Question: “I believe the true gospel and consider myself a Christian. My question is how do I effectively convert someone to the true gospel of Jesus Christ when they believe a false gospel of faith +works? I believe that in order to be saved we have to trust in Christ alone for our sins. I don’t believe Calvinists, lordship salvation, or Catholics are saved, but I’m not trying to sound judgmental or mean it’s just I believe the narrow way is narrow because Jesus is the only way. How would I show the gospel to a Calvinist or someone who believes in Jesus but also trusts in a little bit of their works? What I find happening is that the gospel I share with others comes off as judgmental and argumentative because of how narrow the gospel really is. How do I make the gospel sound nice and all-inclusive without compromising the gospel? Can someone really be saved by faith +works gospel? I believe its false and one has to trust in Christ alone. What exactly does Jesus mean in the book of Matthew when he says narrow is the way and ‘do not cast your pearls before swine’? How important is it to evangelize others to Christ? Can Christ do it for us? Thank you for your time and responses, I appreciate it.”
Answer: A vast majority of people are relying on themselves to get to Heaven. When you come across someone who is trusting in themselves for access into Heaven, lovingly ask them these two questions.
- James 2:10 says that the person what keeps the whole law yet breaks one part is guilty of breaking the whole law. Have you perfectly kept the law from the day of your birth until now?
- Romans 3:20 says that no flesh shall be justified by the deeds of the law. Are you exempted from this passage?
- Isaiah 64:6 says that all the righteousness of man is as filthy rags. Are you satisfied with presenting your works to God for salvation when God has described them this way?
The point of these questions is to establish what God’s Word says about their works. The Bible is clear that the works of man cannot fulfill the required perfection that the law demands. In fact, Galatians 3:24 says the law guides us to faith in Christ. How? The law condemns us. It shows us that we cannot attain righteousness because we are sinners by nature. It points us to Jesus because He fulfilled the requirement of the law and shed His blood for the payment of our sins.
There is no way to make the gospel sound nice and all-inclusive to someone who believes they can work for salvation. Why is this? Well, it has nothing to do with our tone of voice or kind approach. It has everything to do with the fact that the gospel is a natural rebuke to them. The self-righteous man is one who is lifted with pride just like the religious leaders of Jesus day. We must be careful that we do not sacrifice truth on the altar of cultural relevancy. No one can be saved by their own works. Ephesians 2:9 is clear on this point.
Jesus’ address in Matthew 7 is a part of the Sermon on the Mount. He is particularly addressing judging others (Matthew 7:1) and hard-hearted hypocrites (Matthew 7:5). The direct instruction here is for the disciples to move on from those who are rejecting the coming Messiah. The broader application today is for us to do what we can to reach the lost but move on if they are rejecting the truth of salvation. God wants them to be saved (1 Timothy 2:4) but will not force them to believe on Him.
Evangelism is expected of every believer. 1 Thessalonians 2:4 is clear that we have been entrusted with the gospel message and are expected to get it out for the world to hear.