If You Died Tonight…

Below is a real “tract” excerpt from a booklet handed out at a Christian Conference. What do you think about giving this away to someone, what is BIBLICALLY wrong or right with this?? Also what is wrong or right about this approach?? Fellas any thoughts?? 

Q: How can I know for sure that I’m going to go to heaven?A: This is the most important question you can ever ask. Jesus said, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you” (Luke 11:9). That is God’s promise to you.To put it simply, Jesus, God’s only Son, came from heaven to live on this earth for thirty-three years. While He was here He healed the sick, restored the broken, and spread a message of Love that has reached to outermost parts of the world. Jesus did not sin, and yet He took your sin (just name it, it’s been covered!) upon Himself and paid the penalty for that sin by His death on the cross (Romans 6:23, Hebrews 4:15, 1 Peter 2:24). Three days after He died, He arose from the dead; and forty days later He ascended into heaven where He intercedes on your behalf (Romans 8:34 and Hebrews 7:25).John 3:16-17 and John 10:10 tell of the great love God has for us. Because of His love, God wants you to come to him just as you are. You don’t have to “fix” yourself first. You don’t have to clean up your life or get rid of your sins. He longs for you to bring your messy, sin-filled life to Him. We encourage you to do this. Admit your sins to God, ask His forgiveness, and thank Him for His love and acceptance of you. He loves you no matter what you’ve done or what is happening in your life now. Jesus has all power and authority over sin and evil (Matthew 28:18, Hebrews 2:14-15, 1 John 3:8), and through Him you can also live a life of true freedom. Read 1 John 1:9. If you give yourself to Jesus, He will come into your heart and live there (Revelation 3:20). You will then be in Christ Jesus, and He will be in you (John 15:4-7, Galatians 2:20).2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “When someone becomes a Christian he becomes a brand new person inside. He is not the same any more. A new life has begun!” (TLB). And John 1:12 says, “Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” This is what God promises you. Yes, you with all your problems, shame and guilt that the Enemy reminds you of everyday–YOU have the right to become a child of God! This is God’s promise and He cannot life. By a simple prayer of faith ask Christ to come into your heart today–and He will.________________________________________

 

NOTE: Above is an exact representation of what appeared in the Winter Jam booklet. Nothing has been changed.  –

Los

 

 

Props: World From Our Window 

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6 responses to “If You Died Tonight…

  1. The blog you propped has some good answers already…but to throw in my 1.33 cents…hmph, I appreciate the heart behind this, I appreciate those who don’t just talk theology but try to put their faith into practice…HOWEVER, i’m saddened often by methods and manifestations, by scripture out of context, and by guilt driven emotional prayers and not sober minded law-conviction responded to in truth by the gospel-answer. Bottom line, one to man, friends to street preaching, inside circle to the synagogue, but there is a place for both, IF (see clint on this) it’s done well. Love

  2. The ethos behind this track is great. It is written very genuinely. But here is my HOWEVER, I think it is missing two things: a) There is not much of a story involved.(i.e. Creation,fall, redemption…) b) Where is the part of the Gospel about God’s reign. In the end it is not that these tracks are devoid of the gospel, but they are only half of it. They offer salvation FROM their sins but not TO the Kingdom.

  3. It is frustrating to read tracts like these. They are well-intentioned but unfaithful to the message of the gospel.

    When I read the history of the very first agents of the Great Commission in the book of Acts, I don’t see this message.

    Trivia question: “How many times does the word “love” appear in the book of Acts?

    Zero.

    Yet how often does the word “repent” appear? The fact is that the consistent message of the the Apostles was “repent and believe.” We’d do well to faithfully preach that gospel.

    Law to bring knowledge of sin, repentance, and faith (believing trust) in the perfect finished work of Jesus Christ.

  4. adding to Justin and Tim…not only is this half the gospel, and it is, but the half presented is half of a half…so I guess, despite good intentions (and I don’t doubt that…I mean, Lenny didn’t mean to kill the rabbit, did he George) we have .25% of the gospel, which according to Paul, by commission or omission, is NOT the gospel. Its just like the NT Wright article, people have fashioned their own view of heaven or the gospel, and it meets a psychological need, but it neglects the true need that tim referred to…SIN. God does love us, but he loves us enough to show us the full extent/weight of our sin. Now, before I start sounding too TR, let me say, this can be done in a very ‘loving’ way, and it should. The goal is of any tract (verbal, written, visual) should be to: 1, fully demonstrate the weight of law/gospel (yes, I am still a wscal lutheran), 2, do this in the context of biblical-theology, the history of redemption and the plan of God, and 3, to see the ultimate kingdom purpose, today, of God’s glory and our Joy (piper meets my pseudo PCA).

  5. Greg,

    I have question in reference to your comment. Does part of the gospel = no gospel? Is Christ’s death the gospel, or his ressurection, or the sending of the spirit, or the declaration that God reigns, or the coming judgement, or the new heavens and new earth, or etc… As I have read the bible more and more, I have been finding that the gospel is huge. I am not saying the gospel is everything because then it becomes nothing, but I think that there are different parts of it that are good starting points to meet different peoples needs. I don’t think it is Wrong for this track (or Wright) to emphasize certain parts of the gospel, I just don’t think it is the best way to Only emphasize those parts. Language is finite, we necessarily have to leave certain things, but as long as we do not deny/exclude things from the gospel, I think it is okay to not mention certain aspects of the gospel.

  6. Gosh Justin, great point. I guess, without doing too much philosophical-linguistic footwork, I agree with you. Are there central tenants of the ‘gospel’ that must be mentioned, at the very least, to constitute the necessary condition of ‘a gospel.’ (I think of this in reference to a false or an incomplete gospel). I think we’d agree that there are. I’ll offer up Heidelberg question 2 as an answer, we must know three things: that we are a sinner, that we are redeemed, that we’re called to resopnd to our redemption in gratitude. Althoug language is finite, it is foundationally universal in meaning, logically, as a reflection of God’s nature. (thank you J Frame) Therefore, I’d agree that the above tract is not ‘in sin.’ However, from a wisdom-revelation point of view, there are elements missing. Is it a false gospel? Yes AND no, depending on the point of view, the angle, and the concentric cirlce of observation. We can always continue to back up telescopically or move in microscopically, thus agreeing on the precondition for truth can be tough, but I’d say an occam’s razor occasion has arised…what is the least we need to know about the gospel to get it right? Sin, Redemption, Eternal Life (as in now (kingdom) and to come). The glory of all this paradox is that my answer is right AND wrong. Ha, how human we are, and how skrewed we are by postmodern critique UNLESS the holyspirit takes us all in process and saves us by HIS work. In a specific-linguistic sense, we don’t even know the same gospel, or same God, on our own merit, since as subjects we are irreduciblly different. Yet, by the spirit…we are saved, not cause our knowledge is absolutely correct, or comprehensive, but it is correct enough as a RESULT of our preceeding effectual calling.

    Crap. This is hard. Bottom line, reading a tract like this should make us feel small in our ‘good theology,’ remind us that we are not saved by our heads or hearts, but by Christ. At the same time, we are called to be holy as he is, and thus we must find a loving way to be together for the gospel and unafraid of critique. This can only happen if God is the ONLY reason we can believe any thing with assurance.

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