and in them. What God spoke to me was Jesus is still the Head of the Church and He knows what He’s doing and He always has a remnant. I have to ask for forgiveness 10 or 20 times each service it seems. So although I know I’m not being rebellious this time around I am being judgemental towards others. And that’s sin. Anyway this article just brought everything together for me in a clear and consise way. I’m a little jealous I can’t speak and write so clearly. Another sin. But there have been a few times I know God spoke thru me cuz it just flowed out. Maybe that’s his plan. After he clears out the sin in me he’ll speak thru me the wisdom this preacher needs. This might be painful cuz I know you gotta speak in love. This got more lenghthy than I intended..Just want to thank you again. Just finished you salvation series. What a great teacher God has made you. Have a blessed night.

    Janet

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    • Thank you so much for your kind and encouraging words. I feel your pain and pray the Lord brings others of His people across your path who more firmly honour and live out scriptural teaching. I pray the blog continues to be a blessing to you.

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